It's officially Summer! Although Jamaica doesn't technically have "seasons", (it is primarily warm and sunny year-round), the summer holiday season is upon us! Schools will be letting the children out in a week or two, and the adults are submitting vacation leave forms to Human Resources tout suite!
This realisation of this got me thinking and I landed on one question:
How many fun things are there to do in Jamaica for FREE or at most $2000 JMD/$15 USD?
Well, I did my research and I have for you a list of 10 budget-friendly (and COVID-19 safe!) activities across the island for all ages to enjoy!
Disclaimer: The prices listed below are for the activity/entrance fee only and are subject to change. Additional costs such as transportation, food etc. should be otherwise considered!
With that being said, let's get into the list!
1. Go to the Beach
Going to the beach is usually one of the first things Jamaicans want to do during any holiday season. Fortunately, Jamaica has around 50 public beaches to choose from! From Winnifred Beach in Portland, to Puerto Seco Beach in St. Ann, there are options upon options upon options. The entry fee for beaches in Jamaica range from FREE to no more than $2000 per person. If you're an avid beach lover, you could make it a mission to visit all 50 this summer!
2. Devon House Mansion Tour
Located in the capital of Kingston, Jamaica, Devon House is one of Jamaica's most popular historical sites! For locals, a tour of the mansion will cost $900 JMD for adults, and $750 JMD for children. There are other rates for tourists and students too.
Fun Fact: Devon House is also home to the #4 ranked best ice-cream in the world! A single cone won't run you more than $600 JMD, but good luck choosing only one flavour! Bordeaux Cherry is a personal favourite.
3. Go to the Movies
It's confirmed! All movie theatres in Jamaica are now up and running - All COVID protocols observed! If you're outside the capital city, take your pick between the Sunshine Palace cinema in Portmore, St. Catherine, or the Palace Multiplex cinema in Montego Bay, St. James. In Kingston, the Palace Cineplex and Carib 5 cinemas are at your disposal. For an even more unique experience, try out the New Kingston Drive-In cinema! Tickets start at $1400 JMD for adults and $800 JMD for children. Check out the Palace Amusement website for current and upcoming movie schedules!
4. Visit the Hope Zoo
Have you ever seen a kangaroo up close? How about a monkey? A trip to Hope Zoo in Kingston will offer you the opportunity and then some! Entrance to Hope Zoo will cost $1500 JMD for adults and $1000 JMD for children. Children under 2 years old enter for free! Hope Zoo also offers Summer Camps for children - with art & crafts and other activities to keep them occupied all day long.
5. Take a dip at Blue Lagoon
Located in Port Antonio, Portland, Blue Lagoon is its own slice of island paradise. Surrounded by acres of lush forestry, there are few things more refreshing than thee turquoise waters of the lagoon. Admission to the Blue Lagoon itself is FREE, but one can add to the visit with a rafting tour. The rafting tour comes at an additional cost, which can veer around or upwards of $30 USD.
6. Swing from a vine at Blue Hole
If you're one for thrill-seeking, then a trip to Blue Hole in Ocho Rios, St. Ann is a must for you in Summer 2022! Based on my research, as at 2021, admission to Blue Hole cost $20 USD for adults and $10 USD for children. From swinging from vines into the idyllic blue water to climbing the rock face Indiana Jones style, Blue Hole is an adventurer's playground.
7. Explore Green Grotto Caves
If Blue Hole didn't fully satisfy the inner adventurer, a 40 minute drive east to Green Grotto Caves in Discovery Bay, St. Ann might just do the trick! A tour of the caves in all its rich history will cost Jamaican residents $1000 JMD per adult and $500 JMD per child (12 and under). Non-Jamaican residents can enjoy a tour of the caves for $20 USD. All persons are outfitted with a hair net and a hard hat before entering the cave - safety first!
8. Go Roller Skating
Yes, you read that right! Roller Skating Rinks are making a comeback! The staff at Destiny Rink in Portmore, St. Catherine are waiting for you to pay them a visit this summer! For only $1000 JMD, both pro and faux skaters gain entrance and a pair of skates at one of Jamaica's newest roller skating rinks. Don't forget to take along a pair of socks!
9. Zoom on the Go-Kart Track
Got a need for speed ? Don't let this summer pass without a visit to the Rocket Go-Karting Experience in Portmore, St. Catherine! There are different GoKart options, from single to double seater, so go with a friend for double the fun! Rates start at $1400 JMD, and an ID and sneakers are required to drive. If the fun is over too quickly, there's paintball setup on the same property at an additional fee. According to their social media page, patrons can expect a mini golf course soon! It's a whole amusement park in the making!
10. Explore the Downtown Art District
Just in case you missed it, Downtown, Kingston is being reawakened as a cultural hub in Jamaica. At the intersection of Church Street and Water Lane, one can find 10 of 59 murals in the Art District, all done by local artists. While one can enjoy the displays on his/her own for FREE, the team at Kingston Creative offers monthly 1-hour tour of the murals on Water Lane and the adjoining side roads at a cost of $1500 JMD for adults, and $1000 JMD for children. Reserve your space for a tour at: https://kingstoncreative.org/tours/
For the history or horror lovers (or both!), the Rose Hall Great House Tour in Montego Bay, St. James will be a treat for both adults and children this summer. The legend of Annie Palmer, otherwise known as the White Witch of Rose Hall, is a tale that has lived on for decades. Please note that this activity is a bit more on the pricier side, as the Day Tour rate is $23 USD for adults and $10 USD for children (12 and under); while the Night Tour rate is $27 USD for adults and $12 USD children.
So, how did I do? Did you like the list? Which of the activities will you consider doing this summer? Drop your feedback or questions in the comments!
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