Traveling in Jamaica for one week. Must sees?

I am an experienced female solo traveller, but would still like to avoid neighbourhoods that are dangerous, so any advice on that would be great. I’m also not a person to stay in a resort the whole time and will be exploring the whole country as much as I can including Kingston using public transport (will likely use Knutsford Express). I am landing and leaving from Montego Bay. I think I will stay one day/one night in Montego Bay and visit the beach (doctor’s cave beach?), and maybe Rose Hall Great House if it’s worth it. I plan to visit Kingston and Ocho Rios as well. I would appreciate any other recommendations. I’m planning a packed itinerary to see as much as possible. Thank you!

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Advice

Doctor’s Cave beach can get crowded, but not far north is Dead End beach which is free and you can watch the planes landing and taking off right over your head.

Rose Hall Great House is worth it if you like history.

Otherwise it depends what you like to do and how much you want to plan ahead. Because Jamaica is mountainous, it can take time to get from one place to another.

My 8-day itinerary the first time (as part of a group tour) was:

  • 1 night in Montego Bay - we went to Island Strains to smoke and hang out, had a great time
  • Drive to Charles Town Maroon Village, stopping at Dunn’s River Falls - the falls were beautiful but I wouldn’t want to be there on a crowded day, and at the end there is an artisan village where the vendors can be very aggressive even by Jamaican standards. We spent the night at the Maroon village, learned a bit about their culture, which was super interesting but I don’t know how if it’s possible to do solo
  • From there we went to Kingston, went to the Bob Marley museum then Devon House for ice cream, went out to a street party at night, then to the National Gallery to learn about Jamaican art and history
  • Next day went to Treasure Beach for two nights. While we were there, we did a Black River safari and trip to Pelican Bar with Captain Dennis. He has a smaller boat so he can go further up the river, and he stops at Miss Lou’s crab shack on the way back
  • After that, two days in Negril where we lounged on the beach and partied at Jungle night club.

So it’s possible to cram a lot into a week, but it can also feel pretty rushed. On my visits after that (planned by myself) I’ve always stayed each place a few days to get the vibe a bit more. Personally I prefer it, because you meet people when you have a home base and that can lead to some amazing adventures (like having the best lobster of my life with the singing chef in Treasure Beach because someone knew someone who was hosting a dinner party.)

You can also search this subreddit for the cities you plan to visit, there’s sooo much to do in Jamaica especially if you’re willing to go off the beaten path.

Advice

I prefer Blue Hole to Dunns River which is always so crowded. If you want some delicious Ital food, Calabash restaurant in Ocho Rios is great. Stop and eat at Pleasure Cove Beach right as you leave St. Ann into St. Mary. In Portland Frenchmen Cove, Somerset Falls and Boston Beach are lovely. The jerk at Boston Beach is some of the best I’ve tasted. If you like coffee I’d recommend one of the tours to the farms in the blue mountains. Some of the best coffee in the world. In Kingston definitely visit the Marley museum. I enjoy hanging out in Emancipation park too

Advice

These places are what I have in mind. It does look like a lot, so can someone help me narrow it down a little? Thank you!

  • Montego Bay
  • Negril
  • nine mile
  • Kingston
  • ocho rios
  • discovery bay
  • Falmouth
  • port Antonio

Also looking for nature/stunning scenery recommendations, thank you

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