Maybe it’s the spicy taste authentic jerk-seasoned barbecue, or perhaps it’s the rhythmic reggae beats that follow you everywhere. Or it could be the way every local you encounter greets you with such a friendly enthusiasm. Whatever it is, there’s just something about Jamaica that makes you instantly realise it’d be a waste to spend all day lounging on the beach.


Of course, Jamaica sure has its share of beautiful sands. However, unlike most other Caribbean islands, it’d be a disservice to sum it up as a ‘beach destination.’ Jamaica has much more to offer than lounge chairs and sun umbrellas.


So, if you’re taking advantage of cheap flights to Jamaica and hoping to explore beyond the island’s sandy shores,here are a few outdoor adventures worth considering…


Zipline Through the Jungles of Hanover Parish


Hanover, a small parish in the northwest corner of the island, is home to the longest zipline in the Caribbean. The giant zipline, nicknamed ‘Big Timba’, stretches an incredible 1,600 feet and offers the best adrenaline rush in all of Jamaica. Perfect for holiday-makers with itchy feet.


 Explore Montego Bay on an ATV safari

ATV Safari

ATV Safari, by Chukka Caribbean Adventures

What could be better than an off-road jeep tour of the Jamaican wilderness? How about swapping the jeep with an ATV and putting you in the driver’s seat? The ATV safari tours that leave from Montego Bay are a thrilling way to take-in the island’s gorgeous natural scenery. Your four-wheeling adventure will take you through giant muddy puddles, over rugged, rocky terrain and through a working citrus plantation.


Hike through the Blue Mountains


Blue mountain, by Shiv

 Jamaica’s majestic Blue Mountain rage is covered in hiking trails, each offering brilliant views of this less-traveled part of the island. You can opt for a guided tour, or choose to explore the mountains on your own. Popular routes include the Governor’s Bench trail, Crane Walk and the trail to the summit of Blue Mountain. For a nice treat when you get to the top, pack a thermos filled with the region’s famous coffee.


Go horseback swimming in Montego Bay


You’ve certainly heard of horseback riding, but horseback swimming? This is the opportunity of a lifetime. Saddle up and enjoy a long ride through the backcountry trails near Montego Bay. These tours end at a private beach, where you (and your horse!) will plunge straight into the refreshing waters of the Caribbean Sea.


Clearly, Jamaica’s not your generic beach destination. Brimming with local flavour and diverse natural landscapes, the island is one brilliant adventure after the next.


Samantha Harker is a travel writer whose love of outdoor action has taken her from the plains of West Africa to the remotest islands of the Caribbean.