Imagine that you’re sitting on the soft white sand, drink in hand. The sun illuminates a rainbow of colors as it sets over the turquoise waters in front of you. A Bob Marley tune drifts through the air from the beachside hotel behind you. This can’t be real. You must have been transported into a postcard!

Think again. It is real! You are on vacation in Jamaica, and life is good. I have traveled all over Jamaica on five separate trips, crashing a royal cocktail party, visiting Bob Marley’s house, and climbing the waterfalls. If you are like me, you can only laze about so much during a vacation. My desire to see and do things while traveling means I make it my mission to seek out exciting adventures.

For an adventurous trip to Jamaica, you’ll definitely want to leave the confines of the beautiful beachfront Negril hotels or all inclusive resorts. If you’re wondering what to do in Negril, here are four exhilarating outdoor adventures near this laid back Caribbean city.

Photo by Jennifer Hott-Greenway via

Photo by Jennifer Hott-Greenway via

Swim Dunn’s River Falls

Famliy at Dunn's River Falls

Six hundred feet of cascading water flows down Dunn’s River and into the Caribbean Sea. A popular tourist activity is to climb up the falls and go for a swim in one of the lagoons. Expect lots of tourists, but you’ll have an exciting adventure. I have done this on three different occasions over the course of 20 years, and it has always stayed the same. It’s a two-hour drive from Negril, and many tour companies make the trip each day.

Go for a Horseback Ride

There are plenty of places to do some horseback riding in Negril, especially at the Rhodes Hall Plantation. This tour takes you along the beach, and you and your horse can even go for a swim in a mineral spring pool.

Glass Bottom Boat Snorkeling

A great way to explore Jamaica’s turquoise waters is booking a snorkeling trip. When you take a snorkeling trip on a glass bottom boat, you don’t have to get out and snorkel if that’s not your thing. Many glass boat operators will hang out on Seven Mile Beach waiting for snorkelers to fill it. For a more organized trip, check out Famous Vincent’s, one of the most well known tour guides.

Hike and Swim in the Mayfield River

Explore the plants and wildlife in Jamaica’s interior on a hike through the tropical forest to the Mayfield River. The medium level guided hike lasts for a couple of hours and follows the river to a hill. At the end of the hike, go for a swim in one of the natural pools and let the waterfalls massage your sore muscles.

Let these outdoor activities help you plan what to do during your trip to Negril. Whatever you choose, they’ll add some adventure to your vacation and help you get a feel for the Jamaican landscape.

This post is part of the Hipmunk City Love Project.