Wonders of Jamaica

Territory

Dunn's River Falls
Dunn’s River Falls. / Chris Ford, Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

Jamaica is the third-largest Caribbean island with a distinct local culture and amazing nature. The most amazing wonders of Jamaica are:

  • Unique ecosystems – island has many diverse ecosystems with numerous rare and endemic species of plants and animals. Some are plain unique, such as Rockbay with its powerful bioluminescence.
  • Caves and sinkholes – there are known more than 1000 caves and sinkholes in Jamaica, some regions of the island are crisscrossed by underground passages.

The major values of Jamaica though are not bound to a single place – the fusion of different cultures on the island has given birth to multiple unique cultural phenomena, such as reggae, Rastafari, unique cuisine, dance styles, etc.

Map with the described wonders of Jamaica

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Jamaica

Geological wonders

Jackson’s Bay Caves

Clarendon

Group of closely located caves with a total length that exceeds 10 km. Some of the most beautiful caves in the Caribbean. Prehistoric engravings and rock paintings. Human bones from around 1240 AD have been found. Here have been found remnants of such extinct animals as Jamaican monkey (Xenothrix mcgregori) and the unique Jamaican ibis (Xenicibis xympithecus) whose wings were like clubs, possibly used in fights.

Dunn’s River Falls

Saint Ann

Approximately 55 m tall waterfall with many cascades and spectacular tufa formations. Waterfall ends directly in the sea. Popular tourist destination, tourists enjoy climbing the falls.

Dunn's River Falls, Jamaica
YS Falls

Saint Elizabeth

Secluded, approximately 37 m tall waterfall with seven cascades. Waterfall is fed by natural springs.

YS Falls, Jamaica
Blue Lagoon (Blue Hole)

Portland

Natural lagoon – sea bay, fed by powerful springs. This 55 m deep lagoon has unusual, deep blue color that changes as the sunlight changes throughout the day.

Blue Lagoon, Jamaica
Dunn’s Hole

Trelawny

The largest cave chamber in Jamaica, some 200 m long, 100 m wide and up to 80 m high. It is located at the bottom of 200 m deep, slanting sinkhole with 100 by 80 m large entrance.

Dornoch River Head (Dornoch Rise)

Trelawny

The largest river rise (surfacing of underground river) in Jamaica. This deep blue, circular pool is the head of Rio Bueno.

Cockpit Country karst area

Trelawny

Large area with enormous limestone cones. This inhospitable, rugged area is covered with pristine rainforest and holds huge biodiversity values. Here are numerous caves.

Cockpit Country karst area
Green Grotto Caves

Saint Ann

1,525 m long cave system, used as a shelter by Taino people.

Green Grotto, Jamaica
Gourie Cave

Manchester

One of the largest and most interesting caves in Jamaica, explored length 3,505 m. Cave contains gours (rimstone pools), flowstone.

Coffee River Cave

Manchester

Large cave with beautiful formations – numerous stalactites and stalagmites. Explored length – 2,801 m.

Hutchinson’s Hole

Saint Ann

Large sinkhole with bad fame. Serial killer Lewis Hutchinson used to throw his victims here in the 18th century. Also later many have fallen into this hole. Sinkhole is some 98 m deep. Upper entrance is just 5 by 3 m wide, but with the depth it becomes larger until reaching 18 by 25 m size.

Riversdale Natural Bridge

Saint Catherine

Large natural bridge over a tributary of Rio Cobre. Road goes over it.

Biological wonders

Portland Ridge

Clarendon

Dry limestone forest with many endemic species of plants and animals, such as tree frog Eleutherodactylus cavernicola, two thunder snakes Trophidophis stullae and Trophidophis jamaicensis, and the endemic Blue-Tailed Galliwasp (Celestus duquesneyi).

Hellshire Hills

Saint Catherine

Some of the largest and most interesting dry forests in Caribbean, with 53 endemic species of plants and many endemic animals, such as Jamaican iguana (Cyclura collei) and skink Mabuya mabouya.

Rockbay bioluminescence

Saint Ann

Small bay, one of the best places in the world to experience bioluminescence. It is caused by high concentration of Pyrodinium bahamense microorganisms.

Bioluminescent bay in Jamaica
Kindah Tree, Accompong

Saint Elizabeth

Enormous mango tree of great historical importance. According to legends, under this tree met rebellious Maroons, led by Cudjoe in the early 18th century.

Kindah Tree in Accompong, Jamaica in 1993

Archaeological wonders

Pantrepant West Cave

Trelawny

Cave with Taino petroglyphs on a 1.5 m tall stalagmite. It is possible that these carvings are aligned with winter solstice.

Mountain River Cave

Saint Catherine

One of the most prominent rock art sites in Jamaica, with 148 identifiable cliff paintings and 4 – 5 petroglyphs.

Kempshot Cave

Saint Mary

Cave with Taino rock carvings on stalactites.

Architecture wonders

The Underwater City of Port Royal

Saint Andrew (Jamaica) and Kingston

This historical city was submerged in the sea in 1692 after an catastrophic earthquake. Thus the city has been preserved very well and represents an unique testimony of English colonial town from the late 17th century. Captain Morgan was buried in a cemetery that is under the sea now.

Rose Hall

Saint James

Large and ornate historical mansion, built in the 1770ies in Jamaican Georgian style. According to the legends, this mansion is haunted by the White Witch – a voodoo practitioner, who killed many people. It is doubtful whether she existed in reality.

Rose Hall, Jamaica
Spanish Town Historic District

Saint Catherine

An old city that was established by the Spanish in 1534, capital of Jamaica until 1872. Many historical buildings.

Spanish Town in Jamaica
St. James Cathedral in Spanish Town

Saint Catherine

The oldest Anglican church in British Caribbean. First, Spanish, church was built here in 1525, later on its foundations was built Anglican church. Current church was rebuilt in 1714 after the previous one was destroyed by hurricane.

Iron bridge in Spanish Town

Saint Catherine

Historical bridge from cast iron, built in 1801, 29.7 m long.

Old House of Assembly, Spanish Town

Saint Catherine

Historical building for the Assembly of Jamaica, constructed in 1762.

Assembly House in Spanish Town

WorldYellow Recommended books

The Rough Guide to Jamaica


The new full-color The Rough Guide to Jamaica is the ultimate travel guide to the most captivating of Caribbean Islands. In-depth coverage and clear maps will help you discover the best that the island has to offer – from white-sand beaches and rum bars to misty mountains and vibrant towns – while detailed practical information will help you get around.

Insight Guides Pocket Jamaica


One of the most popular Caribbean Islands, Jamaica has it all. With its stunning natural setting, low mountains, white sandy beaches, and clear waters, it’s the destination of dreams. Be inspired to get more out of your visit by the brand new Insight Pocket Guide Jamaica, a concise, full-color guide to this tropical paradise that combines lively text with vivid photography to highlight the best that the island has to offer.


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