top of page

4 Jamaica Excursions: Crocodiles, Waterfalls And Rum, Oh My!

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

The beach and palm trees on a Jamaican resort

Six months. That's how long I had to wait after getting married to go on a honeymoon. I know, it's not THAT long. Some people have to wait a year to go anywhere or don't go on one at all. However, this trip was much needed after getting married the weekend before my husband's first test week in PA school (June 2019) and spending six months barely seeing him due to his grueling schooling.

Looking back, not only was I ecstatic to get away and go on vacation, but I'm now even more thankful that we went before the pandemic hit. We chose to stay in Negril at a lovely beach and resort where we spent most of our time. Originally, our main goal was to relax on the beach (and we did!), but we also ended up going on some excursions, which made for a more memorable trip.

While the following doesn't include all of the places we traveled to outside of the resort (for example, we also checked out Rick's Cafe and Margaritaville), this list includes some of the more popular tourist areas in western Jamaica and what I thought about them.


Most of our excursions were last-minute decisions, but before arriving in Jamaica, we had planned to snorkel. My husband had done it several times in Hawaii, Mexico and other areas throughout the Caribbean, but this was basically my first snorkeling experience. (Technically, my first time was in Haiti, but sadly, we didn’t see anything other than murky water.) So, our opinions of snorkeling near Negril are a little different.

My husband had a great time since he had not been in some years, but overall, he’d had better quality experiences before. As for me, I enjoyed it! The water was clear, so I saw colorful sea creatures and flora. There were millions of tiny jellyfish everywhere you turned, which did freak me out until I realized they weren't actually stinging and were harmless. My advice? When you vacation on an island, experience the deeper parts of the sea.

Final Thought: We really wanted to go to the Sunken Pirate City in Port Royal to snorkel or dive there. It’s too bad we didn’t have time, but I guess that means we have to go back to Jamaica … and I’m not sad about that!

The waterfalls at YS Falls in Jamaica

YS Falls

At YS Falls, seven waterfalls flow into seven pools, creating a truly beautiful and jungle-like scene. You can explore, swim, relax or even jump off a cliff into a pool. We did all of the above. And although we were able to spend about 2 hours at the falls as part of a bus group, I think we would have enjoyed this adventure more if we had had more time. Reason being, there were a lot of people and you had to have assistance climbing at many of the waterfall areas. So overall, we did a lot of waiting.

Final Thought: Go with a group that’s staying longer or go yourselves! Kids would also really love this excursion.

Couple taking a photo at the rum Appleton Estate in Jamaica

Appleton Estate

A tour at Appleton Estate (Jamaica Rum) is a must if you’re staying near it. Not only does the company provide an informational tour, but it was also interactive. First, you will hear about the history of the estate then go on to learn about sugar cane and how it’s grown in Jamaica. You will also try some sugar cane — so sweet! After that, enjoy watching the process of turning that sugar cane into rum and how and when the drink is barreled. From there, you'll get a sensory experience smelling the various flavors that might be incorporated into the ru and even tasting the rum itself.

Final Thought: This was definitely my favorite excursion, which is surprising considering all of the water activities we did, but I recommend visiting if it piques your interest.

Black River Safari with crocodiles in the river in Jamaica

Black River Safari

A boat ride down a river might sound like a peaceful choice for an outing, however, it’s far from it when you’re searching the waters for crocodiles. Don’t worry, you’re not craning your neck for fear of getting too close to the prehistoric-looking reptiles. Instead, everyone is simply on a hunt to see as many as they can during the 1.5-hour trip.

If my memory is correct, on our Black River Safari Tour, we saw about 5-6 crocodiles. It was mid-day, so many boat tours had already driven through, which meant fewer crocodiles showed up because they’d already been fed, but that was still enough for us to enjoy the trip! Three of the crocodiles swam to the boat and were fed by the guide, and you can see more of them up close on land at the crocodile refuge and sanctuary.

Final Thought: We had a fabulous tour guide on our boat ride, so I assume most of the workers with the Black River Safari are pretty great!

Sunset on the beach in Jamaica

As a whole, Jamaica was the perfect getaway vacation at that point in our lives. It was cheaper than going to most foreign countries, it had jerk chicken for us to eat at any mealtime (YUM!), and it allowed us to relax on the beach and go on multiple excursions to get to know the country and encounter some parts of Jamaica we won’t forget.


Related Posts

See All


bottom of page