One Day Itinerary for a Fun Non-Touristy Day in Beautiful Jamaica

One Day Itinerary for a Fun Non-Touristy Day in Beautiful Jamaica

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What do you do when you’ve already visited many of the top tourist locations and destinations in Jamaica? You spend the day exploring off the beaten path; visiting those non-touristy areas in Jamaica where visitors rarely go. The places where you can truly get to experience life in Jamaica and meet local Jamaican people.

Planning our off the beaten path day in Jamaica

Our visit to Jamaica last Spring was our third visit in recent years, fourth if you consider a trip many years ago when Caiden was just a baby. Because of this, we had already experienced the ‘must do’ tourist spots like Dunn’s River Falls.

While we tried to find new and exciting spots over the years, and we loved most of the places we explored, this year it was time to truly explore Jamaica off the beaten path.

Initially, we had planned to do a day trip to the east coast of the island, around Portland Parish. We planned to visit a few beautiful non-touristy areas of Jamaica including Winnifred Beach, Reach Falls, and Port Antonio.  While planning though, we realized that with Lucas’ car sickness issues, a three-hour drive each way was probably not a good idea. Instead, we opted to stay more local and visit a few off the beaten path non-touristy areas closer to Ocho Rios.

Our ultimate itinerary is a great full day option for anyone staying in Ocho Rios, Runaway Bay or even Montego Bay, although the latter would have an extra hour or more of driving each way. If you follow this itinerary for your day, you’ll get to experience at least three wonderful non-touristy activities that will give you a chance to see a different side of Jamaica; aside tourists rarely get an opportunity to see.

How to get around Jamaica when exploring non-touristy areas

As we had no intention of driving in Jamaica (absolutely not for the faint of heart), we hired a guide for the day. Many initially think that the cost would be astronomical but in reality, that’s far from the truth. (check out our post, Why You Should Hire a Private Guide)

After lots of research and many emails, we decided to book with Riley Tours and we’re so glad we did. For less than $300, we met two amazing people and spent 9 hours exploring areas of Jamaica that most tourists never get to see. That worked out to less than $60 per person for the FULL day and we had full control of our itinerary.

Kemrod Riley, the owner of Riley Tours, is super sweet and has the patience of a saint. I reached out to him many months in advance with our plan to visit Portland Parish. He checked into the status of all the sights we wanted to visit and kept in regular contact with me during our planning. A few weeks before we left for Jamaica I did a complete turnaround. He handled our changes with grace and a smile. I guess that’s the reason many call him Smiley Riley!

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