Are you planning on spending just a few days in Jamaica?
Not sure what to do besides sitting by the pool or lounge on the beach?
Here are a few things you can find to do to mix it up a little throughout your stay in Jamaica!
Melissa has never gone snorkeling before, but when I saw her floating in the water looking at the small pieces of coral on the shore of our resort, I knew we needed to explore the ocean together. Snorkeling was available at our resort for an additional fee of $40 per person. This provided us with snorkeling gear and a boat ride out to the reef.
Melissa is an accomplished swimmer, I’m a certified scuba diver that together we felt confident in our swimming abilities. One of the requirements for this adventure was that we wear a life vest. As they were handing out the life vest my first question was “Is this going to fit?” the answer… “No”.
Life vest are made for skinny people and well we aren’t skinny. I think the skinniest thing on me is my baby toe and even then I need wide shoes. Melissa had a similar issue but more in the upper region compared to my lower torso. So we half-assed the vest with clipping it shut on one area each and climbed on board. 30 minutes later we arrived at the reef and without hesitation Melissa, who has never snorkeled in her life, was the third person off the boat, leaving behind her life vest and me.
I dived in after her and took off swimming the reef. The sites are amazing for a first time snorkeler like Melissa. She wanted to see everything, thankfully she kept her wits about her and stayed within sight of the boat and myself. She was perplexed and to see the amazement and joy in her body language was a gift I can’t ever replace.
If you have never been snorkeling, I highly suggest looking to see if your resort has this option as an excursion. Among the things we saw where sea turtles, jellyfish, and lionfish, to name a few.
I’m not sure if this was our favorite thing or our second favorite thing to do. Since Melissa decided to snorkel more than once on our trip I’m going to make this number two on the list of things to do in Jamaica.
The Luminous Lagoon is located in Falmouth, Jamaica. This body of water is met with both freshwater and ocean water at either end of the lagoon to combine into a warm location that houses dinoflagellates close to the surface. It has been found that this location is the largest in the world of the four known sights and provides the brightest view of the marvelous illumination of the dinoflagellates.
The downside to the lagoon was that after a few minutes you felt like you where being bitten. But as everyone on our boat felt it was a small sacrifice for the experience of a lifetime.
Here is a video of Melissa jumping into the lagoon. Capturing the glow can be difficult especially for people like me who have a difficult time taking a selfie.
Just a side note… bring towels, a change of clothes, water shoes and bug spray if you can. Don’t be like me & refuse to bring a towel. It was a harsh lesson and an itchy ride back to the resort.
Dunn’s River Falls
The advertisement said 600 stairs… Melissa said she would tell me when she wanted to stop. I didn’t realize it was going to be at the top. What I got was a true sense of pride knowing I accomplished the task of climbing something in nature.
What started out as a human chain at the bottom turned into Melissa helping pull me up steep rocks along with our tour guide. As I stated before I’m not skinny, nowhere close to it. But knowing she was there to pull me through I felt really helped tighten our bond. This woman took all her strength with water crashing on her and helped lift me up some of the larger steps so I wouldn’t fall or fail. That says a lot about a person, especially someone who themselves was struggling.
See Melissa broke her ankle a few months before we left for Jamaica, ironically right before we left for New Orleans. She hasn’t had full use of her ankle since, still has a limp, but can pull my ass up the damn rocks of a waterfall. Seeing her strength, not just emotionally but physically on a scale of do or die gave me a greater love and appreciation for her.
While the task of climbing a waterfall may seem fun, the greatest part is coming to the top and knowing you survived. Either way, this is well worth the risk and is a great way to bond for a couple. It will definitely tell you if your significant other has your back or not.
Tubing on White River
I thought this would be a leisurely ride down the river. Similar to back home where we get to float down the river, smoke a cigar, and just enjoy the views. Instead, it was a combination of floating and whitewater rapids on a smaller scale. We opted to go with a tour group for this one as part of the Dunn’s River Falls and Bamboo Beach excursion, mostly because I really thought it was going to be a leisure ride.
Getting on the tube was easier than one of those lazy rivers at a water park thanks to our tour guides helping us into them. Adjoined with a flat bottom to house or butts the ride was actually pretty comfortable. Most people opted for wearing a life vest, Melissa included. While I opted to let my fat bring buoyancy in case I capsized.
Our tour guides directed us down the river, helping us when we became the missing link or wandering sheep of the herd. The sang songs for entertainment and overall gave a peace of mind that we wouldn’t hit the ocean if we escaped our group.
While I wish this lasted longer than just the 3 miles on White River it was well worth the experience to see the clear water, jungle area and just exploring the wild in a different way other than hiking.
This was the last spot of our guided tour. It was a nice relaxing area that served small helpings of traditional Jamaican food along with unlimited alcohol and other beverages. There was a small section of the beach that was closed off so people could wade through the tides, or pee without climbing the sand to find the bathroom – you make your guess.
On the top of the hill where the bus lets you off, there are a few shops set up and you are able to rent water sports equipment. Melissa decided she wanted to snorkel again so she paid $10 for the gear and went on her way. She was allowed to swim outside of the area where the beach was marked off but didn’t go far because of the tide and the lack of flippers.
It was a great way to end the adventures of the day with some relaxing beach time entertained by dancers of Jamaican dance (or so we were told). For the bus ride home I grabbed a fresh cut coconut to help relieve the salt taste of the ocean in our mouths. While it personally is not somewhere I would spend my whole day, it is someplace a nice afternoon can be spent.
Bamboo Beach Dancers
The Portly Passengers provides plus size inclusive travel tips and advice for anyone who is looking to explore the world. From seat sizes on airplanes to exploring museums, restaurants, and nature Melissa & Peter have the experience and stories to help guide you through it.