With its secluded beaches, tropical flora and laid-back vibes – not to mention perfect weather nearly year-round – it’s no wonder that so many couples travel to this island paradise in search of a romantic getaway. Some prefer to relax and rekindle; others are looking to get a little adventurous and make memories to tell the grandkids about someday. Think of that “spark” that first brought you two together: you’re bound to find something in Jamaica that will fan those flames!
1. Watch the sunset on Seven Mile Beach (Negril)
As its name suggests, this long swath of soft sand along the northwest coast offers plenty of room to spread out and enjoy a bit of privacy. With loungers, picnic areas, restrooms and beach bars peppering the expansive beach, you’ll have no trouble finding a quiet spot to settle in. In today’s world, it’s these little moments together that really mean the most – enjoying something as simple as watching the colors reflect on the ripples as the sun goes down. Heads up: after dark, Seven Mile Beach turns into a nightlife hotspot. Stick around and you’re bound to find a party!
2. Enjoy a candlelit dinner at The Caves (Negril)
If you look up “romantic dinner date” in the dictionary, this place is what you would find. Imagine a table set for two, surrounded by flower petals, candles and the sound of the sea; now add a delicious five-course meal prepared using fresh local ingredients and techniques. Now add you and your partner, and what have you got? The recipe for a perfect evening where every need is catered to. For those looking to enjoy the splendor of The Caves without the full five-course run (or advance booking), check out the Blackwell Rum Bar in another secret cave, also on the water’s edge. Built into volcanic cliffs and accessible via a coral staircase and footbridge, this is one of the coolest places on the island to enjoy a cocktail.
3. Swim in the Blue Lagoon (Port Antonio)
Legend has it that a soak in this turquoise pool has an aphrodisiacal effect. This tranquil spot has hosted generations of celebrity visitors, and several movies have been shot here (the Brooke Shields classic The Blue Lagoon, for one). At nearly 200 feet deep, the mixture of fresh spring and salt water from the sea makes for alternating warm and cool temperatures and a breathtaking blue hue that changes with the position of the sun. Boat tours are available for about US$30.00, and the nearby restaurant has suffered hurricane damage, but enjoying the lush grounds and taking a swim are free.
4. Raft the Martha Brae River (Montego Bay)
Just you, your partner and a captain will share a thirty-foot long raft down a three-mile section of the Martha Brae River. Located in the Trelawny parish, a short ride from Montego Bay, the village features six acres of landscaped gardens, a bar, swimming pool and restroom facility. Once on the river, you can take a swim or just sit back and enjoy the beautiful rainforest scenery of the trip, which takes about an hour. It’s a great opportunity to spot wildlife and snuggle up with each other; the bamboo rafts are surprisingly sturdy. If you’re interested, the captain will gladly share information on the area’s history and the Taino people.
5. Go snorkeling at Montego Bay Marine Park (Montego Bay)
Unfortunately, many of the world’s colorful coral reefs are dying off, and many people have never had an opportunity to go snorkeling. Well, what better time than on vacation to try something new together! There are tons of tropical sea creatures to be seen here, and this nationally designated preserve was created to legally protect the reef against harmful human activity. Excursions and gear rentals can be arranged from a number of vendors in the Doctor’s Cave Beach area; you can also bring your own if you prefer to skip the crowds.
6. Spend a Sunday at Lovers Leap (St. Elizabeth)
Local lore tells of a young slave couple who ran away together after their affair was discovered by a jealous plantation owner. After being chased to the edge, they clasped hands and plunged over the 1,700-foot cliff rather than face separation. Some say that the moon caught them in a golden net, delivering them safely to the horizon. They were never seen again. Later, recognizing the unparalleled view from the top, the Port Authority erected a lighthouse at the top of the cliff. Now, residents and visitors gather weekly at the landmark to enjoy live music, dancing and local cuisine set against the backdrop of one of the best views in the Caribbean.
7. Treat yourselves to a day at The Oasis Spa at Swept Away Resort (Negril)
With packages designed for couples that include massages, body scrubs, manicures, pedicures and a sensual shower for two, it’s time to strip away your worries and relax together – you’ve earned it! Tranquil settings and natural aromatherapy ingredients will whisk you away from the stress of the real world and leave you feeling rejuvenated and reconnected. Swept Away Resort features one of the largest fitness complexes on the island; after a good workout and stretch, you’ll look and feel your best as you head out for a night on the town.
8. Get your adrenaline pumping at Chukka Caribbean Adventures (multiple locations)
Ziplining, local rum sampling, chasing waterfalls and ATV safaris are just a few of the activities on the docket here. With four locations to choose from, Chukka Caribbean Adventures offers adventure excursions to thrillseekers of all kinds, from short jaunts to full day trips. I’d recommend indulging your sense of adventure and spending a whole day doing as many activities as you can. Getting out of your comfort zone raises endorphins, which heighten your mood and your senses. If you feel your passion for each other rising with your heart rate, don’t be surprised – you know what they say, couples who play together stay together!
9. Hike the Blue Mountains (Kingston)
The mountain scenery of the magnificent Blue and John Crow Mountains will leave you in awe, and who better to share it with than your lover? For couples who enjoy taking on challenges together, there are trails for all fitness levels, including the climb to the top of Blue Mountain Peak, the highest point on the island. Jamaica’s only National Park is well-known for its biodiversity, and gives couples a chance to get away from it all – even the busy beachfront resort areas some visitors never venture away from.
10. Soak up some sun at the beach
Let’s face it: some beaches are better than others. Opinions vary widely, but I’m inclined to say “the quieter, the better.” Popular destinations like Doctor’s Cave Beach may try to lure you in with colorful umbrellas and crowds, but those searching for a more intimate setting should check out the private beaches that are operated by the resorts. Sure, that usually means staying a night or more, but having access to the pristine sands sans crying kiddies or vendors is well worth the price in my opinion. From pebbles to pink sands and every shade in between, there is nothing more relaxing than spending a day lounging in the sun and splashing around with the one you love. Pack a picnic or post up near one of the bars or restaurants and let the good times roll!