Falmouth – A Slice of Paradise in Jamaica

A small historic town on Jamaica’s north coast, Falmouth has recently been reinvented as a major cruise port. A perfect blend of the old and the new, Falmouth boasts an array of beautiful historic buildings, along with a modern, state-of-the-art cruise terminal.
Falmouth
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Falmouth provides the perfect base for discovering Jamaica while on a cruise. The town offers an array of nice beaches, great attractions and fantastic excursions for visitors to enjoy. Read on for the ultimate guide to Falmouth.

What is Falmouth Known for?

Falmouth is known for being one of the best-preserved Georgian towns in the Caribbean.

Is It Safe for Tourists in Falmouth?

Yes, Falmouth is generally safe for tourists. Crime against tourists in Falmouth is rare, except for some opportunistic crimes such as pickpocketing. As long as you use your common sense, you shouldn’t experience any safety concerns during your holiday in Falmouth.

Things to Do in Falmouth

Falmouth offers visitors a variety of attractions and activities to enjoy. These include:

  • Martha Brae River: One of Jamaica’s biggest rivers, Martha Brae offers some of the best rafting experiences in the area. A scenic rafting tour on a rustic bamboo raft takes visitors along three miles of river in the surroundings of lush tropical forest.
  • Luminous Lagoon: Surrounded by mangroves, the Luminous Lagoon is home to microscopic organisms that emit an electric blue light at night when the water is agitated. The lagoon is the largest and most brilliant of the world’s only 5 bioluminescent lagoons.
  • Falmouth Old Town: Stroll through the Old Town of Falmouth and chat with the locals as you immerse yourself in Jamaican culture. Take photographs of the beautiful 18th century Georgian architecture that’s on display throughout the historic center.
  • Hampden Estate Rum Tour: Founded in 1753, Hampden Estate is one of Jamaica’s oldest rum estates that still uses the original process for making their rum. The estate offers tours where visitors can learn about rum, and the region’s history.
  • Swamp Safari: The Jamaica Swamp Safari Village offers guided tours where visitors can see iguanas, monkeys, exotic birds and snakes. The highlight is watching a handler call and feed the crocodiles.

What is there to do in Falmouth for Free?

Here are some of the things you can do in Falmouth for free:

  • Explore the Historic Falmouth Cruise Port
  • Tour the Falmouth Court House
  • Hang out at Jacob Taylor Beach, Fishing Village & Craft Market
  • Stroll around Water Square

Does Falmouth Have a Beach?

Yes, Falmouth has several beaches. These include:

  • Burwood Beach: This is the best secluded beach in the area which offers quiet stretches ideal for sunbathing.
  • Red Stripe Beach: This is a pretty beach where visitors can spend a day on the sand, with lunch at a nearby resort.
  • Bounty Bay Beach: This is a private beach and a popular spot for kite-surfing.

Beaches near the Cruise Port

Falmouth has several beaches which are located near the cruise port. These include:

  • Red Stripe Beach: Located a short taxi ride from the Falmouth cruise port, Red Stripe Beach is a pretty beach where visitors can spend a day on the sand, with lunch at a nearby resort.
  • Bounty Bay Beach: Located about 10 minutes by taxi, to the east of the Falmouth cruise port, Bounty Bay is a private beach and a popular spot for kite-surfing.

Where Do Cruise Ships Dock in Falmouth?

Ships in Falmouth dock at the Historic Falmouth Cruise Port.

What is there to do at Falmouth Cruise Port?

Here are some of the things you can do at Falmouth Cruise Port:

  • Photos with the Fountain: As you exit the cruise port terminal, the first thing you’ll see is a beautifully carved, three-tier fountain which you can pose with for photos.
  • Music at the Craft Market: Stop by the Craft Market and listen to the resident band that plays classic Jamaican folk songs, complete with an energetic folk dancer.
  • Souvenir Shopping: The Craft Market also showcases art works by gifted locals, including exquisitely carved wooden animals and jewelry boxes, as well as handmade jewelry. Visitors can also find Jamaican branded t-shirts, hip-packs and hats.
  • Duty-Free Jewelry Shopping: Enjoy competitive prices and an extensive variety at the many duty-free jewelry shops, which include major international brands such as Rolex and Cartier.
  • Lunch: Indulge in diverse food options, from Jamaican cuisine to American staples. Sample everything from hot, tasty Jamaican patties, to American favorites such as Chicken Subs, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, Starbucks, Dairy Queen and Aunt Annie’s shack.
  • Coconut Jelly: In the heat of all the excitement, be sure to cool down with a refreshing coconut jelly from the stalls or snack carts nearby.
  • Spa: You can even choose to spend the whole day at the spa and enjoy a complete makeover with hairstyling, manicures and pedicures, at the dedicated beauty salon area.
  • Party: Or party all day at the all-access Margaritaville.

What Are the Best Shore Excursions in Falmouth?

Cruise ship stops in Falmouth are typically 8-10 hours long. This provides plenty of time to go on a shore excursion.

Here are some popular attractions to check out:

  • Dunn’s River Falls: A living testament to the natural beauty of Jamaica, the iconic Dunn’s River Falls offers the opportunity for a thrilling adventure hiking through lush greenery, swimming in natural pools and relaxing on a pristine beach along the Caribbean Sea.
  • Martha Brae River: One of Jamaica’s biggest rivers, Martha Brae offers some of the best rafting experiences in the area. A rafting tour on a rustic bamboo raft takes visitors along three miles of river in the surroundings of lush tropical forest.
  • Falmouth Old Town: Stroll through the Old Town of Falmouth and chat with the locals as you immerse yourself in Jamaican culture. Take photographs of the beautiful 18th century Georgian architecture that’s on display throughout the historic center.

Falmouth on Your Own

Cruise ship stops in Falmouth are typically 8-10 hours long. This provides plenty of time to go on a self-guided tour and explore Falmouth on your own, rather than taking a shore excursion.

Here are some popular attractions to check out:

  • Falmouth Old Town: Stroll through the Old Town of Falmouth and chat with the locals as you immerse yourself in Jamaican culture. Take photographs of the beautiful 18th century architecture that’s on display throughout Old Town.
  • Greenwood Great House: Built in 1790, Greenwood Great House is the finest antique museum in the Caribbean. Visitors can browse its unique collection of musical instruments that are not found in any other historic Caribbean home.
  • Mountain Valley Rafting at Lethe: Go on a calm river ride to Lethe aboard a bamboo raft built to accommodate 2 adults. Taste local fruit punch, coconut rum and coconut water, while learning about the rich history of the coconut fruit and its many uses.

Where in Jamaica is Falmouth?

Falmouth is located in the parish of Trelawny, on the north coast of Jamaica.

How Far is Falmouth from Montego Bay?

The distance from Montego Bay to Falmouth is 33.5km.

How to Get to Falmouth from Montego Bay?

To get to Falmouth from Montego Bay, you will need to travel by land.

Travelers can get to Falmouth from Montego Bay via:

  • Hotel Transport: Many all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica provide guests with free transportation from the airport to their hotel as part of the package.
  • Private Transfer: Private transfer is ideal for travelers who wish to make stops along the way, for example at shops.
  • Shuttle Bus: Buses and shuttles run daily along this route. Shuttle buses offer the cheapest mode of transportation in Jamaica.
  • Route Taxi: Route taxis in Jamaica are not recommended for tourists unless you know exactly where you’re going.
  • Car Rental: Although it is possible to rent a car, driving in Jamaica is not recommended for first time visitors.

How long is the Drive from Montego Bay to Falmouth?

It takes about 30 minutes to drive from Montego Bay to Falmouth via the A1 road.

How much is a Taxi from Montego Bay to Falmouth?

A taxi from Montego Bay to Falmouth costs from US $55-70.

How Far is Falmouth from Ocho Rios?

The distance from Ocho Rios to Falmouth is 72.9km.

How to Get to Falmouth from Ocho Rios?

To get to Falmouth from Ocho Rios, you will need to travel by land.

Travelers can get to Falmouth from Ocho Rios via:

  • Private Transfer: Private transfer is ideal for travelers who wish to make stops along the way, for example at shops.
  • Shuttle Bus: Buses and shuttles run daily along this route. Shuttle buses offer the cheapest mode of transportation in Jamaica.
  • Route Taxi: Route taxis in Jamaica are not recommended for tourists unless you know exactly where you’re going.
  • Car Rental: Although it is possible to rent a car, driving in Jamaica is not recommended for first time visitors.

How long is the Drive from Ocho Rios to Falmouth?

It takes about 1.5 hours to drive from Ocho Rios to Falmouth via the A1 road.

How Far is Dunn’s River Falls from Falmouth Jamaica?

The distance to Dunn’s River Falls from Falmouth is 69.5km. It takes about 1.5 hours to drive from Falmouth to Dunn’s River Falls via the A1 road.

How to Get From Falmouth to Dunn’s River Falls?

The best way to get to Dunn’s River Falls from Falmouth is by taking a taxi.

How Far is Blue Hole from Falmouth Jamaica?

The distance to Blue Hole from Falmouth is 84.8km. It takes about 1.5 hours to drive from Falmouth to Blue Hole via the A1 road.

How to Get From Falmouth to Blue Hole?

The best way to get to Blue Hole from Falmouth is by taking a taxi.

Falmouth vs. Ocho Rios

Here are the pros and cons of Falmouth and Ocho Rios:

  • Ocho Rios is the closest city to Jamaica’s biggest attractions, with most hotels being just 15 minutes away from popular sites such as Dunn’s River Falls, Mystic Mountain and Dolphin Cove.
  • History buffs will feel more at home in Falmouth than in Ocho Rios, thanks to Falmouth’s abundance of historical landmarks.
  • Ocho Rios is a busy port town that is normally full of tourists when cruise ships have docked in the port. On the other hand, Falmouth is a village with a new port that is typically less crowded.

Falmouth vs. Montego Bay

Here are the pros and cons of Falmouth and Montego Bay:

  • Montego Bay is closer to the airport, with most hotels being a mere 15 minutes’ drive away. To get to Falmouth you will most likely arrive in Jamaica via the Montego Bay airport.
  • Montego Bay offers more things to see and do for active vacationers. That said, history buffs will feel more at home in Falmouth.
  • Montego Bay is Jamaica’s “party central”, which boasts a vibrant nightlife with many bars, nightclubs and live music venues. You just won’t get as much entertainment in Falmouth.

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