Exploring Jamaica with Chukka Caribbean Adventures

Jon Ingleton sampled some of the best shore excursions for cruise guests. He shares his highlights here

Exploring Jamaica with Chukka Caribbean Adventures
Cruise guests can go ziplining through the trees at Chukka's Adventure Park & Falls at Good Hope

This article was first published in the Itinerary Planning Special Report. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Chukka Caribbean Adventures provides dynamic tour experiences for active adventurers, culture and leisure seekers in Jamaica, Belize, Grand Turk and St. Lucia.

Chukka's Bamboo Rafting
Small wonder this is a multi-award-winning tour, it is a quite perfect day out – made even better by the charming and well-informed guides. While the rum tasting, piña colada mixing lesson and banana plantation tour make this a well-rounded excursion, the highlight is undoubtedly a cruise down the Lethe river on a bamboo raft. The guides all live in Lethe and build the rafts themselves from the bamboo that lines the river banks. Along the way, passengers are treated to a limestone foot massage, a hand-picked coconut drink break and many show-and-tells about the local flora. Once again, a Chukka tour stands out for the ideal combination of high-quality activity with expert guides.

A natural wonder
The 180-foot-high Dunn’s River Falls near Ocho Rios is perhaps the most iconic feature of the Jamaican landscape and likely tops the bucket list for most cruise passengers visiting this tropical paradise. The day starts by boarding a catamaran to journey to the beach where the river meets the ocean. Here, a park guide helps cruise passengers up the chilly waters – stopping frequently for a dunking or photo opportunities. The picturesque falls visually exceed expectations and the thrill of the walk up make this an unmissable trip. Once at the top, it’s a short stroll across to the zip wire and alternative views of the falls. Then it’s back to the catamaran, which has transformed into a party boat.

Horse riding in Hanover
The Chukka Caribbean Adventure site at Sandy Bay is a 160-acre former sugar plantation over rolling countryside along the coast. There are occasional reminders of the original role that this location played in Jamaica’s history including an old pier, a polo pitch and the remains of a windmill and a grand old house. These features add to the interest provided by a horse ride across a stream, up and down the hills and valleys and concluding along the coastline. Here, riders take their mounts into the sea. This is a memorable experience and a sure-fire winner for any cruise line shore excursion.

Good Hope Adventure 
This excursion has interest for every age. Hope House is a beautiful estate home on the top of a hill. There is a grim story of slavery behind the majestic setting, but the protagonist in this tale was ahead of his time, providing conditions and facilities for his reluctant workforce that belied the times and perhaps gave hope to those who inhabited this part of the island. There is so much more to this remarkable Chukka excursion: zip lining through the trees, tubing on the river, walking through an aviary hand-feeding tropical birds, ATV trips and a hearty lunch of local fare. This is a highly recommended Jamaican experience, made even more special by some of the most hospitable staff you are likely to encounter on your visit.

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Jon Ingleton
By Jon Ingleton
Monday, February 25, 2019