Jamaica sounds like the ultimate destination in the Caribbean for people looking for paradisiac beaches, parties, and incredible resort experiences. Although it sounds perfect, the experience can get even better by trying the famous tours where tourists can swim in the ocean with horses.
The animals are skilled swimmers and have become a popular attraction on the island. Horses arrived in Jamaica in the 15th Century, and they are now essential for tourism. The tour guarantees that tourists will have a unique experience, but it is essential to have some information about it before booking a tour. Here is everything tourists should know about swimming with horses in Jamaica.
Where To Ride Horses In Jamaica
While riding horses on the beach is a popular activity in Jamaica, tourists can enjoy the tour in different locations, including Ocho Rios, Negril, and Montego Bay. There are plenty of agencies offering the rides, so it is interesting to check the evaluation of other clients online or ask for information at the hotel. The tours often last up to two hours, and tourists will ride their horses through hills, and jungles, and it ends by the sea. For safety reasons, some agencies will demand tourists to wear a helmet.
The tour is excellent for couples, families, and inexperienced horse-rides, as there is a professional guide following tourists along the way. Children are also welcomed, as long as they are at least 5-year-old. The tour is not recommended for pregnant people, people with back problems, or who recently had surgery.
Tourists Don't Need To Know How To Swim
Probably the first concern of people who don't know how to swim is if there are any risks. The horses can go deep into the water at some point, but most of the time, they will remain walking. Agencies will often demand tourists wear life vests, making it accessible for tourists who are not confident in their swimming skills. So, yes, people who can't swim are welcomed on the tours.
Yet, it is essential to let the guides know when a person cant swim so they can pay extra attention to those tourists.
The Tour Is Not Limited To The Sea
The most famous images of the horse ridings are tourists with the animals on the sea, but people will experience much more than that. Agencies will often give tourists a chance to glimpse Jamaica's history through the sugarcane fields and provide details about it or the Runaway Bay before heading off to Discovery Bay, the first place Columbus set foot on the island.
During the tour, tourists will have scenic views overlooking the mountains. In the Negril, the tours also go through the mangroves. It is the perfect chance to be immersed in Jamaica's culture and also on its fauna.
What Tourists Should Bring
Tourists should not worry about bringing many things on tour. The essential items are a bathing suit and a beach towel. The best outfits are long shorts or linen trousers and clothes made of quick-dry fabric and closed-toe shoes. It is also recommended to bring a backpack with your belongings, including water, snacks, and maybe dry clothes. It is highly recommended to bring suncream and remember to reapply it during the tour, as many tourists complain about sunburn. Mosquito repellents and cash for lockers and gift shops should also be on the backpack.
It is essential to have a camera, and the guides are often willing to take great pictures.
Don't Expect The Animals To Swim The Whole Time
Of course, arriving at the sea is the highest point of this tour. The horses go inside the water and can swim for a while, but they will keep their foot on the sand most of the time. While swimming, it is important to remember to don't block their head movement.
Depending on the agency, all the horses go inside the water together, or they can take turns. Tourists should always listen to their guides and not try to push the animals to swim for too long, respecting their limits. For travelers with children, they must be old enough to follow instructions and also have coordination. Guides will often take them outside the water if they notice they are having struggles.
It Is Possible To Book An Exclusive Tour
The most popular tours on the agencies are groups with up to 20 people, which can be fun. Yet, for tourists who want to do things in their own rhythm or have a romantic tour, it is possible to book a private tour for at least two people. One of the advantages of booking a private tour is to have the chance to personalize it, staying longer in some places.
It is also a perfect option for more experienced riders that can discover other areas that are not included on the original tour.
Book The Tours In Advance
Riding swimming horses is one of Jamaica's most popular activities, and agencies are often busy, especially when cruise ships arrive. Although it is not necessary to make reservations before arriving in the country, It is recommended to book it at least two days in advance. This time will give travelers the chance to get more familiar with the island and research the best agencies and the type of tour that suits them better.
It is also possible to make reservations online, directly on the agency websites.