Jamaica packs a rum punch despite being such a small Caribbean island. Its paradisiac tropical heaven of powdery white beaches, warm turquoise ocean, beautiful scenery, and lush forested mountain landscapes are all prime for activities, both relaxing and adventurous.

Along with its vibrant culture and incredible food, what makes Jamaica stand out from many other idyllic Caribbean countries is its diversity of things to do and see - and many of these attractions and activities can draw in the crowds. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the tourist traps, however, there are indeed hidden gems and lesser-known activities on offer to those who explore the nation of rum, coffee, and reggae's unbeaten path; and these are a mere few that are worthy of intrepid travelers' to-do list.

9 Enjoy The Appleton Rum Tour

The Appleton Rum distillery is nestled in the heart of Jamaica; beautifully situated in the Nassau Valley in St. Elizabeth. Even just the journey to the place itself is stunning and takes visitors on a path that many don't often see. Located in the historic Appleton Estate - established in 1670 - the distillery's very first rum was made in 1749, and it has continued to produce fine rums for which Jamaica is famed.

Guests to the estate can take a guided rum tour, which tells the story of the Appleton Estate and its fascinating rum-making process that begins with sugar cane harvesting, followed by fermentation and distillation, and then finally, the end product - the delicious rum ready to be sipped. The interesting tour also offers rum tasting at the end, which of course is the perfect way to end the visit.

8 Relax at Waves Beach, Portmore

When in Kingston, heading to Portmore to visit Waves Beach is an easy venture, and rewards people with wide-open sands, peace and quiet, and no-hassle from beach vendors. This part of Jamaica is actually better known for the ever-popular Hellshire Beach, but just five minutes away are a number of serene private beaches away from the crowds - and Waves Beach is one of them. Entry to Waves Beach is around 200 Jamaican dollars, and the whole piece of peaceful paradise offers heaps of space, allowing one to enjoy a huge section of tropical beach all to oneself - which often isn't possible at more famous beaches, like Hellshire.

Related: 10 Adventures You Can Only Have In Jamaica

7 Hike To Blue Mountain Peak

Jamaica's picturesque Blue Mountain area is a UNESCO Heritage Site in its own right and is the home and birthplace of the nation's famous Blue Mountain Coffee. What many aren't aware of though is that it also hosts Jamaica's highest point - Blue Mountain peak - to which hiking is an incredible once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

For the best experience - and to skip bumping into any other soul on the trip - staying overnight at Whitfield Hall Lodge and starting the hike in the early hours of the morning is a fantastic choice; it allows one to arrive right at the top in time for the main spectacle - the glorious Jamaican sunrise all to oneself. Rumour has it that on a clear day, it's possible to see Cuba in the distance, which is just north of Jamaica.

6 Soak Up The Scenery At Lovers' Leap

As one of Jamaica's most stunning lookout points, Lovers' Leap - renowned for its uninterrupted panoramas of the sensational coastline - is a must for any visitor seeking the very best scenes worthy of a magazine front cover. It's also the location of the highest lighthouse in the western hemisphere, as well as a lovely bar restaurant boasting beautiful views - which is another reason to add this spot to the bucket list.

However, don't get too close to the cliff, for this is not one to jump; it falls 1,600 feet, and is breathtaking in both beauty and fear-of-heights factor. Visitors often say the horizon is in its most jaw-dropping form, with the sky blending into the sea that's nothing short of pure natural artwork.

But it's not just the vistas that are amazing though - it's the story behind the place and its name; the legend of Lovers' Leap tells of two enslaved, star-crossed lovers, Mizzy and Tunkey, who were separated by a jealous, spiteful plantation owner. Rather than be apart, they tragically chose to end their lives by leaping off the cliff.

Related: 10 Tips For Visiting Jamaica For The Very First Time

5 Eat Your Way Through Jamaica On A Farm-To-Table Tour

Most cultures put food high in the sky on a pedestal, and in Jamaican culture, this is especially true. But to those scoping out authentic flavors and food stories, a farm-to-table experience in Jamaica is the perfect treat. Notably, there are three that are well-spoken of, yet still considered off the touristic road.

The first is Jake's farm-to-table dinners, which is located on one of the first organic farms on the island's south side. Another is Zimbali, nestled in the Westmoreland hills in Jamaica's west. And finally, vegetarians will be very happy with this one: Stush in the Bush - the ultimate and unique Jamaican farm-to-table experience offering cuisine for veggies.

A nature enthusiast's dream, Ras Natango Gallery and Garden is situated in the hills above Montego Bay and offers a unique experience exploring Jamaica's wild countryside. Explorers can enjoy an in-person educational journey learning about the island's indigenous fauna and flora, and can even come face-to-face with the Jamaican hummingbird - the national bird of Jamaica. There's also an art gallery and gift shop here, so there's no excuse not to purchase a present or two to commemorate the unique day out.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Jamaica Is A Tourist’s Paradise (& 5 Why It Isn’t)

3 Seville Great House

Anyone who knows Jamaica will say that there is no lack of great houses in the country. However, one that's fairly unknown by tourists and off the beaten trail is Seville Great House, located on the site of Sevilla la Nueva, which was interestingly the first capital of Jamaica, and moreover, the third capital in the entire western hemisphere.

Historically, the lands around the great house were inhabited by the Tainos people before the Spaniards settled. The area is also one of Jamaica's most fascinating archaeological sites and is overflowing with history and stories that visitors can learn all about. The museum on the grounds offers guests an eye-opening tour of the history of the place, including the tales of times when Taino Indians, Spanish, Africans, and the English resided in the area.

2 Black River Safari

Wild, wet, and wonderful, the Black River is one of the longest rivers in Jamaica and acquired its name due to the dark shade of the river bed - the result of decomposing vegetation that accumulates over many years. An ideal way to explore the river is by opting for a one and half hour safari boat ride, during which it's possible to spot a wealth of wildlife in this untouched wetland, such as crocodiles thriving in their natural habitat, and over 100 species of bird. Bring a camera and plenty of spare SD cards, for this is one heck of a trip with so much to see.

1 Discover Jamaica's Waterfalls

All the tourists visit Dunns River Falls and YS Falls when exploring Jamaica's waterfalls, and these spectacular two can often get crowded. However, many folks don't ever consider the equally beautiful Reach Falls and Mayfield Falls. Reach Falls is located on the eastern end of Jamaica in Portland and features the main waterfall that flows into a stunning emerald Jacuzzi pool. Couple this with the luscious tropical greenery surrounding the waterfalls and its natural pool, and it's truly a picture of paradise. It's also home to a diverse variety of flora and fauna, including 23 species of fern, as well as lots of interesting bird species and even the occasional wild pig.

On the other hand, Mayfield Falls on the island's western end in the Hanover hills is a different experience. Reached via a scenic drive, Mayfield is a collection of small waterfalls that cascade from one area of the river to the other. Whilst they're not as dramatic as other waterfalls, what they lack in power they make up for with tranquillity, a laid-back atmosphere away from civilization, and a charming natural environment that's remained untouched and uncommercialized.

Lastly, there's also Blue Hole, which is also an ideal attraction for any traveler seeking Jamaica's hidden waterfall gems. This is a delightful series of waterfalls and pools located near Ocho Rios on the White River, creating a border between the parishes of St. Ann and St. Mary’s. There are two holes here to enjoy - an upper and a lower - both being independently managed by local Jamaicans. At both, there are rope swings, rocks from which to jump off into the water, and plenty of helpful local guides who, for a tip, gladly take guests to explore further up the river.

Next: A Travel Guide To Jamaica: 11 Things To Know While Planning Your Trip