Mexico & Caribbean


A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Jamaica

The Caribbean country of Jamaica is the third largest island in the Greater Antilles, next to its neighbors Cuba and Hispaniola. After a tumultuous history of Spanish and English rule, Jamaica won its independence in 1962. This wonderfully diverse country boasts a rich culture of reggae music, delectable foods, and world class athletes, including Olympic champion runner Usain Bolt (run the track he trained at the University of the West Indies). It’s no wonder that Jamaica’s white sand beaches, tropical forests, and vibrant people attract record numbers of tourists each year. For any of those travelers who run, there is great running in Jamaica’s resort strips, beaches, parks, and trails.

Most visitors will stay in resort areas such as Montego Bay, Negril, or Ocho Rios. Here, you can find paved ways on The Hip Strip, The Elegant Corridor, the One Love Path, or Norman Manley Boulevard. The best beach running is on Seven Mile Beach in Negril. Kingston city also had a number of running routes, including popular loops at the Mona Reservoir Dam and Emancipation Park. For more remote options, head to off-road running in Treasure Beach or any of Jamaica’s Blue Mountain trails. Wherever you run, remember that the climate in Jamaica is HOT. Most runners prefer to set out early in the morning with proper hydration and sun protection. The tourism board also recommends running in groups for safety.

If you plan on visiting more than one location in Jamaica, a car (rental or taxi) is the primary way to get around. The island is large, and destinations are widespread. Buses are also prevalent in major cities, but some travelers find them unreliable and difficult to navigate. We’ve tried to gear our running guide to the most popular destinations on the island, so it’s easy to find a run near you.

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Runners should plan for Jamaica’s considerably hot and humid weather. Average high temperatures are in the 30-33C range (86-92F), and lows rarely dip below 21C (70F). Precipitation is fairly abundant throughout the year, often through daily thunderstorms. April through October tend to be drier.

Most visitors to Jamaica will stay in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Negris, or Kingston. There’s a large number of large, all-inclusive resorts, some of which have their own private paths or beachfront that can be used for running. Runners should try to stay somewhere in relative proximity to one of our routes, especially if they don’t have a car. See for places to stay.

Most running groups in Jamaica are centered in Kingston, such as the Jamdammers, the Pacers Running Club, Go Run Jamaica, and We Got the Runs.See the overview map on the Jamaica home page for locations and details.

There are few independent running stores.

Jamaica is home to several great races, including the popular Reggae Marathon/Half Marathon/10k, Jake’s Off-Road Triathlon, the Kingston City Run, and the Tru Juice Cross Country 5k.

For more races, see Running Events Jamaica.