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Escape To Paradise: Experience Adventure And Relaxation At Good Hope Estate

Island Life
April 28th 2023
Escape To Paradise: Experience Adventure And Relaxation At Good Hope Estate
Cover image credit: Debbie Ann Powell/Shutterstock.com

If you’re planning a trip to Jamaica, make sure to add Good Hope Estate to your itinerary for an unforgettable island adventure. This nature-based attraction is a favorite among travelers who enjoy the great outdoors and breathtaking Jamaican scenery. Filled with unique history, a guided tour of this estate in Jamaica offers both scenic views and thrilling adventures.

You might wonder ahead of this experience about some of the things you can look forward to at Good Hope Estate. For some real vacation excitement, river tubing, river rafting, and zip lining can be at the top of your list. These activities can be done in addition to the usual guided tours. You can also enjoy the restaurant at Good Hope Estate and even stay the night at this location if you just want a taste of something different. As there’s just so much to do and see at Good Hope Estate, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide which includes expert tips on making the most of this experience.


Aerial-view-of-sandals-dunns-river

Just an hour away from the many attractions at Good Hope Estate, Sandals Dunn's River is worth exploring as well! Located in the beautiful Ocho Rios region of Jamaica, this luxurious all-inclusive resort offers stunning views of the Caribbean Sea, a white-sand beach, two meandering river pools, and a wide range of activities and amenities, including gourmet dining, watersports, and entertainment. With Sandals' signature service, Sandals Dunn's River is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of Jamaica's North Coast.



The complete guide to the Good Hope Estate

As with most tours, a visit to Good Hope Estate is best enjoyed when you know what to expect. Here are some of the things you can look forward to at Good Hope starting with a bit of its history!

History of the Good Hope Estate:

Good Hope Estate is a 2000-acre property that dates back to the 18th century and is one of Jamaica’s most well-known historical sites. This property was one of Jamaica’s largest sugar plantations, and it is said to have grown over time into a village that included a hospital, a school, and a church. The transition of Good Hope Estate to a village is believed to have been a way to support workers post-emancipation.

Good-Hope-Estate-Overview

Image credit: Debbie Ann Powell/Shutterstock.com

Good Hope Estate was owned by John Tharpe who also owned other plantations in areas like St. Ann, Trelawny, and St. James. In addition to being known to own the most land in Jamaica, Tharpe is also credited for having owned the most slaves on the island.

Centuries after its darker slave history, Good Hope Estate has become a popular attraction for visitors by offering tours. This Jamaican landmark can be found around Jamaica’s Cockpit Country and it is an interesting place to visit if you’re looking to experience the Jamaican countryside and also engage in some exciting outdoor activities. Among the things guests love most about the Good Hope Estate tour are the views of the Martha Brae River from this location, the serenity that comes with a visit, and the precious bird songs you’ll hear at dawn.

Insider tip: If you want an island vacation that’s filled with adventure and lots of relaxation time, the all-inclusive Montego Bay resorts, all-inclusive Negril resorts, and all-inclusive Ocho Rios resorts in Jamaica are all great options to have the best of both worlds!


Where is Good Hope in Jamaica?



Good Hope Estate is located in Trelawny to the northwest of Jamaica. The area where the park is located is known as Cockpit Country which is known for its scenic views, lush plant life, and peaceful ambiance. In recent times, this estate has become something of an adventure park and it is located around 45 minutes from the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. Alternatively, it can take about 20 minutes to get to Good Hope Estate from Falmouth, and 90 minutes from Ocho Rios.

What to do at Good Hope Estate

A visit to Good Hope Estate in Jamaica can be arranged easily with just a little planning. You can book a tour of this estate through your resort, particularly if you’ll be staying at a Sandals all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. When booking your tour to Good Hope, you can indicate which activities you’re interested in, after which you’ll receive guidance on the best tour package for you.

Just in case you’re wondering what to do at Good Hope Estate, we’ve detailed some of the most popular activities available below:

Good to know: For Sandals Resorts guests, most tours include transportation to the tour site and back to the resort. The price for transportation and admission will usually be included in your tour package.


Exploring the Good Hope Estate

Exploring Good Hope Estate is most enjoyable with a guided tour. A knowledgeable guide can introduce you to the available attractions and help you choose the activities that best suit your interests. While you’re unlikely to be able to explore the entire property in one day, you will be able to do a Great House tour and see some of the stand-out attractions, including the waterfall.

As part of a tour at Good Hope Estate, you’ll get a firsthand look at the colonial village and see the Water Wheel, which was once used in sugarcane production. The tour includes a food stop where you’ll get to experience authentic Jamaican cuisine including jerk chicken. The dishes here are usually flavorful and you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy. Rum tasting is an option as well if you’re looking to try something new — samples of the best Jamaican rum will be available here! After lunch, check out David Pinto’s studio to admire the work of this master potter. The workshop of this artist was previously a sugar plantation house.

Expert tip: A tour of Good Hope Estate is ideal for vacationers who want a taste of Jamaican village life, and also want to experience some fun water and land activities.


The Adventure Park at Good Hope Estate

The Good Hope Estate’s adventure park is one of the most popular in Jamaica. It is known as the Chukka Adventure Park and offers various activities including horseback riding, ATV tours, and river tubing. There are also pools, water slides, and an adult challenge course that includes a zipline on this property that guests can enjoy. A ziplining adventure here can be the perfect way to explore the lush surrounding rainforest from an aerial perspective.

Good Hope Estate Sign

Image credit: Debbie Ann Powell/Shutterstock.com

River tubing is incredibly popular at Chukka Adventure Park. This experience will take you down the winding Martha Brae River, all the way to a bird aviary where you can interact with over 20 different species of birds. River tubing is usually done with a local guide who will often share interesting tidbits about Jamaica along the way. Before or after your river tubing adventure, you might also want to check out the 50ft waterfall on site. You can hike in this area or dip into the natural pools around the waterfall’s base for a refreshing experience.

Cost to visit Good Hope Estate

The cost to visit Good Hope Estate will depend on the type of tour you sign up for. There are quite a few tour options to consider including the Good Hope Estate Tour Pass from Chukka Caribbean which starts from $69 USD. Another option is the Adventure Park package which costs $99 USD. There are a variety of packages available including more up-market options like the luxurious, full VIP Riverside Cabana for $450 USD.

A tour to Good Hope Estate can cost more depending on your mode of transportation to and from the site, and the area you are staying in. Chukka Caribbean Adventures Limited does hotel pick-ups starting from $189 USD in the Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, and Negril areas of Jamaica. Thelga's Jamaica Tours also does pick-ups starting from $430.78 USD in the same areas. The latter also includes a tour of the Secret Falls, which is located near Dunn’s River Falls.

Expert tip: If you’re not sure about which tours to book, you can wait until you arrive and then book through your resort. Some tours do sell out quickly, so it’s a good idea to book the popular ones well in advance.


Other nearby, must-see spots in Jamaica

If you’re planning a visit to Good Hope Estate and also want to check out nearby attractions, you’re in luck! Places like the Luminous Lagoon, Rose Hall Great House, Green Grotto Caves, and more are relatively close to Good Hope Estate. We’ve included some of the details for these nearby attractions below:

Dive into the Luminous Lagoon

Ever been to a glowing lake? If not, then Jamaica is a fantastic place to tick this activity off your bucket list! On this island, you can find the world-famous Luminous Lagoon which is quite literally a body of water that glows at night. The glowing effect of this popular lagoon in Falmouth is caused by microorganisms that light up when touched. These micro-organisms are a type of plankton known as dinoflagellates.

Luminous Lagoon Jamaica

The Luminous Lagoon tour is one of the most highly-rated things to do in Falmouth. As part of this guided tour, you’ll hop aboard a boat with the rest of your tour group and head out to the intersection of the Martha Brae River. Once the boat captain finds a spot that is conducive for viewing, you’ll have the option to watch the action from the boat or take a dip into the glowing water. Whatever you choose, this will certainly be a memorable experience!

Good to know: The Luminous Lagoon is located 20 minutes away from Good Hope Estate. The glowing effect of this lagoon can best be seen at night.


Dine at Scotchies

One of the best parts of a Jamaica getaway is the food. There are so many great restaurants in Jamaica that you can try that you might have a hard time choosing the best one. Scotchies is one eatery that won’t disappoint! This restaurant is well-known for offering delicious and hearty Jamaican food made with fresh local ingredients. Some of the popular menu items at this restaurant include rum ribs, jerk chicken, and grilled pork. Brown stew chicken, curry goat, and fish meals are also available here paired with rice and peas, steamed vegetables, festival, roast breadfruit, and other local delicacies. If you go to Scotchies you can either take your meal to go or dine in one of their tiki huts. If you’re dining in, definitely try one of their cocktails or an ice-cold Jamaican Red Stripe beer!

Pork Grill Montego Bay Jamaica

Image credit: petaloudal/Shutterstock.com


Good to know: Scotchies is open for lunch and dinner and has a relaxed atmosphere. Prices are also quite reasonable. This restaurant is about 35 minutes from Good Hope Estate.


Tour Rose Hall

Rose Hall Great House has a history that some might consider quite eerie, but nonetheless, it is a well-liked tourist attraction in Jamaica. This Caribbean-style mansion is thought to be haunted by the famed 'White Witch' Annee Palmer. During the tour, visitors to Rose Hall get a rundown of the property’s history, and along the way, trained actors pop out of nowhere, hoping to scare everyone. These actors are highly skilled, and even though you might be expecting them, you might just find yourself caught unaware!

Rose-Hall-Great-House-Montego-Bay-Jamaica

Image credit: Debbie Ann Powell/Shutterstock.com

During your visit to Rose Hall, in addition to learning about its spooky history, you’ll also get insights into Jamaica’s British connections and the lifestyles of the elites of past eras. Rose Hall Great House is about 35 minutes from Good Hope Estate.

Explore the Green Grotto Caves

Going to Green Grotto Caves can be well worth it during a Jamaica vacation. This attraction in the parish of St. Ann appeals to adventurous travelers who want to explore a cave system with a history that dates back to the earliest inhabitants of Jamaica. This cave is exciting to explore and there's even a crystal-clear underground lake located further in. Added to that, some parts of this cave have been featured on the big screen, particularly in the 1973 James Bond film, ‘Live and Let Die’.

Green Grotto Caves Jmaica

Image credit: Photo Spirit/Shutterstock.com

Green Grotto Caves is about 50 minutes from Good Hope Estate. This tour can take around one hour to 1.5 hours. The duration can vary based on your tour package and the tour company that you choose to go with. During a tour of Green Grotto Caves, you can expect that the tour guide will share some of the history of the cave as well as information on how it got its name (spoiler: it’s because of the green algae that cover the cave walls!).

Expert tip: Want less adventure and more shopping? Here are some of the best places to go shopping in Jamaica. Staying at one of the all-inclusive Jamaica resorts can be a convenient way to enjoy a vacation that includes lots of shopping starting with the gift shops located at these resorts.


Climb the Dunn’s River Falls

Dunn’s River Falls is without a doubt the most popular waterfall in Jamaica. This attraction in Ocho Rios is loved by both locals and visitors because of its beauty and the fact that tours here tend to be quite social, interactive, and filled with adventure. If you plan on going to Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica, you can either sign up for a half-day trip or a full-day experience. Combination tours are also popular for Dunn's River Falls. For a combination tour, you can combine a visit to Dunn’s River Falls with that of another nearby attraction and split your time between the two.

Dunns River Falls Jamaica

In terms of its location, you can find Dunn’s River Falls about an hour from Falmouth. The waterfall here is quite breathtaking at 180 feet high. It is possible to climb the falls with a guide or hike up the side of the falls where you'll find refreshing natural pools. Dunn's River Falls Park is a convenient place to spend a few hours or the whole day as there’s a restaurant, souvenir shop, and even a beach.

Dunn’s River Falls is around 90 minutes from Good Hope Estate. A short 5-10 minute hike is required to get to the summit of Dunn’s River Falls. If you choose to climb the falls by way of the terraced steps, water shoes are recommended.

Expert tip: Want more adventure? There are lots of exciting things to do in Jamaica including experiencing the Ocho Rios Blue Hole and going to places like Devon House, the former home of the first black Jamaican millionaire.


When is the best time to visit Jamaica?

The best time to visit Jamaica is between the months of mid-December and April. This is the peak season for not only this island but many other islands in the Caribbean as well. These months tend to be high traffic as there are fewer chances of rain interruptions. This means you can have more beach time and definitely more snorkeling!

Jamaica Speedboat Aerial

Even though the high season tends to be quite busy, it is not the only time you can enjoy a Jamaica vacation. The weather is usually warm and wonderful on this island year-round, so it is possible to have a great vacation at any time of year. To avoid crowds and still stay close to peak season, you can consider booking your trip to Jamaica in November. November tends to have great resort and flight deals!


Where to stay in Jamaica?

Jamaica is one of those islands where you won’t have a hard time coming up with options for places to stay. For a vacation that includes tours, delectable dining, and lots of relaxation time, you might want to look in the direction of an all-inclusive resort. Sandals’ Jamaica resorts include Sandals Montego Bay, Negril, Ochi, Royal Plantation, South Coast, and Royal Caribbean. All of these resorts are located in popular visitor areas of Jamaica, so you’ll be well-positioned to enjoy some of Jamaica’s best attractions.

Sandals South Coast Rondaval Overall Drone

Each Sandals Resort has its own personality so even if you’ve been to one you’ll have more than enough reason to explore the others. In addition to the luxurious inclusions at Sandals Resorts, staff always go the extra mile to ensure you have the best local tips for an incredible vacation. Add in tons of time on Jamaica’s best beaches, multiple amazing on-property restaurants, and loads of day and night activities, and you’re bound to end up with an unforgettable Jamaica vacation!

Good to know: Airport transfers are included for Sandals Resorts guests so you won’t need to worry about setting this up when you arrive!


Good Hope Estate FAQs:

Who owns Good Hope Estate Jamaica?

Good Hope Estate in Jamaica is a property owned and operated by Chukka Good Hope, which manages its various attractions. Over the years, there have been changes in the ownership of this estate.

What is the name of the house at Good Hope?

The house which is located at Good Hope Estate is known as the Coach House. This Great House is located at the heart of the property.


Good Hope Estate: A must-see destination for adventure seekers and history buffs alike

Stress and Jamaica don’t even belong in the same sentence. On this island, things move at a leisurely place that will be more than welcome to travelers looking for a peaceful escape. Attractions like Good Hope Estate capture that sense of tranquility effortlessly while making it possible to take in some intriguing Jamaican history as well. The beauty of this space and the adventures available here are certainly highly recommended for any Jamaica vacation.

Falmouth Port Jamaica

Image credit: Irina Wilhauk/Shutterstock.com

If you want to explore the Good Hope Estate while in Jamaica, or any popular attractions for that matter, you’re best off doing this from the comfort of a Sandals all-inclusive resort. Not only do these resorts make it easy to plan excursions but the inclusions they offer can help ensure that you have everything you need for the perfect vacation. Sandals Resorts offer guests inclusions like day and night entertainment, access to multiple restaurants (including gourmet options), land and water sports, bars including swim-up bars, and so much more!

Expert tip: Still trying to decide which island would be best for your all-inclusive vacation? Check out our post on Barbados vs Jamaica for a comprehensive comparison of these two islands!


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