A visit to the island of Jamaica is an experience in itself. It’s also the perfect scene for unique experiences, like a horseback ride and swim tour. We’ve partnered with Pattie Cordova of Living Mi Vida Loca to share one of her most memorable experiences on horseback. 

One of my favorite experiences that I’ve had in Jamaica was horseback riding through the Jamaican hills that led into a swim – still on horseback! The horseback ride and swim in Montego Bay, Jamaica was spectacular and definitely a must-do when visiting the island.

horseback ride and swim in Montego Bay, Jamaica - Travelocity.com

Photo courtesy of Pattie Cordova / Living Mi Vida Loca

Getting Started

This particular tour started at Chukka Sandy Bay Ranch in Montego Bay. If you want a similar experience and won’t be going to Montego Bay, there are similar tours in Ocho Rios and Negril. We arrived via bus early afternoon and walked straight to a rack that held helmets for incoming visitors.

horseback ride and swim in Montego Bay, Jamaica - Travelocity.com

Photo courtesy of Pattie Cordova / Living Mi Vida Loca

Now let me tell you, the last time I had lice was when I went horseback riding in Puerto Vallarta wearing a borrowed helmet. I was determined to not repeat that experience, so I had no shame in protecting my hair with a plastic bag. I recommend you do the same.

horseback ride and swim in Montego Bay, Jamaica - Travelocity.com

Photo courtesy of Pattie Cordova / Living Mi Vida Loca

horseback ride and swim in Montego Bay, Jamaica - Travelocity.com

Photo courtesy of Pattie Cordova / Living Mi Vida Loca

horseback ride and swim in Montego Bay, Jamaica - Travelocity.com

Photo courtesy of Pattie Cordova / Living Mi Vida Loca

One by one we were called over to mount a horse. Everyone at the ranch was super helpful and patient with us. Our horseback ride through Jamaica’s backcountry started once we were comfortably seated. I was happy to see that we had more than one guide leading our pack – especially since many of us weren’t used to riding horseback.

horseback ride and swim in Montego Bay, Jamaica - Travelocity.com

Photo courtesy of Pattie Cordova / Living Mi Vida Loca

On the Tour

Our guide shared with us some of Jamaica’s history as we traveled through the farmland. He answered any questions we had and gave us insider info about the 18th century sugar plantation that we passed. Our guide would also point out native flowers and trees here and there, and even tore off leaves from the trees and plants giving them to us so could smell and taste. It was such an immersive experience.

We found ourselves riding past rivers and gorgeous mountainsides. It was so picturesque and I wish I would have taken my camera with me. But honestly, I was super nervous to be riding a horse through hills and over rocks and I don’t think I could have taken many pictures.

Soon after, we found ourselves back at the ranch. We were taken to this spot where we got off our horses so we could get part of the saddle off and go “swimming” with our horses in the warm Caribbean Sea!

horseback ride and swim in Montego Bay, Jamaica - Travelocity.com

Photo courtesy of Pattie Cordova / Living Mi Vida Loca

Into the Ocean

And then we were back on our horses – bareback. These horses though… they are amazing. They are incredibly powerful and comforting at the same time. The experience was surreal.

horseback ride and swim in Montego Bay, Jamaica - Travelocity.com

Photo courtesy of Pattie Cordova / Living Mi Vida Loca

horseback ride and swim in Montego Bay, Jamaica - Travelocity.com

Photo courtesy of Pattie Cordova / Living Mi Vida Loca

horseback ride and swim in Montego Bay, Jamaica - Travelocity.com

Photo courtesy of Pattie Cordova / Living Mi Vida Loca

The horses all stayed in one line, with guides nearby. I could feel the rocks and sand underneath the horse’s hoofs. At times, it felt like he was slipping on them, but at all times I felt safe. I just wanted to hug him the whole time he was taking me through the Caribbean Sea. I’ll also note that horses don’t stop pooping in water. If you take the kids, they might find this hilarious (kids ages 5 and over are welcomed on the tour).

Two hours later I was so happy to have been able to experience it. I had the best time. It was definitely a highlight of my trip to Jamaica and next time I visit Montego Bay, I fully plan on taking the kids to go horseback riding and swimming as well.

horseback ride and swim in Montego Bay, Jamaica - Travelocity.com

Photo courtesy of Pattie Cordova / Living Mi Vida Loca

Search “Montego Bay, Jamaica” under “Things to Do” to book a Horseback Ride and Swim adventure. It’s a tour you’ll be talking about for years!

Pattie Cordova is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity. For more information on the Travelocity Gnomads, visit travelocitygnomads.com.

Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.

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