The Kool Runnings Water Park is Jamaica's largest water park, and ideal for anyone taking their holidays to Jamaica with the family. You'll find it in Negril, which is on the island's glorious west coast, about an hour and a half from Montego Bay. Voted as one of the best attractions in Jamaica by the country's Hotel and Tourist Association, it continues to attract visitors every summer. If you or your family need a fun way to cool off from the summer sun, then put the Kool Runnings Water Park at the top of your list.
Haven't I heard that name before?Anyone with an interest in Jamaican sporting history or who has seen the 1993 movie ”Cool Runnings' will know that the park has taken its name (with a slight variation on the spelling) from the Jamaican bobsleigh team who entered the Winter Olympics in the ”80s. The park even has a ride dedicated to the team in the form of the ”Bobsled Ride'. Standing over 12m high, it's the tallest waterslide in the park and mimics the twists and turns of a real bobsleigh track. You can either tackle the challenge on your own, or as part of a team.
Rides for younger visitorsDespite its popularity, the Kool Runnings Water Park is only open to tourists between May and August, and is closed on Mondays. It offers more than five acres of rides, slides, and water-based fun and there's something for visitors of all ages. If you're taking your holiday with little ones, then make your way to Captain Mike's Coconut Island, which is designed especially for smaller children and features age-appropriate pools and water games. Alternatively, the Rio Bueno Lazy River is the perfect place to kick back, relax and unwind, while the Red Snapper is a scaled-down waterslide for those who like their thrills to be a bit more sedate. For something that requires no effort at all, take the whole clan Jamboo rafting. With two guides doing all the hard work, you and your family can soak up the sites of Negril's Great Morass from the comfort of a covered, bamboo raft.
White-knuckle funHowever, if you'd rather take things up a gear the Kool Runnings Water Park has plenty of knuckle-whitening attractions. The Astronaut Experience is a popular alternative to the waterslides and offers four people the chance to take the ride of their lives. Visitors are strapped into a gyroscope (used by NASA to train astronauts), before their whole world is quite literally turned upside down (and left to right, and round and round). For those who'd rather keep dry or who may not have the stomach for all that jiggling about, there's also paintballing and go-karts to enjoy. Without doubt, the waterslides are the stars of the show. The Kick Puppalick will see you shooting down a sheer drop in enclosed tubes, before zooming into the Splash Bowl. Named after one of Jamaica' most-famous natural wonders, the Green Grotto combines state-of-the-art technology with almost 120m of winding tubes and slides and gives you the opportunity to personalise your experience. If you like things really fast, the Duppy Conqueror is the ride for you. With a 32m drop to start things off, you'll achieve some breathtaking speeds before splashing into the pool below.
Food and shoppingThere are five cafés and restaurants where you and the family can enjoy a leisurely lunch or a quick snack. Dine on everything from traditional Jamaican dishes to hot dogs and burgers. A juice bar will keep you refreshed in the Caribbean heat, while the park's café serves award-winning Jamaican coffee. Once your time at the park is done, you can pick up a memento at the Kool Tings gift shop. The park throws its doors open at 10am and closes at 5pm, giving you a full day to enjoy everything it has to offer. Finish your day off with a visit to the nearby Mayfield Falls. A must-see attraction for anyone taking their holidays to Jamaica, the Kool Runnings Water Park is a chance to see the livelier side of the island and is fun for all the family.