HomeTravel11 IDEAL Things to Do in Ocho Rios, Jamaica
11 IDEAL Things to Do in Ocho Rios, Jamaica
February 3, 2021
Ocho Rios, Jamaica, is one of the most popular ports of call in the western Caribbean – and it’s not hard to see why. There are breathtaking mountains, lush tropical jungles, raging rivers and tranquil sugar plantations. Before you even reach the harbour, you are sailing in the clearest, bluest water you have ever seen.
In Ocho Rios, Jamaica, you’ll never run out of options. For adrenaline junkies, there are zip lines, horseback riding, mountain bike tours and (you guessed it) even bobsledding.
Culture lovers will enjoy the fantastic food and a visit to the house of Bob Marley. When you’re ready to cool off, you can take an inflatable boat down the river, swim in the Blue Hole or sunbathe in the Green Cave. As night falls, relax at the Bamboo Beach Club with your favorite cocktail in hand.
Do you now understand why more than four million visitors come to Jamaica every year? And we’re only scratching the surface, as this is just a small sample of what there is to see in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Below is a detailed guide to the best golf courses in Ocho Rios. And you can also discover the most perfect things to do in Montego Bay, Jamaica!
In and around the port of Ocho Rios
Before the arrival of the cruise ships, Ocho Rios (Eight Rivers) was a sleepy fishing village. Today, with two major cruise ports, it has become one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean.
The port of Ocho Rios is located on the north coast of Jamaica, just a short walk from the main town. Your boat docks at Turtle Bay Pier (closest to the town’s shops and restaurants) or at James Bond Pier, just west.
The cruise terminal recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. It is an ideal gateway to the nearby Ocean Village and the Taj Mahal’s complimentary shopping malls. There is also a small beach nearby that you can use for a small fee.
Bonus tips: You may have heard that the locals call their town Ochi, which is unofficially called Ocho Rios.
11 Great things to do in Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Whether it’s your first cruise or your 50th, the beautiful island of Jamaica will not disappoint. The following is a brief description of the main attractions in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
1. Admire the beauty of Dunn’s Falls
When you first see Dunn’s Falls, you’ll quickly understand why it has been the setting for famous movies, from Dr. No to Cocktail. If you only have time for one excursion, here’s what you need to see in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Photo : Copyright Cruise Hive
In this idyllic setting, the Dunn River flows past a five-story waterfall. The springs continue for 600 feet through several small pools and cascading waterfalls. Geologists call this area a living phenomenon, because it constantly forms new terraces as a result of water flow and precipitation.
Bring your non-slip water shoes and get ready to climb the falls or relax in the warm water – the choice is yours!
2. Pamper yourself at Mystic Mountains Amusement Park
Remember the Jamaican bobsled team that competed in the 1988 Olympics? If you want to follow in their footsteps, you can experience your own Jamaican bobsled at Mystic Mountain.
Waterslide at Mystic Mountain (Photo: verifex – Creative Commons)
The trail winds through more than half a mile of jungle at an elevation of 700 feet and offers spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea. The driver can control the speed with the sled’s handbrake, which means your trip can be as relaxing or exciting as you like.
To get to the bobsled run, you have to take the Sky Explorer. This chairlift takes you through the treetops to the amusement park, where you can also take a zip line or do some bird watching, which is described in an interesting tour.
3. Downstream end of White River pipe
The White River has a bit of a misnomer, as the limestone filters out the impurities and gives the water a spectacular blue color. The best way to explore the river is to jump into an inner tube and take a ride through the woods.
White River Tubing (Photo: Nick|Allen – Creative Commons)
Bring water shoes and a waterproof camera. Diving and safety equipment is provided by the tour operator. After a long and winding climb up the mountain, enjoy a relaxing float trip in the comfort of your own private submarine.
The river is generally calm, although there are some sections with small rapids. Some operators offer bamboo rafting on the White River. It is therefore worth comparing the options to see which are the most interesting for you. There are several circuits that offer more than white river tubing, with plenty of adventure in the woods.
After a few miles of swimming, return to shore and finish the trip with a delicious Jamaican Jerk.
4. Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruise
Cool Runnings, named after a movie starring a Jamaican bobsled team, is the leading provider of fun mini-cruises on the North Coast.
Catamaran Cool Runnings in Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Photo: Joe Ross – Creative Commons)
On a double-hulled sailing boat (called a catamaran) you glide through crystal clear water. The unique design of these boats offers great stability and a wide deck to lie down and relax.
A day of snorkeling allows you to discover the reefs and marine life beneath the waves. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious buffet lunch on the pier in Mahogany Beach. Another option is a sunset cruise with an open bar and live DJ.
5. Walking on the beach
Have you ever dreamed of riding horses on the beach? It is one of the best things to do in Ocho Rios, Jamasia!
Your horseback ride will take you through lush rainforest, sugar plantations and historic castles. Finally, you arrive at the beach, where you have the opportunity to take off the horseshoes of your horse and walk barefoot in the water.
A unique experience not to be missed. If you’re not an experienced driver, don’t worry. There are horses for riders of all levels and the guides will take good care of you.
6. Disc through the fernshell
Remember when they said Ocho Rios meant eight rivers? Well, one of those rivers was called Fern Gully – at least until 1907, when a devastating earthquake turned it into a dry riverbed.
A walk in the Fern Gully Ditch, Jamaica (Photo: Bengt – Creative Commons)
Go about a century and this once mighty river is now an amazing paved path that winds through three miles of fern forest. According to experts, more than 540 unique fern species live in the gorge!
The forest also contains beautiful deciduous trees and many native birds and other wildlife. Enjoy a panoramic walk in the gorge and breathe in the fresh, clean mountain air.
7. Diving in the green cave
Would you like to stay in an old pirate hideaway and see an authentic James Bond film set? Head to Runaway Bay and sign up for a tour of the legendary Green Grotto Caves.
Green Grotto Cave (Photo: Callie Reed, Creative Commons/Flickr).
Armed with a helmet and headlamp, you will descend into a mystical world of stalagmites and stalactites, as well as stone bridges and underground reservoirs. The caves were first used by the indigenous Arawak tribe and then by Spanish settlers trying to escape the British army.
You’ll also learn some of the cave’s colorful stories, including tales of rumors, arms dealers, and runaway slaves. If you’re lucky, you might even see some of the current cave dwellers – snakes and bats!
8. Swimming with dolphins in a dolphinarium
Another item on your to-do list in Ocho Rios, Jamaica: swimming with dolphins! This is a rare opportunity to see these gentle but playful animals up close.
Dolphin Bay, aptly named in Ocho Rios, is five acres with a natural creek. Bring your friends or family and get ready to pet, swim, feed and play with a group of beautiful dolphins! You’ll be amazed at how smart they are as you learn fascinating facts about how they interact and protect each other.
After swimming with dolphins, you will also have the chance to interact with stingrays and sharks. If you’re lucky, you’ll even be named sea keeper of the day!
9. Bob Marley Trip Nine Mile Tour
Not far from Ocho Rios is a small village called Nine Mile, which is part of the parish of Saint Anne. Music lovers will recognize these names and associate them with legendary reggae musician Bob Marley.
Bob Marley’s birth house in Nine Mile (Photo: david_e_waldron – Creative Commons)
Hop on a bus from Sion and travel through the countryside, rum punch in hand, while listening to the famous reggae tunes. You will learn fascinating facts about the life and music of Bob Marley, as well as an introduction to the Rastafarian religion and reggae culture. You can read the details of the Nine Mile Tour here.
When you arrive in Nine Mile, visit the museum and mausoleum where Bob Marley rested. You will also have the opportunity to visit the emblematic village where he grew up. (Note: this visit is not suitable for children as marijuana is often sold and consumed).
10. Irie swimming with blue hole
You’ve probably already dealt with the crowds at Dunn’s Falls, but don’t worry – you can have a similar experience in a hidden gem that few people know about.
The Blue Hole of Iri is located in the hills outside Ocho Rios. A series of waterfalls merges into an amazing blue pool, making the area a tropical paradise.
Climb to the top of the waterfall and jump into the pool below, because it’s pretty deep! There are also rope swings everywhere if you want to play Tarzan for a day. There is also plenty of shade if you just want to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.
11. Relaxing in the Bamboo Beach Club
Talk about relaxation: There is only one place to go when you are done with your excursions to Ocho Rios. The Bamboo Beach Club has one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Jamaica.
Bamboo Beach, Jamaica (Photo credit : Solaris/Shutterstock
Enjoy complimentary beach chairs and an unlimited selection of food and drinks under the swaying palm trees. There is always live entertainment in the form of reggae, steel drums or other Caribbean favorites.
Treat yourself to a VIP package to enjoy your own private cabin away from the crowd. Watch your chef grill chicken, freshly caught seafood and other tempting Jamaican dishes. If you treat a rock star like that, you may never want to get on that boat again!
Also read : Company in Falmouth, Jamaica.
Ocho Rios Jamaica Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know how much there is to do in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, you’re probably eager to start choosing your shore excursions. Before we make our final choice, we answer some general questions about Ocho Rios.
Is the cruise port near Ocho Rios?
You’ll be happy to know that both marinas in Ocho Rios are within walking distance (15 minutes or less) from town. The harbour area is designed for the traveller and includes many shopping centres, restaurants and duty free shops.
What is the best time of year to visit Ocho Rios?
Jamaica is beautiful all year round, but the weather is probably better between December and March. Of course, it is also in the high season that Jamaica receives the most visitors. If you book a cruise during hurricane season (June to November), don’t forget to check the weather forecast!
How is the weather in Ocho Rios?
Jamaica is a tropical country with a warm, sunny and humid climate all year round. Throughout the year the temperatures are around 80° during the day and 70° at night. The winter months tend to be drier, while afternoon thunderstorms are common during the summer and fall months.
Best waterfalls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica: Now you know it
Whether your cruise lasts a few days or a few weeks, one thing is certain: Ocho Rios will be the highlight of your holiday!
Once the boat docks in the beautiful harbor, you will be captivated by the endless possibilities of Ocho Rios, Jamaica. You want to go horseback riding on the beach? Climbing a waterfall? Exploring the jungle? See where Bob Marley grew up? Relax and unwind on the perfect postcard beach?
Whatever your interests, you can tick off all these items (and more) on your Ocho Rios travel list.
Speaking of to-do lists before you leave, what’s yours like? Before departing for Jamaica, check out our detailed luggage list for your next Caribbean cruise. Have a good trip!
frequently asked questions
What can you do for free in Ocho Rios?
10 Best things to do for free in Ocho Rios | Tripadvisor
Why is Ocho Rios Jamaica famous?
Ocho Rios, Jamaica is a place where world-class luxury and tradition meet. Ocho Rios is known for its breathtaking beaches, beautiful views and a wide choice of shops with top brands and charming and special souvenirs.
Is Ocho Rios in Jamaica safe?
However, Ocho Rios is one of the safest places on the entire island, so there is no need to take major precautions. Ocho Rios is a great place to stay, but if you want to delve further into Jamaican culture, check out what to do in Kingston for more ideas.
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