Ocho Rios Attractions
Ocho Rios, often called “Ochi” by locals,” is quieter than Montego Bay, though not as relaxed as Negril or Port Antonio. Ocho Rios is known for its lovely waterfalls, luxuriant gardens, and lazy rivers. Reputable tour operators pick you up from your hotel, usually as part of a half-day or full day excursion, since each activity can last for 2-5 hours. This way you don’t have to worry about where you park the rental car. Most visitors combine 2-3 activities per excursion, with lunch included or a planned restaurant lunch break.
Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios
Across the road from Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, is an accredited marine park offering dolphin encounters with people. A natural cove borders a 5-acre setting where you can snorkel with stingrays or paddle around on a glass-bottom kayak, surrounded by rain forest. Each visitor scores plenty of time with these gentle creatures, including the chance to hold and feed the dolphins as well as swim with them and enjoy a dolphin “kiss.” You can also ride a camel; watch a shark show; and see iguanas, snakes, and tropical birds on the Jungle Trail walk. Many people find dolphin encounters to be a highlight of their vacation. Photos of your experiences are available for an extra fee.
Mystic Mountain Rain Forest Adventures
If you’re looking for a tropical adrenaline rush, Rainforest Adventures Mystic Mountain should be on your must-do list. This attraction offers several different types of adventures. Start by ascending the mountain on the Sky Explorer, a chairlift perched high over the rain forest. At the top, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the cruise ship port and coastline. Zoom down the mountain on the Bobsled or take a thrilling zip over rain forest treetops. Those who prefer a slower descent, can return on the chairlift. Guided nature walks and an infinity pool with a waterslide round out all the fun here.
Shaw Park Gardens
High in the hills overlooking Ocho Rios and the Caribbean, Shaw Park Gardens is a sanctuary for nature lovers. Within the amazing 25-acre grounds, you can stroll through lush botanical gardens punctuated by tropical blooms and lily-topped ponds. Many species of butterflies and birds dash through the trees, including Jamaica’s national bird, the doctor bird, also called the swallow-tailed hummingbird. A waterfall cascades through the gardens, and friendly guides share their knowledge of all the botanical beauties. Its located behind and shares similar topography with Turtle River Falls & Gardens.
ADDRESS: Shaw Park Road, Ocho Rios.
PHONE: +1 876-974-2723
On the site of a former lookout for the pirate, Henry Morgan, Firefly is the hilltop home and final resting place of playwright, Sir Noel Coward. The simple one-bedroom home was built high on a hill above Coward’s original home, Blue Harbour, and his photos, paintings, and pianos are still in place. You can see the home on a guided tour and learn about Coward’s life, as well as some of Henry Morgan’s infamous history. But the highlight here is the spectacular view of the Jamaican coast from one of the best vantage points on the entire island.
ADDRESS: Grant’s Town, St. Mary
Can you really visit an island in the Caribbean without sampling the local rum? Nestled in the countryside, also known as Cockpit Country, Appleton Estate serves up a rum with a unique Nassau Valley taste that is sure to satisfy any cocktail enthusiast. And when you flavorful drink rum in the Jamaican Countryside, the verdant landscape seems a greater a marvel to behold.
PHONE +1 876-963-9012
Nine Mile Tour
A Mecca for music fans, the small village of Nine Mile in Saint Ann Parish is the birthplace and final resting place of reggae legend, Bob Marley. Guided tours take you through a small museum and the mausoleum where Marley is buried. During the tour, you can learn about the Rastafarian religion and hear interesting stories of Marley’s extraordinary life.
ADDRESS: Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish
Bob Marley Museum
It is simply sacrilegious to visit Jamaica and not pay respect to Bob Marley, the country’s preeminent poet and musician. The Bob Marley Museum, located in the nation’s capital of Kingston, is a must-visit. Come at the beginning of February and you can partake in the annual Bob Marley Week festivities. By gaining a greater understanding of the musical legend, travelers attain a deeper knowledge of the country itself.
ADDRESS: Nine Mile, Jamaica
PHONE +1 876-974-9848
White River Tubing
At the White River, about 30 minutes’ drive from Ocho Rios, nature lovers can relax on inner tubes and drift along with helmets the crystal clear river over gentle-to-light rapids. This is a soothing trip the family can enjoy to unwind and imbibe the tropical scenery and fragrance. Singing guides add to the fun and first-time bird-waters in Jamaica will likely spot new species in the lush foliage. The Ocho Rios White River Valley Tubing Safari is a fun way to get a taste of floating down the river. This 90-minute adventure includes round-trip transportation from your hotel, experienced guides, a safety briefing, and refreshments. Okay for young kids who can swim or tread water, since some tubes tip over in the mild rapid section. As added entertainment, some locals high dive from the river sides.
Fern Gully Scenic Drive
Running south from Ocho Rios, Fern Gully is a 3-mile winding road built on an old riverbed. Giant ferns form a canopy from the hot sun overhead, creating a tunnel-like effect for drivers and optimal treat for all. It’s a beautiful drive (if you rent a car) or refreshing land cruise by tour operator. The thick foliage of the unspoiled tropical forest and wildlife present many photo-worthy opportunities. Along the way, you can stop at roadside vendors to buy hand-made wooden carvings and other Jamaica souvenirs.
Sample of Reputable Ocho Rios Tour Operators
All inclusive tours are available to pre-pay online just before arriving or shortly after arriving in Jamaica.
Know Jamaica Tours
PHONE: +1 876-974-2063
PHONE: +1 876 684-9934
Ocho Rios Jamaica Tours
ADDRESS: Main Street, Ocho Rios
PHONE: +1 876-630-0664