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Ocho Rios

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Ocho Rios and the nearby districts enjoy breathtakingly lush vegetation and a varied landscape of magnificent mountains and impeccable beaches.

Photo: Jamaica Tourism Board

Ocho Rios is located on Jamaica’s Northeast coast. Once a little angling and banana dock, Ocho Rios has become the cruise ship capital of Jamaica and one of the most popular western Caribbean docks due to its spectacular waterfalls, sandy coastlines, and wonderful Shore Excursions. Ocho Rios and the nearby districts enjoy breathtakingly lush vegetation and a varied landscape of magnificent mountains and impeccable beaches. With major development being concentrated mainly around one short central roadway — Main Street — the untainted natural landscape serves as the perfect backdrop for any kind of vacation.

Sightseeing

Ocho Rios offers magnificent sandy coastlines along with several very good excursions in and round Ocho Rios. Popular Ocho Rios excursions include excursions for shopping, snorkeling, downhill hill two wheeler travelling, botanical flower beds trips, plantation trips, horseback travelling treks, stream tubing excursions, and stream rafting. The most famed of Ocho Rios’ outdoor attractions is undoubtedly Dunn’s River Falls. Most travellers who visit Ocho Rios are keen to take on the challenge of ascending this 600 ft (183m) waterfall, formed like a monster staircase, cascading down to pattern cooling swimming pools amidst rocks, nestled in a scenic plantation of trees. For those who are not up for the challenge, you can stroll along the spectacular declines while marveling at the attractive, lush tropical vegetation. Beach lovers will love the tip of the falls where you can sunbathe and enjoy the warm tropical water. Each day, guides lead visitors on a climb up and down the waterfall, which is surrounded by gorgeous flora, and, at its foot, flows into the sea and adjoins a beach where visitors can relax, get a bite to eat or shop for souvenirs. Near Dunn’s River Falls is Dolphin Cove, where you can swim and interact with the gregarious marine mammals. Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios is the only Dolphin Park in the world that offers a dolphin show in the ocean, a thoroughly entertaining and educational experience. The attraction also features a water slide, bird feeding, swimming with stingrays and a nature trail. The Ocho Rios branch of Dolphin Cove was opened in 2001 and has since opened two more outlets in Jamaica. Dolphin Cove Limited also owns Prospect Outback Adventures, which offers a variety of outdoor activities that expose guests to the intriguing culture and history of Jamaica.

Guests can opt to tour the lush environs of the 18th-century estate of Prospect by Segway, horseback or camel-back. Adventure seekers enjoy the Wet N Dirty Drive on dune buggies, whilst foodies learn how to cook during the Jamaican Jerk cooking experience. For water lovers, Chukka Caribbean Adventures offers a Rum-Punch party catamaran cruise aboard their Chukka Cat, where guests can party while comfortably sailing around Ocho Rios and its surroundings.

Nature

A visit to Ocho Rios is a chance to discover the diverse ecosystem of Jamaica’s mountainside. Their signature attraction is the Bobsled Ride,an exhilarating journey through the mountain at top speeds. The Rainforest Sky Explorer soars way above the trees, where guests can overlook the sweeping mountainside and all of Ocho Rios as they journey to the peak of Mystic Mountain. Though the state-of-the-art chairlift moves slowly, the sheer height alone can take your breath away. Yet another means of exploration, the Rainforest Zip Line Canopy Tour is not for the faint of heart but is sure to leave a lasting impression on the adventurer who flies through the treetops.

From way up high to down below, the Green Grotto Caves offer the perspective of life underground. The main features that characterize the caves are their large rock formations, distinct ceiling pockets and covert waterways. For more waterfall fun, visit Konoko Falls and Park, which offers an up-close encounter with nature in all its stunning glory. Stroll through river gardens, enjoy a refreshing waterfall climb or meet the property’s feathered friends in the aviary. Tour guides offer insights into the property’s history, including its original inhabitants, the Taíno Indians.

For sandy seashore lovers, there are Mahogany, Boscobel, and James Bond beach. At Mahogany sandy seashore you and your family will be very satisfied with the kind of undertakings there are to enjoy.

Dining

After you’ve had your share of adventures, indulge in scrumptious world fare that delights the taste buds. Evita’s, an Italian restaurant perched on a hillside overlooking Ocho Rios and the Caribbean Sea, has been open for more than 30 years and has been visited by many international celebrities, including Brad Pitt, Kate Moss and LL Cool J. According to Evita’s owner, Eva Myers believes that the restaurant’s popularity stems from the quality of its dishes, along with the romantic setting and panoramic view. For authentic Jamaican food, Miss T’s Kitchen has taken Ocho Rios by storm, serving up stellar home-style local dishes. The Ocho Rios Village Jerk Centre is also a must for those wanting to experience a variety of Jamaican food, as they dabble in all things jerk in a setting that reflects the ease and rustic sensibilities of Jamaica.

Nightlife

Ocho Rios offers an active nightlife. A simple stroll down Main Street is enough to experience the town’s raw night-time entertainment aesthetic, which will include roadside boom boxes, dancing and Jamaican rum. If you’re not up for that, Margaritaville is always pumping; and both locals and foreigners can be found mixing, mingling and partying there. Another great option for after-dinner drinks and dancing are the bars and lounges found in popular area hotels and resorts.

Shopping

There’s no way you can leave Jamaica without taking a piece of it with you. Unique and inexpensive souvenirs can be found at the Original Ocho Rios Craft Park. The vendors welcome you with warm smiles and jokes while displaying their handmade jewelry, woodwork, paintings and more. For a taste of old-time Ocho Rios, take a stroll down Main Street, where you can find hidden treasures. Taj Mahal Shopping Center is a must for the most en vogue duty-free buys, including sunglasses, jewelry and watches, liquor, spices, perfumes and clothing. Island Village is also a place where you can fi nd great gifts. Don’t forget to pick up a few jars of Walkerswood Traditional Jerk seasoning or Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce — which you can easily find at a number of local retailers — and take the flavors of the island back home.

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