An island nation, Jamaica offers a wealth of natural beauty. Ocho Rios, Jamaica, is home to some of the most well-known of the island’s natural wonders, including a glistening waterfall that attracts visitors from all over and the opportunity to swim with dolphins.
Dunn’s River Falls offers a hiking experience that allows even the decidedly non-athletic to enjoy a beautiful view of the 600 foot high waterfalls. However, while the 900 foot climb to the top may seem like a cake walk to the experienced hiker, for those not accustomed to activities, caution should be taken and children should be monitored carefully to avoid injury.
With that being said, however, the experience is one not to be missed. The views alone are worth the walk. There are areas at the bottom and along the hiking path for wading and splashing in the cold and very clear mountain water.
At Dolphin Cove, visitors can enjoy up close and personal interaction with a family group of bottle nose dolphins. Located near Ocho Rios, at one of the most beautiful natural coves in Jamaica, the setting is lush and green, placed in the midst of 4 acres of rain forest.
There are three types of dolphin experience packages available, allowing visitors to choose the degree of interaction best suited to their comfort zone and experience. These include the opportunity to swim and interact with a group of dolphins, another that provides in water interaction with a single dolphin and another which is called a touch encounter package, which is best suited for non-swimmers and children. The traveler should make contact well in advance for individual package rates and to make reservations, as spots are limited.
Dolphin Cove also features other attractions, including a jungle walk trail, while not too physically challenging, offers a fascinating look at local flora and fauna. This is a particularly nice destination for children as there is ample opportunity to have an up close view of brightly colored birds and reptiles. Pristine beaches, perfect for those who enjoy the sun and sand, but not the crowds, and kayaking are also available to visitors, as well as a waterfall that is sure to be less crowded than Dunn’s River Falls.
At Cranbrook Flower Forest and Riverhead Adventure Trail, which is open daily from 9am to 5pm, tourists can explore the grounds of this restored water mill. Its greenhouses and grounds are home to many varieties of flowers, including numerous types of orchids. Horseback riding is available, and is the perfect way to enjoy traveling the trails. Admission for $6 and $3 for children under 12 and horseback riding rates are $30 for 2 hours.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica, is surrounded by surprising natural beauty. Surprising, in that so many of these natural wonders are found in the midst of the bustling businesses of the tourist industry. Yet, despite the large amount of commercialism, the natural beauty still remains, often seemingly undisturbed by the unceasing flow of visitors. That which has attracted adventurers and travelers for centuries remains readily apparent and truly remarkable.
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