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Attractions In Ocho Rios | by Sheree-Anita Shearer, Associate Writer
Ocho Rios is the capital of adventure for a reason. Nature has been very kind to the parish which means the attractions are usually centred around that. Its location in St. Ann, the first parish that Christopher Columbus “discovered” means also, that there are many sites and adventures with historical significance.
Of all the attractions in Ocho Rios and arguably, Jamaica, Dunn's River is the most popular . You can decide to stay in the brackish waters where the cool river meets the Caribbean Sea, or you can climb the falls along with the other sure-footed patrons.
If you begin your climb and decide to quit in the middle, then take one of the small exist to the craft vendors instead. But if you make it to the top, why not zipline down? Chukka Adventures (which we will talk about in a second) has a zip line excursion allowing you to view the majestic falls from a new vantage point.
Or as the locals call it, Blue Hole, aptly named for the bright blue shade of the water cascading down at various levels from the White River.
The trek to the falls tucked deep into the hills between St. Ann and St. Mary, is an adventure in itself, with narrow slippery roads and streams along the pathway, hinting at what is to come.
There are various naturally formed pools and caverns just waiting on your arrival. If you are a little more daring, then jump, swing or dive into the blue depths as much as you wish.
Located in the nearby Oracabessa Bay, is where you’ll find James Bond Beach. The beach located on a small peninsula just 10 miles from Ocho Rios, is also known as Laughing Waters Beach or Roaring River Beach.
This beach was so named for many reasons, first Ian Flemming was a resident of the nearby Golden Eye Resort where he wrote all the James Bond novels, and the James Bond Beach was his beach of choice on the island.
Secondly, the beach featured the famous scene from Dr No, where Bond and Honey Ryder officially met.
But back to the present day, the beach is rather small compared to others in the area but the waters are just as inviting. Gear for snorkelling can be rented on the property as well. If you would love a game of football (soccer), you can join the locals who use the grassy area as a football field.
There is a restaurant and bar on the property as well.
The main event is the dolphins, so don’t miss the show. You might even get a chance to swim with or better yet, get a kiss from the friendly creatures. But Dolphin Cove has so much more to offer.
The park has many different animals including parrots and the indigenous Jamaican Iguana. The dolphins aren’t the only ones who get to go swimming either, so bring your swimsuit.
The pirate is always looking out from the dock so don’t forget to stop and take a picture with him. He won’t mind.
The rapids of the White River are perfect for tubing adventures. After the first half of the tour, it does get a little more relaxing and you will get to take in your surroundings properly.
Puerto Seco has thought of all your beach dreams and put it all in one place, the 10-acre beach park has the white sandy beach as the main event with many water sporting activities. The 2 restaurants and bars will satiate your hunger and thirst and you can rent a cabana for a lazy day in the shade.
The beachside spa is the mecca of relaxation and you’ll leave more revived than when you came. The floating water park boasts water slides, trampolines and many other activities to bring your beach experience to the next level.
They have various entry packages for different group experiences to enhance your visit.
The rainforest adventures at Mystic Mountain are a must. From the many sky adventures like the Sky Explorer, bobsled and zipline to the ATV and rock wall. There is just so much to do.
They always have package deals available so be on the lookout for that. They do require you to make your reservations online prior to arriving so, don’t forget to book your spot.
Lunch, Transportation and Lockers are available at an additional cost. They are open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM but the latest time for admission is at noon.
Yaaman has found a way to include history, culture and adventure all into one experience. Activities include:
There are many packages available which are different combinations of each activity for a low cost. Just choose which package is best for you and go from there.
Chukka has many locations but Ocho Rios is home to their flagship location. From their two locations in Ochi, there are so many activities to choose from. From Zip lines, ATVs, horseback beach rides, cliff jumps, power snorkel, climbing, river tubing, catamaran sail and, remember Dunn’s River zipline I was talking about before, it is actually operated by Chukka as well.
The Zion Country bus tour takes you on a musical tour through the country from Ocho Rios to Nine Mile the birthplace and final resting place of Bob Marley.
- As one of the most well-known Taino settlements in Jamaica, Konoko Falls gives us a little insight into what life was like when the first settlers were here. You can take a guided tour of the grounds, or wander around on your own, discovering new things at your own pace.
And when you are done marvelling at the botanical gardens, head to the falls for a climb to the top, stopping at the naturally formed pools as you’d like.
Now this isn’t an attraction where you pay admission to get to and it’s filled with fun activities. But the Fern Gully is unique here in Jamaica as it is the only place you can find some species of ferns not just in Jamaica but in the world.
The now frequented roadway was at first a lonely gully filled with ferns, now both sides of the road are thick with lush vegetation that canopy above the road.
The majestic network of caves was once used by the Tainos, evidence of which is found through the broken pottery and artefacts found in the cave. After that, it became a hiding place for the beaten Spanish trying to escape from the English soldiers who overtook Jamaica in 1655.
In the first World War, it was used by smugglers who were bringing arms to Cuba and in the Second War, it was used to store barrels of rum. It is also rumoured to have been the hiding place for many pirate treasures.
Now, you get to walk through the caves learning much about nature and history as you go down to the grotto lake where many fish which are blinded by the darkness of their home, live. The guides will tell you not to look up with your mouth open. I will leave them to tell you why.
On the taste of Jamaica herb tour, you’ll find healing herbs and spices we use in your dishes every day. You’ll learn the benefits of each plant and how it is used here in Jamaica. After that, you’ll be treated to an authentic Jamaican lunch including some of these delicious herbs you saw on your tour.
We actually visited the herb tour ran by Mr Lascelle and Elizabeth Broderick for ourselves and I must tell you it was fun and informative.
This excursion is operated by the Island Routes brand. Here on one of the oldest plantation properties, Prospect Estate, you’ll learn how to prepare an authentic Jamaican dish. You’ll also get to tour the estate by jitney and visit the bird aviary.
US Toll-Free- 1-877-959-3096 / Caribbean Toll Free - 1-800-744-1150/ International - 1-305-663-4364
Other great attractions in Ocho Rios to visit:
These beautiful, exciting and informative attractions in Ocho Rios provide so much to do, that you’ll never be bored on vacation. Accommodation will not be a problem either, there are hotels ranging from affordable to luxury as well as villas, you'll be spoilt for choice. The restaurants serve both international cuisine and local favourites, so be sure to visit those as well.
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