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Is Ocho Rios Touristy?

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riu_ocho_rios_jamaica_poolIs Ocho Rios Touristy? | Riu Hotel

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

With trendy hotels, seaside restaurants, tons of activities and a cruise port, Ocho Rios is by far one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean. So it goes without saying that it is definitely touristy.

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Many people enjoy this, with the bright colours and the never-ending activities day and night. If that is what you are interested in, then Ocho Rios should be on your list of places to visit. Even we locals enjoy a little touristy atmosphere now and then.

But while the town is indeed touristy, it isn’t overrun by commercialised spots so much so that the natural beauty and true essence of the local fishing village are completely lost. Mixed in with the luxury hotels are local restaurants and roadside eateries. The attractions aren’t heavily manipulated by machinery and have been left in their natural state for all to enjoy.

Here are the must visit sites for tourists in Ocho Rios

Must Visit Sites for Tourists in Ocho Rios

  1. Dunn’s River Falls - I am sure you have already made plans to visit Dunn’s River falls, this is just me confirming that it is indeed an attraction that you should see. The 180-foot high, 600-foot-long landmark attracts millions of visitors each year. This is one of Jamaica’s many claims of popularity around the world. stands as a living testament to Jamaica's natural beauty and attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year.

  2. Margaritaville - This is the best combination of a beachside restaurant and a waterpark. By day it is a cool hang-out spot for entire families and at night it is an adult-only club with themed nights and featured guests.

  3. Dolphin Cove - While the dolphins are the main attraction, there are many other land and aquatic animals to see including talking parrots, our native iguana, snakes, other birds and stingrays.

    You can either watch the dolphin show from the pier or have an up-close encounter with them in the water under the supervision of the carers. When you’re done here, you can head to the beach for a leisurely swim in the Caribbean Sea.

  4. Mystic Mountain - This is where we live our best rainforest adventures in Jamaica. There are rides a pool and the main star of the show, the bobsled attraction. This ride was inspired by the Jamaican bobsled team’s first appearance in the Winter Olympics of 1988.

  5. Green Grotto Caves - The Green Grotto Caves are filled with history from fierce Maroon slaves to pirate treasure. You can take a guided tour meandering in and out of the caves until you reach the underwater pond with blind fishes.

    On the way, your tour guide will point out special points including where parts of instalments of the James Bond series were filmed or where Spanish soldiers escaped to the beach during the war of 1655.

Ocho Rios being in one of the larger parishes helps as well. There is plenty to do outside of the town.

  1. Nine Mile Tour - While Nine Mile isn’t in Ocho Rios, the journey to Bob Marley’s childhood home is definitely worth it. You will get to see awards, records and pictures of the late Reggae icon. You will also be treated to a band playing Bob Marley’s hits and ultimately see the legend’s final resting place.

  2. White River Rafting - Just half an hour from the main town, you’ll find the White River rafting experience. This trip can be for families or friend groups of nature lovers hoping to see animals and lush vegetation while gently rolling down the river on your bamboo raft.

  3. James Bond Beach - While The Goldeneye Estate had its own private shore in Oracabessa, St. Mary, Ian Fleming often frequented what is now known as James Bond beach. Now the beautiful beach has a restaurant, bar and grounds where locals frequently play football matches and visitors often join.

Can I walk around Ocho Rios?

Yes, Ocho Rios is a laidback town that has quite a few places within walking distance that will be worth visiting. The Island Village complex, Margaritaville, Ocho Rios Bay Beach and many shops, restaurants, and sites are all in proximity to each other.

Read: How Do I Get Around Ocho Rios?

For every must-visit sight and attraction, there are plenty more hidden gems and coves waiting to be discovered.

Other Attractions to Visit

  1. Laughing Waters Beach
  2. Konoko Falls and Park
  3. Yaaman Adventures
  4. Turtle River Falls and Gardens
  5. Shaw Park Gardens
  6. Firefly
  7. Ocho Rios Bay Beach
  8. Cool Blue Hole
  9. Mahogany Beach
  10. Columbus Beach
  11. Puerto Seco Beach

Shopping in Ocho Rios

There are many places in Ocho Rios to get your favourite Jamaican souvenirs. The Island Village at Turtle River Beach Complex is a great place to get souvenirs and brands with a Reggae music theme.

With over 30 shops, you are sure to find clothing, books, posters, and, of course, music. You are also invited to take a well-needed break to grab a bite at a restaurant or cafe.

Taj Mahal offers duty-free upscale products from the best coffees and rums to jewellery and clothing.

If any of these attractions have caught your attention, let My-Island-Jamaica Private Tours take you there. Read here for more information.

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Return to Ocho Rios Attractions from Is Ocho Rios touristy?
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References & Sources For Is Ocho Rios touristy?

  1. So, on your vacation in Ocho Rios, you will live your best touristy dreams, with a healthy dash of nature and culture.
  2. 13 top-rated tourist attractions in Ocho Rios (no date) PlanetWare.com. Available at: https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/ocho-rios-jam-jam-joch.htm (Accessed: January 18, 2023).
  3. Shopping in Jamaica - here are the best places (no date) My-Island_Jamaica. Available at: https://www.my-island-jamaica.com/shopping_in_jamaica.html (Accessed: January 18, 2023).

Is Ocho Rios touristy? | Written: January 18, 2023

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