JAMAICA – OCHO RIOS

Wrapped around a small bay with a beautiful  snugness, Ocho Rios is a former fishing village that the Jamaica Tourist Board earmarked for tourism in the 1960s and developed in the mid-1980s.

With Main St lined with shopping plazas, craft markets and fast-food emporiums, its appeal is not immediately obvious to the more adventurous traveler, but others welcome this ‘Jamaica Lite’ – the opportunity to experience the country without straying too far from the comforts and conveniences of home.

The frequent docking of cruise ships at the central pier that commands the town’s focus gives ‘Ochi’ a decidedly ‘packaged’ feel, spiced up by the incessant entreaties of ‘guides’ and souvenir sellers. However, it has also endowed the town with an international eating scene and two distinct kinds of nightlife: rough-and-ready dancehall clubs and beach sound-systems versus karaoke nights and all-you-can-drink swimwear parties. The choice is yours.

Those who come to Ochi expecting peace and solitude are likely to be disappointed, but the town makes an excellent base for active, solvent travelers who wish to explore the scenic north coast and to partake in slick, well-managed ‘adventures’ such as dog sledding, zip-line tours, horseback riding and waterfall climbing.

 

Sights in Ocho Rios — Top Choice

Lakes, Rivers & WaterfallsDunn’s River FallsWidely held to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, these famous falls, on the A3, 3km west of town, are Jamaica’s top-grossing tourist attraction A morning at Dunn’s River Falls is an enjoyable and invigorating experience – as long as you’re not expecting a peaceful communion with nature.
Farms, Workshops & FactoriesWassi ArtFamily-owned Wassi Art employs over 50 artists to make its colorful, richly decorated terra- cotta pottery. It is named for the ‘wassi’ wasp, or potter wasp, which makes a mud pot for each of its eggs and stuffs it with a caterpillar for food for her hatchlings. Free tours are offered, detailing the entire process including clay processing, painting and firing.
Parks & GardensCoyaba River Garden & Mahoe FallsCoyaba being the Arawak word for ‘paradise’, this garden seems aptly named, its walkways and trails leading through the best-kept gardens in Ocho Rios, with streams and pools filled with carp, crayfish and turtles.

OtherIsland Village

Since its 2002 opening, this self-contained entertainment park, at the junction of Main St and DaCosta Dr, has changed the face of Ocho Rios. The 2-hectare development, brainchild of resort and media visionary Chris Blackwell, claims to resemble a ‘Jamaican coastal village.’ It doesn’t.
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What our customers are saying about Ocho Rios, Jamacia:

My husband and I had so much fun climbing the waterfall. I was never scared while doing this. The fun outweighed my fear. I would recommended this to anyone.

Serena S

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