COUNTLESS WAYS TO Enjoy Your Jamaica Villa Vacation!
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Chukka Caribbean Adventures
Chukka Caribbean Adventures is the place to go for thrilling, action packed excursions or some interesting Jamaican heritage. From ATV safaris to ziplining through the tree tops, you will be guaranteed an amazing adventure in nature.
If you’ve dream of horse riding on the beach and in the sea, you’ll love the Horseback Ride ‘N’ Swim. For something slower the Bob Marley pilgrimage to visit the ‘Graceland of Reggae’ on a bus filled with music and stories of Bob Marley’s life growing up in the area.
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White River Rafting
Travel along the beautiful White River surrounded by rain forest on a bamboo rafts steered by your entertaining guide. This is one-hour of serene beauty for those who want a more relaxed adventure. The rafts can take two people and one small child at a time, making it a great activity for couples, friends, or a small family.
Coyaba River & Gardens
Quiet and pretty the Coyaba River and Gardens is located just over a mile from Ocho Rios. Visitors can join a tour that takes them through the three acre gardens where they can learn about the local plants and wildlife.
The water garden is created by natural streams shaded beneath lush trees and stunning view of Ocho Rios bay. After exploring the gardens it’s worth spending some time in the museum, which tells the fascinating story of Jamaica’s pre-Columbian history. There is also a nice gift shop where you’ll find local crafts.
Dolphin Cove is one of the best and most popular activities in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. This family friendly activity lets you have the experience of a lifetime ¨C interacting and swimming with dolphins. Depending how brave you are, you can pet the dolphins or swim with them.
Not only will you get to interact with dolphins, you’ll be able to swim, snorkel, and touch stingrays. Dolphins aren’t the only reason to visit Dolphin Cove.
You can spend some some in a glass bottom kayak, or walking along the nature trail meeting a variety of birds, iguanas, and snakes. After all that you can enjoy some time relaxing on the beach.
Dunn’s River Falls
One of Jamaica’s most famous attractions is the beautiful Dunn’s River Falls. The wonderful waterfall streams down to the sea, over a series of terraces that mean it can be climbed.
It takes around one to one-and-a-half hours to climb the falls. You will need water shoes to ensure you don’t slip. The best time to visit is when there isn’t a cruise ship in port, as the falls are a very popular and they’re will be fewer crowds there.
Ocho Rios has a good selection of shops offering duty-free shopping, meaning you can make some great savings of 15-50% less than retails prices.
Taj Mahal is the main duty-free shopping center that has 26 different stores selling jewelry, alcohol, perfume, and cosmetics. Soni’s Plaza is a good place to find duty-free jewelry. Island Village Shopping Complex is another good place to check out if you need to satisfy your shopping cravings.
Fern Gully is a scenic drive that runs for around three-miles of a gorge. It is lined with towering trees some of Jamaica’s many species of ferns. The road that is here today was paved on what was once a river bed. Along the route you’ll encounter a number or vendors selling wood sculptures.
Located only 20-miles from Ocho Rios is the former vacation home of Sir Noel Coward, known as Firefly. When Coward died his house was given to the Jamaican Heritage Trust and is open to visitors.
It was at this house here wrote some of his most famous plays, such as Quadrille and High Spirits. Inside the house is exactly how it was when he lived there with his collection of books, Hawaiian shirts, and grand pianos. In the grounds of the house is Sir Noel Coward’s final resting place.
The two closest golf courses in the Ocho Rios area are Upton Golf Course at Sandals Resort and Jewel Runaway Bay. Both courses allow non-resorts guests to play the courses. Golf carts, clubs, and caddies are available to hire. Upton is a par-71 course with beautiful mountain and ocean views.
Jewel Runaway’s golf course consists of a nine-hole pitch and put course, which is perfect if you’re short on time or want to find tune your skills. For a full round of golf the resorts has a par-72 course of the highest quality. The course has hosted a number of quality events.
Greenwood Great House
Greenwood Great House is the finest example of a great house in all of Jamaica. The house was built in 1800 by the Barrett family, who first came to Jamaica in the 17th century. The family grew to be powerful land owners with over 84,000 acres. Visitors can tour the house where they’ll see many of the original furnishings, the long porch with amazing sea views, and lush gardens.
Harmony Hall is a 19th century sugar plantation house that was re-opened after being restored in 1980. Today, it is used for art exhibitions and Jamaican crafts.
In addition to the exhibitions the house has a nice gift shop that sells jewelry, art prints, books, and sportswear. At the hall is a the renowned Italian restaurant, which is a great place to enjoy lunch.
Experience Jamaica in the most spectacular way possible from the soaring heights of a helicopter. The tour will fly you above the best sights in the Ocho Rios area, including Dolphin Cove, Dunn’s River Falls, and familiar places from the James Bond movie ‘Dr. No.
Another flight option takes you along the coast to Noel Coward’s house, Firefly and the house of Ian Fleming, James Bond creator.
The deluxe tour takes in a huge amount of scenery. Leaving from Ocho Rios this tour flies over the famous town of Linstead and then on to Bog Walk Gorge and Jamaica’s former capital, Spanish Town. It then goes to the historic Port Royal before whisking you to Kingston and back over the Blue Mountains.
Island Village is a beachfront attraction with a brightly decorated boardwalk, bars, shops, and in the form of an ideal replica Jamaican village.
Stroll down the boardwalk browsing the shops for a souvenir amongst the books, clothing, gifts, and Bob Marley memorabilia for sale by the local vendors. This is where you’ll find the popular Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, a great spot for an afternoon drink.
An attraction not to miss Mystic Mountain is one of the most unique places to visit in Jamaica. Inspired by the Jamaican Olympic bobsledding team Mystic Mountain’s bobsled ride gives riders the thrill of flying down a mountainside track.
Head back up the mountain on the SkyExplorer, gliding above the treetops enjoying amazing views. Other fun activities at Mystic Mountain are the zipline adventure, infinity edge pool and waterslide, and great places to sit, relax, and soak up the view.
Prospect Plantation Tour
Prospect Plantation was last owned by Sir Harold Mitchell and today provides a country escape where visitors can tour the fields, hills, wildlife, and house. Tours are both fun and educational where visitors will learn about coffee, sugar cane, and banana farming.
The best way to explore the plantation is by horseback. Or if you prefer, take a camel ride, certainly not something you’d expect to see in Jamaica. However, a little know fact about Jamaica’s sugar cane plantations is that during the 1800’s camels were commonly used as work animals on the plantations.
Port Antonio has long been a secret hidaway spot for the rich and famous and is only coming onto the radar of the average tourist. However, it still has its secluded charms, making it a great day trip from Ocho Rios for anyone that is looking to escape the crowds. While there don’t miss seeing the Blue Lagoon and its many shades of blue. The historic buildings of the Portland Parish Church and Portland Parish Court House are also worth seeing.
Ocho Rios has a great choice of restaurants serving local and international cuisine. One thing every visitor must try is the local specialty ¨C jerk chicken.
You’ll find jerk chicken in many establishments, those not specializing in Jamaican food. However, for arguably the best and most authentic head to Scotchies. Scotchies is family friendly, inexpensive, and famously popular. Evita’s fuses Italian and Jamaican spices in a way you’ll only find in Jamaica.
For purely Italian favorites try Toscanini and for beautifully cooked curries head to Passage of India. Beautiful views, a varied menu, and a fun styled setting the Almond Tree is worth a visit. If you love fish the budget friendly World of Fish is a good choice.
You’ll find several options for sailing charters in Ocho Rios. Whether you want to spend a day fishing for your dinner or just exploring the coastline, there is something for everyone.
Some private charters are flexible about what your excursion entails. They will allow you to snorkel by taking you to the best spots and providing gear or to a private, secluded beach for a few hours of relaxation. Fishing trips can be booked for a full or half-day and all fishing tackle is provided.
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
The coast off Ocho Rios has some great scuba diving sites in both deep and shallow waters. There are several artificial wrecks which have created wonderful environments for sea life. There are also several reefs. Jack’s Hall reef has several types of coral, nurse sharks, and sponges.
Devil’s reef is a deeper water dive where you’ll see staghorn coral, barracuda, and creaole wrasse. One of the best dive sites is Runaway Bay where you’ll see sea turtles, sharks, stingrays, grouper, and much more. The most popular dive site is the artificial Wreck of the Kathryn.
It has a great variety of sealife, including hamlets, squirrel fish, and grunts. If you don’t have the training to go diving, snorkeling is another great way to explore the sea. Not far from Ocho Rios is Galina Point, a fantastic coral reef that attracts all kinds of sea creatures.
Another excellent snorkeling spot is Runaway Bay with reefs near the shore and plenty of tropical fish. Further afield, you’ll find one of the best snorkeling spots in Jamaica a Doctor’s Cave close to Montego Bay. Boston Bay Beach near Port Antonio also has good snorkeling.
Gym and Aerobics
Several resorts in Ocho Rios offer both beach and water aerobics. You don’t have to be a guest of these resorts to take a class. It’s possible to purchase a day pass that gives you access to any of the outdoor facilities and activities at the resort. San Souci has an excellent gym with personal trainers and aerobics classes that you can use with a day pass.
One of the funnest and most popular activities in Ocho Rios is horseback riding. There are a choice of operators offering tours that are suitable for all levels of riders, including complete beginners.
The horse riding excursions use very safe horses and knowledgeable guides who will take you through the beautiful forests, countryside, and beaches. Some tours also include swimming in the sea on horseback. Two well-known tour operators are Chukka Cove Beach Ride and Braco Stables Ride & Swim.
Ocho Rios has one of the best bike tours that you will find anywhere, the Blue Mountains tour. The tour starts even before you you set off on your bike when you are picked up in Ocho Rios and your driver fills you in on the wonderful local history on your way to the mountains.
When you reach 2,600-feet you’ll stop to fuel up at a restaurant for a Jamaican brunch. After brunch, you’ll be taken further up the mountain to your starting point to put on safety gear and get your bike.
The ride sets off at an easy, downhill pace through spectacular scenery filled with birds, waterfalls, and wildflowers. Half-way down the mountain you stop for lunch and a swim in a crystal clear waterfall before continuing on your adventure.
The Fine Print: Jamaica Ocean View Villa is not liable for any activities in which you choose to participate during your vacation.