One-Day Excursions From Ocho Rios For Families
While Ocho Rios has fantastic excursions for families, it isn’t the only place worth exploring on the island. There are many one-day family excursions that you can take. Your driver will take you from your villa to any destination you would like to visit, wait for you, and bring you home in the late afternoon or at a time you agree.
Jamaica Swamp Safari
Located just over an hour from Ocho Rios in the coastal town of Falmouth, you will find the Jamaica Swamp Safari, a unique animal park. Here you’ll walk amongst mangroves while seeing up close endangered American Crocodiles, the rare Jamaican boa constrictor, capuchin monkeys, and many other interesting creatures. Safari tours start at 9am and run every half-hour. During the tour you will get to see crocodiles being feed and walk through the biggest walk-in aviary in Jamaica where you can feed the birds. Also at the park is the Kanaga House, which teaches visitors about the crocodile scene from the James Bond film ‘Live and Let Die’ and shows them where it was filmed. The park also has a nice gift shop, restaurant, and bar.
Just over 2-hours to the east of Ocho Rios is the pretty, historic town of Port Antonio. It is easy to spend a day here enjoying the historic buildings, beautiful natural landscapes, and the many activities. It is 10-minutes from Port Antonio that you’ll find Jamaica’s only castle, Trident Castle. In fact, it is the only castle found in the whole of the Caribbean, however beautiful the building is, it is fairly new, having been built in the 1980s and is popular for hosting private events.
Port Antonio is also where you’ll find the famous Blue Lagoon. The lagoon is best-known for the beautiful color of turquoise its water has. It came to world wide attention with the Brooke Shields film by the same name. It is one of the best natural sites in Jamaica with waters reaching 200-feet deep. It is possible to swim in its cool waters or take a boat ride on the lagoon.
One of the most popular activities in Port Antonio is the Rio Grande Rafting excursion. You will travel down six miles of river on a bamboo raft through some of the prettiest scenery in Jamaica. One raft is suitable for two adults and one small child, or if you have a larger family group, you can take two rafts.
Aquasol Theme Park
Located in Montego Bay Aquasol Theme Park has a host of water sports and other family activities. It has a sandy beach where you can sunbathe, rent a jet skis, kayaks, snorkeling, banana boats, pedal boats, and water trampolines. If you’d rather stay dry, there is a volleyball court, go karts, a tennis court, and table tennis. There is a dedicated snack bar for kids and a sports bar and grill for grown-ups, who don’t want to miss any important games.
Luminous Lagoon Night Cruise
Jamaica is home to one of the rarest water phenomenons in the world – a luminous lagoon. The water in the lagoon is home to tiny, harmless organisms that when disturbed glow and wonderful blue color. The cruise takes you out into the lagoon where you can witness this amazing work of nature, you can even go swimming if you are brave enough to enter the water in the dark. The cruise guides are very knowledgeable about the area and the phenomenon and kids will think it’s magic. The best time to go is when it’s darkest, so avoid a night with a full or nearly full moon.
Black River and YS Falls Sightseeing Cruise
This all day cruise leaves from Montego Bay and takes you through unspoilt habitats of southern Jamaica. You’ll see mangrove swamps, birds, and even crocodiles. Your cruise takes you along the Black River, the longest in Jamaica. You will get to see local fisherman going about their work along the river and see the real Jamaica on your bus journey from Montego Bay to the boat. After cruising the river you will stop for lunch and then head to the spectacular YS falls, where you can eat some more and go swimming. There are different swimming areas and swing ropes that the kids will love.
Rose Hall is a beautiful and spooky old plantation house near Montego Bay. The house became infamous from the reputation of its former mistress Anne Palmer, who seemed to go through husbands and torture her slaves for fun. She became known as the ‘White Witch.’ It is said that Annee haunts the house today. You can take either a day tour or night tour of the house. The night tour is eerie. You will explore the halls by candlelight, hearing the notorious stories of the house’s past. If taking a night tour is a little to spooky for your nerves, then visit during the day. You will still hear all of the stories associated with the former mistress, but the daylight seems to make things much less scary, though Anne’s ghost has been said to appear at anytime of day!