We can’t exactly call Ochos Rios, Jamaica a “hidden gem.”
Located on the north coast in the parish of St. Ann, Ochos Rios is, after all, one of the most prominent cruise ship and resort areas on the island.
But it’s a popular spot for some very, very good reasons. If you want to leave Jamaica feeling like you’ve really experienced the best of the island, then Ochos Rios is the place for you.
Everything is here: from adrenaline-pumping outdoor adventures (including Jamaica’s #1 attraction—the stunning Dunn’s River Falls) to dreamlike beaches, to thriving nightlife set to the rhythm of reggae and complemented by some of the world’s best cocktails.
Better yet, if you rent a villa (instead of staying at a resort or boarding a cruise ship) you will find it easier to miss the tourist crowds and explore Jamaica on your own terms.
Not convinced? Here’s why Ochos Rios is a top pick for Jamaica travelers, and why you should consider it, too.
Your Pick of Beaches
Ochos Rios beaches are just as heavenly as you’d imagine.
And we have our pick!
Ochos Rios Bay Beach (aka Turtle Beach) is walking distance from the shopping hub at Ocean Village. Many cruise ships dock here, but it is often quiet and peaceful, with fine sand and swaying coconut palms. Or drive ten minutes east to Reggae Beach, which is rockier and more rugged than Turtle Beach.
One more to try: James Bond Beach. As you might have guessed, scenes from a Bond film, Dr. No, were filmed here.
Fine white sands, glassy-clear water, and the mountains of St. Mary form this beach’s backdrop, and its expansive lawn is often host to international music acts.
In Ochos Rios, you’ll find not just serene beaches, but rushing whitewater to raft, waterfalls to explore, ziplines whizzing across a tropical forest canopy, dolphins to swim with, and a lot more. Experience nature’s two sides: wild and peaceful.
Here are 5 favorite adventures.
Mystic Mountain Jamaica is a forest adventure park with ziplines and canopy tours, plus Jamaica’s signature ‘bobsled’ ride through the dense foliage. Or try The Sky Explorer chairlift among the trees with views of the coastline. Also check out an excellent exhibition on Jamaican sport, a contemporary Caribbean restaurant and an infinity pool with a water slide.
Dunn’s River Falls
Dunn’s River Falls is one of Jamaica’s most famous natural attractions. Most people arrive here to climb the falls on foot, but you can also take a glass-bottom boat tour, go swimming, or just relax at the beach.
Blue Hole in Ocho Rios
This Jamaican treasure is a must-see. Once you stand before the clean, blue, almost iridescent water at Blue Hole, you’ll by overwhelmed by the desire to jump in. And go ahead! This spot is beloved by young and old.
This one-of-a-kind cove is located adjacent to Dunn’s River Falls. Swim with dolphins (the main attraction), visit the aquarium and mini-zoo, snorkel with stingrays and paddle in glass-bottomed kayaks. There are variety of dolphin experience ‘packages’ to suit every age group and budget, from stroking the animals in shallow water to free-swimming along side them.
White River Safari Tubing
Experienced guides will take you on a breathtaking 3-mile (4.8km) river journey across the White River and surrounded by beautiful scenery. From your perch on an inflatable raft, you can enjoy both challenging rapids and enchanting, peaceful lagoons!
Unforgettable Nightlife & Shopping
Margaritaville Ocho Rios is a hit with locals, cruise ship passengers, and villa and resort guests. It’s a place to go to meet people and celebrate life, island-style. And it occupies a prime spot on the beach at the Island Village shopping and entertainment complex, just steps away from the cruise ship pier.
This popular destination provides both daytime family fun (including alcohol-free frozen drinks!) and night-time entertainment for adults. Key highlights include a rooftop whirlpool hot tub and a two-story, 100-foot waterslide that soars above the main bar and plunges into the freshwater pool below. Once you land in the pool, swim up to the pool’s bar to order your next round.
Take a little bit of the island back home with you! With its exquisite luxury plazas filled with world-class brands, to traditional stalls and stores packed with charming mementos, Ocho Rios is a shopper’s dream.
Interested in renting a villa in Ocho Rios for your vacation, or have any questions about Ocho Rios, Jamaica? Just let us know. We are happy to help!