Ocho Rios is situated in St. Ann’s parish about 60 miles from Annotto to Discovery Bay on a half-moon shaped cove in the center of Jamaica’s northern coastline. It was once a fishing port and was also recognized for its banana exports. Now it is a pretty resort town with marvelous waterfalls and beaches and impressive colonial-period buildings like the Geddes Memorial Church and the Anglican Church. The town’s industry and commercial center is Pineapple Place.
If you’re interested in knowing the things to do in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re vacationing in Ocho Rios for a few days or your cruise ship is docking for approximately 8 hours, there is much to do and see while you’re here.
Ocho Rios (or “Ochi” as the locals call it) is about halfway between Port Antonio and Montego Bay on Jamaica’s north coast. Every year Ocho Rios welcomes over 1 million visitors, the majority of the cruise ship arrivals.
If you’re visiting Ocho Rios and you’re arriving by air, it’s best you arrive at Donald Sangster International Airport (MBJ) in Montego Bay. From this point Ocho Rios is about 1.5 hours drive away.
While you’re in Ochi there are a number of fun things to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or you would rather a quiet, relaxing time at the beach, it’s all here.
Dunn’s River Falls & Park
Dunn’s River Falls is perhaps one of Jamaica’s most famous tourist attraction and is located in Ocho Rios. Visitors can make the 600 feet climb from the base of the falls at the Caribbean Sea up the steep, terraced, cascading falls.
Imagine you’re relaxing on a beach 5 km from Ocho Rios (where parts of the first James Bond movie, Dr. No were filmed). White sand, crystal clear water, sounds of laughter and merriment. Nothing unusual for a typical Jamaican beach, right? Dunn’s River Falls is a product of Mother Nature and is a living, growing phenomenon. It is continuously regenerating itself from deposits of travertine rock in the river.
If you’re unable to climb the falls, there are a number of observation points to view those climbing and take photographs. Visiting Dunn’s River Falls & Park is definitely a “must-do” activity when visiting Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Mystic Mountain is an environmentally friendly adventure park located close to Dunn’s River Falls. It is situated on over 100 acres of land and rises to over 700 feet above sea level.
Wilderness ATV Tours
Go on an ATV Tour and explore the real Jamaica. Travel through rugged terrain… through dense woodlands and ferns.
The tour takes you to “Ochi’s” highest peak at 1,800 feet above sea level where you’ll get an incredible view Ocho Rios’ entire shoreline.
In addition, you’ll be treated to an incredible view of 30-40 miles of the coastal landscape and a cool, refreshing drink.
You must be at least 18 years old to ride on your own but special provisions are made for younger guests. Actually, children as young as 6 years old have SAFELY enjoyed the tour, accompanied by a trained Bushmaster (guide), parent or guardian.
Your ATV tour will be fun, it will be safe, and you’re dealing with professionals who have been in the business since 1995.
Coyaba Gardens & Mahoe Falls
Coyaba Gardens are named after the Arawak word for paradise. Spend a few hours in these spectacular tropical gardens and visit a museum focusing on the Taino/Arawak culture of Jamaica’s first inhabitants.
If you’re planning your destination wedding in Jamaica, or just simply renewing your wedding vows, Coyaba Gardens could be an excellent choice.
In addition, you can climb the Mahoe Falls (but without the human chain, the slippery rocks, and the crowds of Dunn’s River Falls).
Remember to bring your swimwear along. And be sure to include a visit to Coyaba Gardens & Mahoe Falls in your list of things to do in Ocho Rios.
Another of the things to do in Ocho Rios is getting up close and personal with bottlenose dolphins. And you can do that at Dolphin Cove at Treasure Reef. (Dolphin Cove is located adjacent to the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls.)
At Dolphin Cove, three levels of interaction are offered with the dolphins: (1) You can pet the playful creatures, (2) You can play with them in the water, (3) You can actually swim with the dolphins.
Of course, prices increase with the level of interaction you choose to experience.
In addition to swimming with dolphins, you may swim with the sharks and interact with stingrays (barbs clipped). You may also captain your own mini-boat or view the Caribbean Sea through a glass-bottom kayak.
Dolphin Cove also boasts a tropical aquarium and a jungle trail, and there are occasional shows too. While you’re there, enjoy a splash in the turquoise Caribbean waters or relax on the pearly white beach. Plan on spending about 3 hours (without the dolphin interaction).