Ocho Rios, sometimes called Ochi, is a town in the Parish of Saint Ann on the northern coast of Jamaica. The name Ocho Rios means Eight Rivers. Every year thousands of tourist visit Ocho Rios, either by cruise ships, air, or the locals by car. This makes it one of the top tourist spots in the Island. There are a lot of high-end hotels, beautiful white sand beaches, and fun attractions in this area. So if you are thinking about going to Ocho Rios but not sure what you can do there, I have curated a list of top attractions for you.
Dunn’s River Falls
Dunn’s River Falls, is a water fall in Ocho Rios, sitting at 180ft tall. It is one of the most, if not the most visited attraction in Jamaica. Here visitors can climb the fall in groups, with the assistance of a guide, or some may choose to go it alone. There are lagoons at certain points during the climb where you can stop and swim if you desire. The falls may come off a bit intimidating especially at the bottom where the water falls the hardest, but don’t be it gets a lot calmer at the top. Click here to see my climbing Dunn’s River Falls video.
However, if the fall comes off intimidating and you choose not to climb, you can either stand at the bottom of the falls or in the watch areas along the side and admire the beautiful waters cascading over the rocks and the other visitors taking the climb. Or you can simply just relax at the beach which is just at the bottom of the falls. Oh, by the way here is a little tid-bit that may help you, the first time I went to the falls I was a young girl and I was intimidated by it, so what I did was, instead of climbing from the bottom, I started in the middle where it was much calmer 😃 .
Dolphin Cove is an aquatic park in Ocho Rios that provides encounters with sharks, dolphins, and sting rays. You can experience the dolphins up close and personal by going into the water and interacting with them if you prefer not to swim. For swimming you have the choice of swimming with one dolphin or you can go for the Royal Swim which is swimming with two dolphins, the price for each will be different. In addition, at this lovely attraction you can hike along Jungle Trail, explore Little Port Royal (pirates village), interact with land animals like parrots and Iguanas, and go kayaking in glass bottom kayaks. There is also Wi-Fi on property and a restaurant, as well as a pool and the beach.
Discover the rain forest of Jamaica when you visit Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios. Here the fun starts off with the Sky Explorer chair ride that takes you into the park. Then from there you can experience bobsledding, zip lining or sliding down the waterslide into the infinity pool, all this while admiring the breathtaking view of the Ocho Rios Cruise port and the ocean. There is also Reggae rock climbing, the Raggamuffin chairlift ride and Ragga’s cave. Most of the activities can be bought as a package and for an additional charge you can add the Dunn’s River experience or ride an ATV. There is also food available on site for purchase.
Green Grotto Caves
An amazing formation of limestone rocks makes up this underground Attraction called the Green Grotto Caves. The history of the caves goes as far back as the earlier settlers, the Arawak Indians, who dwelt in the caves. Once on site, tour guides will teach you about the history of the caves as they navigate you through this maze of rocks. In the midst of the caves lies the “Grotto Lake” and don’t be surprised if you see a few bats hanging around.
Rafting on the White River
What is rafting? So rafting is an activity where you are placed on a raft (a water transportation made out of bamboo and has a seat that can fit 2-3 passengers depending on the size of the individuals). All you will need to do is just sit back and relax on this calming ride as the rower takes you up and down the river. While rafting on the white river our rower first took us upstream and asked us if we wanted to stop and bathe. You will also get the opportunity to swim at the beach which is at the end of the river, there is also a few bars and restaurants nearby where you can get good some good ole’ Jamaican food and liquor.
The Blue Hole is a small water fall hidden in the hills of Ocho Rios. It has gotten quite popular over the last few years. To get to this bit of paradise you will have to do some hiking, however, it will be worth it. Here you can engage in activities such as jumping off the rocks into the lagoon, swimming, rope swing, exploring the cave, and just enjoying nature.
There are many things that you can find to do in Ocho Rios. If you are staying at a hotel in the area there are usually tour representatives on site that offer packages for the different activities that you can do. For example, while staying at the Hotel RUI, we were offered a package to take a catamaran cruise, which is a party boat that took us to Dunn’s River Falls and then took us to go snorkeling afterwards. There were other packages provided for Mystic mountain, Dolphin Cove and so on.
Some hotels also have their own excursions that they offer on site, such as, para-sailing, kayaking, their own catamaran cruises, paddle boating, and some has their own water parks. If traveling by cruise most cruise websites will also have a page that shows you the different excursions you can do while visiting.
Travel safely and have fun!