Ocho Rios travel guide

Ocho Rios Tourism | Ocho Rios Guide

You're Going to Love Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios, on the northeastern coast of Jamaica, is the ultimate Caribbean beach vacation. Along with the soft, white sands of its beaches, Ochi, as the locals call it offers sophisticated resorts and tourist facilities, and shopping from luxury malls to locals markets full of artisan work and other souvenirs.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Ocho Rios

1. Beautiful Beaches

There are many beach areas to explore both along Ocho Rios Bay Beach and beyond to Mahogany Beach and many others nearby, including James Bond Beach, set against the picturesque St. Mary mountain range.

2. Watersports

From sailing to kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling, and much more, you can have as active and adventurous a vacation as you like in an area called the "land of rivers and springs."

3. The Music

You won't be able to escape the tropical vibes of Jamaican music, including reggae and other genres that have taken the world by storm, and sampling at least one live performance at a nightclub is a must on any trip.

4. Delicious Food

Even if you are staying at an all-inclusive resort, it's worth your while to explore beyond its gates to the vibrant restaurant scene in Ocho Rios, including an emphasis on delectable fresh seafood.

5. Dunn's River Falls

This spectacular waterfall near Ocho Rios is a major tourist attraction, a gorgeous spot in the forest where the waters cascade down a mountainside. It includes a park and private beach.

What to do in Ocho Rios

1. Dunn's River Falls: Fall in Love with a Waterfall

At 1,000 feet high, the Dunn's River Falls is one of Jamaica's hidden jewels. The heights of the falls composed of stacked boulders that lie atop each other like a progressive set of stairs whose formations cause small lagoons that visitors can climb up to and splash around in. The limestone caves surrounding the falls enjoy thermal spring activity and, if you follow those springs far enough, you'll find they empty right into the sea. Tourists can climb, drive up, or choose to remain on the viewing decks and terraces with a picnic lunch and scenic falls views.

2. Mystic Mountain: Ochos Rios Like You've Never Seen It Before

The adventure-seeking will love Mystic Mountain, a 700-foot mountain peak with lots of outdoor activities, taking advantage of the lush forest around. Besides the flora, river streams, and memorable views, trip up the Mystic Mountain also features attractions for travelers that include the Sky Explorer - a chair lift with impeccable views, Bobsled Jamaica - a 3,280-foot ride through the rainforest on bobsleds, and a zip-lining activity - whizzing through the canopy from one platform to the next.

3. Coyaba River Garden: Nature Abounds All Around

The Coyaba River Garden also features a museum and is an indoor/outdoor experience for travelers to take part in. Besides the interesting blend of buildings with Jamaican and Spanish architecture and a beautifully cultivated 3.1 acre garden, there is also the majestic Mahoe Falls and Ysassis Lookout Point that travelers will not want to miss. Check out the Museum of Island History for walk down history's lane, focusing on the early lives of the Taino/Arawak inhabitants and relax afterwords at Blue Mountain Coffee.

4. Dolphin Cove: Sharks, Stingrays, and Dolphins, Oh My!

Come for the dolphins but stay for the stingrays, sharks and...camels? Yes. Dolphin Cove, as it's called, is known to travelers for offering the opportunity to interact and swim with the beloved dolphins. But this marine attraction on the coast of Ochos Rios is so much more. Here, visitors can pet and ride camels, take a horseback tour of the oasis, enjoy authentic Jamaican cooking classes, walk through the exotic bird aviary, visit a working plantation - just to name a few activities. When you're done for the day, head to the Beach Grill, where sizzling jerk dishes and snacks await you on cusp of the Caribbean.

5. Shaw Park Botanical Gardens: Paradise Found

Get lost in this unspoiled piece of paradise, with lush greenery, beautiful waterfalls, and calm surroundings. These Botanical Gardens are home to many private events such as weddings. Travelers should make sure to pack their swimsuits because you can take a quick dip in the river-water pool at the end of the park before continuing on your way. Once you've made your way to the top and seen Ochos Rios from on high, retire to the small bars on the hillside in the evening.

Dunn's River FallsDunn's River Falls
Coyaba River GardenCoyaba River Garden
Shaw Park Botanical GardensShaw Park Botanical Gardens

1. Dunn's River Falls: Fall in Love with a Waterfall

At 1,000 feet high, the Dunn's River Falls is one of Jamaica's hidden jewels. The heights of the falls composed of stacked boulders that lie atop each other like a progressive set of stairs whose formations cause small lagoons that visitors can climb up to and splash around in. The limestone caves surrounding the falls enjoy thermal spring activity and, if you follow those springs far enough, you'll find they empty right into the sea. Tourists can climb, drive up, or choose to remain on the viewing decks and terraces with a picnic lunch and scenic falls views.

2. Mystic Mountain: Ochos Rios Like You've Never Seen It Before

The adventure-seeking will love Mystic Mountain, a 700-foot mountain peak with lots of outdoor activities, taking advantage of the lush forest around. Besides the flora, river streams, and memorable views, trip up the Mystic Mountain also features attractions for travelers that include the Sky Explorer - a chair lift with impeccable views, Bobsled Jamaica - a 3,280-foot ride through the rainforest on bobsleds, and a zip-lining activity - whizzing through the canopy from one platform to the next.

3. Coyaba River Garden: Nature Abounds All Around

The Coyaba River Garden also features a museum and is an indoor/outdoor experience for travelers to take part in. Besides the interesting blend of buildings with Jamaican and Spanish architecture and a beautifully cultivated 3.1 acre garden, there is also the majestic Mahoe Falls and Ysassis Lookout Point that travelers will not want to miss. Check out the Museum of Island History for walk down history's lane, focusing on the early lives of the Taino/Arawak inhabitants and relax afterwords at Blue Mountain Coffee.

4. Dolphin Cove: Sharks, Stingrays, and Dolphins, Oh My!

Come for the dolphins but stay for the stingrays, sharks and...camels? Yes. Dolphin Cove, as it's called, is known to travelers for offering the opportunity to interact and swim with the beloved dolphins. But this marine attraction on the coast of Ochos Rios is so much more. Here, visitors can pet and ride camels, take a horseback tour of the oasis, enjoy authentic Jamaican cooking classes, walk through the exotic bird aviary, visit a working plantation - just to name a few activities. When you're done for the day, head to the Beach Grill, where sizzling jerk dishes and snacks await you on cusp of the Caribbean.

5. Shaw Park Botanical Gardens: Paradise Found

Get lost in this unspoiled piece of paradise, with lush greenery, beautiful waterfalls, and calm surroundings. These Botanical Gardens are home to many private events such as weddings. Travelers should make sure to pack their swimsuits because you can take a quick dip in the river-water pool at the end of the park before continuing on your way. Once you've made your way to the top and seen Ochos Rios from on high, retire to the small bars on the hillside in the evening.

Dunn's River FallsDunn's River Falls
Coyaba River GardenCoyaba River Garden
Shaw Park Botanical GardensShaw Park Botanical Gardens

Top activities & attractions in Ocho Rios

Where to Eat in Ocho Rios

For a wide-ranging menu of Italian, Caribbean, and European specialties, including fresh seafood, try Toscanini Restaurant, with mains starting at J$5,160.

When to visit Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios in November
Estimated package price
$743
2 travelers
Flight to Ocho Rios
3 nights at hotel
Ocho Rios in November
Estimated package price
$743
2 travelers
Flight to Ocho Rios
3 nights at hotel

With its tropical climate, Ocho Rios is a year-round destination, with temperatures that hover between 80 and 90. Many travelers opt to visit during the drier months between May and September.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Fahrenheit (°F)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Ocho Rios

Plane

The nearest international airports are located at Montego Bay and Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica. Transfers are available from a number of private companies, including many resort shuttles.

Car

There are good road connections between Ocho Rios and Kingston, along with many other areas along the north coast.

Bus

There are bus connections available to Kingston and Montego Bay, along with some of the smaller towns in the area.

Airlines serving Ocho Rios

Lufthansa
Good (1,378 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (2,466 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,904 reviews)
KLM
Good (292 reviews)
Air France
Good (298 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,656 reviews)
British Airways
Good (939 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (357 reviews)
Iberia
Good (667 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (641 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (663 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (196 reviews)
Spirit Airlines
Good (2,249 reviews)
JetBlue
Good (1,136 reviews)
Frontier
Good (1,443 reviews)
Copa Airlines
Good (446 reviews)
Southwest
Good (1,472 reviews)
Virgin Atlantic
Good (195 reviews)
WestJet
Good (296 reviews)
Sun Country Air
Good (121 reviews)
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Where to stay in Ocho Rios

The Hibiscus Lodge Hotel offers contemporary furnishings and a gorgeous beachside location. Moon Palace Jamaica Grande gives you all-inclusive luxury with the finest amenities and modern decor.

Popular neighborhoods in Ocho Rios

Downtown - this area east of the bay is where you'll find the large Ocho Rios Market along with many restaurants and shops.

Fern Gully - this natural area was created when an earthquake destroyed a river bed, leaving a gorgeous area now lush with ferns of all kinds.

Mahogany Beach - just to the east of Ocho Rios Bay, you will find this more secluded beach with a swimming area, bar, and restaurant.

Where to stay in popular areas of Ocho Rios

Most booked hotels in Ocho Rios

Jamaica Inn
Excellent (9.3, 55 reviews)
$382+
Goldeneye
Excellent (9.1, 81 reviews)
$623+
Hibiscus Lodge Hotel
Excellent (8.1, 352 reviews)
$125+
The Villa At Pineapple Cove Resort
Good (7.8, 106 reviews)
$80+
Casa de Shalom
Poor (0, 0 reviews)
$70+
Halo & Isaiah's Guesthouse & Hostel
Poor (0, 0 reviews)
$33+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Ocho Rios

Public Transportation

There is limited public and private bus service available in Ocho Rios and throughout the nearby region. Many of the routes offer minibus service that you flag down from the street side, with fares starting at about J$130.

Taxi

A route taxi can get you around the area in a shared ride. A trip from Ocho Rios to nearby Oracabessa, a small beach town, costs about J$120.

Car

A car is a good option for exploring Ocho Rios and the area. Rentals are available in town, with more options via Kingston or Montego Bay airports, starting at about J$5,650.

The Cost of Living in Ocho Rios

Shopping Streets

Island Village is one of the biggest shopping centers in town, including a pool and other entertainment options. You can find locally produced souvenirs and artisan goods near the entrance to Dunn's River Falls.

Groceries and Other

Progressive Foods and L & C Supermarket are two of the grocery stores you'll find in Ocho Rios. A quart of milk should cost about J$260, while a dozen eggs should come in at about J$310.

Cheap meal
$3.88
A pair of jeans
$41.35
Single public transport ticket
$1.55
Cappuccino
$2.04
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