Ochi, as its known by the locals, is located in the lush parish of Saint Ann, the largest parish in Jamaica. It is situated on the north coast of the island, in the county of Middlesex, roughly halfway between the eastern and western ends of the island.
It is often called "the Garden Parish of Jamaica" on account of its natural floral beauty. Its capital is Saint Ann's Bay.
Ocho Rios is also close to Runaway Bay and Discovery Bay which are also beautiful tourist destinations.
Getting to Ocho Rios:
Most visitor fly into Montego Bay as its a 1 1/2 hr. coastal drive to Ochi. You can book private airport transfers, or arrive by rental car or tourist bus from the airport. Kingston is the other international airport but would be a longer trip to Ochi.
Where to stay:
Resorts, Apartments, Condos or Villas...the choices are unlimited. Ocho Rios features lush green hills that flow down to the white sand beach so some resorts are beach resorts and some are hillside with spectacular views.
There are approximately 32 resorts of which 15 are all inclusive, catering to couples, families, singles and groups.
Where to eat:
From jerk chicken, American, Continental, Jamaican fusion, to many ethnic restaurants you will find delicious meals in all price categories.
What to do:
This area of Jamaica has almost too many options but some of the must dos are:
world famous Dunns River Falls
Dolphin Cove /where swimming with the dolphins is just one of many activities offered. Dolphin Cove is a marine park which allows visitors to swim with dolphins and other marine life in their natural environment. Have the experience of a lifetime as you get up close and personal with amazing animals. Included are mini-boat rides, glass-bottom kayaking, snorkeling with stingrays, watching Shark Shows and access to the beach.
Mystic Mountain - spend a day -Rainforest SkyExplorer is a state-of-the-art chairlift that sends guests soaring above the treetops up 700 feet to the top of Mystic Mountain. Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica, features a 1000m long gravity-drive through the rainforest on custom designed, high-tech sleds. Zip Line attraction whisks travelers through the verdant rainforest canopy, gliding from one platform to another. Visitors can enjoy drinks and meals in the tree top restaurant.
River Rapids Adventures is known for the best river excursions in Jamaica with Waterfalls, Tubing, Rafting, Biking and Hiking
and Horseback Riding.
For Golfers 2 great courses are nearby; Sandals Golf & Country Club and Runaway Bay Golf Club...all welcome.
Cool Runnings Catamarans has been offering chartered catamaran tours out of Ocho Rios for more than 20 years. Its signature harbor cruise with snorkeling and the Dunn’s River climb has been the hallmark for cruises in the area. Along with its sunset dinner cruise.
Reggae Hill is a beautiful outdoor property with a park-like setting that lies along a riverbank in a fertile green clearing. Surrounded by native plants, multi-colored flowers and hundred-year-old trees, this is a place you can relax in your chair and really soak up the wild beauty of Jamaica. Enjoy a cool dip in the river or simply listen to reggae tunes by our live band and DJ.
We offer one of the most unique entertainment and gastronomical activities on the island. Reggae drummers and Jamaican dancers dressed in vibrant costumes entertain throughout the day with high energy shows and exciting rhythms. Enjoy our chef’s gourmet food creations and colorful cocktails while being pampered by our lovely hostesses. Everything’s cool at Reggae Hill… ya mon!
You can also visit historical Great Houses and parks, take ATV Tours and visit more waterfalls.
Shopping: Ocho Rios has a large Craft Market where you can pick up souvenirs like hand crafted wooden carvings, jewelry, clothing etc.
Downtown has many shops including duty free.
All resorts and resort restaurants are priced in US dollars. Booking tours will be in US$.
Smaller local restaurants usually accept both ...but if you use JA dollars you usually get a better deal.
Craft markets and smaller vendors will usually quote in US but you can pay in either currency.
Its hard to find a hotel/resort without WIFI, although its sometimes slower, less consistently reliable than back at home. Relax ...if it goes out it will be back.
You will find most Jamaicans are honest and friendly, as are most visitors.
Use common sense like you would do at home. Don't go off with someone you don't know. Don't walk in dark areas by yourself.
Don't wear flashy jewellery, flash money around or be obnoxious. Keep your wits about you especially if you have been drinking.
Remember that cars drive on the left... so look both ways before crossing the road!
Common sense will ensure you have a memorable holiday.
SEE THE RESORT MAP BELOW FOR LOCATION OF SOME OF THE AREA RESORTS.