There’s nowhere quite like Jamaica. From the relaxed local culture, to its powerful reggae roots, to the unforgettable beaches, it offers experiences that will leave you with good memories when you look back on a trip here. Ocho Rios has so much to do but it’s also close to some of the best places to visit that will thrill you, amaze you, and make you never want to leave. If you want to get the most out of your time here, make sure to see the places we mention here in Part 1 of our series. Read on to see the best places to visit when you’re in Ocho Rios.
Dunn’s River Falls
No trip to Ocho Rios is complete without a visit here! This is just west of Ocho Rios and is famous around the world for its breathtaking waterfalls. It is 180 foot high and 600 foot long and is one of the few waterfalls in the world that empties into the sea at Little Dun’s River Beach. It is also famous for its appearance in two movies: the James Bond film, “Dr. No” and the Tom Cruise movie, “Cocktail.” You’ll love the lagoons that dot along the path on your hike (which is about one and a half hours) that leads to the summit. There are many additional spots to take in a swim in the river to cool off. And to really appreciate the Falls from a different angle, try a ziplining adventure! We promise you won’t forget the incredible views you’ll get!
If you’d rather not go on the hike, you’ll have plenty to do. Try a visit to Central Gardens which has three lavish gardens, waterslide, and a splash pad in addition to 12 shopping spaces where you can grab souvenirs to take back home plus an ice-cream parlor, pizza shop, and a photo shop.
Shoppers will want to visit the Dunn’s River Craft Market to purchase handcrafted items. Since Dunn’s River Falls is such a popular attraction, you’ll find that it has some of the best crafts in the area so do make sure to buy something special. The local artists will even personalized your items for you while you wait.
Beach lovers will love spending time at Dunn’s River Falls Beach which gives the best views of the waterfalls. Enjoy the beauty of the local tropical plants and flowers including bamboo, orchids, and ginger lilies, while doing some shell collecting.
Blue Hole is another famous natural attraction and it’s right in Ocho Rios. It takes its name form the unusually blue color that its water gives off. Take in some swimming here or admire the gorgeous waterfall which are both natural features of the area. Jump in to the water via the rope swings or go for a cliff jump right into the mineral-rich waters below. And just 10 minutes away on foot, you can reach another beautiful waterfall area: Secret Falls (also known as Island Gully Falls). As you go on your hike, you’ll also find rope swings and places dedicated to cliff jumping too.
Rainforest Adventures, Mystic Mountain
If you’re looking for thrills and an action-packed good time, this is the place for you. This is located near Dunn’s River Falls mentioned above so many people like to combine visits to both places for a wonderful day trip. Go up the mountain via Sky Explorer, a chairlift that takes you high over the rainforest for a mesmerizing view. Go back down on the Bobsled, a single-person roller coaster ride, go for some ziplining as you zoom through the rain forest, or try an electric ATV to explore the rainforest.
Wind down for just a little while by taking in a guided rain forest walk where you’ll learn about the plants and flowers here. There’s also a rope course, climbing wall, thrill ride, and an infinity pool with a waterslide that will refresh you.
Located right across from Dunn’s River Falls, this five-acre marine park is another popular place to visit. Come here to get time with dolphins face to face as you hold and feed them, swim with them and even get a dolphin kiss! There is a natural cove that is perfect for snorkeling and you can opt to explore the waters in a glass-bottom kayak with the beautiful rain forest as your backdrop.
There are even more animal adventures here that make it worth the visit. Ride a camel, enjoy a shark show or go on the Jungle Trail walk where you’ll see iguanas and vibrant tropical birds.
Nine Mile (Bob Marley’s hometown)
Just an hour away from Ocho Rios in St. Ann’s Parish is the village of Nine Mile, the hometown and final resting place of reggae legend, Bob Marley. Tours here will take you to a small museum, the mausoleum where he buried and his childhood home. Hear stories about his childhood and get insights you won’t find anywhere else into the genius behind this extraordinary singer.
Shaw Park Gardens
Shaw Park Gardens is a pristine nature sanctuary set on 25-acrs of land offering lush botanical gardens brimming with tropical flowers and plants that leave a sweet fragrance in the air. Come enjoy seeing the doctor bird, also called the swallow-tailed hummingbird, which is Jamaica’s national bird as well as multitude of other ones flying through the trees here. There is also a waterfall cascades through the gardens, and friendly guides share their knowledge of all the botanical beauties.
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