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Ocho Rios

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Ocho Rios is on the northeastern shore of Jamaica. Commonly referred to as Ochi it is a popular destination for cruise ships and tourists alike. It features a bulk of resorts and tourist attractions. There are many conveniences, such as supermarkets and restaurants.

Get in

By plane

A local airport provides charter plane access from the larger airports in Montego Bay and Kingston (Jamaica). Montego Bay is home to the biggest airport in Jamaica and this is where most of the visitors will enter island. There are many companies that offers private transfers to Ocho Rios from the Montego Bay. The two resort towns are 67 miles apart which is done in about 90 minutes' drive.

By helicopter

Montego Bay Helicopters can be hired to transport from KingstonNegril, etc. to get into Ocho Rios. The Bell 206 Jet Ranger can take 4 passengers. In some cases you may need additional short distance ground taxi if your resort does not provide an landing area e.g helipad , golf course.

By boat

Many cruise ships visit the town year round, and are served by two piers. The large "main pier" (nearest downtown) has some facilities and many vendors just outside the secure area. The "James Bond" pier farther West is very industrial, with almost no services except for tour operators; it requires a substantial walk to downtown, but the sidewalk is lined with taxis.

By route taxi

Direct route taxis are available from St. Ann's Bay and Port Maria (~J$150).

To get to Ochi from KingstonPort Antonio or cities in eastern Jamaica, take a route taxi to Port Maria and take a route taxi from there to Ochi. Avoid saying you're going to Ochi, otherwise route taxis going to other destinations will try to grab you and you will require another route taxi to get over to Port Maria.

Get around

Route taxis are everywhere. To give you an idea of the local cost 120 JMD$ is the cost of a shared route taxis between Ocho Rios and Oracabessa! ( $1 USD is equal to $86 JMD

Chartered taxis from Ocho Rios to Kingston can cost as little as 500 JA$! You share with lots of other people!

Taxis called by hotels are safe but expensive. Have the hotel call a taxi for you; they know the island better and you will not be put in an unmarked taxi. Minibuses go around the island from transportation centres.

See

  • Shaw Park Botanical Gardens
  • Coyaba River Garden and Museum
  • James Bond beach, which is close to what was the home of his creator, Ian Fleming.

Do

There are many different adventurous activities from rafting to zip-lining.

  • Dolphin Cove, Highway A3, ☎ +1 876-974-5335, +1 876-795-0484. Daily 8:30AM-5:30PM. Dolphin encounters and swims. US$129 to swim with one, US$195 to swim with three for 30min. US$50 entrance.
  • Dunn's River Falls, Highway A3 (5 km from Ocho Rios). Climbing these waterfalls in a human chain is one of Jamaica's most famous attractions. The series of waterfalls span about 900 feet and the park includes a private beach as well as a cafe and craft shops. Park admission US$20 or $12 for children 11 years of age or under. There are lockers available, but they aren't safe.
  • Chukka Cove Adventures.
  • Calypso Rafting (Route taxi from the clock-tower up exchange road). A small business set up a little ways up the White River. They have personal inner tubes down the river for US$25 and bamboo rafts for US$55 per 2-person raft. They can also supposedly do jet ski rentals for US$70 each. No credit cards, cash/travelers check only.
  • Rainforest Adventures Mystic Mountain (Take a route taxi towards St Ann's Bay ~J$150), ☎ +1-866-759-8720 (US), +1-876-974-3990 (JM), e-mail: reservations.jam@rainforestadventure.com. 11AM-4PM. A small amusement park 2km west of Ochi, which is a popular cruise ship activity so come early or avoid on cruise ship days. The chairlift (sky lift explorer) is US$46.20. The lift with ziplining is US$114.40. The lift with a Jamaican 'bobsled' (roller coaster for US$68.20. All 3 for US$137.50. The ziplining includes 5 ziplines and a 100ft abseil drop. There is a waterslide, small pool, restaurant and viewing tower at the top. Website says park opens at 9AM which is false. US$46-138.

Buy

  • Harmony Hall, ☎ +1 876 974-2870. Tower Isle. Genuine Jamaica artwork and handicraft in an exquisite Victorian gingerbread house outside Ocho Rios.
  • United Supermarket, downtown, offers virtually all basic grocery items needed for self-catering.
  • Crafts, Ocho Rios has 7 craft markets namely: Ocho Rios craft market (across from Sonis Plaza), Coconut Grove, Dunn's River Falls, Fern Gully, Swansea, Pineapple Place, and Olde Market .

Eat

  • Steamed fish at the Fishermen's Beach in Ocho Rios.
  • Passage to India. Great Indian food.
  • Toscanini's. The best Italian/Caribbean food.
  • Jerk Chicken Smooked spicy meat done on spice wood fire

Drink

  • John Crows. Modern Bar and Food at very reasonable prices with excellent service.
  • Margaritaville. Beach, themed bar and waterslide. Drinks are expensive when compared to other local bars. Beach party and club nights a regular event.
  • Hard Rock Café.
  • Ocean's Eleven. Beachfront bar with special event nights (Thursday is Latin night!).

Sleep

  • Beaches Resorts (beaches), Tower Isle (Close to Reggae Beach, Harmony Hall and Toscanini's.), ☎ +1 876 975-4128. Villa Cocotero is a chic, stylish bed and breakfast. There is a great pool with views out to the Caribbean Sea set within a lush tropical garden of coconut trees, banana palms, mango and orange trees.
  • Riu Ocho Rios. Mammee Bay, St.Ann. In addition to the beach, Riu Ocho Rios features two spectacular swimming pools, and dining in a variety of specialty restaurants.Stage productions are abundant, the Pacha Discotheque is a popular attraction in addition to the sports bar, which is open 24 hours. Children's activities are supervised at the Kid's Club. The hotel's meeting facilities can accommodate up to 100 guests.
  • Jamaica Inn. The rooms do not have radios, clocks, or TVs to distract. Every night, a seven course dinner is served outdoors with live entertainment.
  • Jewel Dunn's River Resort, Mammee Bay, St. Ann, near Dunns River Falls, toll-free: +1-888-529-5176. The Jewel Dunns River Resort is an adults-only, all-inclusive luxury resort.
  • 1 Bed & Breakfast Oracabessa, 13 Mainstreet (Boscobel/Gibraltar), ☎ +1 876 407-2345. Small and friendly guest house with a private beach where, in season, guests can watch the turtles nesting or hatching. 30$.

Go next

  • Wata Land - In St. Mary Parish, Jamaica, which is 15 minutes drive from Ocho Rios. Wata Land offers many adventerous activites like, water sliding from 15ft's in the air into the deep pool of water. Wata Land also offers mystic climbing and horseback riding
  • Dunn's River Falls- In St. Ann Parish, not far from Ocho Rios. You can climb the fall or the rocks, swim in the river to the beach waters.

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