Developed for tourism in the mid-1980s, Ocho Rios is a former fishing village on a wide bay catering to tourists from different corners of the world. From pristine rivers full of personality to world-class plazas bustling with shoppers to lively adventures on and off the beach, the town has it all to offer charming experiences to all sorts of holiday-makers.
Here are some top places to discover in the town:
Dunn’s River Falls
Lying 3km west of town, Dunn’s River Falls is one of the top-grossing tourist attractions of Jamaica promising a relaxing and tranquil spot for visitors. Terraced like giant natural stairs, the falls empty into the Caribbean Sea at the western end of a beautiful white-sand beach. Rock climbing is a popular activity here and is mostly performed with the help of tour guides from the park. It takes about 1-1.5 hours to climb the falls with short breaks. If you wish to avoid the crowds, we recommend you to climb the falls before 10 am.
Ocho Rios Bay Beach
The main beach in Ocho Rios, Ocho Rios Bay Beach is renowned for its white sands and beautiful waters. Also known as “Turtle Beach”, it is where visitors can check out the little waterfall where the Rio Ocho meets the sea as well as can indulge in activities like swimming, snorkelling and parasailing. One can also spend an ideal time at one of the beach bars enjoying a snack or a refreshing drink. The beach is also ideal for special events like parties, weddings and family trips.
Shaw Park Gardens
Encompassing 25 acres of tropical splendour, Shaw Park Gardens are located high on a hilltop overlooking the sea and lie only five minutes from Ocho Rios. There is a large waterfall cascading through gorgeous flower gardens and plenty of picnic space. It is a great spot for families and draws the attention of those who wish to get away from the heat and chaos of downtown Ocho Rios. While holidaying in the town, spare at least a few hours to spend at one of these gardens to delight in the true splendour of Jamaica.
Irie Blue Hole
A vision of what Dunn’s River Falls was 20 years ago, Irie Blue Hole is one of the hidden treasures of Jamaica. Also known as “Secret Falls” and “Island Gully Falls”, it is located high on the White River and in the rain forest mountains amongst lush greenery and exotic flowers. Creating cascades of waterfalls approximately 20-25 feet deep, this place is a great jaunt spot for swimmers, divers and thrill seekers. Here adventurers can also enjoy swinging from a Tarzan-type rope into the pools and hiking along the stream to other falls and pools for more thrill.
Located across the Dunn’s River Falls, Dolphin Cove is a popular marine park offering encounters with sharks, stingrays and dolphins. There is a natural cove in this beautiful three acre park where visitors can enjoy kayaking and snorkelling among the lush vegetation of the rainforest. Swimming with dolphins is one amazing experience here. Visitors can also spend an ideal time taking the Jungle Trail walk while discovering snakes, iguanas and various species of tropical birds.