Things to do in Ocho Rios
The tropical environment of Ocho Rios means you can be as active as you like, as you’ll find there’s plenty of things to do in Ocho Rios for all ages. Spend a day relaxing along the powdery white sand, exploring the marine life, or take exciting Ocho Rios excursions through the forest by boat. Explore the iconic Dunn’s River Falls and visit the birthplace of one of the world’s great reggae legends, Bob Marley.
Dunn’s River Falls
Go on an Ocho Rios Dunn’s River Falls excursion and visit one of the great natural wonders of the Caribbean. Although the hike to these falls is long and can be tough going, taking about 60 to 90 minutes on average, the view will leave you lost for words. See the giant 180-metre-high waterfalls empty into the sea, and spot the scenic lagoons and white sandy beach below. Many climbers even create a hand-holding human chain to make it easier to climb to the top.
Once the site of a colonial battle
Dunn’s River Falls was also the scene of a notorious battle between the Spanish and the English in 1657, which was won by the English, who gained control of Jamaica. When the Spanish occupied the area, they referred to it as ‘Las Chorreras’, which in English means ‘the waterfalls of the springs’.
You may also recognise the falls from holiday brochures and postcards, and they are especially famous because there are among a small number of waterfalls that flow straight into the sea. That’s why, year after year, millions of tourists go on an Ocho Rios Dunn’s River Falls excursion to admire the breath-taking scenery here.
Other things to do in Ocho Rios
Here are some other places you can explore before or after your Ocho Rios Dunn’s River Falls excursion.
Go to Dolphin Cove
Travel to Dolphin Cove, which is just a half-hour drive away, for a marine experience of a lifetime. There are lots of activities to get involved with, either on dry land or in the water, whatever you prefer. Go for an unforgettable swim and see if you can spot dolphins, stingrays, or sharks, and see other incredible marine species at the Jungle Trail Walk. Whether you’re travelling to Jamaica for your honeymoon, a family holiday, or a solo trip, this is one of those Ocho Rios excursions you can’t miss.
Visit Blue Hole Ocho Rios
The Blue Hole is another must-see that tends to be somewhat quieter than Dunn’s River Falls, so you’ll have more space to yourself. This enchanting emerald pool is about 15 or 20 minutes from Ocho Rios by car, although the drive can be rather challenging, especially after rain. Fortunately, there are a few private Ocho Rios excursions businesses operating here, and if you arrive in the morning you may have the whole place to yourself.
The Bob Marley Experience from Ocho Rios
Learn about some of Jamaica’s most important culture on the Bob Marley Experience, which is a must-do activity, especially if you are a fan of the legendary musician. The tour starts with an uphill drive through the winding roads of the Fern Gully forestry, where you can appreciate the wonderful beauty of the Ocho Rios landscape. On the way, you can stop for a traditional Jamaican meal before you head on to Nine Mile, a picturesque village where Bob Marley was born in 1945. The singer and peace activist, who lived here with his mother until the age of 12, was also later buried here, and you can learn more about his life and music at the village’s Bob Marley Mausoleum, run by members of his family.
Walk in the traditional neighbourhood that influenced some of the artist’s most famous songs. Learn about the man himself and the fascinating Rastafarian religion by an expert guide. See Mount Zion Rock, where Marley would meditate, as well as his childhood home and burial ground.
Go Rafting on Rio Bueno near Ocho Rios
Float along picturesque waters through the tropical scenery of the Rio Bueno, less than an hour from Ocho Rios, with the River Rapids Adventure company. This unique tour gives you the opportunity to discover the charm of Jamaica’s countryside first hand, and you’ll get some great photos, too. Book an Ocho Rios excursion here and see the stunning waterfalls and river pools. You can even visit a private beach at Bengal Bay, and have transport to and from your resort laid on, so you won’t have to drive. Try some river kayaking, tubing, or rafting, and prepare to get soaked, although rest assured, you’ll be in safe hands! That’s because River Rapids Adventure provides professionally trained tour guides, who’ll accompany you throughout your Ocho Rios excursions on the Rio Bueno.
See James Bond Beach
As the name would imply, this glorious sandy beach at Oracabessa Bay was a filming location for the James Bond film Dr No, in which 007 goes to Jamaica to investigate a British Intelligence chief’s disappearance there.
James Bond Beach is only 16km from Ocho Rios, so it’s well within reach if you’re looking for a lazy afternoon on the sand. The beach regularly holds live music such as jazz and reggae, welcoming famous acts such as Rihanna. Have a swim in the crystal-clear water, then enjoy a Jamaican cocktail at the beach bar.
So if you’re seeking the perfect mix of natural beauty and local culture during your holiday in Jamaica, you’ll find this region has plenty to offer, from Ocho Rios Dunn’s River Falls excursions to glorious sandy beaches.