On Jamaica’s north coast lies a harbor city known as Ocho Rios, “Ochi” by the locals. Boasting a host of beautiful beaches, tropical gardens, and waterfalls, Ocho Rios has become one of the most popular Caribbean destinations for resort-goers and cruise travelers alike. Quieter than the bustle of Montego Bay, though not as relaxed as Negril, the extensive quantity of all-inclusive resorts and tourist attractions located in and around Ochi are enough to satisfy even the pickiest of travelers.
Lush gardens, lazy rivers, cascades, and caves and are just some of the natural wonders of the area, and historic plantations nestle in the foothills. If you’re looking for a relaxing day on a sandy beach or to swim with dolphins, sail into the sunset on a catamaran, or spend your day jet skiing along blue Caribbean waters, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy beach and water sport activities in the local area.
Ocho Rios Top Highlights:
- Dunn’s River Falls
- The Blue Hole
- Dolphin Cove
- Fern Gully
- Reggae Beach
- Rainforest Bobsled at Mystic Mountain
- Shaw Park Gardens
- Prospect Plantation
- Nine Mile – located just an hour outside of Ocho Rios
Weather: June is the hottest month in Ocho Rios with an average temperature of 84°F (29°C) and the coldest is January at 79°F (26°C) with the most daily sunshine hours clocking in at 10 in August. The wettest month is October with an average of 171mm of rain. The best month to swim in the sea is in July when the average sea temperature is 84°F (29°C).
Local Treats to Try:
- Jamaican Patty- made of ground meat or veggies seasoned and wrapped in a crust and often served with Coco bread
- Jerk Chicken- mixture of island-grown seasonings like Scotch bonnet peppers, pimento, cinnamon and nutmeg are dry-rubbed on meat which is then traditionally roasted, sometimes for hours, over pimento wood.
- Coconut Drops- coconut is cut into small pieces and boiled in brown sugar with added spices.
- Gizzadas- a tart shell filled with butter, fresh sweetened coconut, ginger and nutmeg.
- Blue Mountain Coffee- coffee beans grown in the Blue Mountain region of Jamaica are among the best in the entire world and well-known for its smooth, non-bitter taste.
- Duckunoo (Jamaican Blue Draws)- this pudding-like dessert is a delicious blend of green bananas, sweet potatoes, grated coconut, brown sugar and a range of spices. Traditionally, the mixture is spooned into green leaves from the banana plant and expertly tied together before boiling for 45 minutes to an hour.
- RUM!- need I say more?
Why It’s A Desired Caribbean Destination: The Ocho Rios area has long been a playground for musicians and literary legends. Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond series, made his home near here at Oracabessa (you can visit James Bond Beach-about 10 minutes from Ocho Rios). Visitors can tour the hilltop retreat of Noel Coward, the famous playwright and composer, and music fans flock by the dozens to Nine Mile, the birthplace and final resting place of reggae legend, Bob Marley. Ocho Rios is also the launching point for exciting adventures such as dolphin encounters, bobsled rides, zip-lining, and river tubing.
How To Get There: You can experience all that Ocho Rios has to offer by spending a week (or longer!) at one of the area’s many all-inclusive resorts. Or cruise on in to port here with many of the major cruise lines (focus your search on Western Caribbean cruise itineraries).
Is Ocho Rios “Jamaican you crazy” for a Caribbean vacation? Contact me today!
Written by Casey Cote: Casey Cote is a travel agent with Destinations to Explore. She loves planning incredible vacations at no cost to you. To book your next cruise, all-inclusive resort vacation, family getaway or honeymoon, contact at Casey@destinationstoexplore.com. You can also find her on Facebook!