Known locally as Ochi, Ocho Rios has been a top cruise port destination for many years, and once you arrive, you’ll quickly see why. Located on Jamaica’s lushly forested north coast, it gets its name from the surrounding swift-moving rivers. The lush forest covers over 3,000 acres of river gorges and stunning waterfalls that you won’t want to miss. And, of course, there are beautiful sandy beaches as well. There’s a lot of activities to choose from so, to help you decide, here are the top 10 things you can do during your trip to Ocho Rios.
1. Take a Ride on a River Tube
What could be more fun than taking a three-mile river tubing trip through coconut plantations and bamboo groves full of amazing scenery? Sit back in your tube and join hands with your companions as you prepare for some leisurely floating following by a quick rush as you zip through the rapids on White River. While you’re there, don’t forget to stop by the famous White River Valley to taste the local Jamaican Jerk.
2. Explore the Forest Canopy
This heavily forested area in Jamaica is perfect for getting up off the forest floor and exploring the canopy. Sail through the forest on multiple zip lines that range from 65 to 160 feet and take in the view as you fly over the White River Valley Property. You can also enjoy an excellent view of the canopy by riding the Sky Explorer. A chairlift will take you 700 feet above sea level for fantastic views of the Caribbean, Ocho Rios and the surrounding countryside.
3. Zip Down a Bobsled Track
All aspiring Olympians should try their hand at a bobsled run on Jamaica’s own bobsled track, which travels 3,280 feet through several twists and turns as it goes down Mystic Mountain. Speedsters and slow-riders alike will enjoy this ride because you control the sled’s speed with a hand brake. As an added bonus, you can take the Sky Explorer to the top of the mountain and swim in an infinity pool as you admire the panoramic view.
4. Climb Dunn’s River Falls
Dunn’s River Falls is arguably Jamaica’s most famous attraction, and one you shouldn’t miss. Here, you’ll find a 600-foot cascading waterfall and multiple small pools that you can swim in. Join hands to climb the falls or tackle them on your own. This excursion will surely be the highlight of your family vacation.
5. Swim at Irie Blue Hole
This secret gem, located in the hills of Jamaica, offers something for everyone. Splash away the heat of the day under the 20-foot cascading waterfall, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, swing and jump from ropes into the deep waters of the Irie Blue Hole. Feel like soaking up the breathtaking surroundings? Lounge away the day, taking the occasional dip in the surreal blue waters.
6. Ride a Horse in the Surf
Take a scenic trip to Chukka Cove Equestrian Center for an opportunity to experience the Jamaican countryside while saddled on a horseback. Once at the beach, unsaddle your horse and take a thrilling, bareback surf ride through the shoreline. If you love horseback riding, you won’t want to miss this.
7. Take a Ride on the Zion Bus
Reggae fans shouldn’t miss this opportunity to visit Nine Mile, Bob Marley’s birthplace. See his childhood home and final resting place as you learn about the Rastafarian culture. Enjoy your ride through the countryside, rum punch in hand, on the iconic Zion Bus, where you are entertained with great reggae tunes and stories of Bob Marley’s life and music.
8. Relax at Bamboo Beach Club
If thinking about tubing, zip lining and horseback riding makes you tired, why not relax on the beach instead? After all, this is your vacation. Enjoy the amenities of the Bamboo Beach Club, including unlimited food and drinks, live entertainment and complimentary beach chairs. Or opt for the VIP package so you can soak up the sun or lounge in the shade of a coconut or almond tree on a private beach while watching the chef grill fresh caught fish, jerk chicken and sausages along with other specialty dishes. This tropical paradise is located on one of Ocho Rios’ most beautiful beaches.
9. Swim with Dolphins
Visit Dolphin Cove for the chance to spend time in the water with a bottlenose dolphin. These creatures will impress you with their gentleness and intelligence. Swim and play with these amazing mammals for an experience you won’t soon forget.
10. Explore on an ATV
Drive into the tropical Jamaican woodlands or through the rugged dirt trails of a colonial-era estate as you explore the local community and forests while taking in the magnificent views. Choose to drive your own ATV or ride with a buddy on a dune buggy; then take off on your own overland adventure.
Ocho Rios has something for everyone, which makes it easy to tailor your Jamaican cruise just the way you want it. This will truly be a Caribbean cruise to remember.