Ocho Rios is a port town on the north coast of Jamaica. It’s a resort with a cruise ship harbor and a busy bay beach that’s lined with hotels. The surrounding parish of Saint Ann is home to rainforest, rivers and waterfalls. Dunn’s River Falls is a terraced, 180m mountain waterfall with lagoon pools, surrounded by trees.
Ocho Rios best known for Dunn's River Falls, a rushing waterfall used for scenes in the James Bond movie "Dr. No." Numerous zipline, rafting, and horseback riding tours are available to explore the lush natural surroundings, while the village is renowned for its duty-free shopping, traditional Jamaican cuisine, and vibrant nightlife.
Our studio at Sandcastles is very central. It is smack-dab in the middle of Ocho Rios and walking distance from the world-famous Dunn's River Falls and a few steps away from the warm inviting beach.
1.One of Jamaica's most photographed attractions, Dunn's River Falls encompass 180 meters of terraced cascades. With the help of a guide, you can climb the limestone tiers to the top of the falls, slide down the smooth sections of rock, and swim in the cool lagoons at the base. Cruise ship crowds flock here when the ships are in port, so it's best to time your visit around them. Bring a camera and wear water shoes and appropriate clothing as chances are, you'll come back soaked.
2. Rainforest Adventures Mystic Mountain should be on your must-do list. This popular attraction offers several different types of adventures. Start by ascending the mountain on the Sky Explorer, a chairlift perched high over the rain forest.
3. Dolphin Cove is a marine park offering up-close critter encounters. The five-acre property encompasses a natural cove where you can snorkel with stingrays or paddle around on a glass-bottom kayak, surrounded by rain forest. The dolphin encounters are the highlight.
4.A Mecca for music fans, the small village of Nine Mile in Saint Ann Parish is the birthplace and final resting place of reggae legend, Bob Marley. Guided tours take you through a small museum and the mausoleum where Marley is buried. During the tour, you can learn about the Rastafarian religion and hear interesting stories of Marley's extraordinary life.
5.About 30 minutes' drive from Ocho Rios in Runaway Bay, the Green Grotto Caves are Jamaica's best-known limestone caves. They were once used by the Arawak Indians and were also the reputed hideaway of escaped slaves and Spanish settlers fleeing from the British. In more recent times, they were also used as a backdrop for a Bond movie. Today, they are home to bats and snakes. Guided tours share the history of the caves and show you the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, as well as an underground lake. The slippery paths and many stairs might be a challenge for those with physical disabilities.
6.At the White River, about 30 minutes' drive from Ocho Rios, nature lovers can relax on inner tubes and drift along the crystal clear river over gentle rapids. This is a soothing trip that the whole family can enjoy and a great way to unwind and enjoy the tropical scenery. Singing guides add to the fun, and birders will enjoy looking for new species in the lush foliage fringing the river.
7.High in the hills overlooking Ocho Rios and the Caribbean, Shaw Park Gardens is a sanctuary for nature lovers. Within the 25-acre grounds, you can stroll through lush botanical gardens punctuated by tropical blooms and lily-topped ponds. Many species of birds flit through the trees, including Jamaica's national bird, the doctor bird, also called the swallow-tailed hummingbird. A waterfall cascades through the gardens, and friendly guides share their knowledge of all the botanical beauties.
8 Turtle River Falls and Gardens is a relaxing chance to commune with nature. The property encompasses 15 acres of mountainside gardens, 14 waterfalls, small pools, hammocks, and a koi pond. A highlight here is the aviary full of exotic birds. You can wander in and hand-feed them as they descend on your outstretched arms. The guided tours are highly recommended, and you should bring a swimsuit if you plan to take a dip.