Ocho Rios, Jamaica Vacations

Our Opinion of Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios and Runaway Bay are located in the heart of the north-coast region defined by fern-clad cliffs and cascading waterfalls. It has abundant rainfall, verdant landscapes, rolling hills, and jagged estuaries.

Ocho Rios and Runaway Bay are located in the heart of the north-coast region defined by fern-clad cliffs and cascading waterfalls, not far from where Columbus first landed more than 500 years ago. Amazed by the island's beauty, the explorer declared ''It is the fairest island ever eyes beheld''.

Today, visitors come from all over the world to make their own discoveries in this stimulating yet tranquil resort area, which combines the attractions of one of the Caribbean's most popular ports-of-call with the splendid scenery of the surrounding garden parish of St. Ann.

Things to know about Ocho Rios, Jamaica Vacations

Activities & Sports
Beaches and resorts in Ocho Rios offer every water sports like snorkeling, windsurfing, scuba diving, sailing, kayaking and of course sunbathing and swimming.

The Sandals Golf and Country Club is an 18-hole championship course with extremely scenic views. Fishing, boating and all-terrain vehicle are all possible activities that can be practiced in Ocho Rios.

Horseback rides take you along trails and by-ways through quaint rural villages and lush green pastures.

Dining & Nightlife
When night falls, a canoe trip up the torch-lit White River can be an exciting journey that includes a folklore show, dinner and open bar.

Margaritaville, a restaurant and bar, stays open into the early morning. Popular clubs in Ocho Rios include Jamaic'N Me Crazy and Amnesia.

Be ready for an insane shopping experience as hundreds of Jamaicans come here to peddle items. They can be aggressive at times and you should be ready to haggle a lot.

For a less traumatic shopping experience head to the shopping malls like New Ocho Rios Plaza, Ocean Village Shopping Centre and Pineapple Place Shopping Centre.

The Ocho Rios Craft Park is more a market style installation where vendors will weave a hat or a basket while you wait. Popular purchases also include hampers, handbags, place mats, lampshades, hand-embroidered goods and wood carved bowls, ashtrays, statues, and cups. Of course you will find rum and Blue Mountain coffee as well.

Day Trips
Montego Bay - Come and explore the historical and colonial town of Montego Bay. It is the second largest city in the country and has countless landmarks to visit. Then go on a Mobay Submarine Dive where you can view the local marine life in partially glassed semi-submarine.

Negril - Known as the water sport capital you can dive, snorkel, sail, parasail, water ski, wind surf and kayak. Come and enjoy the long stunning white sand beach and visit a historic lighthouse.

Blue Mountains - Travel along the north coast to Buff Bay and turn inland towards the majestic peaks of the Blue Mountains. Here you can visit a working coffee-house and learn about the world-famous Blue Mountain coffee.

Located beside the Black River, in beautiful Jamaican valleys, is the Appleton Rum Distillery. Since 1749 the Appleton Estate has been blending some of the finest rums in the world. You will learn about the distilling process from sugar cane, molasses, sugar, to wine and rum and then have a chance to savour these award-winning rums after the tour. Do stay sober enough to enjoy the Black River wetlands afterwards.

Flying time from:
Approximately 4 hours
Montreal: Approximately 6 hours
Calgary: Approximately 6 hours
Vancouver: Approximately 6 hours 30 minutes

Languages: English
Currency: Jamaican Dollar. U.S. currency widely accepted.
Climate: Sub-tropical with average tempuratures of 29'C
Electricity: 110 V, 50Hz. Hotels often have 220 V. Same as Canada and the U.S.

A valid passport recommended for Canadian citizens but a certified birth certificate and government issues photo id accepted. Roundtrip or onward ticket required. All other nationalities please consult a vacation specialist or the Jamaican consulate. Passports are highly recommended.

Note: Some hotels require credit card imprint upon check-in for any incidental charges. Hotel check-in is typically between 3pm and 4pm. If your flight arrives early, it is a good idea to pack essential items in your carry-on luggage (i.e. bathing suit, suntan lotion, medications, etc.), so you do not miss any valuable vacation time.

The departure tax of around JA$1,000, per person, is usually included on your plane ticket but if not added it will be payable at the airport, please verify. Some restrictions apply to tourists 18 years & under, when travelling without parents.

Escapes.ca makes every effort to ensure that information on this page is current, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice.