Are you wondering what are things to do in Ocho Rios, Jamaica? Ocho Rios is a famous cruise ship port stop located in the rich country of Jamaica in the Caribbean. My husband and I went around Jamaica for a week and stayed near Ocho Rios. It was a chill and relaxing few days in this charming town of Jamaica.
Ocho Rios is a Spanish phrase that directly translates to “eight rivers.” It may be small in landmass but it has loads of activities that cater to just about any type of tourist.
To maximize your stay in Ocho Rios, it is wise to go there anytime between November to January. The weather is highly favourable and water activities are going to be best enjoyed during this season.
Here is the list of the best things to do in Ocho Rios, Jamaica:
Dunn’s River Falls & Park
Dunn’s River Falls and Park is one of the iconic places to visit in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The beautiful cascading waterfalls speak for themselves. During our trip to Ocho Rios, my husband and I managed to visit Dunn’s River Falls and the experience was mesmerizing. I can sit there and relax all day!
The Dunn’s River Falls is known to be an infamous battleground of the “Las Chorreras” in 1657 between the Spanish and the English. English won the battle and it then became a part of the Belmont property, which was acquired by the government in 1972 and turned into recreational and park facilities for the region.
Most visitors of Ocho Rios visit Dunn’s River Falls to do the river walk activity. Wherein, you get to experience a wet, fun and unique way of seeing and climbing the river.
A visit to the White River near Ocho Rios is one of the great ways to enjoy the natural scenery of the area. The White River is one of the longest rivers in Jamaica running for 27 kilometres or 17 miles. The White River is known for its limestone bedrock that gives the river translucence water as its unique feature.
Bamboo river rafting is one of the romantic things to do in Ocho Rios for couples. Bamboo rafting is actually my husband and I’s favourite activity during our trip to Jamaica. While cruising along the gentle stream with your guide, you will be amazed at the lush floral and fauna of the area.
If you are up for more thrill and adrenalin rush, White River tubing is also a popular activity among adventurers.
The famous Blue Hole is one of the favourite things to do in Ocho Rios by the tourists. Nestled along the White River, you can find the beautiful round tortoise blue water. True to its name, it is one of the most visited places in Ocho Rios.
It might be a trek to get there from Ocho Rios but with the help of the hospitable guides, you can truly enjoy the beautiful hidden water pool near Ocho Rios. It is best to visit the Blue hole in the morning and bring some cash with you to pay the guide or pay for your food and drinks.
Read more: 15 Best Traditional Jamaican Food and Drinks
The Mystic Mountain is the home of adventure and fun in Ocho Rios. If you are up for active things to do in Ocho Rios, then this place is for you.
Famous for its Bobsled Jamaica attraction, wherein it became its signature ride that features 3,280 feet of exciting track that helped the Jamaican Bobsled team have their glory in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics.
Mystic mountain adventure park also offers other fun and adrenalin rush activity for couples or families. They are the Sky Explorer (cable car type swing), Raggamuffin (if you love being suspended up in the air), Zipline, Anancy’s Web rope, Reggae rock (rock climbing) and relaxing Infinity Pool.
Konoko Falls & Park
Konoko Falls and Park is a great attraction to visit in Ocho Rios for couples and families. The whole park is filled with various activities that will entertain and fulfil your day.
You can start your visit to Konoko Falls and Park by visiting the River garden tour, aviary, zoo and the Budgie feeding station. Then explore the knowledgeable museum about the original inhabitants of Jamaica – the Taino Indians.
Then, of course, visit the highlight of the park, the Konoko falls. Enjoy the scenic cascading waterfalls that will captivate your heart. You can also climb to the top pool of the waterfalls, just don’t forget to bring your swimming costume and water shoes.
Turtle River Park
The Turtle River park is a lovely retreat from the crowd of Ocho Rios. The Turtle River park is located at the centre of the town near the Ocho Rios cruise terminal. A gentle stroll in the park and enjoying the view of the turtle and koi ponds as well as a little venture on the Ooh and Aah waterfalls are some of the relaxing and free things to do in Ocho Rios.
Ocho Rios Craft Market
Just a stone throw away from the Ocho Rios Bay beach, you can find the Ocho Rios Craft Market. A little bustling and colourful corner of the town filled with souvenirs and crafts. You can find various local crafts like woven hats, bags, beadworks, Rastafarian hats and shirts.
My husband and I bought a few items when we visited the market. Don’t forget to haggle the price, since most of the shop charges in USD if you are a tourist. My husband and I just said that we don’t have USD and have the local Jamaican Dollars with us.
Chukka Cove and Cliffs
Chukka Cove and Cliffs are known for their coast and cliff adventures. Have fun with the ATV, cliff jump, horseback riding and other adrenalin rush activities. The Papillion Cove was one of the filming locations of the “Return to Treasure Island film (1985) and the “Passion to Paradise film (1988).
Old Spanish Bridge
The Old Spanish Bridge is the iconic historical landmark near the boundary of St. Ann and St. Mary parishes in Jamaica about 45 minutes away from Ocho Rios. It is one of the remnants of the Spanish colonisation of the island and was built in the 17th century.
It is currently known as a popular water tubing experience destination. The Old Spanish bridge is crossing the beautiful and rustic White River, which is known for its tortoise limestone riverbed.
Bob Marley Museum
A trip to Ocho Rios is not complete without visiting the Bob Marley museum in Nine Mile. Just over an hour away from Ocho Rios, you can book here various Bob Marley tours that would take you to the famous final resting place of Bob Marley, the legendary Reggae icon of Jamaica and the world.
The Bob Marley Museum has many historical artefacts, memorabilia, photos and guitar of the legendary Reggae artist. Born and raised in Nine Mile as Robert Nesta Marley, where he began to hone his great musical talent.
Just under an hour away from Ocho Rios, you can find the ruins of the Edinburgh castle. The castle is known for its infamous history. It was built in the 1760s by Lewis Hutchinson, a Scottish doctor who migrated to Jamaica. He named his abode with respect to his Scottish roots.
Lewis Hutchinson is also known as “the mad doctor” due to his gruesome deeds. He was known for killing lone travellers who pass by Edinburgh castle and burying them in the sinkhole in his estate. Due to his madness and infamous reputation, he did try to escape Jamaica but was captured and executed at the Spanish Town Gallows in 1773.
Green Grotto Caves
The Green Grotto Caves is one of the Jamaican National Heritage sites due to its significant historical value. Just over 30 mins away from Ocho Rios, you can visit one of the historical things to do in Ocho Rios, the Green Grotto Caves.
You can find different rock formations, rock chambers, light holes, and a subterranean lake that became the refuge of the original natives of Jamaica – The Taino Indians. The cave was also used by the Spaniards during the war with the English during colonial times.
During world war I and II the cave was used by the smugglers to smuggle arms to Cuba. Eventually, the government took control of it and make it into a rum cellar and then turned it into a tourist-friendly national heritage site.
Shaw Park Botanical Garden
A gentle stroll to the Shaw Park Botanical Garden is one of the relaxing things to do in Ocho Rios. Located just a stone’s throw away from the Ocho Rios cruise port, you can enjoy the quiet, well-kept and scenic garden in town.
You can enjoy the overlooking view of Ocho Rios and the cruise port as well as enjoy the flora and fauna of the park. The Shaw Park Botanical Gardens also has a beautiful cascading waterfall that will surely mesmerize and cool you down from the tropical heat.
Fern Gully Scenic Drive
If you love tropical rainforest vibes, then a drive through the scenic Fern Gully is for you! The Fern Gully scenic drive stretches for 3 miles starting from Ocho Rios to Colgate. The history of Fern Gully road was established in 1907 when an earthquake ruined one of the main rivers of Ocho Rios that paved the way for the road to be established.
Hundreds of varieties of ferns are growing in this area, towering the road and making it like a canopy that gives lovely relaxing vibes. There are a lot of stalls that you can stop by to get some food and refreshments.
James Bond Beach
James Bond Beach is just a 30-minute drive from Ocho Rios. It was made popular by Ian Fleming, a British writer that is best known for his James Bond spy series. The Golden Eye villa was the home of Ian Fleming where he wrote his famous Bond novel series and is now turned into a hotel.
I hope that this list of things to do in Ocho Rios helped you in planning and hopefully to enjoy the town as much as we do!