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Ocho Rios Cruise Port is the second most trafficked of Jamaica’s three major cruising hubs. The destination realizes roughly half a million cruise passengers annually supported by its two cruise terminals. The name “Ocho Rios” translates to “eight rivers.” But, it’s not so much the rivers that make this cruise destination so unique, but its caves and waterfalls. Compared to other Caribbean port destinations, Ocho Rios is known to have slightly elevated crime issues. So, please keep a heads up. You’re bound to come across locals trying to sell stuff or asking for money. Some are very young. Just keep your valuables in a safe place and use extra caution when exploring Jamaica.

what to do in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Instinctively, one might assume that “the beach” is the best option in Ocho Rios. While the Jamaican coast offers great options for a day in the sun, consider the island’s interior playground. Venturing into Jamaica’s countryside, you’ll find mountains, lush rainforests, caves and even waterfalls! This cruise port’s natural landscape makes it a truly unique experience. Here are some of the best options to do while in Ocho Rios.

Caves

Take “sunburn” off of your to-do list while in Jamaica. We may need to check the thesaurus, but pretty sure “caves” is the opposite of “beaches.” You’ll have plenty of options to explore these dark, mysterious cavernous wonders while in Ocho Rios. One of the most popular options is via inter-tube. Just hold on tight and make sure the flash on your camera is working. And feel free to title your image, “We came for the coconut oil and stayed for the stalagmites.”

Dunns River Falls

Also extremely popular is the Dunns River Falls excursion. Spend the day climbing up waterfalls and splashing away in Jamaica’s natural waterpark. You’ll feel like Mowgli as you hop from rock to rock and hug wild animals. Wait, maybe don’t do that.

Dolphin Cove

Some say dolphins are smarter than humans. We know for a fact they’re smarter than our uncle, but that’s not so relevant here. Dolphin Cove offers cruise passengers the ability to become one with our sea-mammal friends. Whether getting up-close and personal, or just hanging on the beach, Dolphin Cove is a great excursion option while in Ocho Rios cruise port.

Rafting

This is totally our speed. Your rafting options while in Ocho Rios allow you to lay back and take in Jamaica’s natural scenery. A guide will narrate your trip down the river as you relax and take it all in. You’ll pass through lush, tropical landscapes and learn about Jamaica’s rich history from small fishing town to thriving tourist destination.

Reggae, Mon

Yup, we used “mon” and it didn’t feel right. But, we wouldn’t be doing Jamaica justice without mentioning “reggae.” Many people associate “Jamaica” with the iconic “Bob Marley.” While in Ocho Rios, take a tour of the museum dedicated to this legend and learn all there is to know in the best setting possible for such.

Shopping

Like most other Caribbean cruise destinations, Ocho Rios shopping is “duty free.” If looking to put that credit card to work, check out our shopping section for your best options.

best cruise excursions in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

We've analyzed tens of thousands of cruise tours to find your ideal attraction while in port. Based on these reviews, here are the Best Cruise Excursions in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

To find your perfect shore trip, search by activity type below or use our cruise search widget at the top of the page for all available excursions for your cruise.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica cruise port map

Ocho Rios, Jamaica Cruise Port Terminals

Two terminals provide major cruise lines access to Ocho Rios Cruise Port. While you’re most likely docking in Turtle Bay Pier, it’s also possible your ship will port at James Bond Pier (aka Reynold’s Pier). Both are within walking distance to the downtown Ocho Rios area.


Turtle Bay Pier

Turtle Bay Cruise Terminal is the main dock in Ocho Rios, so it’s more than likely you’ll be porting here during your stay. The dock can hold two normal-sized cruise ships or one mega vessel. When exiting your ship, you’ll find a closed-off terminal area with some shopping options and other conveniences. There’s a small coffee shop (Blue Mountain) with free wifi if needed. Once leaving the dock’s gates, you’ll find a taxi stand with rates posted to all major attractions. The closest beach within walking distance is Bay Beach. You’ll find a safe path to this beach which should only take five minutes to arrive at Bay Beach. Expect to pay $3 for adults and $1 for children.

James Bond Pier

This less-frequented cruise terminal is shared with cargo ships delivering to Ocho Rios. If docked here, a walk to the downtown area will take roughly 15 minutes. Just follow Main Street all the way.

Things to do near Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Once disembarking, you’re a quick walk to downtown Ocho Rios where you’ll find some sightseeing options as well as shopping possibilities. For more elaborate excursions, you’ll want to plan in advance. Your guide will meet you just outside the terminal. If looking for some fun in the sun, there are a few beach options near Ocho Rios you can consider.

Beaches near Ocho Rios, Jamaica

The interior of Jamaica is spectacular with its caves, mountains and waterfalls. But, the surrounding shores are also inviting. Here are your options for best beaches near Ocho Rios Cruise Port.

Bay Beach

Bay Beach is the closest and most convenient option for cruise passengers looking for immediate beach time. Upon leaving Turtle Bay Pier, you’ll find a path directly leading to Bay Beach. Expect this quick walk to take only five-or-so minutes. There you’ll find plenty of amenities like showers, bathrooms, and changing areas. You’ll have plenty of options to rent chairs, umbrellas or water-sports equipment. Expect to pay $3 for adults and $1 for children to access Bay Beach. Also, plan to be confronted by many vendors, soliciting everything from excursions to marijuana (aka a “go directly to jail card”). Bay Beach is a great option to squeeze in some beach time before or after another Ocho Rios excursion.

Bamboo Beach Club

For this private beach option, you’ll need to purchase access. Included in your cost, you’ll get transportation to the resort, unlined food and drink (booze too), beach equipment, entertainment, and more.

James Bond Beach

This Ocho Rios beach option is for those looking to avoid the crowds. The taxi ride will take roughly 20 minutes along the northern coast of the island. Don’t be surprised if there’s less than a dozen fellow beach-goers at this secluded destination. Despite it’s small size, you’ll find amenities like bathrooms and changing areas.

Mahogany Beach

Another hidden gem of Ocho Rios, this public beach offers free access and everything else you’ll need. It’s relatively close to your cruise port at just a couple miles east of where you’ll dock.

Shopping near Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Your ship will anchor in one of two cruise ports located on Ocho Rios’ northern coast: Turtle Bay Pier (most likely) or James Bond Pier. Both offer walkable shopping options to take advantage of Jamaica’s “duty free” status. Here are a couple options for those looking to come home with new stuff. Note: Jamaicans are used to, and expect, haggling. Assume the listed price is not the final price and have fun seeing how low you can go.

Soni's Plaza

Make sure to have your morning coffee or afternoon mojito before heading to Sofi’s Shopping Plaza. Vendors are aggressive and you’ll need to be on your toes. That being said, you’ll find some great quality and bargain opportunities at this Ocho Rios shopping plaza. From souvenirs to high-end jewelry, you’ll find almost everything at Soni’s Plaza.

Taj Mahal Shopping Center

Taj Mahal is your other major shopping option near Ocho Rios Cruise Port. Like Soni’s, here you’ll find aggressive sales people but also potentially good bargains. If looking for Jamaican Rum to take home, you won’t be disappointed. Expect to walk home with bottles for roughly $10 a piece. Another favorite purchase here is coffee. Blue Mountain is the most well-known brand and makes for a great gift.

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