With its swaying palms, glistening white beaches, and sophisticated resorts, Ocho Rios is a favorite vacation spot. For a splendid view, visit Shaw Park Gardens, overflowing with fragrant flora and refreshing waterfalls, or enjoy a refreshing trek through Dunn's River Falls one of the most celebrated attractions of the Caribbean.
What to do in Ocho Rios, JamaicaInstinctively, 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.
ShoppingLike 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.
RaftingThis 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.
Dolphin CoveSome 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.
CavesTake “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 FallsAlso 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.
Reggae, MonYup, 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 in Ocho Rios, JamaicaYour 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 PlazaMake 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 CenterTaj 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.
Beaches in Ocho Rios, JamaicaThe 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.
James Bond BeachThis 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.
Bay BeachBay 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.
Mahogany BeachAnother 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.
Bamboo Beach ClubFor 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.
Best cruise excursions in Ocho Rios, JamaicaWe'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
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Ocho Rios, Jamaica Cruise Excursions
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