Ocho Rios is a stunning, unique, and fast-growing holiday destination, and a stellar choice for any luxury vacation. Known for (and indeed, named for) the eight rivers that flow into its bays, Ocho Rios is located on Jamaica’s north coast and positioned ideally between Kingston and Montego Bay in the parish of Saint Ann. But while it’s true that the region is known for its stretches of white sand beaches, there is so much more to explore in the area.
Here are 3 outdoor excursion ideas to get you inspired.
Dunn’s River Falls
Located less than 2 miles from town, the incomparable Dunn’s River Falls is perhaps the number one tourist attraction in the region. It is said to be the location of the legendary 1657 battle of “Las Chorreras” between the English and the Spanish over ownership of the island. The most popular activity among travellers is climbing up the great tiers of limestone that step down into a series of rushing cascades, lagoons, and pools. The exhilarating falls flow straight into the Caribbean Sea. The water is cool and refreshing, as everything is shaded by tall rainforest. There are guides around to help with the climb, but they aren’t strictly necessary. Swimwear is essential! The park also includes food stalls, a kids’ playground, and a charming craft market.
Turtle River Falls & Gardens
It’s no wonder that Saint Ann is known as the Garden Parish. Named for the smooth, spherical nature of the rocks which resemble a turtle’s back, Turtle River Falls and Gardens is a 15-acre tropical garden featuring an impressive selection of flower gardens, rain forests, a swimming pool, a walk-in-aviary, and a Japanese Koi Pond. Several varieties of indigenous and endangered plants grow naturally in the gardens. This is an incredible place to go when you want a real wilderness fix without even leaving Ocho Rios! The forest walkway is perfect for those who want nature without the full commitment of a hike. The Turtle River rushes into 14 cascading waterfalls, which visitors can climb. There is never a dull moment in this lush paradise.
Ocho Rios Bay’s beaches are protected by coral reefs, some of which offer great snorkelling sites. Visitors can snorkel in the sheltered part of the reef or explore one of numerous trenches. And just a 30-minute drive from Ocho Rios, Runaway Bay’s offshore coral reef system offers ideal conditions for swimmers and snorkelers alike: Salem Paradise Beach and Cardiff Hall Public Beach are two of the most popular snorkelling beaches in the area. Sea life is abundant, with sea urchins, brain and kidney coral, barracuda, lionfish, sting rays, and much more to be seen. You can bring your own gear or rent a kit from a local dive shop.
Book your Ocho Rios luxury vacation rental in Jamaica to start planning your next unforgettable trip without delay!