Ocho Rios Tourist Information and Tourism

(Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Middlesex, Jamaica)

Image of resort complex in Ocho RiosLocated in north-eastern Jamaica is the luxury coastal resort town of Ocho Rios. Formerly a small fishing village and locally known as 'Ochi', this town is especially popular with cruise ship passengers and there are a couple of piers based here, seeing much traffic. However, it is worth noting that most cruise ship passengers are generally gone by the end of the day, and cruise liners rarely arrive at the weekend.

Ocho Rios is best known for its beaches and duty free shopping malls, and also comes with a glut of bustling markets. This is the top beach spot after Montego Bay and boasts more all-inclusive resorts (per hotel head) than anywhere. Tourism is big business here and everything is relatively expensive. The tourist information office is located at the Ocean Villa Plaza on Main Street.

Beachfront photo

Ocho Rios Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

For those on holiday in Ocho Rios, it is often the beaches that serve as the first port of call, offering a choice of sand, scenery and water sports. Particularly close to downtown Ocho Rios is Mallards Beach, although understandably this stretch frequently becomes very busy. Turtle Beach makes for a good alternative and contains a selection of hotels overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Boscobel Beach, Columbus Foot, Discovery Bay, the Island Village Beach, St. Ann's Bay and Tower Isle are just some of the others on offer in this part of Jamaica. More information about Ocho Rios Beaches.

Picture showing docked cruise liner in the harbourThe top tourist attractions in Ocho Rios tend to be very much targeted at holiday makers and cruise-ship passengers. In particular, the Island Village entertainment park enjoys high visitor numbers all through the year, being designed to appear like a traditional coastal village from Jamaica's past, complete with gift shops, cafes and a large amphitheatre hosting regular shows. A short journey away is the rather touristy Dunn's River Falls, famous stunning waterfalls which can be experienced close-up by means of a limestone staircase. Relatively close to Dunn's River Falls and in the direction of Discovery Bay is Dolphin Cove, where bottlenose dolphins, aquariums and a selection of exotic creatures appeal most to those with young children. If you are looking to experience the actual marine life residing in the surrounding warm Caribbean waters, then plenty of snorkelling and diving opportunities are available around Ocho Rios, such as the Caverns and Devil's Reef. Alternatively, you may like to try your hand at sport fishing, or prefer to spend an afternoon playing a round at the prestigious Sandals Golf and Country Club. More information about Ocho Rios Tourist Attractions.

Ocho Rios coastal viewThe natural scenery of Ocho Rios forms the main landmarks and there are little in the way of obvious 'stand out' structures to admire, apart from the swanky shopping mall complexes, such as the Taj Mahal Plaza and the Ocean Village. Very different to the principal attractions and certainly a landmark of sorts is the vast Prospect Plantation, where coffee, cocoa and tropical fruits are grown. Tours of the Prospect Plantation are available by horse and tractor - and even by camel. Slightly further away is the Sun Valley Plantation, which is close to the town of Oracabessa and specialises in the cultivation of bananas and coffee plants. More information about Ocho Rios Landmarks and Monuments.

Waterfront photo showing resort and beachfrontOcho Rios is primarily a Jamaican beach resort and as such, much of its tourism is focussed around the beaches and coastline. However, there are some very noteworthy museums in town, ready to add a touch of culture to those looking for an alternative to sunbathing. Part of the Coyaba River Gardens, the Coyaba Museum is located on the southerly side of the town centre and contains various early artefacts relating to the Arawaks and the Spanish. It is the Reggae Xplosion Museum at the Island Village attraction that sees the highest visitor numbers, with its in-depth information about the Jamaican music scene and legendary reggae musician, Bob Marley. Both Harmony Hall and the Wassi Art pottery factory complete the city's main cultural magnets. More information about Ocho Rios Museums.

Photo of palm trees and sunbathers on beach in Ocho RiosBeing located on the northern side of Jamaica, Ocho Rios is close to an especially appealing coastline, with possible day trips aplenty. Known for its more sedate atmosphere and directly to the west of Ocho Rios is the resort town of Runaway Bay, where the Cardiff Hall Public Beach is a real highlight. Close to Runaway Bay are the Green Grotto Caves, with natural underground caverns and tunnels which have been fully illuminated and opened to the paying public. Located to the east is the Jamaica National Heritage Trust attraction of Firefly, the former island residence of none other than Sir Noel Coward.

Waterfront photographOther possible day trips worth considering include destinations such as the Goshen Wilderness Resort, the Brimmer Hall Plantation, the town of Moneague, the market town of St. Ann's Bay and the village of Walkerswood. If you have the time for a longer excursion, then of course you will have to choose between the capital of Kingston and world-famous beach resort, Montego Bay. More information about Ocho Rios Attractions Nearby.

More Ocho Rios Information / Fast Facts and Orientation