Attractions Nearby Ocho Rios, Day Trips and Excursions

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

Image of the Breezes Resort, Spa and Golf Club, Main Street, Runaway BayOcho Rios is mainly about the beach and shopping - there is not much else within the resort town, with many of the attractions residing nearby. Off to the west is Runaway Bay, a major rival to Ocho Rios, but without the over-the-top tourism. Runaway Bay has golf courses and several worthwhile day trips nearby, too.

Close by and highly suitable for an excursion are the Green Grotto Caves, which are especially interesting to kids. There is also the Cranbrook Flower Forest and Riverhead Adventure Trail for the more discerning types, while off to the east of Ocho Rios is the previous home of Noel Coward, Firefly. Montego Bay is an easy drive from Ocho Rios, as are the attractions of Kingston, and somewhat nearer, Moneague, Oracabessa and the market town of St. Ann's Bay.

Beachfront photo of Runaway Bay

Runaway Bay

On the way to Discovery Bay (just under 30 km / 19 miles west of Ocho Rios) is the beautiful Runaway Bay. This area is a lot more laid back than Ocho Rios, and also has cheaper hotels and food. Although the bay doesn't have much of a town, the coast is where it's at, with several stunning beaches - such as the Cardiff Hall Public Beach, and some fantastic all-inclusive resorts. Runaway Bay makes a good day trip for those on cruises, as well as keen scuba divers and golfers, being home to the par-72 Breezes Golf Club.

Photo of the Firefly house, formerly the home of Sir Noel Coward


Address: Grants Town, St. Mary, Jamaica, JM
Tel: +1 876 997 7201
Firefly was the home of Sir Noel Coward and is 29 km / 18 miles to the east of Ocho Rios, in Grants Town. Coward chose this setting due to its seclusion, as his other property, Blue Harbour, had become too busy with a constant stream of visitors. The Firefly house is now a part of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust and has been kept as a museum.

Further picture taken at the Firefly houseYou can check out his bedroom and see his Hawaiian shirts, together with the library and living room where grand pianos still reside. Best of all are the views of the bay from the lawn. Interestingly, the Queen Mother paid a visit to Firefly in 1965, and its current appearance remains very similar to that day.
Open hours: Monday to Thursday, Saturday - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children under 11 years old

Image showing the entrance to the Green Grotto Caves attraction, nearby Ocho Rios

Green Grotto Caves

Address: Discovery Bay, St. Ann, Jamaica, JM
Tel: +1 876 973 2841
Around 31 km / 19 miles to the west of Ocho Rios are the Green Grotto Caves. Although a little contrived, with their walkways, lighting and prerequisite that everyone wear a hardhat, this network of caves, tunnels and underground attractions is nonetheless beautiful. The Green Grotto Caves are close to Discovery Bay, and come with large caverns and subterranean rivers. Historically, this spot was once the domain of pirates, smugglers and hidden slaves, and further back, pre-Columbian Arawaks.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children under 12 years old, children four years old and under are free

Cranbrook Flower Forest and Riverhead Adventure Trail

Address: St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica, JM
Tel: +1 876 770 8071
The Cranbrook Flower Forest and Riverhead Adventure Trail resides on a huge plantation, 30 km / 19 miles west of town. It features a working nursery and oodles of plants, along with a restored watermill that was originally built by the British in the 1800s. You can get on guided tours of the site and check out its lawns, lakes and fountains, as well as the many plants. The best bet is to take the trail in by horseback, which will last about two hours.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children under 11 years old

Photograph of Doctor's Cave Beach, Montego Bay

Montego Bay

Situated just over 100 km / 62 miles to the west of Ocho Rios is Jamaica's foremost beach attraction, Montego Bay. Better known to many as simply 'MoBay', Montego Bay is the leading tourist destination for visitors to Jamaica and has a sizeable cruise terminal. MoBay's beaches are the main attraction, as well as the plentiful duty free shopping opportunities. For families, the AquaSol Theme Park, the Montego Bay Marine Park and the Rocklands Bird Sanctuary all stand out.

Panoramic photo of the Kingston cityscape


Kingston, Jamaica's proud capital city, is just about close enough to Ocho Rios to make a day trip practicable, being 88 km / 55 miles to the south-east and well connected by public transport.

There is much to see and do in Kingston, with far more attractions than you could possibly visit in just one day. However, if your time is limited, then choose between the Bob Marley Museum, the National Gallery, Gordon House, the Institute of Jamaica and the National Heroes Park.

Oracabessa beach photograph, a popular Jamaican resort nearby Ocho Rios


Oracabessa has long been a popular tourist destination and Jamaican resort, and at a mere 21 km / 13 miles to the east of Ocho Rios, is well-placed for a day trip excursion. This small village has much Caribbean character and features some very pretty wooden houses. Oracabessa gained much of its wealth in the 19th century, when its port was used for the shipping of bananas. Today, the port is now a trendy marina offering glass-bottom boat trips, although it is the beaches that most people come to see. James Bond Beach is the most well-known and is regularly used to stage outdoor concerts and events. Next-door is Fisherman's Beach, where seafood eateries can be found. Various water sports are possible around Oracabessa, including water skiing, jet skiing and more.

Galina Point / Little Bay

Situated just 30 minutes to the east of Ocho Rios and approximately 5 km / 3 miles to the east of Oracabessa, Galina Point is highly suitable for an island day trip. The headland is rather dominated by a tall lighthouse, which measures in at 12 metres / 39 feet in height and is hard to miss. To the south is the Blue Harbour estate, once owned by famous English playwright Noel Coward, who came here looking for a tax haven. The beach here is not one of Jamaica's best, although the snorkelling opportunities are excellent. On Hudson Street, the Zabai Tabai Taino Museum contains some interesting Indian artefacts and paintings.

Photo showing the coastal attractions at nearby Port Maria

Port Maria

The capital of the St. Mary parish is Port Maria, which is home to a population of around 8,000 people and little in the way of attractions. However, its setting is especially picturesque, with a tranquil bayfront and a mountainous backdrop.

Boats are readily available for hire at Port Maria, while visitors may like to take a look at the Old Courthouse, St. Mary's Parish Church or the ruins of Fort Haldane. Frequent minibuses connect Port Maria with both Ocho Rios and Kingston.

View across the expansive Brimmer Hall Plantation

Brimmer Hall Plantation

Address: Bailey's Vale, Jamaica, JM
Tel: +1 876 994 2309
The simply vast Brimmer Hall Plantation covers an area exceeding 2,000 acres / 800 hectares and lies some 10 km / 6 miles to the south-west of Port Maria. This plantation grows a wealth of exotic produce, such as bananas, citrus fruits, coconuts, pineapples and sugarcane. Tours of the plantation and its grand house can be arranged during the week (11:30, 13:30 and 15:00) and last around one hour.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge

Picture taken in the neighbouring village of Walkerswood, Jamaica


Address: Walkerswood, Jamaica, JM
Tel: +1 876 917 2318
Walkerswood is a charming village most famous for its tasty Walkerswood jerk sauce, which is now sold all around the world. Guided tours of the Walkerswood factory are surprisingly interesting and include refreshments, a visit to the onsite herb garden, information about the sauce's 17th-century origins, and a chance to sample some of the most popular products, which include jams, chutneys and a pepper sauce. A gift shop provides the opportunity for you to purchase some tasty souvenirs of your day out.
Open hours: tours, Monday to Saturday - 08:00 to 16:30
Admission: charge, discounts available for children

Coastal view of Moneague


The town of Moneague lies at the intersection of the A1 and the A3, roughly 21 km / 13 miles to the south. Moneague College and Moneague Lake are the town's principal sights, although the German-style Oktoberfest is another good reason to pay a visit. Also worth a look is the Moneague Tavern, where a cross between Jamaican and Mediterranean-style cuisine is served, with a distinctive nouvelle twist.

Photo taken at the Goshen Wilderness Resort

Goshen Wilderness Resort

Address: Goshen Wilderness Resort, Goshen, Jamaica, JM
Tel: +1 876 974 4613
The main reason that so many people take an excursion to the Goshen Wilderness Resort is to fish for tilapia cichlids, which are in abundant supply within its 40+ ponds. Other attractions here include a small zoo with friendly animals, an aviary with exotic birds, kayaks and paddleboats, and guided tours of the plantation. You can also ride horses, enjoy some traditional Jamaican cuisine, or go swimming, tubing or rafting in the White River.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children

Image showing the coastline of St. Ann's Bay

St. Ann's Bay

St. Ann's Bay is a small market town located just 11 km / 7 miles to the west of Ocho Rios and is the capital of the St. Ann parish. The town enjoys are rather elevated setting, with impressive views across the bay, and contains a handful of noteworthy attractions, namely the Heritage Park, the Maima Seville Great House and the Columbus Monument, which was erected to pay tribute to Christopher Columbus himself, who actually landed here in 1494, during his second trip to the Americas. In fact, Columbus was marooned here for more than a year in 1503, after being forced to abandon his ships close by.