Ocho Rios Beaches and Water Sports
(Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Middlesex, Jamaica)
Mallards Beach, near downtown, is the most accessible beach in Ocho Rios and is well within walking distance of hotels and cruise ship piers. Mallards is also most attractive, although gets somewhat overcrowded.
The main beachfront in the Ocho Rios area is the beautiful Turtle Beach, which forms a crescent and has excellent facilities, with many hotel resorts fronting it. Turtle Beach stretches in a westerly direction from the Renaissance Jamaica Grande Resort, all the way to the Turtle Towers condos. As you sunbathe here, the swaying palm trees provide plenty of shade where required.
The Island Village Beach is to the west and situated on the westerly side of Main Street, where it is a lot more laid back and, although smaller, still has lockers, chairs and parasols, as well as sea kayaks, windsurfing equipment and sailing catamarans (Hobie Cats).
Columbus Foot is just a short distance to the west of Island Village Beach, being lined with fishing boats and shady trees. Also worth seeing is Mahogany Beach, which is about a kilometre or so from downtown. Further afield from Ocho Rios you will find James Bond Beach (Goldeneye), where open-air concerts, jet-ski safaris and glass-bottom boats are all good reasons to come here.
Also relatively nearby is Boscobel Beach, Mammee Bay, Priory Beach, Reggae Beach, St. Ann's Bay, Tower Isle and Pagee Beach, the latter of which is based in Port Maria and close to the Firefly house
When it comes to water sports, the whole easterly coastline between Ocho Rios and Galina Point boasts a well-stocked reef, perfect for either snorkelling or a spot of scuba diving. Based on Turtle Beach are many water-based activities, such as windsurfing, sailing, jet skiing and parasailing.
Nearby Runaway Bay
is also known for its plentiful water sports and reef complex where many sponges live, with the sunken Reggae Queen tugboat providing added interest for scuba divers.
At Discovery Bay, some 34 km / 21 miles to the west of Ocho Rios, the white-sandy Puerto Seco Beach is a major attraction and comes with a small fun park, complete with water slide. During the week, this stretch remains quiet and is a good place to come for fishing, jet skis and even sea bikes.