Things to Do in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Things to Do in Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Framed by Jamaica's dramatic northern coastline, Ocho Rios presents plentiful opportunities for adventurers to explore the great outdoors. The country's major port of call for cruise ships, Ocho Rios offers scenic journeys that range from subterranean lakes and grottoes to cascading rivers, majestic waterfalls and stellar hiking trails. Although Ocho Rios is brimming with tourists, the town plays host to an abundance of natural attractions that make visitors feel like they are indeed off the beaten path.

Raft the White River

White River presents an unforgettable setting for kayaking, boating or rafting. A 45-minute trip to the mouth of the river can also be enjoyed on board a bamboo raft with river guide, with the option of a quick dip in a natural pool.

Explore Dunn's River

Jamaica's premier attraction, Dunn's River presents unparalleled beauty highlighted by river water that cascades down an enormous limestone staircase. The sights include pristine white-sand beach and azure-blue oceans. The more adventurous can climb the falls with a guide or utilize steps with hand rails that include wooden observation decks. Three natural swimming pools provide scenic retreats, as do extraordinary caves tucked behind waterfalls and natural whirlpools in the river. Lush, tropical scenery frames the entire setting along the way.

Visit Green Grotto Caves

Located on the island's stunning North Coast, the Green Grotto Caves have beckoned visitors for centuries to explore these naturally scenic wonders. Easily accessible from the resort centers of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, the site is highlighted by a large limestone cave with numerous formations, mysterious chambers, light holes and a subterranean lake known as Grotto Lake.

Enjoy Shaw Park Gardens

Standing sentry on a hill overlooking Ocho Rios, Shaw Park Gardens unfolds in acres of lawns and terraces that landscape the hillside, highlighted by a variety of native and imported trees and decorative shrubs and roses. The park includes a bar for thirsty travelers and a cascading stream in which to cool off. Wild birds and other wildlife frequent the park.

Walk Through Fern Gully

Shrouded in 600 varieties of ferns, the aptly named Fern Gully occupies the abandoned ravine of a river. Along this scenic highway, visitors can drive or walk through "Jamaica's Rainforest" in the shadow of the country's magnificent ferns.

Article Written By Karen Sprinkles

Karen Sprinkles has been a freelance writer since 1988. She's currently the managing editor of a luxury home magazine and has written for regional newspapers and magazines. Sprinkles received the Award of Excellence from the Hawaii Book Publishers Association for "The Hawaii Home Book," which reached No. 1 on the Hawaii bestsellers list. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California.

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