Things to do in Ocho Rios

Things to do in  Ocho Rios

Eight rivers run through it

Formerly a sleepy fishing village, Ocho Rios is now the cruise ship capital of Jamaica's north coast: plentiful opportunities for shopping, adventure, and relaxation make it easy to see why. Topping the list of nearby natural landmarks is Dunn's River Falls, where cold mountain water cascades 1,000 feet (300 meters), which is best visited alongside the Blue Hole on a day trip or shore excursion. The Class II-IV rapids of the White River lend themselves well to watersports, with experiences ranging from relaxed tubing and kayaking to high-octane rafting and river boarding. A top draw for reggae fans is Nine Mile, birthplace of music legend Bob Marley, where Marley devotees can visit Mt. Zion and the singer’s mausoleum. On the seafront, places such as Bamboo Blu Beach, Runaway Bay, and Turtle Beach are ideal places to relax or canter on horseback, while the Blue Mountains, home to the island’s highest peak, allure outdoor adventurers with dense forests and fauna-rich hikes. No visit to Jamaica is complete without sampling local staples, rum and jerk chicken. Head to the Appleton Estate to adire sprawling sugar plantations and feast on the aforementioned delicacies on a day trip. For visitors with time to explore the whole of Jamaica, opt for a day trip to Montego Bay, Port Antonio, or Kingston, the island’s vibrant capital, to further your exploration of the Caribbean paradise.

Top 15 attractions in Ocho Rios

Blue Hole

The Blue Hole—alternatively known as the Cool Blue Hole, Secret Falls, or Island Gully—is a natural limestone sinkhole near Ocho Rios. A deep cavern within the tropical mountains of Jamaica, the Blue Hole gets its name from the deep azure hue of the water. Travelers visit to swim, cliff dive, and make their way through the lush rain forest to Secret Falls.More

Dunn's River Falls

Dunn's River Falls is a spectacular White River waterfall near Ocho Rios in Jamaica, where cold mountain water cascades 1,000 feet (300 meters) down naturally terraced steps. Those interested in geology will be fascinated with the way the world-famous falls renew themselves via regular deposits of calcium carbonate and sodium, while movie buffs will recognize them from films such as Dr. No and Cocktail.More

Martha Brae River

Winding 20 miles (32 kilometers) through Jamaica’s tropical inland rain forests, the turquoise Martha Brae River is an essential stop for nature lovers traveling in this Caribbean country. Visit for a quick rafting trip or take advantage of its privileged position close to other natural attractions and diverse wildlife during your Jamaica vacation.More

Rio Bueno

Reportedly the place where Christopher Columbus first set foot on Jamaican soil, Rio Bueno is a small village east of Montego Bay. People come to the area to take part in water sports on the river.More

White River

Floating along the White River in an inflatable tube or kayak is one of the most relaxing adventures you can share with friends and family in Jamaica. Close to Ocho Rios, the tranquil and warm waters of this secluded river flow slowly enough for all ages to soak up the beautiful tropical atmosphere.More

Mystic Mountain Adventure Park

Set in the lush rain forest outside Ocho Rios, Mystic Mountain is a nature theme park featuring thrill rides, gardens, and pools. Adrenaline junkies can zip through the jungle on ziplines and bobsleds, while more laid-back visitors can enjoy panoramic views on a chairlift canopy ride.More

Columbus Park Museum

Located in one of the Caribbean’s most photogenic natural harbors, Columbus Park at Discovery Bay is said to be the place where Christopher Columbus first landed in Jamaica in 1494. Now a lovely open-air museum, the park commemorates the island’s history with well-preserved artifacts and a killer view of the island’s north coast.More

Bob Marley's Nine Mile

A visit to Nine Mile, a sleepy town high in the Jamaican mountains of St. Ann Parish, is a must for die-hard Bob Marley fans. Home to the birthplace, house, and mausoleum of the legendary king of reggae, Nine Mile offers visitors insight into Bob Marley’s everyday life and his music, and a deeper understanding of his roots.More

Konoko Falls and Park

High above the sun-drenched beaches and bustling fray of Ocho Rios, the lush Konoko Falls and Park are filled with innumerable species of tropical flora and birds, and streams that tumble into gentle waterfalls. The excellent on-site museum traces the history and culture of Jamaica’s original inhabitants, the Tainos and Arawaks.More

Fern Gully

Go deep into the wild nature of Jamaica with a drive through tropical Fern Gully. A towering tunnel of ferns and tropical overgrowth, this dense rain forest—full of spectacular falls, gorges, and plant life—is one of the most noteworthy attractions on the island.More

Green Grotto Caves

The Green Grotto Caves are a labyrinth of limestone caves located in Falmouth, between the resort towns of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. Once used as shelter by the native Arawak Indians, the caves have since been employed as a hiding place for smugglers and runaway enslaved people, before serving as the site of a nightclub. Now, they're a Jamaican attraction you can tour in the company of a local guide.More

Blue Mountains

The highest peak, the longest range, the best coffee—Jamaica’s Blue Mountains rightfully claim a handful of superlatives. The mountain range spans 28 miles (45 kilometers) across the rugged eastern portion of Jamaica and offers views of the island’s north and south coasts, and on a clear day, even all the way across the Caribbean Sea to Cuba.More

Turtle Beach

Also known as Ocho Rios Bay Beach, busy bayside Turtle Beach is just off Main Street, and is the main beach of Ocho Rios. Despite its proximity to the cruise ship port, the crescent-shaped sandy stretch is clean, and the crowd is mostly locals with a smattering of travelers who come for a release from the ship to kayak and jet-ski.More

Puerto Seco Beach

The eastern side of Discovery Bay, where Christopher Columbus is thought to have first landed on Jamaica's north coast, is a beautiful stretch of white sand beach fringed with palm trees. Lined with snack bars and vendors offering boats and water skis for rent, Puerto Seco Beach is a great destination for a family outing.More

Port Antonio

A former banana-port town on Jamaica’s northwest coast, sleepy Port Antonio is an off-the-beaten-path destination. Away from the busier Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, Port Antonio is marked by craggy shorelines and hilly jungle rife with rivers and lagoons. It’s clear why Errol Flynn, aka Tarzan, built a Hollywood escape here in the 1940s.More

Top activities in Ocho Rios

Bamboo Rafting and horseback
Special Offer

Bamboo Rafting and horseback

$145.00  $7.25 savings
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

All about Ocho Rios

When to visit

While balmy tropical weather makes Ocho Rios a welcoming escape year-round, early winter has the advantages of off-season rates, fewer crowds on the beaches, and lower odds of having your trip sidelined by a hurricane. Just plan to go before the December holidays, and pack an umbrella along with your swimsuit.


People Also Ask

What is Ocho Rios known for?

Creamy beaches, emerald rainforest, waterfalls, rivers, and sultry sunshine pretty much all year round—Ochos Rios holds many attractions for visitors. Dubbed the “garden parish,” its main draws are Dunn’s River Falls, jungle adventures, James Bond Beach—featured in Dr. No—and the Bob Marley memorials at nearby Nine Mile village.

How far is Dunns River Falls from Ocho Rios?

Dunn’s River Falls is around 3 miles (4.5 kilometers) west of Ochos Rios, along the coastal road between the town and St. Ann’s Bay. The easiest way to get there is by guided tour, but, otherwise, cabs from town or the cruise port will whisk you there in under 10 minutes.

What excursions are popular in Ocho Rios?

Most popular are trips to Dunn’s River Falls to enjoy its terraced falls and pools, followed by excursions to the Blue Hole’s lagoons, and Konoko Falls’ botanical gardens. Other favorites include rainforest-and-river zipline, bobsled, and tubing adventures; party cruises, and forays to James Bond Beach and Nine Mile, Bob Marley’s birthplace.

Is it safe to walk around in Ocho Rios?

Yes. Ochos Rios has a low crime rate relative to other parts of Jamaica, so daytime walking should present no problems. However, walking alone at night isn’t recommended: if you must go anywhere on foot, stay on main roads—taking care of the unpredictable traffic—and in highly populated areas.

What is there to do in Ocho Rios port?

Ochos Rios’ cruise terminals are a stroll from town, so there’s plenty to do. Pay an entry fee to lounge on white-sand Bay Beach, meander around Main Street’s duty-free malls, markets, and restaurants; or hit the beachside Island Village plaza for a meal and cold beer at its colorful Margaritavilla restaurant.

Is Ocho Rios safe for tourists?

Yes, Ochos Rios is considered safe for tourists, helped in no large part by the presence of tourist police in and around its cruise port areas. That said, tourists are sometimes targeted by pick-pocketers and petty thieves, so it's wise to keep your valuables with you and out of sight.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the top things to do in Ocho Rios?
What are the top activities in Ocho Rios?
What are the top things to do near Ocho Rios?
Check out things to do near Ocho Rios: