Ocho Rios: A Great Town
For Family Fun
Like Montego Bay, Ocho Rios is a major commercial port, except that it is a major exporter of a clay-like mineral called bauxite. Ocho Rios is located on the northern coast of Jamaica and is a famous destination for many celebrities. This town was once a special place for Errol Flynn and Ian Fleming, the creator of the James Bond films. In addition to this popular town, Errol Flynn spent most of his time in the Port Antonio area as he owned Navy Island which is just off the Port Antonio coast...you can actually see it from there. It is just a few hundred yards away. He had a house in Port Antonio. His wife lived there for years after his death.
Ochi, as it is known to the locals of Jamaica, is responsible for the launch of tourism in Jamaica. It is also full of watersports. In addition to being ideal for tourism and great resorts it is a great fishing destination as it was previously a fishing village. Though I have not experienced the fishing there, I have seen beautiful fish and coral through snorkeling there or simply taking the glass bottom boat trips offered at many of the resorts.
A few of the resorts located there are
Sandals Dunn's River Villagio Golf Resort & Spa,
Beaches Boscobel Resort,
and Couples Sans Souci. Sandals has done a good job in securing many of the past Inns in Ochi and has turned them into resorts. This town is known for its resorts than anything else. The resorts here are also famous for their long, sandy beaches.
What can you do in Ochi?
Ochi does not boast the kind of night life and activity which Montego Bay does, but it is a fantastic resort and vacation getaway nonetheless. There are some very interesting events to attend in Ochi if you can catch them or if you plan for them specifically. Around the middle of June Ochi hosts The Ocho Rios Jazz Festival.
The Ocho Rios Jazz Festival is a fantastic time. The artists who take part in this event do change often. In the past you could have seen the great Sonny Bradshaw, Yolanda Brown, Fab5, and the late Byron Lee who passed away in 2008.
A popular attraction in Ochi is Dunn's River Falls. It is fun and challenging time for the entire family. You can choose to relax on the beach or brave the challenge of climbing the falls. You will have a guide to help you so there is nothing to fear. They will inform you on just how slippery and sharp the rocks can be and how cold the water is. If you are looking to relax this is not the place. Tour buses come to Dunn's River Falls all day and many vendors make a good deal of income here as well.
Another popular attraction which is one of my wife's favorites is swimming with the dolphins. She could not stop talking about it for some time after she first went. It is located at
west of the center of town. It was nominated for a World Travel Award for 2007 and is an ideal tropical retreat. It is a favorite of many cruise takers. Even locals to Jamaica enjoy the experience of swimming with the dolphins or interacting with the stingrays.
There are a host of activities to take part in in Ochi. You will be able to pick and chose which activities are best for you. It is a great place for a family vacation in Jamaica. Compared to Montego Bay and Negril, Ochi is a better family destination.
Ocho Rios Travel Tip:
Pick up a map in town before beginning your adventure in Ochi. Your time will be better spent doing things you are prepared for.
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