Where Kingston holds the crown as the cultural and business capital of Jamaica, Ocho Rios takes over as the popular destination for those looking for luxury. If you are in Jamaica and looking for high fashion, beautiful scenery, and some major pampering, then Ocho Rios is the right place for you.
Located on the scenic north coast of the island, Ocho Rios is surrounded by tropical rainforest and cerulean waters of the Caribbean. While there is a wet and dry season in Ocho Rios, the temperature averages in the mid-80s all year round, making for the perfect winter or summer vacation destination.
The Blue Hole, a secluded and pristine waterfall pool, is located deep within the forest. This hidden gem is an unreal bright blue color, seeming to be a fairy tale oasis cradled closely by thick forest foliage. Come for an afternoon and take a dip in the pond or have a picnic by its shores while the tropical birds lull you into the perfect Jamaican state of relaxation.
More popular and wider known than the Blue Hole, Dunn’s River Falls and Park is a national treasure for the series of stair-stepping waterfalls of the same name. Around the natural wonders is the exciting park and resort complex, one of the nation’s fastest growing resorts. You can climb 600 feet to the top of the falls, explore the resort’s crafts and entertainment attractions, swim in the ocean and natural lagoons, and more.
As stated before, Ocho Rios is a center of luxury. Some of the island’s best shopping can be found in Ocho Rios particularly at the Taj Mahal Shopping Center. Styled to resemble the famous Indian building, the Taj Mahal is an eclectic mix of duty-free stores like the Diamond Centre and Tropical Pirates. Other shopping centers include the Ocean Village Shopping Centre, Coconut Grove Shopping Plaza, and Island Plaza in the heart of the city where you can find artwork by local artists, ceramics, and handmade jewelry.
Ocho Rios, like much of Jamaica, represents its country well through its cuisine. Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica and recognizable by the hot spice rub and/or sauce. The Ocho Rios Jerk Center is one of the best jerk recipe diplomats bringing Jamaican cuisine to the visiting public. Be sure to eat with a glass of water nearby.
Ocho Rios is, like Kingston, a historic city. Travel to Columbus Park where Christopher Columbus reputedly first stepped on shore or lay out a beach towel on James Bond Beach, used in the filming of the first James Bond film, Dr. No, in 1962.