With its scenic beauty, craft markets, duty-free shopping areas, fine beaches and open-air restaurants, Ocho Rios is a popular port-of-call for cruise ships… and honeymoon couples.
More tranquil than Montego Bay and Negril, Ocho Rios is located in one of Jamaica’s most beautiful regions, home to lush tropical vegetation, exotic fauna, winding rivers and magnificent waterfalls, including the beautiful 180m-high Dunn's River Falls.
Swim and sunbathe at several small beaches, go hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking and river rafting in the lush Dry Harbour Mountains that tower above the town.
For panoramic views climb the 183m-high tiers at Dunn’s River Falls – a picturesque series of waterfalls that cascade over limestone terraces and form natural rock pools before flowing into the Caribbean Sea.
Or sunbathe and swim from the gorgeous beaches at the base of the magnificent falls – famous for featuring in the first James Bond film, Dr No.
Swim with dolphins at Dolphin Cove (adjacent to Dunn's River Falls) or see interesting tropical flora at Prospect Plantation (some of which Winston Churchill planted himself). Nearby lies Shaw Park Gardens, a remarkable botanical park.
East of town lie the quiet coastal villages of Oracabessa and Port Maria, where you can stay in Firefly, the former home of Noel Coward, now a tourist site, and in Goldeneye, the former home of James Bond author Ian Fleming, now converted into an upmarket resort.
West of town lie the smaller coastal resorts of Runaway Bay and Discovery Bay. The lush hills of Saint Ann are home to one of Jamaica's major sights – the Bob Marley Mausoleum at the singer's birthplace of Nine Mile.
The beach resort of Ocho Rios offers several gorgeous beaches, typically located infront of a luxury resort (see below) but restricted for hotel guests or those who have obtained a day pass.
Elsewhere, nearby Dunn's River Beach and James Bond Beach at Oracabessa are close enough for a day trip.
Unwind on the golden sands of this tiny beach located near the villa Goldeneye – author Ian Fleming’s former home and where he penned the 13 original James Bond books. The villa is now the centrepiece of a luxury villa complex and offers access to this small private beach managed by the James Bond Beach Club.
Facilities include changing rooms, restrooms and restaurant-cum-bar serving grilled fish and cold drinks. A water sports centre offers snorkelling equipment, kayaking and glass-bottomed boats – perfect for admiring the underwater world without getting wet.
The beach is free for guests of the hotel, while non-guests can use all the beach’s facilities for a small fee, which includes a free drink.
James Bond Beach is located along Old Wharf Road in Oracabessa, 15 minutes drive east of Ocho Rios.
Sunbathe on this small golden-sand beach that nestles beneath lush bush and the stunning sight of the Dunn’s River Falls. Facilities include restrooms and showers.
Ocho Rios offers an excellent choice of beach-front hotels and resorts to suit all budgets, including the following…
Moon Palace Jamaica Grande - All Inclusive
Location: Ocho Rios
Ave nightly price: AUD676 per room
Description: Offering a spa and a swimming pool with a wave machine and water slides, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande - All Inclusive is located on the beachfront in Ocho Rios. The property has a dolphinarium where guests can swim with dolphins at an additional cost. Each stylish modern room has a liquor dispenser stocked with international brands. Rooms have full or partial views of the sea and offer satellite TV, air conditioning, a minibar and a coffee machine. A bottle of red wine is also provided on arrival and free WiFi is available. The private bathrooms come with a shower and bathrobes. At Moon Palace Jamaica Grande you can enjoy all-inclusive meals in the restaurants, as well as free snacks 24 hour a day. You will also find a tennis court, a fitness centre and water sports facilities. A wide range of activities are popular in the surrounding area, including cycling, fishing and snorkelling. The property offers free parking. Montego Bay Airport is 100 km away.
Hermosa Cove, Villa Resort & Suites
Location: Ocho Rios
Ave nightly price: AUD671 per room
Description: Nestled on Jamaica’s Gold Coast amidst 12 acres of tropical gardens, 500 metres from Mahogany Beach, this Caribbean-style boutique resort features luxury villas with swimming pool, free Wi-Fi and free continental breakfast. The secluded villas offer a ceiling fan, seating area, flat-screen TV and terraces with garden views and footsteps from the beach. The bathrooms include a shower and the kitchens are equipped with all facilities for guests to make their own meals.The Cristopher restaurant serves island meats, seafood, and locally produced fruits and vegetables. Isabella’s Rum Bar offers fruit cocktails. This property can arrange activities including deep-sea fishing, snorkelling, horseback riding, golfing, biking eco-tours and helicopter tours. Hermosa Cove Villa Resort & Suites is 2 km from Ocho Rios Bay Beach and from Turtle River Park. Ian Fleming International Airport is 15 minutes’ drive away and Sangster International Airport is 97 km away.
Couples Sans Souci
Location: Ocho Rios
Ave nightly price: AUD637 per room
Description: Located just outside Ocho Rios on Jamaica’s north coast, this hotel has its own private beach. It offers 4 outdoor pools, a fitness centre and a spa. The air-conditioned suites at Couples Sans Souci feature sea views, as well as flat-screen satellite TV and an iPod docking station. There is a coffee maker, and the private bathroom includes a hairdryer and bathrobe. The hotel has 4 restaurants, including a Mediterranean and Jamaican restaurant. There are also 6 different bars, one of which is a swim-up bar. The Sans Souci’s spa offers classes such as yoga and Pilates, and there is water sports and scuba equipment on site. The hotel also has a tennis court, minigolf and a games room. Couples Sans Souci includes Montego Bay Airport transfers, off site excusions to Dunns River Falls, glass bottom boat ride, trip to Margaritaville, shopping shuttle and trip to the Popular Sunset Bar. You can drive to Dunn’s River Falls and Dolphin Cove in 7 minutes from the Couples Sans Souci. Kingston and Montego Bay are around 90 minutes’ drive away.
Sandals Royal Plantation
Location: Ocho Rios
Ave nightly price: from AUD921 per room
Description: This hotel is exclusively for adult couples. Surrounded by luxuriant greenery and perched on a bluff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, this plantation-style resort is centrally located in Ocho Rios near Mahogany Beach. Warm Jamaican hospitality and sophisticated style are hallmarks of the historic Sandals Royal Plantation All Inclusive resort. Professional butlers are trained to anticipate the needs of every guest. Lavish ocean view suites have personalized butler service, luxury bedding and stocked minibars. Spacious living spaces extend to balconies or patios for views of white sand beaches or star gazing. As an all-inclusive resort, onsite food and beverages are included in the room price (some restrictions may apply). Overlooking the ocean, Le Papillion restaurant specializes in French cuisine and serves dinner only. Guests can enjoy drinks at the bar. The Terrace restaurant specializes in international cuisine and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Wobbly Peacock Pub serves dinner only. Guests can enjoy drinks at the bar.
Location: Ocho Rios
Ave nightly price: AUD511 per room
Description: This small resort 3 km from downtown Ocho Rios offers a private beach and more than 2 hectares of garden and tranquility for guests 13 and older. No TVs, radios or clocks intrude between guest and rest. Low-key diversions include sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, and treatments at an on-site health spa. Air-conditioned guest suites offer spacious verandahs or large balconies designed like open-air living rooms, along with in-room safes, bathrobes, and turndown service.
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Ocho Rios (Spanish for Eight Rivers) is located in the parish of Saint Ann on the north coast of Jamaica, around 110km (68mi) east of Montego Bay and 73km (45mi) west of Port Antonio.
The nearest airport is Sangster International Airport (MBJ) in Montego Bay, around 97km (60mi) east of Ocho Rios.
The most convenient route to Ocho Rios is by air to Sir Donald Sangster International Airport (MBJ), followed by a bus or car ride, typically taking around 1 hour 45 minutes.
More information about how to get to Ocho Rios…
Latest update: Where to Honeymoon in Ocho Rios: 8 November, 2019
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