Changes to entering the UK using EU ID cards

From 1st October 2021, most EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will need to use a valid passport to travel to the UK. ID cards will no longer be accepted as a valid travel document to enter the UK, though some exemptions will apply. 

Find out more
Skip to Content
Saved Flights

Your Saved Flights

No Saved Flights

  • Overview

    The port town of Ocho Rios used to survive on the strength of fishing and banana boats, but now it's the daily arrival of cruise ships full of tourists that keeps the coffers full all along the northeast coast of Jamaica. Ocho Rios and its near neighbours Runaway Bay, Discovery Bay and Port Antonio are mainly clusters of holiday resorts and hotels, catering to package-deal holidaymakers and several celebrities who maintain their private retreats in the region.

    There is plenty to see and do in-between bathing and sunning yourself on the magnificent beaches, from climbing up waterfalls and horseback riding through sugar cane plantations to enjoying afternoon tea at the former home of British playwright and songwriter, Noel Coward. While carefully tailored to suit tourist needs, the region is still beautiful and the good amenities are a bonus.

    The surrounding countryside at Ocho Rios - situated in the Garden Parish of St Ann - is lush and tropical, with fern-clad cliffs and breathtaking waterfalls. A self-drive tour of the region to take in the scenery is recommended, travelling through the famous three-mile vine-draped Fern Gully.

    Ocho Rios is a town dedicated to fun and sun, a crossroads of pleasure and leisure full of surprises and delights in the centre of Jamaica's vacation wonderland.

    Dunns River Falls and Dolphin Cove

    Near the centre of Ocho Rios lies the popular beach and waterfall attraction of Dunn's River. The waterfall cascades down 600ft (183m), forming cool pools among slippery rocks. A favourite tourist pursuit is to climb to the top of the falls with a guide, enjoying the clear mountain water en route. Alongside the Dunn's River Falls is Dolphin Cove, where visitors can swim with a family of bottlenose dolphins. The natural cove is surrounded by four acres of lush tropical rainforest, and is also home to species such as rays, eels and sharks, as well as tropical birds like macaws.

    Bottlenose Dolphin Bottlenose Dolphin Adrian Lawrence
    Green Grotto Caves

    One of Jamaica's most prominent natural attractions, the labyrinthine limestone cave is 5,000 feet (1,524m) long and characterised by stalactites, stalagmites and overhead ceiling pockets, along with numerous chambers, light holes and a subterranean lake. The caves have played an important role in Jamaican history: the island's original inhabitants, the Arawak Indians, used them for shelter; they were used as a hideout for Spaniards during the British takeover; they were a natural haven for runaway slaves; the Jamaican government used them to store barrels of rum during World War II; and they were even used as a den for smugglers running arms to Cuba.

    Address: Runaway Bay
    Green Grotto Caves Green Grotto Caves Brandie
    Firefly

    On the cliff above Port Maria, Firefly Cottage was the holiday retreat of famed British playwright and composer Sir Noel Coward. The house is now a national monument which has been preserved almost exactly as he left it, complete with two grand pianos on which he composed some famous pieces. Seeing all his belongings and the place he lived and wrote is a big thrill for his fans, but the place is delightful even for those who don't know him because of the spectacular coastal views. Coward is buried in the garden under a simple marble gravestone and there is a statue of him in the grounds.

    Address: Port Maria
    Firefly Cottage Firefly Cottage Marc Veraart
    Bob Marley Mausoleum

    Reggae music fans the world over make the pilgrimage to Bob Marley's grave site at Nine Mile, where he was born. The two-room shack in which he lived is open to view as a museum and memorial, alongside which is the mausoleum in which Marley and his half-brother are buried. The site also has a vegetarian restaurant and small shop. Reggae concerts are held at Nine Mile each year on 6 February, Marley's birthday. Many tourists in Jamaica miss out on the beauty of the rural and inland regions, so this excursion is also a great way to explore the lovely scenery around Nine Mile and Mount Zion.

    Address: Nine Mile
    Bob Marley Mausoleum Bob Marley Mausoleum Dubdem e FabDub
    Port Antonio

    An hour and a half's drive east of Ocho Rios lies the rugged coastline of Port Antonio, where mist-shrouded mountains come right down into the sea forming hidden coves and beaches. Orchids and palms grow in profusion and waterfalls drop into fern-edged pools. Beaches in the area are among the prettiest in the country, especially Fairy Hill, San San, Dragon Bay and Boston Beach. The town of Port Antonio has been a favoured destination for the rich and famous for decades, from Hollywood stars to billionaires and royalty, and the seclusion of its beautiful beaches, the azure sea, verdant hillsides and lush flora continue to enchant all comers.

    Frenchman's Cove Frenchman's Cove keatssycamore
    James Bond Beach

    Fans of 007 will not want to miss a visit to James Bond Beach, where the 1962 film Dr. No launched the career of Sean Connery. The pristine stretch of white sand, surrounded by lush mountains and crystalline waters, is located just 20 minutes from Ochos Rios. Glass-bottomed boat tours from the beach are a fun way to explore the coastline, with opportunities to see turtles and other marine life. Those looking for a bit of excitement should catch a 'waverunner' tour past the famous Goldeneye villa, where Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond novels. Visitors can then head to Moonraker Jamaican Bar & Grill for a bite to eat with stunning views and good local food.

    Address: Oracabessa
    James Bond Beach James Bond Beach Christina Xu
    Rain Forest Adventures

    Rainforest Adventures (or Mystic Mountain Amusement Park) offers a number of different things to do. Visitors can zip-line through the treetops; take the Sky Explorer chairlift for spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and beaches; enjoy an infinity pool and water slide; and wander through the Butterfly Garden and Hummingbird Garden for a rest from thrills. For a bobsled ride with a difference, Bobsled Jamaica offers visitors a plunge through the rainforests with wonderful twists and turns. The park offers a great variety of activities, and visitors to Jamaica should definitely reserve a full day for this fun-filled attraction.

    Ziplining at Mystic Mountains Ziplining at Mystic Mountains Gary
    White River Valley

    Just seven miles (11km) from Ocho Rios, lies the scenic and wonderfully relaxing White River Valley, a green, lush area, with the whispering sound of the river mixing with birdsong in the air. Most popular among the activities on offer is a tube ride down the river. There are a few exciting rapids but mostly it's just a relaxing float down the river through stunning scenery. It's a very safe excursion and suitable for all ages making it a great family activity. Adventurous tourists can also enjoy zip-lining, forest walks and bird-watching. On Tuesday and Sunday nights, visitors can sign up for an 'Exotic Night on the White River', where flaming torches create the perfect ambience for a romantic dinner by the riverside.

    White River Valley White River Valley Sierra C. Photography
    Coyaba River Garden and Museum

    The Coyaba River Garden and Museum has exhibitions detailing Jamaica's history, from its original inhabitants to the colonialists, as well as independence in 1962. The incredible tropical gardens at the museum are a wonderful surprise. A lush, steamy garden complex dotted with giant banyan and cedar trees, its natural springs and pools are filled with koi fish and turtles. The gardens are also home to the gently-cascading Mahoe Falls, which are particularly fun for the kids to climb. There is also a gift shop on site, where you can buy local products such as carved figurines, coffee and rum.

    Arawak Art Arawak Art Leonardo
    Runaway Bay

    Renowned for its perfect beaches and accessible coral reefs, the resort of Runaway Bay is an idyllic, laid-back corner of the Caribbean. Situated just to the west of Ocho Rios, the bay gains its name either from Spanish troops fleeing the British or from runaway African slaves - no one is really sure which. The quiet beaches such as Cardiff Hall Beach and Fisherman's Beach have calm, crystal clear water, perfect for snorkeling. With shallow waters and reefs close to shore, they are also perfect for scuba diving, with Shallow Reef a particularly good spot for beginners. The captivating Green Grotto Caves are nearby, ideally situated for an excursion. Also not far is the village of Nine Mile, the former home of Bob Marley.

    Address: Saint Ann Parish
    Seven Mile Beach Seven Mile Beach Chaoleonard

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    Ocho Rios is a resort haven with many activities, attractions and excursions to occupy the holidaymakers that flock to its shores.

    There is natural splendour galore in the area, with wonderful Caribbean beaches and incredible waterfalls, jungle trails, rivers and caves. Some favourites include Dunn's River Falls and the nearby Dolphin Cove, where visitors swim with dolphins and enjoy the natural series of waterfalls and pools.

    The Green Grotto Caves are also very popular and conjure images of pirates, smugglers and runaway slaves who once utilised them. For thrilling jungle adventures visit the Mystic Mountain Amusement Park for canopy tours of various kinds, while fun river-tubing ventures await at the picturesque White River Valley.

    Cultural attractions within Ocho Rios include Columbus Park Museum, a varied and fascinating open-air museum with a vast collection of cultural and historical exhibits to explore; the Coyaba River Garden and Museum, an interesting history museum located in a gorgeous tropical garden; and the nearby Bob Marley Mausoleum, at the iconic musician's childhood home in Nine Mile Village.

    a1

    No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination