Excursions in Ocho Rios: the beautiful Dunns River Falls.

Excursions in Ocho Rios By An Expert 2024 (Including Beautiful Dunns River Falls)

One of the most beautiful destinations in Jamaica is Ocho Rios on the northern shores, and there is a myriad of fun adventure excursions in Ocho Rios to explore when visiting Jamaica.

I traveled around Jamaica for about six weeks and spent about a week in Ocho Rios. Naturally, I embarked on lots of adventures, and I am super excited to share my Ocho Rios experiences with you.

So here is a round-up of the best day trips in and around Ocho Rios, this small, charming coastal town north of Jamaica.

Affiliate disclosure: I only recommend tours, services and purchases I know and love on this website.

Easy Booking Of Your Ocho Rios Tours!

Warm yellow sands and palm trees along the Ocho Rios city beach, people strolling and a catamaran is on the water in a distance
Ocho Rios city beach

Distances in Jamaica are short, as Jamaica is rather a small island.

You can visit most of the attractions along the northern shores of Jamaica, including the Blue Mountains, which are accessible from Ocho Rios.

Tour operators in Ocho Rios (or nearby destinations) will come to pick you up at your hotel or other accommodation, bring you to your Ocho Rios tour, and pretty much walk you through the whole thing. 

I used Viator for my six-week journey in Jamaica, starting in Kingston, which is generally my favorite tour operator outside of Cuba.

Viator offers many multi-activity day trips that you can book online, both in Ocho Rios and around the nearby destinations of Montego Bay, Negril, and the Blue Mountains. Entrance fees are included in most organized tours.

1. Stunning Blue Hole Ocho Rios Tour

The little waterfall in the Blue Hole Lagoon in Ocho Rios, crystal clear greenish water surrounded by plants and greenery
Blue Hole Lagoon

One of the many tours of the natural top attractions in and around Ocho Rios, Jamaica, is the Blue Hole Ocho Rios tour.

The Ocho Rios Blue Hole in Jamaica is a beautiful river dam in (one of) the Ocho Rios rivers where you get to jump off a ramp into the swirling waters below the waterfall!

Then you walk a little along the river bank to a place of natural beauty where you can swing yourself jungle-style like Tarzan (or Jane) off the little waterfall and into the rapids of the river below (with a bit of help).

The water in the Blue Hole in the Ocho Rio River is even said to have a high concentration of minerals and be very healthy for you!

Pro tip: Get a GoPro camera before your trip to Jamaica. Many tours and attractions involve water in some shape or form, so you will be able to document everything!

2. Climb The Amazing Dunns River Falls Ocho Rios

the beautiful Dunns River falls outside Ocho Rios in Jamaica. Do a day tour here.

I loved this tour! The Dunn’s River Falls tour is a climb up a terraced 180-meter mountain waterfall with lagoon pools, surrounded by the lush green forest of Jamaica.

Starting all the way down by the beach (you can arrive for the Dunns River Falls climb at the beach with a catamaran as part of a tour if you want to).

From there, you make your way up all the little walls, creeks, waterfalls, and pools amidst the lush green and sprinkling sun. Although the waterfall is super regulated in order to conserve the gorgeous waterfalls, the climb is truly beautiful, and the pools are exquisite.

With the sun peering through the trees as you make your way up the waterfall, in my opinion, the Dunns River Falls tour is definitely worth your while and money.

3. Fly The Airy Canopy Zip Line In Ocho Rios

The wooden platform that is the end point for the zip line in Mystic Mountain Ocho Rios, surrounded by lush green forest on a sunny day
Zip Line endpoint in the hills of Ocho Rios

Then there are other dryer attractions in Ocho Rios Jamaica, like the zip line parks!

The Chukka Zipline Tour at White River Valley outside Ocho Rios is just the place for this kind of airy adventure. I did this excursion as a multi-activity tour combined with the horseback riding you see below.

In this two-hour adventure tour from Ocho Rios, you will visit the Jamaican rainforest and climb high up into the forest canopy to start your high-flying adventure.

The guides will help you all the way, making sure you are safe and secure as you are clipped onto the wires crossing the rainforest.

In some places, you can enjoy a stunning aerial view of the Caribbean Sea from the journey through the canopies between the different platforms.

All safety equipment and round-trip transportation from Ocho Rios hotels are included in the Chukka Zip Line Tour, so you can just book online and bring a little bag for the day.

4. Swim With The Horses In Ocho Rios Horseback Riding Tour

Swimming with horses (well, the horses are swimming, I am riding) from the beach in Ocho Rios, the water crystal clear, and the day beautiful with sun and blue skies.
Bucket list check

Whether or not horseback riding is your “thing,” going on a horseback riding tour on the beach in Jamaica is the next level!

A horseback ride tour on the beach from Ocho Rios can be a multi-destination tour, where several activities are included in one day, or a single tour, where this is the only activity.

You will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the horseback riding beach (as it is not in the middle of the town), where experienced guides will help you with everything.

On-site, you will get a life belt and helmet before you and your new friend go for a walk around in the nearby forest, which ends up swimming in the blue waves at the end of the tour.

I truly loved my horseback riding experience. The horses were lovely, and swimming in the sea with a horse was kind of special. My only complaint about the beach part of the tour is that I wish it had been longer!

5. Zen River Tubing Ocho Rios Tours

A cluster of air tubes heading down the river in Ocho Rios in the warm Caribbean rain
River tubing in the rain in Ocho Rios

A River tubing tour in Ocho Rios may seem like some super-adventure stuff, but it is actually more of a chill and slow experience.

You have time to listen to the sounds of the jungle, admire the incredibly green surroundings, and really appreciate the nature around the river.

The guides were fun and knowledgeable. They made sure everyone had a good time, told stories, and magically sent around a little surprise drink for the ride!

Another surprise was a sudden jungle shower as we were floating down the river, only proving that the swimwear tour outfit was not for no reason!

6. Challenging ATV Ocho Rios Tours

If you have a love for all things motorized, you can explore Ocho Rios tours aboard your own 4WD all-terrain vehicle on the Chukka ATV tours Ocho Rios.

You will be guided along off-road trails, visiting former 17th-century sugar plantations like Richmond and Llandovery.

Here, you will have a break to explore and learn the history of the sugar plantations before the tour goes onto a natural pool for a cooling swim. For the adventure-seeking traveler, you can even challenge yourself to do a 10-meter (30-foot) leap down into the water!

The ATV tours depart several times a day, and security briefing, all equipment, and transport from most hotels are included in the tour fee.

7. Bamboo Rafting Ocho Rios Tours

A tranquil yet
Bamboo rafting in Ocho Rios

From Ocho Rios, you can embark on a bamboo raft adventure down the White River.

The river rafting guides will safely guide you down the river on your little raft, while also making sure you are not dehydrated, a chilled beer will see to that.

Here, you have all the time in the world right now; just allow the scenic views of the rainforest to register and listen to the wildlife hidden high and low in the green surroundings.

You can also choose to combine the river rafting experience with a soothing post-rafting limestone massage to complete the zen of the day on the river!

8. Ocho Rios Cruise Tours| Catamaran Cruises

An elegant white catamaran heading out to sea on the clear blue water outside Ocho Rios, passing a white sandy beach strewn with palm trees.
Heading out to sea outside Ocho Rios

One truly Jamaica-vibe experience is an Ocho Rios cruise excursion, boarding a catamaran for the day, putting on your sunglasses and sunscreen, and finding your grooves in sync with the reggaeton music.

In Ocho Rios, you can embark on a variety of different catamaran day or sunset cruises, some with a party atmosphere, others perfect for adventure or romance.

The catamaran will provide a snorkeling kit, or you can stay on the boat and dip your toes into the sea while enjoying a refreshing drink.

If you want to combine your sea day with a bit of adventure, you can also find multi-destination catamaran cruises in Ocho Rios.

Be prepared for a Jamaican-style festive day cruise. Reggae music is never turned down low in Jamaica, and catamaran cruises are no exception. The DJ will ensure that, and the crew will make sure you have “riddem” in your bones when you return to shore!

9. Ocho Rios Mystic Mountain Tour

The chair lift that took me up to the Mystic Mountain is about to arrive at the top; the end platform is secluded amidst green forest, bushes and palm treees.
Heading up to the Mystic Mountain

To reach Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios, you take the Sky Explorer chairlift from the sea to around 700 ft (200 meters) altitude.

The chairlift moves quietly just above the jungle canopies. Branches from the jungle below surround you, and there is a stunning view of the ocean to your left.

Once on top, you arrive at the Mystic Pavilion, the starting point of all the activities you can do in the Mystic Mountain jungle.

The Mystic Mountain Pavillion

The zip line platform that you end up on if you do a zip line tour from the top of the Mystic Mountain. It is in the hills below the top, secluded and surrounded by lots of green forests and large trees!
The zip line platform in the hills

At the pavilion, you find a restaurant, little shops, and a refreshing and panoramic pool, where you can rest and recuperate in between activities.

Start with the bobsled Jamaica, which takes you on a ride of twists and turns around the Jungle vegetation.

The bobsled was designed specifically not to disturb the natural vegetation, which means you get up close and personal with the jungle life rushing through the rainforest.

Then, test the Anancy’s Web Rope Course and challenge yourself to climb a 30-foot aerial maze of ropes and wood before you chill on the Ragga ride.

The Ragga Ride takes you through 14 turns, swinging out over the hanging cliffs in hanging chairs and slowly up the mountain from the Pavilion. When you reach the top, you will be sent on an airy tour down the mountain assisted only by gravity.

You can visit Mystic Mountain yourself with a Sky Explorer ticket, which I did. That was not the best idea as I had to pay for all the activities separately once on Mystic Mountain.

It turned out to be a lot more expensive than booking a tour. If you want to explore the Mystic Mountain activities, I would say doing this adventure as a tour is probably the better option.

10. Get Private Transport to Konoko & Turtle River Botanical Gardens

The entrance to Turtle River Park with a bright yellow welcome structure beside the gate telling you welcome!
Welcome to Turtle River Park

If your interests lie more on the tranquil side and you have an inner botanist, Ocho Rios has several botanical gardens to show for it!

You can take a tour to visit Shaw Park Botanical Gardens and see exotic birds in a large walk-in aviary mesh birdhouse on 15 acres of tropical garden with lots of different indigenous plants and flowers.

While there, you can also get your feet wet in the calm river that runs through the heart of the Turtle River back into Ocho Rios town.

Casually climb the waterfalls, and then explore the mini zoo at the Konoko Falls and Gardens!

This tour includes pick-up at most hotels (or the Ocho Rios Cruise port), and you will be returned to the same place. Also included are water and snacks, and the whole tour lasts for about three and a half hours.

11. Visit Margaritaville Ocho Rios

Charming beach at Margaritaville Ocho Rios

Right at the entrance to Ocho Rios, or a stone’s throw away from the cruise port, is the famous Margaritaville, where you could easily spend the day lounging!

The restaurant, bar, and adventure park at Margaritaville open at 10 a.m. and, if you have the stamina, keep the pressure going until 3 a.m.

You can have your lunch served on your VIP beach chair, go for a swim while waiting for your meal, or test the water trampolines to sharpen your appetite.

If you don’t want to get your feet dry, there is a swim-up bar, a pool, and live entertainment. At night, the scene transforms into a nightclub. If you visit on a Saturday, be sure to bring your stilettos for ladies’ night!

The area around Margaritaville is like a little village on the edge of town, with little shops selling everything from watches to a new bikini. And a Starbucks, which will definitely wake you up in the morning!

12. The Town Beach In Ocho Rios Jamaica

View towards the sea on Ocho Rios town beach, with light yellow sands, palm trees, and blue seas and sky
Ocho Rios town beach (there is a fee to get in here)

The town beach in Ocho Rios, or Ocho Rios Bay Beach, functions like an amusement park in the sense that it has opening hours and closing hours.

You have to pay a small fee to get here unless you are a guest at one of the hotels in the city center that has beach access.  

Inside the Ocho Rios beach area, there are sunbeds available for rent and water activities like boats for snorkeling tours or rubber-donut rides.

There are no restaurants or bars along the Ocho Rios beach, apart from a few that are connected to the hotels and are reserved for hotel guests only.

This means you need to bring a lunch basket or exit the beach area to get a bite if you are not a guest at a hotel with complimentary access to the beach.

What really is the treasure of Ocho Rios is its surroundings in the parish of Saint Ann. The whole parish is home to rainforests, rivers, waterfalls, and all sorts of fun, challenging, and beautiful nature experiences for an adventurous tourist. 

13. Bob Marley 9-Mile Tour From Ocho Rios

The museum of the king of reggae, Bob Marley, in Kingston, is not the only place you can learn about the life and legacy of this famous Rastafarian artist.

On this half-day excursion from Ocho Rios, you will visit Bob Marley’s hometown, the village of Nine Mile, where he was born and raised, with a guide.

After picking you up at your hotel and a scenic drive through the Jamaican countryside, you will visit Bob Marley’s childhood home and final resting place. Underways, you will also learn about Rastafari spirituality and way of life!

A yellow photo in a black frame with the text "I dont need therapy, I just need to go to Jamaica"!
No bullsh@t ad for Jamaica

14. Flavors Of Jamaica Food Tour From Ocho Rios

On this food tour, you will visit the Prospect Great House in Saint Mary Parishlearn and learn about Jamaican cuisine!

You will get a ride in an open-air carriage around the plantation and then visit the Prospect Great House to find out how to prepare traditional dishes such as the famous Jamaican jerk chicken, callaloo, and coconut shrimp with a skilled chef.

This is a small-group tour, so you will get a lot of attention and help and have all your questions answered on your way to becoming a skilled Jamaican chef.

Ocho Rios Tours From The Cruise Port

Views from the hills of Ocho Rios towards the cruise harbor, where you see two white elegant cruise ships docked by the jetties on the blue water
The cruise ship harbor in Ocho Rios

If you are arriving in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, on one of the many cruise ships that have a stop here, you will be docking right at the edge of the center of town.

With one day to spend, this overview of the different tours and excursions you can embark on in Ocho Rios will help you plan the perfect day with adventure and food.

Most Ocho Rios excursions have pick-ups at the cruise port, as many travelers arrive this way and will return you to your ship at the end of your day.

From there, you can easily stroll on foot and explore the little town. Be sure to read my restaurant recommendations further below!

Ocho Rios Beaches Near The Cruise Port

A cute white and blue wooden boat lying on the calm water outside Ocho Rios beach, with a roof that protects you from the sun!
Want to take a ride?

As the cruise port in Ocho Rios is situated right on the edge of town, it is super close to the Ocho Rios Bay beach.

You can easily walk from your cruise ship over to the beach, and remember; there is a fee to get in as the beach is fenced in and protected by security.

You also have Mahogany Beach, which is almost in Ocho Rios. From the cruise port, it is a short taxi trip to the other side of town.

The closest beach to the cruise port, though, is Fisherman’s Beach, which is situated in connection to Margaritaville just across the ramp exiting your cruise ship.

So, finding a beach from the cruise port is the easiest thing to do in Ocho Rios!

Adventures Ocho Rios Tours For Your List!

Beautiful Dinns River Falls climb

Suppose you are a traveler who does not like spending all of your holidays on a sunbed and instead likes to make your holiday an adventure and experience of a lifetime out and about.

In that case, Ocho Rios will be a perfect destination for you.

But going on your personal adventures is not always possible, especially when there are eco-preservation and nature reserves that need protection from the hoards of explorers, like in Ocho Rios.

This is why you need to book your adventures with a company or local guide in Ocho Rios. Here are 14 of the most amazing adventures you can embark on!

Ocho Rios Tours Organized From Door To Door!

When you book your Blue Hole Ocho Rios Tour, you will be picked up at your hotel or selected hotels and pick-up locations by your tour operator.

This means that depending on where you are staying in Ocho Rios, you might have to find your own transport from your hotel to the pick-up point. I took a taxi from my holiday home to the pick-up point, which was not hard at all.

From there, you will be all set with tickets and no lines for entry into the park (because it is like an amusement park), and the drivers and guides will take care of you.

Make sure to bring water shoes if you have them, and a waterproof bag or pocket for your phone and valuables!

A tour photographer can document your adventures if you want to take the proof home with you. One of the photo guys in the Blue Hole took the photo above, where yours truly tried out some old skills from a few years back.

Things To Do Centrally In Ocho Rios

The beach is like a small amusement park, with lifeguards on duty, opening hours, and entry fees. All very organized!

Also, the Ocho Rios Clock Tower and Ocho Rios Fort are local sights nearby, and other attractions include the Reggae Xplosion Museum and Mystic Mountain

Fun fact: I (a Scandinavian) am a walker, I do like to walk. And in Jamaica, no one walks!

So I got quite a bit of attention walking the short distance from the city center to do my Mystic Mountain adventure, worried people wondering if I had a screw loose, I think.

But all went well; you are at no great risk walking around in Ocho Rios in the daytime!

Best Restaurants In Ocho Rios

After a day or days of adventure, you have to eat! There are a variety of nice restaurants in Ocho Rios, and most of them are low-key, laid-back, and not really white-cloth places.

If you are not staying in an all-inclusive, here are some of my best options for eating in Ocho Rios.


The place that has among the best reviews is the very place that I missed out on! I had planned for a last-night dinner at Evitas, a highly esteemed Italian place, a little walk up the hill from the town center and with a stunning view.

I did walk up that hill only to find that it was closed on Mondays!

I still choose to mention it here, as I have faith in the numbers, and casually refer you to TripAdvisor’s great reviews in the link for other people’s opinions.

I am still upset I missed the Evita’s. 

Colorful Miss T!

The colorful and charming interior at Miss T in Ocho Rios, a really laid back vibe, good food and nice service!
Miss T in Ocho Rios

A place I succeeded in finding, is a place called Miss T where I went for lunch. This is a colorful and very cool place hidden away in a small back alley from the main road of Ocho Rios. 

Miss T has a chill Caribbean atmosphere, good service (although be prepared, things generally take a bit of time in Jamaica), and really good food!

The honey garlic chicken is, without a doubt, the best I ever had. Highly recommended. As there is quite a bit of mosquito around here, Miss T actually has mosquito repellent for their guests as well!

Relaxed John Crows Tavern!

If you fancy a pub supper one of your nights, John Crows Tavern in the main street is a nice place to go, but you probably should like to watch football with your dinner.

Or at least not dislike it! You can avoid it by sitting outside; the food is good, and the ambiance is friendly. 


The beach outside Margaritaville in Ocho Rios, on a partly cloudy day. The sands are golden yellow, and the water calm and clear, with a few people on the beach.
The beach outside Margaritaville

The Margaritaville also has a great menu, even if you don’t want to stay for the whole day! It is a cozy, although touristy place, and also within a guarded zone, so it is very safe.

But they don’t have coffee!? Luckily, Starbucks is only minutes away.

Sandcastles Jamaica Resort Restaurant!

At the Sandcastle Beach Resort Ocho Rios, there is a second-floor restaurant where you can come to eat even if you are not a guest (unlike some all-inclusive resorts that only accept staying guests in their restaurants). 

I went here without reservation one evening, with no problem, I got a table overlooking the quiet pool area in the back.

The service was good, and the Jamaican chicken I had was also absolutely worth my while. 

Best Hotels In Ocho Rios Town Jamaica

In Ocho Rios town, there are some hotels situated directly by the beach, where access to the beach is included in your stay (if not staying at a beach-including resort, you need to pay to get in.

Whenever you book a tour to go on adventures in the whole of this area, the tour operators will generally come to pick you up at your hotel (or cruise ship) and drop you off at the end of the day.

So your choice of adventure should not influence your choice or location of the hotel; the distances are generally very short. 

Sandcastle Beach Resort

The curved pool at Sandcastle Resort just after sunset, the water still blue and inviting, surrounded by palm trees
Sandcastle Hotel pool after sunset

Sandcastle Beach Resort is situated on the western side of Ocho Rios Beach. This is a studio and apartment hotel where you have great privacy yet nice amenities and good security, as well as a nice pool area, as you can see in the photo above.

The gate to the beach is only seconds away, but the stay at Sandcastle does not include free access to the Ocho Rios town beach, which is regulated.

So, to enter the beach, you need to walk over to the guarded entrance (not very far).

Elegant Moon Palace Jamaica

Moon Palace Jamaica is an elegant all-inclusive option sitting right on the Ocho Rios town beach (with free beach access), near theme parks.

The Moon Palace has a nightclub, 2 swim-up bars, a beach bar, a gym, and a sauna!

Also, sun loungers are for leisurely days on the beach when you are done exploring for a day or two.

You can also find great accommodation with Vrbo, Expedia, and Hostelworld in Ocho Rios Town, as well as Montego Bay and Negril. 

Luxury Hotels In Ocho Rios

An aerial photo of the jetties at Ocho Rios Cruise Port that stretch into the blue ocean
Aerial photo of Ocho Rios Cruise Port

If you prefer checking in to a hotel and having everything ready and set for you, most of the best hotels are situated outside of the Ocho Rios town center.

Along the coast between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, a journey that takes around one hour, there are plenty of high-end, well-renowned hotels and resorts like Royalton and Iberostar.  

Bahia Principe Luxury Runaway Bay

Bahia Principe Luxury Runaway Bay is an all-inclusive adults-only resort that is conveniently situated a bit outside Ocho Rios towards Montego Bay.

The Bahia Principe boasts four poolside bars, a white-sand beach, and a beach bar. Visit the on-site spa for a facial, aromatherapy, or sports massage, followed by dinner at any of the six on-site restaurants.

The gym has yoga and aerobic classes, or you can explore the sea world with snorkeling, windsurfing, and scuba diving. Over 80 % of TripAdvisor reviews rate this hotel as excellent or very good.

Pipers Cove Runaway Bay

Pipers Cove Runaway Bay is an aparthotel sitting right on the beach and also right next to the gold course. The Pipers Cove has an outdoor pool, a restaurant, a bar/lounge, free self-parking, and free WiFi in public areas.

Each apartment has a private pool and is equipped with free Wi-Fi, a kitchen, a flat-screen cable TV, a fridge, and a coffee maker.

With excellent reviews from former guests, the stunning views and location between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay make for an excellent starting point for any adventures you want to do in the area!

Other Places To Stay In Ocho Rios Jamaica

On Hostelworld, you also find budget hotels (not just hostels and dorms) in Ocho Rios, and on Vrbo you find various accommodation options, including private rentals.

In Ocho Rios, I stayed in two different areas.

One of them was an apartment in Colombus Heights, which had a huge terrace and a breathtaking view!

The other is in the city close to Fisherman Point, with Margaritaville right next door just meters from the beach.

Both are great locations, and they are good value for money. Moreover, both times, I arrived at the same place that I had seen in the photos (so there was no scam). 

Booking a private rental in Ocho Rios can give you a PERFECT location to stay without paying the shirt off your back for the level of standard you get. 

Is Ocho Rios Safe?

Beautiful photo of Ocho Rios at night with thousands of lights reflected in the water, and overview photo taken from the hills above the town.
Ocho Rios at night from the hills

In Jamaican terms, Ocho Rios is a fairly safe town for tourists and travelers. The reggaeton-and-smoke vibes give a very friendly first impression as it has a small-town ambiance and chill atmosphere.

But don’t relax too much; even though this seemingly sleepy town seems benign, it is not immune to Jamaica’s crime problem. Ocho Rios is not like Kingston, but still.

Outside the city center of Ocho Rios, there are areas where violent and, to some extent, gang-related crime has been a problem for a long time.

Combined with the huge number of tourists visiting this little town, Ocho Rios is also a magnet for hustlers and traders living nearby.

Be prepared to be offered “smoke” and other merchandise anywhere and everywhere, and you might have to be firm to get your “no” across.

Taking normal precautions should be enough to stay safe. I traveled solo all over Jamaica, including Ocho Rios, and I never felt at risk. Along the way, I also paid thorough attention to advice from locals and my hosts.

Walk with friends, take a registered taxi over distances at night, and watch your number of cocktails and your valuables (don’t flash them). Then you should be fine and have a great time!

How To Get To Ocho Rios And Around

If your main destination in Jamaica is Ocho Rios or one of the places along the northern coastline, flying to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay is a good idea. 

If you are flying to Kingston, the Norman Manley International Airport is your destination. The airport is a 20-minute drive from the city center, on the little peninsula shielding the city from the sea. 

Booked Your Flight Yet? Compare Prices Here!

A small secluded beach just outside Ocho Rios, with golden light yellow sands and crystal clear waters
A secluded beach outside town

Knutsford Express will take you from everywhere to anywhere pretty much; you can book your trip securely online on their website. And if there is a stretch you cannot find a bus, there are taxis. 

Taking a taxi from Kingston to Ocho Rios will be around one hour and 15 minutes, and from Ocho Rios to Montego Bay, it will be around one and a half hours by taxi.

The bus always takes a little longer due to stops. 

When using taxis, make sure you take a registered taxi, not a pirate (pirates will try to hail you everywhere). 

Registered taxis all over Jamaica have red plates with white writing. Taxis are more expensive in tourist areas, and FYI, most people prefer to be paid in US dollars when paid in cash.

Distances In Jamaica Are Not Huge

Jamaica is undeniably the third largest island in the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean region, but it is still a small island!

This means that if you get up really early, you can visit any Jamaica destination from any Jamaica destination, really.

Also, a lot of the tours, especially on the northern coast, are “interconnected”; you can book a Montego Bay tour from Ocho Rios and vice versa.

If you rent a car or book a long-haul taxi, the journeys can be made quickly. If you choose the Knutsford Express, though, you depend on routes and stops, and it will take (a lot) longer.

Distance From Ocho Rios To Montego Bay

The distance from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios is approximately 62 miles, or about one hour and forty minutes.

Montego Bay is located on the northern shore in the middle of Ocho Rios and Negril, which is on the western tip of Jamaica.

How Far Is Negril From Ocho Rios?

Beautiful crystal clear water below the Negril West End cliffs (where you can jump from the cliffs into the water if you dare!)
The West End Cliffs in Negril

The distance from Ocho Rios to Negril is around 107 miles, and that would take just under three hours in a car. Although it is long, it is still doable for a day trip!

How Far Is Kingston From Ocho Rios?

The distance from Kingston to Ocho Rios directly is around 50 miles and an oval hour in a taxi.

Knutsford Express also takes you the shortest route between Kingston and Ocho Rios and will be almost the same!

How Far Is Kingston From Negril?

Colorful murals on either side of the gate into Bob Marleys Museum in Kingston, which is in his old house
Entrance to the Bob Marley Museum

From Kingston, you can travel to Negril either along the southern coast of Jamaica or up north via Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.

The distance between the two routes is practically identical, around 136 miles, and both will take just under four hours to drive.

The Knutsford Express on this distance, however, will do a tedious route with lots of stops and really is not an option for a day trip, but a good budget option if you are going there to stay a few days.

Quick Facts About Ocho Rios Jamaica

Traveling to Ocho Rios after having visited Kingston, which I did, is a bit like arriving in The Shire with Frodo and the crew after returning from Mordor! (If the reference is lost on you, you have a wonderful movie trilogy to look forward to).

Ok, a little dramatic, but the contrast between busy, noisy, high-risk’ish Kingston, where I came from, and village-like quiet Ocho Rios just over an hour away is almost deafening.  

Ocho Rios, or Eight Rivers, is a tiny port town on the northern shores of Jamaica just across the Blue Mountains from Kingston, a former fishing village gone all-in tourist destination. 

Ocho Rios has a small town center that mainly consists of gift shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, and marketplaces. 

The city center is all located along the beach, which is a “closed” beach with entry points and security around it.

Ocho Rios has one main street, and you can walk from one end of the town to the other in 20 minutes. The vibe is super chill, even in the center of the city. 

And there are so many fun attractions in Ocho Rios, Jamaica!

A bright sunny summer day on top of Mystic Mountain where there is a pool, and a spectacular view of Ocho Rios, the ocean, and the cruise port on the blue water
View from Mystic Mountain down to Ocho Rios

The town is so small that you can actually walk around on foot without (most) people thinking you are crazy (Jamaican people don’t walk, they drive or take a taxi).

Still, you will be offered taxis, as well as smoke (as anywhere in Jamaica), food, tours, or any service by people on the street suspecting you are a tourist. 

This tiny port town has a huge cruise ship harbor that can accommodate at least two large cruise ships at once.

The Nature In Ocho Rios Is Protected And Regulated

The beaufiful waterfall-cliffs that starts off the climb up Dunns River Falls, where the small waterfalls arrive right at the sandy beach! Seems a bit difficult to ascend the initial waterfalls glittering with white water, but there is a path!
This is where you start climbing Dunns River Falls – on the beach

If you are from Europe, you will find that Jamaica operates its nature attractions very differently from Europeans. 

You can not just stroll off into the forest or mountains and explore, at least not the interesting places. It is all very regulated, and there are guards, admission fees, opening hours, and closing hours. 

The attractions in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, are mainly outside the city center. The city center is, of course, where you find the city beach and access to water sports like snorkeling tours and catamaran cruises.

FAQs About Ocho Rios Tours

Apart from the actual tours, I can help you find them in Ocho Rios; people seem to have quite a few questions about tours in Ocho Rios that don’t specifically relate to what tours there are and how to find and book them!

Here is a collection of Q&A of the most common questions people have about Ocho Rios Tours in Jamaica!

How Far Is Ocho Rios From Kingston?

The distance from Kingston to Ocho Rios is 52 miles or 84 kilometers.

The drive from Kingston to Ocho Rios will take around one hour and fifteen minutes, or you can take the bus!

Can You Do Ocho Rios Excursions On Your Own?

Well, yes—you can. You do not need to join an organized tour to explore some of the amazing activities you can find in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

That said, the mentioned activities are super organized in Jamaica, and even if you don’t book a complete pick-me-up-at-home organized trip, you still need to enter a regulated area for most things.

This means you will have to find transport to get there, pay a fee to get in, follow the guide to many places, that sort of thing.

You still need to organize a taxi or find a bus or whatever to get where you want to go.

Considering the total price you will pay, it might not differ a lot from booking the actual organized tour if that is of importance to you.

If you have a rental car during your Ocho Rios holiday, however, the need for transport organization goes away, and you also have more freedom to be flexible and maybe head for several different adventures or tours in one day!

So, if you are comfortable driving on the left, want the freedom of your own transport, and want to visit the sights, you are fine on your own. Go for it!

Car Rental In Ocho Rios Jamaica!

You can easily rent a car online to pick up anywhere in Jamaica, and with Discover Cars, you can opt to pick up your rental car in downtown Ocho Rios or even have it delivered to your house!

You can also book and pick up a rental car at Montego Bay Airport in Jamaica, which is conveniently located between Ocho Rios and Negril along the northern Jamaican coastline!

FYI, Discover Cars receive reviews all around on average 4.5 of 5 possible stars, so they have a lot of really happy customers, which should give you peace of mind about your booking!

Find Your Rental Car

Wrap-Up Ocho Rios Tours

A lot of the tours and adventures you can embark on in Ocho Riso Jamaica are connected to nature, like beautiful waterfalls, beaches, and high-flying zip lines in the forest canopy.

The thing to be aware of about the northern shores of Jamaica is that the distances are not great! You can easily book a tour in Negril or Ocho Rios if you stay in Montego Bay, even for a day trip.

Even the distance from the Blue Mountains or over to Kingston is doable in a day with organized transport, bus, or taxi. Enjoy your Jamaica adventures!

Related blog posts:

Is Jamaica Worth Visiting? Alluring Jamaica From An Expert Traveler

Ocho Rios vs Montego Bay – Two Jamaican Paradises

13+ Awesome Kingston Jamaica Tours And Attractions From An Expert

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