Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

We arrived late in the night at Montego Airport and we already booked a hotel for our first night in Jamaica. Our plan was to skip Montego Bay and travel to Ocho Rios the next morning. After research on the Internet and reading reviews we decided Montego was to crowded and touristy for us.

From Montego Bay to Ochi

The next morning, we were very tired of the long trip from Amsterdam and with our backpacks on our backs we knew we wanted to take a route taxi and not a normal taxi, because these were very expensive. We ask a few drivers what it cost to drive us to Ocho Rios and the cheapest price was 12.000 JMD (approximate €85,-). We were shocked about the price, but we didn’t care. We just wanted to Ochi. The taxi driver took us to Ochi in 1,5 hour to our B&B which we already booked for 2 nights. This was the first and the last time we took a route taxi for a long ride. A few travelers from the US informed us about the Knutsford bus and from Ochi we traveled the island with this bus.

Ochi

When we arrived, we just wanted to chill at the beach and find some food. Just a small walk from our B&B we find a cute little outside bar located near the street where we buy some take away seafood with plantain which was very tasty. We walk along the road, but we couldn’t find a public beach for a swim for now. Lots of beaches are private on the island and where you don’t have acces to.
Diner at Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Dunn’s River Falls

The next day we visit the Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios. These falls are a popular attraction in Jamaica and we wanted to see it with our own eyes. We take a route taxi and together with some other travelers we were the first visitors, yeah! It was not even open. The entrance fee is US$25 and for Jamaican residents 1000JMD (approximate €7,-). The falls are about 180 feet (55 meters) high and 600 feet (180 meters long). Dunn’s River falls is a natural waterfall that is fed by underground spring water and the water is flowing directly into the sea. The water is very cold and you really need to wear water shoes if you want to climb the falls. Jamaican workers scrape the algae off the rocks in order to ensure the rocks aren’t too slippery. We saw tourists in groups climbing the falls with a guide holding each other’s hands in a chain as support. The falls and his surroundings are very beautiful, but very touristy. If you want to do the climb, your guide expects a tip at the end and there will be a photographer who will take some photos. Bring a waterproof camera or a waterproof pouch to put your phone in and make your own pictures. If you don’t want to do the climb, there is a staircase next to the falls. Also, you can relax at the beautiful beach and enjoy the views. After seeing the falls, you have to exit through the ‘market’ with all kind of shops. Be prepared to be hassled a lot. It is so annoying we had no desire to look at the shops and just wanted to get out the parc.
  • Tips
  • Go very early, be there at 08:30! After 09:00 the parc is flowing with tourists, especially when a cruise ship arrived in Ocho Rios. The photos and video were taken when almost no tourists were around.
  • If you want to climb, don’t do it with a guide. Than you are obligated to do it in large groups and hold each other’s hand like little kids.
Dunn's river falls, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Dunn's river falls, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Dunn's river falls, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
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James Bond Beach

After the falls we took a route taxi to James Bond Beach located in Oracabessa. James Bond Beach is about 10 miles (16 km), from the falls and is approximately a 30-minute drive. We had to make a choice where to go after visiting the falls. The Irie Blue Hole, the Bob Marley’s Mausoleum in St. Ann’s Bay or do we want to visit the James Bond Beach. The Bob Marley Mausoleum is further away and we weren’t in a mood for a long ride. We decided to go to the James Bond Beach because we planned visiting another lagoon already in Port Antonio (Blue Lagoon). The drive to the James Bond Beach along the coast is beautiful.
On our way in, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Faded glory

After the falls we took a route taxi to James Bond Beach located in Oracabessa. James Bond Beach is about 10 miles (16 km), from the falls and is approximately a 30-minute drive. We had to make a choice where to go after visiting the falls. The Irie Blue Hole, the Bob Marley’s Mausoleum in St. Ann’s Bay or do we want to visit the James Bond Beach. The Bob Marley Mausoleum is further away and we weren’t in a mood for a long ride. We decided to go to the James Bond Beach because we planned visiting another lagoon already in Port Antonio (Blue Lagoon). The drive to the James Bond Beach along the coast is beautiful.

The James Bond Beach has changing rooms, a bar and a restaurant. There used to be concerts by international artists such as Rihanna, Ziggy Marley and Lauryn Hill. Ian Fleming used to live and write his novels here, his house Goldeneye is now a very exclusive hotel. We thought, that must be worth to explore. But actually, it was a disappointment and not what we expected. You cannot even see Ian Flemings villa from James Bond Beach and the hotel cannot be visited if you don’t have a reservation. We wouldn’t recommend visiting this beach. Very loud music, not possible to walk here to the Goldeneye resort, hardly any beach and it looked not very well maintained. It looked very deserted and we saw no other visitors. Maybe in the weekends there is more to do.

We decided to drink a couple of Red Stripes at the Moonraker bar and enjoyed each other’s company. I know, we are not very positive, but it’s our experience. The entrance fee is J$700 (approximate €5,-). Beware of taxi drivers offering rides, they may overcharge you.

James Bond beach, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Red Stripes Moonraker bar, James Bond beach, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Moonraker bar, James Bond beach, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Our experience in Ocho Rios

Our stay in Ocho Rios was not our favorite. This place was much more touristy than Port Antonio and Treasure Beach. Our advice is to stay here for a few days and do some daytrips and then move further. Be aware that you will be harassed by guides, sometimes it feels quite intimidating.
  • Activities in Ocho Rios
  • Dunn’s River Falls. Go early! Be there at 08:30 and climb the falls by yourself. Entrance fee USD25. Maybe we shouldn’t even advise to go to these falls.
  • Irie Blue Hole. We heard from other travelers this place is amazing. Go there! A guide will lead you the way, give him a tip. If we can do our visit over in Ochi we certainly would choose to go to the Irie Hole.
  • Bob Marley Mausoleum. Entrance fee JD2000 (approximate €14,-)
Centrum, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
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Errer

Errer

Errer (pronounced èrréé) comes from French and stands for wandering, roaming, traveling. We aim to create a life that combines traveling and working. Turning our back to ‘9 to 5’ mentality. Making memories instead of collecting stuff. We try to create a life we want to live in a healthy and sustainable way. Eating vegan food most of the times is part of this lifestyle. Curious? Than try our recipes and read our stories.

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