On the northern shore of Jamaica to the east of Montego Bay you’ll find the popular cruise port and resort area of Ocho Rios. In spite of the many cruise passengers that are combing the shops most days in season, Ocho Rios doesn’t have much of a tourist center aside from the little shopping malls.
English is the main language in Jamaica, though with a heavy accent, and this helps make Ocho Rios popular with Americans, Canadians, Brits, and northern Caribbeans. Most people just come to sit on the beach or by the pool in the warm weather, but those looking for activities will find everything from diving to zip-lining nearby. If you are only going to do one activity on a Jamaica trip, make it a visit to the nearby Dunn’s River Falls, which is as impressive as it is unique.
Ocho Rios is one of the cheaper destinations in all of the Caribbean for all-inclusive resorts. Cheap flights into Montego Bay from all over the eastern United States and Canada keep the resorts here busy with budget travelers, though there are many mid-range and a few upper-range options as well. If you want to stay in an all-inclusive resort there there are many great options along the shore near Ocho Rios, but the town itself is disappointing and there isn’t much to see. If you want to really visit a pleasant resort area in Jamaica, head to Negril instead.
Where to stay
There are nearly 100 hotels and resorts to choose from in the Ocho Rios area, with most being larger hotels along the beach, many operating on an all-inclusive basis. Prices here tend to be lower than in Montego Bay, but not quite as low as in Negril, at least for the real budget traveler. Ocho Rios is actually the cheapest choice for all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica, so it offers excellent value for that crowd. If you don’t want to stay in an all-inclusive then Negril is a nicer and better choice, with lower prices as well.
You’ll be flying into the Sangster International Airport, which is a bit under 2 hours away from Ocho Rios. Many hotels have their own shuttles to pick you up, but there are also taxis and hired shuttles if you need them.
Nonstop flights from:
Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Newark, Boston, Chicago-O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Calgary, Edmonton, Moncton, Montréal-Trudeau, Ottawa, Québec City, Toronto-Pearson, Winnipeg, Vancouver, London-Gatwick, Manchester, Glasgow, Lisbon, Madrid, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino