Sightseeing

The main draw at the landscaped, theme-park style complex close to Ocho Rios, is the chance to interact with the trained bottlenose dolphins kept in a fenced-off section of the bay. There are these choices of “interactive programme”, the “Touch Encounter” in which you stand in knee-high water and get to stroke a dolphin and have your photo taken, the encounter swim which gets you into the water to kiss and play with the animals, and swim with the dolphins in which you spend a bit more time in the water, and get a dorsal pull. You need to book at least 2 weeks ahead of time.

dolphin cove

Elsewhere in the complex, there’s a pool containing sharks and rays that you can interact with (barbs clipped), a nature trail with stops for petting macaws and touching starfish and snakes; a small beach for splashing around in; captain your mini-boat or go glass-bottom kayaking on the Caribbean sea; a restaurant; and a great gift shop.

dolphin cove

Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica at Mystic Mountain boasts over 100 acres of land stretching from the coast road entrance near Dunns’s River Falls, Ocho Rios, to over 700 feet above sea level at the peak of Mystic Mountain. This environmentally friendly attraction for all ages, provides ample opportunities to view and explore the unique seaside, tropical forest ecosystem with three unique and exhilarating excursions including: Sky lift Explorer, Bobsled Jamaica and Tranopy.

mystic-mountain

At the top of this mountain you will find a beautiful 3 story pavilion that has a lovely gift shop and a restaurant with great food. It also has “outlooks” so you can view the cruise ships in port. Perched on the edge of the mountain and completing this sensational setting, is the infinity pool with water slides for your unlimited use.

chukka cove4 x 4 off road Safari
Experience the real Caribbean in our “Zebra Striped Safari 4x4s”. Drive up through the famous “Fern Gully” getting a glimpse of the 200 different ferns, have a view of our mountains and valleys seeing our lush nature. You will go to the highest viewpoint, “Murphy Hill” (2000 feet above sea level), look down upon Ocho Rios, the cruise ship pier, the Blue Mountains, and on a clear day you can even see Cuba.

Zipline Canopy
A new trail through lush jungle in the heart of the spectacular Cranbrook Flower Forest leads to the start of this unforgettable Chukka Cove Canopy adventure. Or soar through the canopy of the trees at the beautiful White River Valley to experience an unforgettable “triple traverse” Chukka adventure.

Chukka Cove zipline

Horseback Ride n’ Swim
Saddle up for the 3 hour horseback ride through historic St. Ann. The tour takes you through Richmond and Llandovery, two of the oldest sugar estates on the island, with property titles dating back to the 1660’s and along the beachfront to Chukka Cove’s private beach.

Dune Buggy Adventure
Get ready for the rugged terrain that the mountains of Jamaica have to offer! This tour is for those who want to go off road for a bumpy, dusty, dirty and maybe even muddy ride in your very own Chukka Dune Buggy built for two.

ATV Safari
Dare to be adventurous, dare to experience a different level of excitement, dare to be young at heart! Start your tour at Chukka Cove Farm and head across the Richmond Property, pass an old Sugar Factory, situated on one of the oldest estates. Ride through a river bed, lush forests and tropical foliage stopping at the Village of Chester, the home of Chester All Age School. Observe the children in their learning environment and enjoy stories of the school and community’s colorful history. Journey deeper into the scenic country side, through paths that meander along shadowed corridors, beneath the jungle canopy, across river beds and hillocks.

chukka cove atv

Zion Bus Line
The authentic Jamaican Country Bus, the “Zion Bus Line”, will take you on a unique tour from Island Village in Ocho Rios, via Claremont to the birth and final resting place of the King of Reggae, Bob Marley.

River Tubing Safari
This Three mile ride down the White River, not only gives you the rich history of Jamaica, it shows you the beauty of our land as you pass through, Coconut plantations, bamboo groves, and along river banks filled with indigenous flora and fauna.

River Kayak
Your kayak tour takes you along the White River starting at The Old Spanish Bridge built by the first European settlers in the seventeenth century. Paddle your way through the rapids and crystal clear pools under a canopy of lush tropical vegetation.

Dog Sled Tours
Snow! What snow? This one of a kind team does not need snow when Mushing along in tropical Jamaica. The hottest tour on land, the coolest team on the ice, is now ready for you to be part of the adventure. The world famous Jamaica Dog Team is located at Chukka Cove farm and offers two distinct tours; The Experience and The Encounter.

blue mountainsYou will travel the North Coast Highway going east to Buff Bay before you turn up into the mountains. The Blue Mountains are named for the mists that color them from a distance, and their craggy slopes form an unbroken, undulating spine across Jamaica’s easternmost parishes, a fabulously fertile tropical wilderness with a cool, wet climate found nowhere else in Jamaica. The largest forest left standing in the Caribbean is home to some of the best coffee in the world.

blue_mountainsYou can visit Mavis Bank for the lowdown on the production of this coffee. Tour the Blue Mountains and climb to the highest point in Jamaica for the most breathtaking views and scenery in the lush Jamaican rain forest. Great hiking trails have been carved into the interior of the forest, often following ancient mule trails over the mountains. You can spend the day traveling up and around the Blue Mountains by van or take an easy bike ride down and meet the local people face to face as you stop along the way.

boatThe scenery is wild and unspoiled. Of the area’s towns, Black River, merits a visit for its crumbling architectural gems and River Safari into the Great Morass. The main reason most people coming to the town is for a boat safari on the Black River itself, which, at 44 miles, is Jamaica’s longest. It provides a swampy home for most of Jamaica’s surviving crocodiles as well as some diverse and spectacular bird life.

Further round the coast, laid-back Treasure Beach is probably the best place to stop and chill out. At some point, most Treasure Beach visitors take a trip out of town up to the sheer cliffs of Lovers’ Leap, where the Santa Cruz Mountains drop nearly two thousand feet to the sea.

alligatorFurther east still, you will come to the quiet beaches of Alligator Pond. Finally, the mineral spa at Milk River Bath is the perfect place to soothe away any aches and pains.

If you drive northeast from Black River, you will soon pass Middle Quarters. Shortly thereafter, you will reach the magnificent YS Falls. The YS Falls is a series of ten greater and lesser waterfalls. You can climb up the lower falls or take the wooden stairway, which leads to a platform beside the uppermost and most spectacular waterfall. You can swing on ropes, bathe in the pools or climb into the caves behind the falls.

bamboo_avenueThen, just3 miles east you will come to the Wray and Nephew rum distillery at Appleton. This is the oldest rum producer in the Caribbean. Back on the main highway, on the road to Mandeville, you will drive through several miles of Jamaica’s largest species of bamboo which has grown up on either side of the road to create a pretty arch over the road. This famous road is known as Bamboo Avenue.

Heading east from Santa Cruz, you will begin the climb up Spur Tree Hill. This road provides dramatic views over the southern plains, the Santa Cruz Mountains, and down to the sea. Mandeville is Jamaica’s fifth-largest town. You can almost feel the wealth in this area. This town is known for its low crime rate, lovely large homes and lots of small businesses. You may not be able to see it all in one day, but you can choose your favorites. This is an awesome trip.

rum factory 1The Factory is located in Nassau Valley / St. Elizabeth which is part of Jamaica’s world famous Cockpit Country. The origins of the Estate date back as far as 1655 when the British took over Jamaica from the Spanish. During the tour you will see how the famous Appleton Rum is produced and see some 200 year old rum barrels still in use. You can press your own fresh sugar cane juice and the visit ends with a sampling of different Appleton Rums.

tower at Appleton Estate
Appleton rum factory

port antonio 1A beautiful drive to Port Antonio on the east end of the island. The rugged stretch of coast east of Port Antonio is one of the most attractive parts of Jamaica. It’s a fairy-tail landscape of lush, jungle-smothered hills rolling down to a coastline studded with fantastic beaches, such as Frenchman’s Cove, San San, and Winnifred. Swimming inlets such as the Blue Lagoon, a fabulous aquamarine pool of salt and fresh water made famous by the 1980 Brook Shields movie playing as a child castaway.

port antonio 3The water, a remarkable shade of blue, drops to 198ft. at its deepest spot. It’s a peaceful place to swim. Continuing on to enjoy the famous jerk chicken and pork at Boston Bay, and for more beauty, visit Reach Falls, one of the loveliest spots on the island. The Drivers River runs through some sumptuous rainforest before cascading over the falls into a wide, green pool. The thirty-foot waterfall itself is pretty spectacular, and you can stand right underneath it for an invigorating water massage.

boats in Port Antonio
beach in Port Antonio

Another great day trip to Negril with wonderful views of the ocean and small villages along the way. Negril is a quaint little town located on the far western tip of Jamaica and is famous for its 7 miles of white sands beaches. You can visit Rick’s Café where they do cliff diving and see the beautiful sun sets.

Negril beach
Negril beach, Rick’s Café
Negril beach activities

Romanticized plantation history tour comes into its own at Rose Hall, six miles east from Montego Bay and site of the infamous Rose Hall Great House. The house is the inspiration for jamiaca’s best-loved piece of folklore, the tale of a voodoo practitioner, Annie Palmer, (know as the “White who ruthlessly disposed of her husbands and is still said to haunt the corridors. Built between 1770 and 1780 by its first owner, John Palmer.

Rose Hall, outside Montego Bay
Rose Hall bedroom
Rose Hall exterior

raftingRafting on the Martha Brae, the island’s #1 rafting attraction, (established forty years ago) is located approximately three miles inland from the town of Falmouth. Rafting on the Martha Brae boasts a 30-foot long bamboo raft ride over a three mile stretch of the beautiful Martha Brae River and lasts approximately one hour. The leisurely trip begins with complimentary rum or fruit punch and takes you past banks overhung with silk cotton and mango trees, and under towering banyans festooned with vines. There are a few craft stalls on the riverbank and some floating bars. Your captain may sing to you or let you swing from some of the trees. He may also let you take a little swim in the river. A great enjoyment for all ages.

Jamaica’s best-loved waterfall is breathtaking, and remains one of Jamiaca’s national treasures. Masked from the road, near Ocho Rios, by restaurants, craft shops and car parks, the wide and magnificent 600 ft. waterfall cascades over rocks down to a pretty tree-fringed white-sand beach. Impressively proportioned, with water running so fast you can hear it from the road below, the falls are surrounded by dripping foliage.

Dunns-River-Falls-Jamaica

The main activity is climbing up the cascade, a wet but easily navigable hour-long clamber. You will climb the falls in a human chain led by experienced Falls Guides. It is thoroughly exhilarating, as you’re showered with cool, clear water all the way up. Dunn’s River Falls Park is the perfect environment for fun and relaxation for the entire family. For the less brave – live vicariously. View the activities of the more intrepid from the “safe” vantage point of the terraces or decks. (On my list of favorites).

helicopterIsland Hopper Helicopter Tours in Ocho Rios has different tours from 20 minutes to 1 hour. You must call a day ahead to book. It is rather expensive but will be an unforgettable experience. The helicopter accommodates four passengers. You will soar to the heights and experience Jamaica from above. You will see beauty you couldn’t have dreamed was possible. You will see that Jamaica is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. You can also have Captain John pick you up at the airport and deliver you to the villa.

firefly_1Perched on a hilltop about two miles west of Port Maria (east of Ocho Rios), you will find Firefly, the Jamaican home of Noel Coward and his partner Graham Payn, from it construction in 1956 to Coward’s death in 1973. The house was built on the site of a former Taino settlement. The spot was later the stamping ground of pirate extraordinaire Sir Henry Morgan who used it as a vantage point during his reign as governor three hundred years ago, slits in what is now the on-site bar recall the buccaneer days.

firefly_2Coward stumbled upon the site during Jamaican holidays, when he stayed at his Blue Harbour beach house on the coast below. Illustrious guests from Sophia Loren to Audrey Hepburn to Elizabeth Taylor were entertained here. The Queen Mother came to lunch in 1965. Even if you’re not a Coward fan, it’s worth coming up to Firefly for the view alone. One of the best on the island, the panorama takes in Port Maria bay and Cabarita Island to the east, with the peaks of Blue Mountains poking through the clouds, while to the west lies Galina Point, the most northerly tip of Jamaica. You can even see Cuba on a clear day. Firefly is occasionally the venue for lavish private parties, weddings and special events.

Between Runaway Bay and Discovery Bay, you will find the area’s sole attraction. The limestone cave may have been used as a hideout by fleeing Spanish troops and possibly as a Taino place of worship. They’re expansive and well lit, with a crystal-clear underwater lake 120 feet below sea level and numerous rock formations, stalactites, stalagmites and an abundance of overhead ceiling pockets. The guides work hard at pointing out bats and animal shapes in the rock formations as they relate a little of the cavern’s history.

Green-Grotto

Evita’s Italian Crusine
Overlooking Ocho Rios & the Cruise Ships

Coconuts by the Sea
Enjoy a great variety of food while sitting by the bay.

Margaritaville
Fun & lively. Great for lunch.

Indian Crusine in Soni Plaza
A beautiful outdoor restaurant on the roof of the Plaza with excellent food.

Hong Kong International
The best place on the island for Chinese food. Not fancy but great good & very reasonable prices.

Flavours on the Beach – Runaway Bay
Great place for hamburgers, chicken and Red Stripe Beer

Scotchies
Everyone’s favorite for jerk chicken/pork & famous festivals. Yum… Of course, Red Stripe Beer. Located between St. Ann’s Bay and Ocho Rios.

Oceans 11
Different kinds of entertainment every night. (Tuesdays is famous day for karaoke) Located next to Island Village and Margaritaville. It’s very nice, outdoors, and on the beautiful bay of Ocho Rios.