Visiting the Caribbean island of Jamaica is one thing, but experiencing Jamaica requires an entirely different set of activities! To truly discover the beauty of this fascinating country, your best bet is to embark on as many excursions and tours as you can. When it comes to Jamaican excursions, Ocho Rios is one of the best places to begin.
Ocho Rios is one of the best places to stay in Jamaica thanks to the beauty of this port town, and the exciting things you can do while you’re there. If you’re planning a vacation to Ocho Rios with your family, a group of friends, or the love of your life, here are the 18 best Ocho Rios excursions and tours you can sign up for while there:
An amazing combo tour opportunity can be found in the White River Blue Hole Zipline ATV Experience which offers some of the best adventures in Ocho Rios in a single excursion. Your day will begin at the Blue Hole where you can climb along the cascades or take a bath in the refreshing natural pools. A thrilling zipline through the jungle canopies will be up next. Scream at the top of your lungs if you feel like it, and capture this moment of true freedom. Next, you’ll take a leisurely river tubing adventure, then hop onto an ATV and zoom through Jamaica’s rugged terrain. You’ll end the day by enjoying a delectable Jamaican-style jerk lunch served with a cold drink.
Nothing beats a combo tour, and, in Jamaica, you can try the Dunn's Zip, ATV & Horseback Experience From Ocho Rios Runaway Bay if you’re looking for a day filled with adventure. It all begins at the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls where you’ll get to see the 600-foot falls, one of the tallest in the Caribbean, from an aerial zipline. Once that’s done, you’ll get to experience the falls up close, and even climb them with the help of a guide if you wish.
Once the waterfall fun is done, it’ll be time to make your way to another park for a hearty Jamaican lunch followed by horseback riding later in the day. You’ll get to enjoy the warmth of the Caribbean Sea from atop your horse and have an exciting horseback riding experience before getting ready for the final activity of the day.
Your day of adventure comes to a close with a ride on a powerful ATV Quad Bike letting you embrace your wild side. You’ll ride through the Jamaican countryside on rugged trails with plenty of time to appreciate the views. The end of this adventure will be a stop at a private ocean-side cove where you can cliff dive into the beautiful waters below, and create memories to last a lifetime!
The ATV Off-Road Adventure & Secret River Tour Ocho Rios is an adrenaline-pumping experience that can involve a Mud Buggy or ATV, depending on your preference. You also have the option to go with friends or go solo. This tour allows you to explore Jamaica at its most authentic and includes an open-air carriage ride and a stop at the Secret River. You’ll stop at the river long enough to take a stroll, a dip, and then settle in for a delicious Jamaican meal before heading back to your resort.
The Ocho Rios All Day Power Boat Adventure is one of the most fun things you can do in Jamaica. As part of this tour, you’ll get to see several of the island’s best attractions in a single outing. Take off through the ocean on a powerboat, and make stops at exciting locales including Laughing Waters Beach and the nearby spring river. There’s also the chance to go snorkeling around a local reef, and the opportunity to visit Dunn’s River Falls. This tour comes to a close with an island-style, authentically Jamaican meal on the beach, and a cold and refreshing drink of your choice before heading back on the powerboat.
Expert tip: Ocho Rios is home to some great beaches in Jamaica! Reggae Beach, Dunn’s River Falls Beach, and Pleasure Cove beach are just a few of the gorgeous beaches this city has to offer.
The Dunn's River Catamaran Cruise for the Family is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a tour that combines land and sea activities. It is also one of the top things to do in Jamaica with kids. For this excursion, you’ll hop aboard a luxury catamaran with your family, with the highlight of your trip being a visit to Dunn’s River Falls. Before getting to this incredible waterfall though, you’ll have a chance to enjoy a day out at sea while snorkeling, and swimming, participate in the onboard entertainment, take in the beautiful scenery, and indulge in premium brand drinks and tasty hors d’oeuvres. When it’s all said and done, you might just want to do this tour all over again!
Jamaica is a great place to go horseback riding thanks to the amazing scenery you’ll see along the way. On horseback, you’ll explore Jamaica’s countryside, including along Papillion Cove which was a popular filming location back in the ’80s. The Horseback Ride 'N' Swim tour in Ocho Rios will also lead you through two of Jamaica’s oldest estates, Richmond and Llandovery, which will be quite the blast from the past. From there, you’ll ride right into the warm Caribbean Sea with your horse which will be just as happy to cool off as you are.
Good to know: Experience with horseback riding is not necessary for excursions.
The Treetop Zipline River Tubing & Blue Hole Experience is best suited for travelers with adventurous hearts. This combo tour includes ziplining, river tubing, and a visit to the famous Jamaica Blue Hole.
The tour begins with a ‘triple-traverse’ ziplining adventure that’ll take you high above and into the trees via ziplines that range from 150 to 520 feet in length. Next, let all your stresses melt away as you kick back, relax, and enjoy the view while floating down the White River. You’ll make your way to a 17th century Spanish Bridge, and see limestone riverbeds, lands rich with bamboo, and even a thriving coconut plantation along the way.
The final stop will be at the ‘cool’ Blue Hole where you can explore underwater caves and tunnels, and take the ultimate jump into this mesmerizing and refreshing natural swimming pool.
The Reggae Catamaran Cruise & Snorkeling for the Family is a great option if you’re in Jamaica for a family vacation. If you stay at all-inclusive properties like Beaches Resorts for families or Sandals Resorts for couples, you’ll be able to book your tour through the resort; this includes transportation to and from the cruise as well!
You’ll set sail from Ocho Rios and head to an amazing snorkeling spot rich with marine life. On the way there, you and your family can enjoy lots of tasty snacks and drinks as you sing and dance to the reggae beats being played aboard. This tour includes snorkeling and a stop at the world-famous Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville where you’ll find 110-foot water slides and water trampolines. You’ll spend lots of time enjoying the ocean with this experience!
The Dune Buggy Adventure Ocho Rios appeals to anyone looking to have some dune buggy fun mixed in with just the right dose of nature. For this experience, you can choose whether you want to ride on a Mud Buggy or an ATV. Either way, you’re bound to have a blast as you explore some of the lesser-known parts of Jamaica. This tour includes a stop at an aviary where you can stroll in and meet the birds, many of which are only found in Jamaica. Your day will come to a close with an authentic and delicious Jamaican meal.
Visiting Dunn’s River Falls while in Jamaica is always a great idea. If you throw a catamaran cruise into the mix, things just get a whole lot more exciting. Think luxury catamaran, drinks, music, dancing, and even snorkeling. You’ll find everything you need to enjoy a day out at sea in the Caribbean aboard this catamaran cruise, including signature cocktails with a top-secret ingredient.
The Dunn's River Catamaran Cruise experience includes a DJ that will play lots of catchy reggae grooves that you’ll appreciate even more while taking in the stunning views. Once you get to Dunn’s River Falls, you’ll be all set for adventure, and more than ready to climb the falls, or dive into one of the natural pools. Be sure to take lots of photos against this incredible 600-foot waterfall backdrop!
There are many things Jamaica is known for like a beautiful adventure-inspiring landscape and a rich colonial history. The Good Hope Ultimate Explorer tour brings together both history and adventure by providing an all-access pass to the Good Hope Eco-Adventure Park located within the Good Hope Estate. As a part of this tour, you’ll get to ride on a hand-made Jamaican bamboo raft down the iconic Martha Brae River. The experience will be made even better by the fact that you’ll have a cold cocktail in hand, helping you get ready to sink into the relaxation this adventure brings. As you ride along the river, you can even opt for a foot massage using an invigorating scrub made from natural ingredients.
To add to the adventure, this tour includes some ziplining fun through the lush jungle canopy, and opportunities to go river tubing and kayaking as well. Since the 2000-acre Good Hope Estate is one of the oldest plantations in Jamaica, you can expect lots of historical tidbits, and a chance to see 18th-century buildings and structures, including an aqueduct and water wheel which was once used to squeeze sugar cane.
Before you leave the estate be sure to visit the Sugar House Restaurant, try the Appleton Rum Tasting Experience, chill on the hammocks or swings over the river, and spend some time in the zero-entry waterpark which has 6 wading pools and a 50-foot waterfall!
The Taste of Jamaica Cooking Class and Estate Tour is a more low-key experience that is perfect for anyone who’s looking for a laid-back tour that’s engaging and informative as well. This Jamaican tour combines a history-packed estate exploration with a chance to learn how to create your own authentic Jamaican meals.
Prospect Plantation, another of Jamaica’s oldest estates, will be the backdrop for this adventure. As part of this tour, you’ll get to explore the plantation in a relaxed manner by riding aboard a Jitney Carriage through the 1,000-acre estate. Once you’re done exploring, you’ll settle down for a Jamaican Jerk chicken meal, and a cooking class.
Good to know: There’s a bird aviary you can visit while on this property that's home to lots of birds native to Jamaica.
Shark Encounter Ocho Rios is a one-of-a-kind adventure that’s worth experiencing in Jamaica. As part of this tour, trained professionals will teach you about these magnificent creatures, and how to maneuver around them. If you’re feeling brave enough, you can even hold, touch and feed the sharks to get fully engaged in the experience. Afterward, you will make your way to Little Port Royal, which is a replica of the famous pirate haunt. Finally, you’ll have a chance to get a taste of Jamaica by sampling some local fruits and spices, and the world-famous Blue Mountain Coffee.
River tubing is an experience you simply must try while in Jamaica! The River Tubing & Blue Hole Experience Ocho Rios tour gives you a chance to try out this activity and visit the famous ‘cool’ Blue Hole as well. The river tubing portion of this excursion will take you along three miles of the White River, before stopping off at the Blue Hole in Ocho Rios. The Blue Hole attracts cliff jumpers, nature lovers, and thrill-seekers of all kinds, and you can expect to have quite the adventure as you dangle from rope swings, explore underwater caves and tunnels, bathe in natural swimming pools, and revel in the scenery.
The Mini Routes ‘Drive Your Own’ Adventure Tour is a one-of-a-kind excursion that literally lets you take the wheel and steer into a world of fun. You’ll love the way this tour allows you to see Jamaica just as the locals do, and you can expect to make lots of carefully planned out stops in and around Ocho Rios. Guided by an island expert, you’ll drive around in your very own MINI, and make stops at famous landmarks such as the 600-foot Dunn’s River Falls.
The Dolphin Encounter tour is perfect for anyone looking to get close to adorable bottlenose dolphins and learn more about them. As part of this experience, you’ll make friends with these gentle sea creatures and play with them from the comfort of a knee-deep water platform. You’ll also have the opportunity to watch a shark show, and witness performances by the pirates of “Little Port Royal” as part of this excursion. This attraction also gives you the chance to see lots of colorful birds, snakes, and iguanas along a nature trail. Other fun activities here include mini-boat rides, a 40-foot water slide, and the amazing chance to interact with stingrays (barbs clipped).
Participating in the Luminous Lagoon Experience while in Jamaica is a must because this island is one of only four places in the world where you can witness this captivating natural phenomenon. This experience, which takes place at night, allows you to swim in a luxurious lagoon as millions of microorganisms light up the surrounding water in the most spectacular way. These microorganisms give off a flash of light as they are touched causing a glowing effect. You’ll learn all about this amazing and rare phenomenon, and enjoy the experience with a rum punch in hand.
Good to know: Of the few places in the world where you can find glowing lagoons, Jamaica’s microorganisms are said to shine the brightest.
If you’re looking for a romantic way to spend an afternoon in Jamaica, then the Lover’s Rock Catamaran Cruise Ocho Rios is worth including on your vacation agenda. Set sail with the one that still makes your heart skip a beat and take a romantic catamaran cruise. Indulge in tasty appetizers and unlimited cocktails along the way. When the mood feels just right, you both will watch the sun light up the horizon in the most magnificent way as it sets. You’ll definitely want to bring a camera to capture the moments you’ll spend together.
Insider tip: Couples' vacations in the Caribbean can be great for rekindling your spark or growing closer. There are resorts in this region, like Sandals Resorts, that are completely adults-only, created with couples in mind.
Jamaica is an adventure waiting to happen! You’re sure to find fun things to do in Ocho Rios since it’s so close to unforgettable attractions like Dunn’s River Falls, the ‘cool’ Blue Hole, and the Good Hope Eco-Adventure Park.
Float lazily down the Martha Brae River and see if you can spot a capuchin monkey. Push yourself to the limit as you climb 600 feet to the top of Dunn’s River Falls. Take in the idyllic Jamaican countryside from atop a speedy ATV or a trotting horse. With so many activities available, you’re probably wondering how many tours you can really fit into your vacation.
Transit time can really eat away at your time so combo tours are a great idea to make the most of your stay, especially on shorter trips.
Of course, you won’t spend every waking moment of your vacation in Jamaica on a tour, so the resort you choose is important too. For a vacation with family, you might find it helpful to stay at an all-inclusive family resort in Ocho Rios. Beaches Ocho Rios has lots of quality inclusions for the whole family, and kids will love the resort’s water park, swim-up soda bar, Sesame Street® parades, and more. The whole family can look forward to dining at multiple restaurants at this resort, day and night entertainment, land and water sports, spacious family accommodation, and any other amenities you can think of for a memorable Ocho Rios vacation!
Good to know: Staying at Ocho Rios will have you perfectly positioned for some of the best adventures you can get into while in Jamaica. Before scheduling your trip, be sure to check out the best time to go to Jamaica and these Jamaica travel tips.