Ahh Ocho Rios! Whenever I think about it, memories of school trips as well as family vacations come to mind. Getting up early at around 5:30a.m just so we can get an early start. The best part of the trip is the drive there. As children we’d play games, listen music, be loud and lively with our friends. It was the best time of my life. But I was always eager to get to the beach. You see, my love affair with the ocean began at a beach in Ocho Rios.
Ocho Rios or “Ochi” as the locals call it, is a port town located in the parish of St Ann on the north coast of the island. What once was a fishing village has become a hotspot for tourists and ships from cruise ships to cargo. Ocho Rios is popular for it’s scuba diving and other water sports as well as pristine beaches. With so many to choose from, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best beautiful beaches in Ocho Rios.
- Mahogany Beach– Mahogany beach is a small beach located off main street Ocho Rios. This gorgeous little beach is a perfect surfing spot, bordered by lush vegetation for anyone looking for shade. This is a public beach which mean absolutely NO entry fees. Located on the beach is a bar and restaurant as well as a small food concession for any snacking purposes. There is a section in the sea that’s meant for swimming. It’s divided by a rope and no boating is allowed there.
- Turtle Beach– Located near the downtown center of Ocho Rios. There are many hotels nearby so tourists often come there to be among the crowds. I’ve personally been to turtle beach and witness alot of intermingling among tourists and locals alike. There are many beautiful trees and greenery around. If you’re not relaxing maybe you’d like to try the water sports and boat ride available. You can pack a picnic or go over to the restaurant located on the beach to experience some real Jamaican cuisines and a little something to drink. There are amenities such as public restrooms and showers so you rinse off before heading back home or to your hotel.
- James Bond Beach– Speaking of James Bond, did you know that the beach was used for the filming location for “Dr No” movie? You didn’t?! Well now you know. The beach itself is located 10 miles outside of Ocho Rios with the St Mary mountains as a permanent backdrop. It’s an excellent place for snorkeling off shore. If you’re a James Bond fan, enjoy the waverunner tours that takes you past Ian Felming’s Golden Eye villa. Make sure to visit Moonraker Jamaican Bar & Grill for drinks and delicious seafood. James Bond beach also hosts a variety of concerts from reggae to jazz, a nice way to enjoy some great music.
- Reggae Beach– Just a short drive from Ocho Rios heading towards Oracabessa, you’ll find a beach sheltered by cliffs on both ends is Reggae beach. While it’s a good place for snorkeling and the water is calm, it’s not the best place to swim for children. There’s a steep drop off once you enter the water so it gets deep fairly quickly. The beach, however is a great place to collect seashells. You can rent umbrellas and lounge chairs if you like. There is a place where you can get drinks and food. As the name suggest, as the night falls music is played as food is being served and a bonfire is lit.
- Dunn’s River falls and beach– This is the most popular beach in Jamaica and a favourite for locals. Many day trips has led straight to Dunn’s River. I believe I have been there 5 times and it never gets old. I like to stand under the falls and let the water beat on my skin. It’s like a natural massage and relaxing. The gorgeous waterfall cascades into the sea which is just the prettiest site you can witness. I’m guilty of one thing and that’s not climbing the falls ( added to my bucket list) so PLEASE don’t make the mistake of not climbing the falls. And while you’re there, enjoy some good snorkeling, a nice nature walk and bring a picnic if you’d like. The beach has nice clean picnic areas for you to use. There is an entry fee so please bear in mind when you’re planning a trip here.