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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    70

    Default Things to see in Ocho Rios?

    When my husband and I go on vacation we like to go off resort sometimes. Any streets/restuarants/bars that can be recommended? I searched and found many options for the Negril side, not so many for Ocho Rios. I'd like to avoid super touristy places like Margaritaville and the shopping tour that is included.

    We are doing Dunn River and the water activies included. Didn't know if it would be worth it to venture off on our own?

    Thanks! 81 days, but whose counting!

  2. #2

    Default

    Personally, we don't think Ocho Rios is as fun to hang out in as Negril. Plus, CTI and CSS are a little further east from the actual city. However, there are some great little restaurants in Ocho Rios to check out, as well as some local artisans. Ask the bellmen at the resort for recommendations. But I agree about the shopping tour and Margaritaville - definitely too touristy.
    Amy Welch...Woooohoooo!!
    CTI - 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013
    CN - 2003/2004 CSS - 2008
    CSA - 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    70

    Default

    Really nothing to do in town?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    87

    Default

    to be honest, probably not the best off-resort town to go wandering around. I think Negril is a much better location for off-resort activities that aren't "touristy". HOWEVER, there are some really neat touristy things to do in Ocho Rios. Dunns River Falls is a MUST! Especially if you're adventurous (it scared the tar out of me). The Bob Marley tour is supposed to be fun, too, but we didn't take advantage of that one.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    196

    Default

    My wife and I spent our first trip to Ocho Rios in a rented villa so wondered around town pretty much everyday. There is plenty to see. We feel it's worth it to wonder off, although we use a trusted driver to get us where we want to go.

    You'll need a taxi to get anywhere. Wondering around town, keep in mind Ochee is a cruise ship stop so you'll be hustled everywhere you go. I polite "no" is all that is required. They're just trying to earn a living is all. That said, the wife and I really enjoy several spots in Ochee.

    Go to Scotchies for great Jerk Chicken and roast fish. Local vibe as well.

    If you're really adventurous, try Fisherman's Beach for a meal. Local fresh seafood, and other things like jerk chicken and pork. Not many tourists make it down there.

    There are also some nicer dining options that the bell desk could help you with selecting. Looking through Trip Advisor reviews can help you select one also.

    There are plenty of touristy bars in Ochee and also the typical Jamaican Rum bars are everywhere if you prefer them. I really wouldn't do any wondering around at night however, but during the day I always felt comfortable.

    The Bob Marley tour to Nine-mile is a great way to see the country side. We book a private driver and stop at several rum bars on the way up, and find a local place in the hills for lunch (curried goat was fabulous). This is a five plus hour day however and involves some harrowing mountain roads. I can recommend a great driver if you're interested.

    S/F
    Scott and June

  6. #6

    Default

    The Ruins restaurant, if you like Dunn's River Falls, you'll love this restaurant. A little pricey, but well worth the price.

    enjoy iy!

    Jim & Linda

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    53

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by usmc7236 View Post
    My wife and I spent our first trip to Ocho Rios in a rented villa so wondered around town pretty much everyday. There is plenty to see. We feel it's worth it to wonder off, although we use a trusted driver to get us where we want to go.

    You'll need a taxi to get anywhere. Wondering around town, keep in mind Ochee is a cruise ship stop so you'll be hustled everywhere you go. I polite "no" is all that is required. They're just trying to earn a living is all. That said, the wife and I really enjoy several spots in Ochee.

    Go to Scotchies for great Jerk Chicken and roast fish. Local vibe as well.

    If you're really adventurous, try Fisherman's Beach for a meal. Local fresh seafood, and other things like jerk chicken and pork. Not many tourists make it down there.

    There are also some nicer dining options that the bell desk could help you with selecting. Looking through Trip Advisor reviews can help you select one also.

    There are plenty of touristy bars in Ochee and also the typical Jamaican Rum bars are everywhere if you prefer them. I really wouldn't do any wondering around at night however, but during the day I always felt comfortable.

    The Bob Marley tour to Nine-mile is a great way to see the country side. We book a private driver and stop at several rum bars on the way up, and find a local place in the hills for lunch (curried goat was fabulous). This is a five plus hour day however and involves some harrowing mountain roads. I can recommend a great driver if you're interested.

    S/F
    Scott and June
    I know I was not involved in this discussion, but I would love the name of the driver, that sounds like such a wonderful day!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    70

    Default

    Thanks so much! My husband always claims I want to "do" too much on vacations anyway, so a slower pace might be welcomed Can you tell us more about the rum bars? I haven't heard of that. What the the approximate cost of the driver?
    Last edited by D&A913; February 8th, 2013 at 04:43 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    196

    Default

    The tour to Nine mile with a private driver the resort can set-up for you quiet easily with a trusted tour operator. Cost is around $200.

    The Rum bars are the little ramshackle bars you see on the side of the road going to the resort to the airport. You also see them in Ochee. Some (few) tourists stop there, and I'm pretty sure I'm paying more for my beer than the Jamaicans in there. Its a worth while experience though.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    196

    Default

    The driver we use is named Lebert Watson. He has been a tour operator in Ochee for over 20 years.

    His number is 876-355-4521 or 876-355-6634.

    S/F
    Scott and June

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    49

    Default

    I would highly recommend Evita's to eat. Please see her website. You can call the restaurant in advance and they will send a driver to pick you up. No charge, just tip him when he takes you back to the resort. This is a very romantic setting and the food there is outstanding! This restaurant is located downtown Ocho Rios on a hillside across from the main shopping plaza.

  12. #12

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    We did a couple off resort excursions. They were ok but due to location, spent a better part of a day traveling there and back. Lost time at the resort. I don't recommend them but to each his own. We will go back next year, and never intend on leaving the resort, not worth it to us.
    Kenney

  13. #13

    Default

    We did this trip from CSS ...we gave the driver 100$...it was a 3 hour trip....it was real nice..Back in time for lunch....Coyaba river & garden, museum...................fern gully......shaw park gardens...wassili pottery...........back to CSS..3/12/13

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    561

    Default

    We went to Firefly, Noel Cowards home and also the site of Captain Morgans home, not the rum.LOL
    It's north of CTI and CSS but not too far. Very cool trip.

  15. #15

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    We enjoy going outside of the resort - we visit the local market and have gotten know a few of the vendors there. They are all very nice and if you treat them with respect, no worries. We also bought a really nice vase at the pottery place off the main street in downtown. We have done Bob Marley 8-Mile twice (first time it was a monsoon when we were half way there), both times it was a lot fun in one of the offroad jeeps (highly recommend). We've done the ziplining (not the Mystic Mountain one) and we've done the Jamaican Bobsled, loved that and a beautiful 15 minute 'ski lift' trip up the mountain and over the tree tops.

    Also have taken a day trip to Kingston - that was an all day trip and well worth it (we plan on doing it again this year). On our way to Kingston, we stopped in Spanish Town and took pictures of the beautiful British buildings - some still being used and others the facade is all that is left. We say the Bob Marley museum (much better than 8-Mile) - it has the recording studio that is still in use, we toured the Devon House Mansion and had their wonderful ice cream (to die for). Also went up into the 'Hollywood Hills' that overlooks Kingston. Along with those, we went to Port Royal where the pirates and British used to hide out when the pirates would rob ships in the area. Lots of History there.

    We spend one or two days going off the resort to go venture out to non-touristy areas. Besides Kingston this next trip, we plan on going further east on the Island towards Port Antonio to see what we can discover.

    As mentioned before, just make sure you have a good driver and if you catch a taxi around town, make sure they have a red colored license plate (that is the color of the license plate of ligit taxi drivers). We have never had a problem when we have been going through the mountains to small towns. Some friends venture out also and haven't run into any issues. Like any town, you have to be aware of your surroundings and treat people with respect.

    Enjoy your trip. We will be home to CTI in August and can't wait!!

    M&J

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