The Best Low-Cost Cruise Shore Excursions in Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Ocho Rios is a port town on the north coast of Jamaica. A former fishing village, it's now a resort with a cruise ship harbor and a busy bay beach that's lined with hotels. The surrounding parish of Saint Ann is home to rainforest, rivers and waterfalls. Dunn's River Falls is a terraced, 180m mountain waterfall with lagoon pools, surrounded by trees. Ocho Rios was developed for tourism in the mid-1980s. Tourism has endowed the town with a great eating scene, lively nightlife, and a plethora of guiding companies offering everything from scuba diving to zip-line tours. Throw in some of Jamaica's best waterfalls on its doorstep, and Ocho Rios makes an excellent base for exploring the north coast. With all of these fabulous attributes, Ocho Rios is a great place to experience, and there are several options for exciting shore excursions and tours for while you are in port here.
Make the most of your time in port in Ocho Rios by enjoying Jamaica's spectacular outdoors. A shore excursion to the Green Grotto Caves will allow you to do just that. You'll be picked up at the port upon disembarking your cruise ship and your excursion can begin! A fascinating piece of both Jamaican nature and history, the Green Grotto Caves are near Discovery Bay. As you explore the caves, you'll see stalagmites, stalactites and a subterranean lake. Hear stories of slaves who hid in the caves, and marvel at the limestone formations. As a route of escape for the Spaniards during the English invasion in the 1600s and as a place to hide rum barrels during WWII, the history of Green Grotto Caves is rich. This fantastic Ocho Rios shore excursion gives you the chance to see some of the best of Jamaica during the short time that you are in port.
Spend your time in port in Ocho Rios admiring the beautiful countryside and coast on horseback. Follow your guide and learn about the culture of the Taino Indians before Columbus landed and the island was colonized under the Spanish flag. Ride through a natural wetland, shaded by almond and coconut trees, and see the excavations carried out by archaeologists, keen to uncover the history of this area. Then it's time to head to the beach for the real fun. Sample some local produce in a shady beach hut before stripping down to your bathing suit and riding through the Caribbean waves on horseback. It's an experience you'll never forget - splashing through the water on a beautiful horse. For your safety, the saddles are left on the horses, so you don't have to worry about falling off. Your return ride takes you along the deserted beach, where herons and other water birds fish in the shallow waters. You'll travel through the mangroves, which hide the remains of an eighteenth century warehouse and by an ancient waterwheel which powered the old sugar mill on this former sugar plantation. No experience is required - the ride is suitable for all skill levels. You'll be returned to the cruise ship port in time to catch your ship and head out to your next port of call.
Depending on your selection, either make your way to Mystic Mountain or enjoy pickup at the cruise port. Upon arrival, take in the impressive bobsled track, inspired by the 1998 movie Cool Runnings and built in the surrounding rainforest with as little environmental impact as possible. The property is home to natural springs and is home to many species of Jamaica's diverse flora and fauna. The track itself stretches from Dunn's River Falls at a height of 700 feet (215 meters), with a total course length of 3,200 feet (975 meters). Meet your bobsled guides and get a quick overview and some instruction. Climb in and let gravity take care of the hard part, while you utilize the handbrake as much as you like to slow down and enjoy the jungle scenery.
While in port in Ocho Rios, paddle down Jamaica's scenic Rio Bueno in a tandem kayak on this shore excursion. Follow your expert guide through medium-intensity, rushing river rapids as you make your way toward the Caribbean Sea. After pickup from the Ocho Rios port, head to the Rio Bueno for a brief safety overview and training before getting into your two-person kayak. Then, paddle down the splashing rapids as you admire the scenic Jamaican jungle and spot wildlife. Halfway through your kayak trip, take a break and lounge by the river, swim in the warm water, or try out the nearby rope swing. Then, hop back in your kayak and head farther downstream toward the Caribbean Sea. Follow your guide as you paddle to the shores of a secluded beach, where you can relax in the sun or swim before enjoying a relaxing drive back to the Ocho Rios port.
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