Here is a fun packed one day itinerary if you arriving in Ocho Rios for the day. This guide is especially for cruise passengers who have a few hours to spend on the island before leaving for the next port. The itinerary includes a little of everything, Reggae, natural wonders and Jamaican history.
8:00am – 9:00am Ocho Rios to green Grotto Caves
Start your day with a drive West up the North coast past St. Ann’s Bay, Priory and Runaway Bay to arrive at the Green Grotto Caves which is 30km away.
9:00am – 10:00am Green Grotto Caves (US$20 Adults, US$10 Kids)
The naturally formed limestone subterranean caves form a labyrinth of 1,525 meters long and the caves go as deep as 12 meters beneath the ground. There are underground chambers, subterranean Grotto Lake and illuminated stalactites and stalemates. Over the years different groups of people have inhabited the caves, the Arawak Indians followed by the Spaniards who went into hiding during the English take-over and later by arms smugglers between WWI and WWII who ran weapons to Cuba.
10:00am – 11:30am Discovery Bay, Columbus Park (Free)
Traveling just 3.2km further up the coast we get to Discovery Bay so named as it is thought to have been where Christopher Columbus first set foot on the island. Visit the Columbus Park, an open-air museum with artifacts from the Columbian and Spanish Colonial periods which were excavated in the area. Among the sites in the park is an aqueduct which once supplied water to a sugar estate, 18th century cannons and sugar boiling coppers.
11:30 – 1pm Discovery Bay, lunch and onto Dunn’s Falls
Take a slow drive down to Dunn’s Falls stopping in one of the small towns for lunch. You can either take the coastal route passing through Runaway Bay and St. Ann’s Bay or take a small detour inland to see a bit more of the inland countryside. If you want to go inland take the route past the small town of Dumbarton, Brown’s Town and Bamboo before returning to the coastal route at Priory. If you don’t turn off the B11 for Priory then you’ll keep going to Claremont before the next opportunity to turn towards the coast. This route (A1 from Claremont to Steer Town) may take too long.
1:00pm – 3:30pm Dunn’s Falls (US$20 Adults, US$12 Kids)
Visit to the region’s most popular tourist site. Dunn’s Falls is a 55 meter high and 180 meter long waterfall which cascades over a series of terraces which form natural stairs so that visitors can “walk” up the waterfall. Along the way there are pools of water and at the bottom of the falls in the Dunn’s Falls beach. On either side of the falls is lush vegetation so that you are in a jungle paradise as you cool off in the water. Dunn’s Falls is one of only a few waterfalls of this kind in the world, where the water comes from a natural spring, the sediment from the water continuously “builds” the falls which flow into the sea. On the site is a café, souvenir stalls, beach, the waterfall and modern amenities like toilets etc.
3:30pm – 5:00pm Return to Ocho Rios, Island Village, Reggae Explosion (US$7)
To wind down your busy day visit this commercialized attraction where you can buy all kinds of Jamaican crafts and souvenirs and visit the Reggae Explosion Museum. This museum highlights not only Reggae music but other forms of Jamaican music and it uses modern multi-media to make it a really “explosive” experience.