EXCLUSIVE: How to spend 72hrs in Ocho Rios- Jamaica’s beloved tourist destinations

The 72hrs in Ocho Rios will provide ultimate experience of tourism with its natural splendours and rich culture. Ocho Rios is one of Jamaica's premier and beloved tourist destinations.

EXCLUSIVE: How to spend 72hrs in Ocho Rios- Jamaica’s beloved tourist destinations
EXCLUSIVE: How to spend 72hrs in Ocho Rios- Jamaica’s beloved tourist destinations

Jamaica: The 72hrs in Ocho Rios will provide ultimate experience of tourism with its natural splendours and rich culture. Ocho Rios is one of Jamaica’s premier and beloved tourist destinations.

This idyllic town is located in the island’s lush garden parish, once a peaceful fishing village and bauxite hotspot, ideally situated on its serene north coast between many attractions.

READ HERE: HOW TO SPEND 72 HRS IN THE FORMER FISHING VILLAGE ON THE NORTH COAST OF JAMAICA – A NEW ROUTE ON CARIBBEAN-WIDE NETWORK

DAY 1- MORNING

Kick off your trip at Ocho Rios Bay Beach, within walking distance of lots of accommodation in town. The pristine white-sand beach has an affordable entrance fee and is relatively quiet, despite being shared with hotels.

It’s an ideal spot to savour a cold Red Stripe underneath a coconut tree, or try various watersports offered by local operators.

LUNCH

Jamaica’s most treasured pastry is the patty, a Craft shopping in Oche flaky treat with delicious fillings, including beef, chicken, shrimp and ackee.

Tastee (open Mon-Sat, 08:00-16:00) and Juici Patties (open Mon-Thurs, 8:00-19:00; Fri-Sat, 8:00- 20:00) are the island’s most popular chains with decades of experience in their culinary craft.

They should also try coco bread – a sweet bun made primarily from coconut milk that is used widely as a sandwich roll for patties.

Nearby, enjoy a sweet treat at Scoops Ice Cream (open Wed-Sun, 11:00-20:00) located in Island Village (open daily, 08:00-22:00). Here, people can taste Devon House’s world-famous ice cream, voted by National Geographic as one of the best places in the world to have ice cream.

They have a variety of unique and tropical flavours, such as Devon Stout, Blue Mountain Coffee, Mango and Coconut.

AFTERNOON

Bob Marley is undoubtedly a household name synonymous with Jamaica. Celebrate his legacy at the Bob Marley Mausoleum (open daily, 08:00- 17:00) in Nine Mile, his birth and final resting place. The hour-long journey to the mountainous rural community is worthwhile.

The informative and immersive tour lets you feel connected to the musical icon as you tour his childhood home and view personal artefacts. Travellers can even indulge in some herbal treats, all to the sounds of Marley’s sweet melodies performed by a live band.

DINNER

Unwind and watch the sunset at Evita’s (open Tues-Sun, 12:30-22:00). This romantic Italian- Jamaican restaurant overlooks Ocho Rios Bay from a charming 19th-century gingerbread hillside house.

Evita’s has character and a divine ambience. Vibrant local artwork and photos of notable visitors, including Sir Anthony Hopkins and Naomi Campbell, adom the walls. Their fusion dishes, such as ‘Reggae-Toni, are served on a moonlit outdoor verandah, complemented by the relaxing strums of an in-house guitarist.

DAY- 2- MORNING

Consider Dunn’s River Falls and Park (open daily, 08:30-16:00) a must-do on your trip to Ocho Rios. The iconic, picturesque waterfall is a natural beauty spot. Smooth limestone rocks facilitate a relatively easy and entertaining climb guided from the foot of the falls near a breathtaking white- sand beach.

Travellers can also choose to zipline through the park’s enchanting jungle with Chukka’s exhilarating package, with the option of a catamaran cruise to Dunn’s.

LUNCH

Foodies will be familiar with the term “jerk, a flavourful cooking style native to Jamaica. Indulge in the worldwide phenomenon at Scotchies (Drax Hall, open daily, 11:00-21:00), arguably the island’s premier jerk hub.

Try their jerked chicken and pork alongside sides of ‘festival’ (fried dough) and ‘bammy’ (cassava). If they are a spice lover, request extra jerk sauce, which is made in-house with locally grown scotch bonnet peppers. In addition, they can bring a taste of Jamaica back home with their pre-packaged sauces available for purchase.

AFTERNOON

Travel eastward to Oracabessa, the birthplace of lan Fleming’s James Bond, to participate in the conservation of one of Jamaica’s critically endangered species. Since its conception, the Oracabessa Bay Sea Turtle Project has significantly increased the local population of hawksbill turtles, monitoring and protecting nests along the island’s shores.

Hatchlings are removed from their nests, and you can help guide them on their monumental race to the sea. Their release schedule is announced weekly, based on nature’s timing.

Donations are highly encouraged to contribute to the organisation’s incredible work, including incubation support and raising awareness against poaching.

DINNER

Located in the heart of Ocho Rios, Miss T’s Kitchen (open daily, 12:00-21:00) is a rootsy, authentic restaurant that encapsulates everything there is to love about Jamaican cuisine. Step from the bustling town centre into a colourful, welcoming ‘yaad.

Travellers can choose to dine in the garden illuminated by fairy lights or at a table made from an old rum barrel. The extensive menu features oxtail – a favourite among locals and tourists – ideally accompanied by Planters Rum Punch.

DAY 3: MORNING

Start a final day in paradise by treating yourself to Ocho Rios’ variety of shopping options. The Ocho Rios Craft Market is an excellent spot for cheaper souvenirs – beaded bracelets, Rastafarian tams, magnets and keychains.

At Sun Island Jamaica (open Mon-Fri, 08:00- 16:30), people can find Bob Marley and Usain Bolt apparel alongside high-quality, locally made, quintessentially Jamaican graphic tees.

Additionally, Local wooden handicrafts, The Courthouse Gallery & Café (open Tues-Sat, 10:00-18:00; Sun, 10:00-16:00) boasts a vast collection of artworks by leading artists, as well as craft items such as ceramics, straw bags and jams.

An eight-minute drive from the city will lead you to Harmony Hall, a restored 19th-century Georgian building home to Island Magnolia (open Wed- Sat, 11:00-19:00; Sun, 11:00-17:00), a boutique specialising in high-end Caribbean goods from Barbados, Haiti, Trinidad and beyond.

LUNCH

Embrace nature at the ultimate epicurean experience. Stush in the Bush (open Fri & Sun, 11:00) invites you to be ‘stush, Jamaican Patois for posh, at their farm-to-table lunch where sustainability and luxury intersect.

A 40-minute drive through the countryside leads you to their property with an unbeatable view of the north coast. The experience begins with an ‘Earth Walk’ exploring the grounds where their fresh ingredients are grown.

People then return to the main house to enjoy a heavenly eight-course “ital’ meal. The gastronomic experience lasts four to five hours.

DINNER

After a feast in the hills, dinner calls for something lighter but equally fulfilling. Ocean’s 11’s (open daily, 11:00-21:00) selection of fresh seafood is unparalleled – after all, Ocho Rios was once a fishing village.

Standout items on the menu include snapper (delicious when fried ‘escovitch’ style) and restaurant has an electric atmosphere which comes to life during karaoke nights – the perfect finale to an unforgettable few days.