Located a bumpy hour-and-a-half away from the Montego Bay
airport is Ocho Rios known as Ochee to locals. This piece of
Caribbean heaven is worth banging over every pothole just to
experience. While there is plenty of sand and sun to soak up, there
is a lot more to see and do than your clients might think.
For those interested in strolling through a fragrant oasis of
flowers, tell them to check out the Coyaba Gardens. The garden tour
curves along a bubbling stream, winding through variations of
tropical flowers, all labeled in local terms. Here, clients can
also opt for a slow, barefoot hike through the property’s
If waterfalls and tropical plants aren’t quite the adventure
your clients are looking for, you can sign them up for any number
of tours through Chukka Cove. Daredevils can get their thrills with
a canopy tour. The experience will have even the toughest clients
shrieking as they careen from tree to tree, harnessed with only two
ropes and a set of pulleys. There is one drop a 90-degree freefall
from one tree to the next that is worth the entire trip.
If playing Jane and Tarzan doesn’t suit your clients, Chukka
Cove offers a beach horseback riding tour. These gentle horses ride
up and down the sand right next to the water perfect for anyone
wanting the quintessential romantic moment to write home about.
Reggae enthusiasts will want to have lunch at Minnie’s. Once
musician Bob Marley’s personal chef, Minnie now heads up this
kitchen, serving renowned vegetarian fare.
Another restaurant worth making a reservation at is Harmony
Hall. Full of charm and run by an Italian ex-patriot, it looks more
like a plantation than an Italian bistro but the food here is as
Italian as a moped running a red light in Rome. The Jamaican
culture has seeped in: Italian staples like prosciutto and melon
have morphed into prosciutto and papaya.
The menu changes daily and is scrawled onto two giant
chalkboards that are trotted out to each table in lieu of
individual menus. The seafood specials are spectacular, as is the
homemade profiteroles. Harmony Hall is also home to one of Ocho
Rios’ best art galleries. After stuffing themselves silly, clients
can feel free to poke around upstairs and marvel at the local art,
some of which is fairly affordable.
For some, duty-free shopping is the best reason to have an
international boarding pass, and Jamaica is one of the best spots
for tax-free spending. There are dozens of shopping enclaves and
craft markets to browse through, and plenty of good deals
especially in the arena of fine jewelry. If travelers are in the
market for a fancy watch, a pair of diamond earrings or even an
engagement ring Jamaica offers plenty to choose from at reasonable
prices. Tell travelers to try the Ocean Village Shopping Centre for
books, music and diamonds.
If clients are hankering for a bit of local culture to take home
and display on a shelf, send them to the Ocho Rios Craft Park. Here
clients can pick up woodcarvings and other Ochee trinkets.
For those interested in exploring beyond dry land, great diving,
deep-sea fishing and snorkeling are just off shore. Princess of the
Sea offers daily excursions.
Golfers who need to tee up to make their vacation perfect can
play a round at the Sandals Golf and Country Club. At 700 feet
above sea level, this course is worth a visit for the view
As far as nightlife goes, there are two clubs clients should
check out. The Acropolis gets going around 9 p.m., and is fun for
anyone who likes to hit the dance floor or just watch others shake
a tail feather. The cheesy-but-fun Jamaica Mi Crazy is always full
of characters and features live music on certain nights.
From sunning to dancing and snorkeling to horseback riding, Ocho
Rios has something for everyone, which makes Ochee a little piece
of vacation heaven.
The Acropolis: 876-974-2633
Chukka Cove: 876-972-2506
Coyaba Gardens: 876-974-4546
Harmony Hall: 876-975-4222
Jamaica Mi Crazy: 876-974-2201
Princess of the Sea: 876-974-1480
Jazz Lovers can check out the annual Ocho Rios Jazz Festival held
in June. 876-927-3544