The temptation to go away on a well-earned vacation and spend the week holed up in a flash resort lying by a sparkling swimming pool sipping cocktails is all too strong in today’s hectic and stressful world. Make no mistake, this style of vacation sounds idyllic to most and the idea of a week doing nothing but relaxing is very appealing, but discerning travelers these days want more from their break and from their well earned and costly vacation.
Ocho Rios is the gateway to a number of authentic and rewarding experiences and excursions on Jamaica’s north coast and surrounding areas. The most famous attraction in the whole of Jamaica is that of Dunns River Falls. Starting on the beach at the base of the falls, you can experience a thrilling climb along rocks and through the crystal clear waters whilst surrounded by tropical plants and wildlife. For the more sedate, spend an afternoon exploring the serene beauty of Coyaba Gardens and Falls or Shaw Park Gardens. These lush tropical gardens feature many varieties of native flora and fauna, and allow visitors a relaxing couple of hours strolling through water gardens and enjoying stunning viewpoints of the bay of Ocho Rios. Further afield is a cultural Mecca for all visitors to Jamaica, the village of Nine Mile and the birthplace and final resting place of reggae legend Bob Marley. Hiring a car rather than taking an official tour allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Fern Gully and hidden villages where locals go about their lives without the distraction of the mainstream tourist crowd. The journey inland is punctuated by places to stop to sample traditional Jamaican food and to get a glimpse of rural Jamaican life not available from a resort or an official tour. How about an early morning fishing trip to see how Jamaicans use the Caribbean Sea as a way of making a living? Watch and participate as local fisherman catch tuna, barracuda and snapper amongst others using traditional methods and near telepathic knowledge of where the fish are to be found on any given day.
Jamaica and specifically its utopian north coast is just begging to be explored from beyond the confines of a luxury resort. Renting a luxury villa, for example, enables you and your family and friends to enjoy the trappings of a five star resort with the added benefit of the staff’s local knowledge and the ability to explore the surrounding area. Even if staying in a resort is a must, it is easy to rent a car and explore this fun and laid-back country. You will fall in love with the place and its people and will have made your hard earned vacation truly worthwhile.