Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jamaica tourist guide: Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios, which means eight rivers in Spanish, is one of the most sought out tourist destinations in Jamaica. This picturesque town is home to the stunning Dunn’s River Falls. Apart from the waterfalls, the town has much more to offer, notably magnificent beaches and the beautiful colonial-period buildings.

Ocho Rios is idyllically located about one and a half to two hours from every major town in Jamaica and is the only town that borders five of the island's most interesting parishes. To cater to the large number of tourists who come to this area, Ocho Rios boasts several exclusive villas and apartments offering all possible amenities required for a comfortable stay. These Jamaican apartments provide all the comforts and services of a hotel as also the privacy and space that only a home can provide. Overlooking spectacular surroundings, these vacation homes are perfect for those who wish to spend quality time together with their families and loved ones. Besides, they provide convenient access to the best of Jamaican attractions, some of which are:

• Dunn's River Falls: These falls are undoubtedly the main attraction of Ocho Rios. The water of the Dunn's River cascading over the rock terraces to the sea forms a pretty sight. If you wish, you can also climb up the stepping stones leading to the water fall and stand under the shower. There is a Dunn's River feast every week with dancing, music, and swimming.

• Dolphin Cove: You can enjoy a fun filled day swimming with the dolphins. This is one activity your kids are sure to enjoy.

• Fishing and boating: You can visit the beach at Island Village to soak up the sun and laze away the hours. However, if you wish to indulge in something more active, you can take advantage of a full range of activities offered here including fishing and boating.

• Prospect Plantation: Go horseback riding to discover the scenic trail or simply enjoy the tour of this 1000-acre plantation, which dates from 1721. People from all walks of life have planted trees at Prospect Plantation, including former Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson and, Sir Winston Churchill planted a mahogany tree in front of the Great House. Today, the former sugar estate grows bananas, cassava, coffee, allspice, coconut and many other crops, but not for the commercial market.

• Green Grotto Caves: Explore these historic caves with a crystal-clear lake at the bottom located between Discovery and Runaway Bays. The first Jamaicans, the Arawak Indians are believed to have found shelter here, a fact that is backed by the multiple fragments of pottery and adzes that have been unearthed from time to time.

• Golfing at Sandals Golf & Country Club: The course is located in the hills just above the eastern end of the Ocho Rios area. It has narrow fairways and offers a challenging test of your game in a spectacular setting.

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