Ocho Rios Jamaica with children provides any family with an amazing opportunity to experience rich culture and a healthy dose of fun. As part of our ongoing feature which explains the benefits of family cruises, we offer a day as experienced by an actual family during a recent Western Caribbean cruise. This day offers a variety of experiences that can be enjoyed a la carte, or combined for a day that reasonably fits into the relative constraint of a cruise day in port.
The type of vacation we typically choose is luxury. For our activities, we like luxury and often stay at the finest hotels, but we are also adventurous and love off the beaten path types of experiences and always seek them out. We aren’t bothered by very “local” experiences anywhere and think these are very important to our vacation. We love adventure. We also like a mixture of regular, touristic and organized places. We enjoy hiking and outdoorsy activities. We enjoy museums, markets and other activities geared towards children. We like to maximize each day by seeing as much as possible. As experienced cruisers, our families has taken about 7 cruises in as many years, with several different companies.
Our children at the time of this trip: 6 children- Boy age 16, Girl age 16, Girl age 16, Girl age 12, Boy age 8 and Girl age 4.
A SPECIAL NOTE: We utilized a driver/tour guide for this stop. He did a great job and was very useful in navigating the area, especially given our time restraints. His name was Shawn, he was a really nice guy and he worked for Barrett Adventures. They were a great company that helped craft a wonderful day for our family. Besides their website, they can be reached by phone at (876) 382-6384.
Address: Freehill, Bamboo Jamaica
Phone: (876) 427-4866
Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM Monday – Saturday, Closed Sunday
Admission: Varies by activity, discounts available for packages of activities as well as for groups. Consult website for details.
H’Evans Scent is a “taste of real Jamaica” set in the hills of St. Ann, approximately 1 hour from Ocho Rios. The facility provides an array of activities, including an intense treetop zipline course and paintball facilities. Zip lines range from 500 to 1,200 feet in length. You can purchase various sized packages for either activity, or day packages that include both. H’Evans Scent also features authentic Jamaican food for a nice mid day meal. Food includes jerk chicken, fish, rice & peas, vegetables and “festival,” Jamaican cornbread fritters. Spend a few hours or a whole day engaging in family fun with a distinctly Jamaican flair. Besides contacting them through their site, adventures at H’Evans Scent can be booked through Barrett Adventures.
We had a lot of fun and thought this was a great place. We opted for the 5 zip line package, which included a swing. Our kids were able to enjoy this, though for the last two of the five zip lines, only those weighing over 120 pounds could participate. The ziplines all provided the kind of thrill and exhilaration you would expect. We have ziplined all over the world and this location did not disappoint. The staff couldn’t have been nicer. They were kind, very kid friendly and safety conscious. Our kids loved this place!
Admission: 2-3 persons (Adult) $110, 4-5 persons (Adult) $100, Child $70. Group rates for 6+ people. Option to pay 50% deposit with the other 50% due the day of the tour in cash. No credit cards on the day of the tour.
8 miles from the world famous Dunn’s Falls, with its thousands of annual tourists, lies secret falls. The name says it all, as your family can enjoy all the fun of hiking up the falls and diving off cliffs in relative peace and quiet. The lower falls also feature a swing which you can use to jump in the turquoise waters. Lay in the sun, or hike through beautiful rainforest in a popular Jamaican experience, without the crowds.
We opted to go here instead of Dunn’s Falls. There were very few people, which was nice for us. We had three locals walk us they the falls and help us jump into three amazing natural pools. We also had the opportunity to hike through the falls. The guides were so nice to us, one essentially carried our 3 year old the whole way because they thought it would be safer for her. Another took lots of pictures. They all helped us to jump, to get in and out of the pools (there were some slippery rocks), and also helped with the tarzan ropes. Our kids loved this place. A Note of Caution: This is a natural area – You are hiking on slippery rocks and jumping into natural water pools fed by real waterfalls. This is not an officially supervised water park. Only go here if you and your family feel you are in good condition and understand the risks of hiking and walking along very slippery sharp rocks, and are comfortable swimming on ropes and jumping from heights into natural pools.
If you are thrill seekers this is a lot of fun, as long as u understand the risks. We did it with kids ages 3 to 16 and all participated at the level they were comfortable with, and they all loved it. It cost us $60 to enter the area, plus we tipped the guides who were great. Working with Barrett Tours, there is some flexibility depending on what else you wish to do on a given day.
We were given an opportunity to do some rafting after the falls for about an hour. The location is only about 10 minutes away from Secret Falls. At that point, we were so tired from the trip that we decided to just go souvenir shopping before we headed back to the ship. It is nice to know that there is an option however, if you and your family are interested and not as tired as we were. If this is a priority for you, consider watching your time at the falls and moving on a little quicker.
This was a better option for us at the end of our day than rafting. We stopped at Rainbow Souvenirs in Falmouth, Jamaica. They have a nice array of T-shirts and trinkets, as well as food items and much more. We found their prices to be fair and the staff were very friendly. We would recommend it as a stop for any family looking to pick up something to remember their Jamaican vacation by.
Interested in booking or planning a vacation to Ocho Rios right now? Check out some of the offers currently available for airfare and hotels at Kayak, Orbitz and Priceline. See more lodging options at Hotels.com and Hilton. Get started on your next trip today!
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