Ocho Rios concentrates the spirit of Jamaica into one place -- sun; beach; attractive, friendly people; music; dance; laughter ... this is not a place to come to and get bored. It's almost impossible to do so!
Although most tourists would associate Ocho Rios (and the vast majority of Jamaican seaside towns and cities) with all-inclusive resorts, there is more to Ocho Rios than life inside a hotel. It's true that big hotels are plentiful and concentrate a lot of the visitors, but you can definitely stay in smaller accommodation options and have the time of your life. Ocho Rios is divided mainly into two areas -- the center of town (where smaller Ocho Rios hostels and guesthouses can be found) and the surrounding areas where the big resorts have planted themselves, normally several kilometers away.
Between locals and tourists, downtown Ocho Rios is full of life. There are plenty of shops and services common to any small city and the tourist-oriented businesses, such as restaurants, bars, clubs -- and, of course, crafts markets with Bob Marley's face printed on all sorts of items! The port in town is a stop for a lot of cruise ships going around the Caribbean, so things get busy during the day while tourists are on land, but it turns into a calmer pace in the evenings, when only locals and the few tourists that stay downtown remain. It's only later at night that things start picking up again, when bars and clubs blast music that will attract the residents as well as tourists, even those seeking for an alternative to the all-inclusive life-style available in the big resorts.
Hi, I'm zararock,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Ocho Rios hostels. Welcome.