JAMAICA's Ocho Rios Re-Discovered

JAMAICA’s Ocho Rios on the North Coast has really expanded since last I visited the island a dozen years ago.There are more places of interest than ever before.

First-off, there’s the famous cozy
coves of Montego Bay, heavy on
water sports, a bevy of historic sites, savory food, either Jamaican or international and a non-stop night life. In reality,there’s more to do on this side of the island I found than anywhere else.

Ocho Rios is a place where the water flows abundantly. Take the
DUNN’S RIVER FALLS, for example where I managed to scale a 600 foot ravine entirely barefooted, but with the aid of a band of sleuths who came to my rescue and who formed a human chain to insure my safety. Thanks “man.” I moved from boulder to boulder with soft, cascading water soothing my body on every turn. To say the least
it was worth the effort and enjoyable. There’s also a sandy beach below the falls and a
tropical garden inside the park if you’re so inclined. This area is known as the Coyaba and Shaw Park Gardens. It’s incredibly leafy and beautiful.

Nearby is a place known as FERN
GULL. Like the name, it’s a paradise of tropical ferns where a walk through finds you in a virtual savanna. The colors are striking.

CHUKKA COVE is another place I found unique. Imagine riding on a grassy plane with a team of 18 dogs
at your command and with five others with you in an actual blobsled going at 25-30 mph! You’ll need to hold on to your seat or the next
person with you to get you through
the ride which lasts about a half-hour. Otherwise their stables
will offer you a horse of your choice
to cover their “plantation.” From here you can amble along James Bond Beach which nicely abuts their property. This is where Ian Fleming’s Dr. No was filmed.

Another find was SCOTCHIE’S,
a BBQ restaurant that features
pit-fired meats and fish-fry 7-days-
a week. You’ll be served under a canopy of native trees along with ice-cold beer or fresh-fruit tropical drinks. It’s located on the main coast
road less than 15 minutes east of
CHUKKA COVE by car.

If you’re staying overnight nearby
you may want to visit Discovery Bay
where Columbus first landed on the island in 1494. There’s the Seville Great House where Indian and Spanish settlers first encamped and the town of Nine Miles, Bob Marley’s
childhood home. In Oracabessa you can visit the home of composer Noel Coward.

For more info on Ocho Rios, e-mail the Jamaica Tourist Board at:
info@visitjamaica.com or call:
1-800- JAMAICA.

Michael Zufolo reporting

About The Author

Michael Zufolo, Producer/Co-Host of Let's Travel! Radio

Michael has been an active player in Media Relations and Marketing for the past 30 years with stints at The New York Times, Forbes, WOR Radio, TV Channel 11, Attenzione Magazine, et.al., and with participation in the Caribbean Tourism Org.,/ CTO, the Pacific Travel Assn./ PATA, the Foreign Press Assn./ FPA, and the International Society of Travel Writers/ ISTR. Libra/ America, his latest signature, provides travel opportunities to VIP travelers and groups world-wide. Let’s Travel! Radio is an extension of his experiences.

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