Having been there and read what people have posted here I would NOT recommend it, especially for a woman. Maybe do a search here because it is said to be a dangerous place on your own but safer to do ship excursions.
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean
Hello, having done the wester caribbean two years ago and stopping off at ochio rios...let me just say it is beautiful but do not go off the beaten path! They will warn you at the greeting the night before when they expain what each excurtion is. They will tell you that you should not stray and they are very aggressive when you are not even looking to buy anything. We did the dunns river falls and before we even walked down to the beach where it begins they hauled my husband and me into this little market place that is like a maze to get out of. Then after you finish the falls you have to walk through it again! Not to scare you though the place is beautiful but I would book an excursion with the ship that will take you and your group to see things off the beaten path. We did the dolphin swim there and it was nice and they were not that aggressive. Enjoy the beautiful beach!! Have fun!
i will totally agree with the others, Jamaica is not the place to go off on your own. ITs a beautiful, lush tropical island but book a tour, either with the cruise line or thru a local reputable tour operator like Peat Taylor.
Rent a little convertable jeep thingee in Cozumel. Once outside town there is one road that simply goes around the entire island. You can't get lost. On one side of the island there is bascally nothing , just some rocky rough beaches. On the far end there is an old ruin you can tour. As you come around the eastern side there are a number of nice beaches. Then, you are back in town.
Now count me as one that does not agree with the others. My wife and I and even our kids who are in their 20's often wander all over and have a great time. Yes it pays to be aware of your surroundings and not venture into obvious bad areas. Treat them with honor and respect and they treat you the same way in return. If you really want to see the countryside I suggest either the Rose Plantation tour or some ships tour into the interior or the river rafting tours. I do recommend that you take the ships tours mostly to ensure you will return to the ship ontime. Last time my son and wife were there, (in their upper 20's), they actually went far inland on some private tour all the way up into the hills where few tourists ever go. They loved it and the people there.
I did the Rose Plantation tour when I spent a week in Montego Bay. It was very interestng and the history of the "White Witch" is a great story. I even bought the book!! There was another tour I did that was not listed in the tour books. We had an independent tour operator that worked from the hotel we stayed in. His name was Morris Gifford. Great guy. He took us to a bird sanctuary and we loved it. Most of the operators would not go there because it was such a bumpy ride up the mountain. Once there you have a magnificent view of the ocean. The place was a quaint little cottage occupied by a woman living alone. This was in the 80's so this may not still be there. This woman fed the birds and had them trained. She would sit you in a chair and put seed in your hands. The birds would light on you to feed. She also had liquor "nips" that she filled with hummingbird nectar. She would have you sit still and hold them. The hummingbirds would come and drink right from you. I loved it because it was not commercialized and overcrowded. Caution though. If you are using an independent operator please be sure to use one that works from a hotel property. They are the ones that are properly insured and have safe vehicles. Ones that are not allowed on the hotel property are not insured and usually drive unsafe vehicles.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.“
We used Peat Taylor and very happy with him. Many people use him. Have to book online ahead of time to reserve space. He will take u wherever you want to go. Will customize your tour. You pay when your tour is over. We saw some beautiful scenery up in the hills. We visited about 4 different places and did the river rafting as well. He waited for us at the end. I personally would stick with the shopping mall that's right outside the large fence area. It was a very nice place and no one to bother you there. Very colorful buildings..this is where they usually drop u off after your tour.
Any ?'s, feel free to email me.
If you don't use the ship's tours, use someone that's recommended on these boards and many people have been happy with. You just never know what can happen.