There is a beach right by the pier however it was not recommended to go there as the locals go on that beach and harass you and sell drugs etc. I found Ocho Rios to be a very scary place! We went to Mahogany beach, it was nice that nobody bugged you but very small and not open ocean water, almost reminded you of a lake. So although the cabbies recommend this one, I wouldn't. I would keep checking around for a good beach, but just keep in mind that Jamaica is a scary place and make sure the beach is clean and safe. The cruise line usually gives you a good debriefing on Jamaica and may have a beach to recommend. Good Luck! Happy cruising!
I disagree strongly with your statements. The beach that is just to the left of the ship is controlled access and cost a few bucks to enter. It is very nice and a very pleasant place to 'beach it' while in Ocho Rios. I have also found the locals to be a very warm and fun-loving people and very friendly. The main thing is to treat them as you wish to be treated. The most important word and emotion in Jamaica is RESPECT. They are very poor and respect is the only thing they still have to cherish. Yes I have seen some locals giving some tourists 'down the road' attitudes but that is usually because i first see the visitors turn up their noses, ignore, or show disrespect to the locals first. That will incure thier rath and probably rightfully so. Much of it is unconcious prejudice on the part of the visitor. I have seen liberal woman from northern states who truely believe they do not have a bogoted bone in their body pull away and sometimes even cringe when a dark-skinned local rushes over and puts his arm around her to talk with her, (this is thier typical way), simpy because she is not used to such boldness and sometimes an unwashed body. Upon her reactiuon the local takes offense and it esculates from there. My wife and I, and other family members typically walk to town and all over and never have a problem, rather we have a wonderful time and learn quite a bit about the country and culture. I have never been offered drugs in Jamaica, (I have in St Thomas and St Martin), and my 20 something son was only offered once and when he said no thanks that was the end of it. The long and short of it is that jamacia is what YOU make of it. We have found it to be the home of the nicest and warmest people in the Caribbean.
Thank you for your correcting me on my thoughts. These were based simply on the advise of others (which obviously wasn't the best advise). I was really looking forward to my adventure in Jamaica and was unfortunately tarnished before arriving. I was probably looking for the bad not the good and wish I had of had your insight and outlook before going, I probably would've enjoyed my time. However, Mahogany beach is still the pits, and to think we traveled all that way when there was a nice one right there!!!
Is Mahogany beach the one that is near Dunn's River Falls? If not, do you know what beach is there and what it's like for those of us who do not want to climb the falls or the stairs next to the falls but just enjoy the catamaran trip and the view? Thanks.
No, it is in the other direction, I'm not sure of the name of the beach at Dunn's River but it seemed ok to me. We were only there for a short time but it was better then Mahogany but not sure how it compares to the other beaches around.
We had a lovely time in Jamaica. I agree I don't care much for the barbed wire, but it did keep the local peddlers off of the beach. Nice sand, basically a strip. We took our four year old there to play after taking an excellent half day excursion ocean kayaking on route to Dunns River Falls. Excellent day. Highly recommended. Have fun!
I highly suggest you consider doing a tour with Peat Taylor!!! He picks you up at the pier in his very clean air conditioned mini bus. You will have a tour of the area, through Fern Gully, to a mountain outlook, Dunn's River Falls, shopping, or the beach if you like then back to the ship. Peat is fun, informative, and so very helpful! We were not sure that my teen age son would enjoy this tour, and he really loved it! Not only do you feel safe and informed, you have FUN!
When we were in Ochos Rios we went on the river rafting excursion. The native we had poling us down the river became quite belligerent when we declined his offer to sell us a guord or some kind of tree pod he had carved on. He got even worse when we did not offer to treat him to beer being sold out of a cooler by a native woman on the shore. He proceeded to "pole" our raft into a tree and bushes along the shoreline so we were even more annoyed. Needless to say he got no tip from us, and it left a bitter feeling with my husband about the entire Jamaican experience. We tried to walk to the nearby shopping center and were so hassled by the natives that we turned around and went back to the ship!! We will be in Ochos Rios again in Janaury....wonder how that will turn out...we may not get off the ship!!
This has really turned into a Hot Topic. I will probably just stir the pot again but am only expressing my own thoughts on the subject.
Myself and my husband did a land package in Ocho Rios about 5 years ago. It was a 5 day deal and on the 5th day I was so ready to go home. Yes, the beaches are gorgeous and the water warm and stunning. But i can definatley do without the barbed wire, armed guards that yell at you if you try to step foot off of the "compound" grounds. I found there to be very friendly staff and very scary and rude staff. One day we took a shopping trip into town and were so bombarded with locals offering drugs that we seeked refuge in the local burger king until the van came back two hrs later. You cant imagine how many times we heard "hey mom, ya want smoke, coke, dope?" I could handle it if after i had said No thank you, they would have left us alone. But noooo they continued to follow... Im sorry but the purpose of a vaction is to relax. I was not relaxed. We did do Dunns River Falls and loved it. In fact i chose my west carib itinerary so that i could take my kids to Dunns River. But you better believe that my eyes will never leave the sight of my teens... Last year we sailed to St. Thomas and found the people to be wonderful and friendly. I absolutley loved it and enjoyed being so relaxed. Everybody has a different story and now you know my mine... Happy and Healthy Sailing...
Please give a tour with Peat Taylor a try. He is known by the people of Ocho Rios, and they leave his people alone. He will provide you with a safe, and secure feeling trip. I had our teen son with us and was very prepared for any issues that may have come up. The only time there was anyone being pushy while we were shopping, and we were very firm in saying "NO", and let us alone. No problem Mon!
When you go to the falls, and you are ready to leave to meet Peat at the bus, go to the top of the hill and veer to the right instead of going into the market place to the left. You go out around the back of the Market area, no one being pushy.
We learned so much about the plant life, and culture of Jamaica from Peat that we can't wait to go back! We also got some good deals shopping there, not to mention the fantastic Jerk !!!!