Ocho Rios: Getting Oriented in This Jamaican Town

photo credit: Jim Amorin

Ocho Rios: Getting Oriented in This Jamaican Town

By Amber Nolan

With a flight time of less than two hours from Miami, Jamaica is a hot spot Caribbean destination. It's a quick and convenient vacation getaway – particularly for East Coast dwellers.

In fact, the island operates on Eastern Standard Time, and a number of major airlines offer service from Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Orlando and numerous other cities on the East Coast (and across the U.S.) – many with non-stop flights lasting under four hours.

Round-trip tickets can be purchased from Miami and Fort Lauderdale for around $200, and less than $400 from major hubs like New York and Boston. This makes Jamaica much more affordable than some of the more far-flung Caribbean islands.

Many cruise ships dock in the sparkling turquoise waters of Jamaica’s Ocho Rios, a 1.5-hour drive from the international airport in Montego Bay. Major cruise companies like Carnival, Norwegian and Princess sail from South Florida to Ocho Rios.

There are several restaurants and duty-free shops in Ocho Rios, but most of the attractions can be found outside the town itself, like Dunn's River Waterfalls, a stunning group of cascading waterfalls that empty right into the ocean.

Nearby Runaway Bay is a pristine, scenic area with several beachfront hotels. Bioluminescent tours in the evening make a unique and memorable experience, where the water glows with life.

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