At the core of any truly memorable family vacation is one word: fun. For this reason, Ocho Rios is an ideal spot for such a getaway.
Regardless of your children's ages, this area of Jamaica's north shore is brimming with attractions that make for an unusual trip. With the same laid-back vibe the island is known for, but also a bevy of exciting parks & other experiences, Ocho Rios boasts the perfect compromise that keeps both adults & kids happy. Here are some of the top spots you definitely won't want to miss:
Animal lovers should stop by the Dolphin Cove, which is bordered by acres of lush rainforest. Ever wanted to swim with the dolphins? You'll get up close & personal with these friendly creatures, or even try being a "sea keeper" under the tutelage of a dolphin trainer. If you're feeling brave, you can also interact with & feed Caribbean sharks, or snorkel with stingrays. The adventures don't stop, there, either. A humorous Shark Show, glass-bottom kayak expedition & Jungle Trail Walk are just several of the other activities that are sure to please the whole family. While you're taking a break from all the action, savor Jamaican Jerk fare while sipping on a cold Red Stripe beer & gazing out at the sparkling Caribbean sea.
Rainforest Adventures Park at Mystic Mountain
Are you & your kids shameless thrill-seekers? Mystic Mountain is the perfect place to bring adolescents & young adults for an adrenaline-pumping experience they'll never forget. Where else can you go bobsledding in a tropical forest, or go zip-lining through the canopies with a jaw-dropping view of Dunn's River Falls? When you need to cool off, head to the Mystic Waterslide or Infinity Edge Pool. Before you leave, be sure to climb the Mystic Lookout Tower: The Ocho Rios coast provides an ideal background for some stunning family photos.
Walkerswood Factory Tour
Foodie families will definitely want to make a stop at this factory, which is set on the hills of St. Ann. At Walkerswood, a multitude of mouth-watering sauces, seasonings & condiments are made from fresh ingredients grown right in the local area, including Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce & calypso chutney with mangoes, papaya & Jamaican ginger. To get a taste of all the products here & a glimpse into how they're made, go on the guided tour, which will take you through the on-site herb gardens as well as the factory itself. You'll even learn how to make an authentic Jerk marinade with a hands-on demonstration.