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The Jamaican resort town of Ocho Rios is located in the center of Jamaica's north coast.  It is a popular stopover for cruise ships, and is best known for the nearby Dunn's River Falls - probably Jamaica's most well known attraction.  These falls cascade down 600 feet along limestone tiers and can be climbed (usually with help).
Travel Tips from people who've been to Ocho Rios
Hollie
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Tips for Divers at an All Inclusive

A couple notes for certified divers at Sandals & Beaches properties:

 

1)if you answer yes to any of the medical questions you will need to have your doctor fax the dive shop a signed note saying you are fit to dive before they will let you check-out. Come prepared. It’s much easier to bring the doctor’s note with you than to try and get a hold of your doctor once you’re there.

 

2)The check out is really easy. You just need to assemble your gear, fill and clear your mask, do a reg retrieval and the go to the deep end of the scuba pool and get neutrally buoyant.

 

3)If you haven’t been diving for over two years they have a refresher course. One guy I met hadn’t been diving in 9 years. He took the course and was on the boat that afternoon.

 

4)They offer 2-3 dives daily for certified divers. You are allowed to dive as soon as you finish the check-out. The first dive is at 9 am. It’s a deep dive (75 to 90 feet). On Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s it’s a two tank dive – every other day it’s a single tank dive. There is also a 2 pm single tank, shallow dive (35 to 40 feet) everyday.

 

5)They offer night dives for a fee. The minimum is four divers. If you’re interested in a night dive tell them at the dive shop and they will keep you in mind until they can assemble enough divers.

 

6)They don’t decide which site they will dive each day until they are on the boat that morning.

 

7)Since the dive shop moved to BGS they no longer allow certified divers and non-certified divers dive together. If your partner isn’t certified and you are and you want to dive together don’t tell them that you are certified and go through the resort course with your partner. Later in the week if you want to do a certified dive you can always present your c card then.

 

Equipment: It's not necessary to bring any of your own equipment - just your C Card and if you want to get the dives logged don't forget your log book. If you want to snorkel on your own bring your own mask. You can't borrow a mask, snorkel and fins unless you go on one of their organized snorkel trips or dives.

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Hollie
17
28
396

Swimming with Horses

A great way to learn a little about the history of the area and to get out and experience the wildlife is by taking a ride with Hooves Ltd.. They offer two different daily horseback tours in the Ocho Rios area. Private rides are also available. The Bush Doctor Mountain Trail takes visitors 1800 feet above sea level through the Jamaican forests. The guide shows you a different side of Jamaica, pointing out plants and trees along the way. The Heritage Beach Trail (the tour we took) starts at the historical Seville Estates in St. Ann. This is the oldest plantation house on the island and has been turned into a museum. After a guided tour of the museum you mount you ride and your guides take you on a trail ride through the forest down to beach where Columbus was shipwrecked (and incidentally spent a year of his life). At the beach you’re treated to Jamaican snacks while the horses get a little break before letting them out for a full-out gallop in the Caribbean Ocean. After the swim with your trusty steed, you ride back up to the Great House – affording a full tour of the plantation grounds and an amazing perspective of the coast. If you book the Heritage Beach Trail remember to bring a towel and to wear your bathing suit under your clothing. You will get wet! You can also wear shorts on this ride without worrying about chaffing, they drape your towel over the saddle (English) so you don’t rub against the stirrups.

 

The great thing about Hooves Ltd. is they rescue abused horses from all over the world and rehabilitate them on the island. I got to see a before and after picture of my mount and the transformation was extraordinary. They really care about these animals and treat them like family. The company is dedicated to giving these animals the life and retirement they deserve.

 

Equipment: They provide the horses and equipment. Just bring your bathing suit and a towel if you're taking the Heritage Beach ride. Transportation to and from your hotel and snacks on the beach are included in the price.

 

Both rides depart twice daily at 9:30 am & 2:30 pm.

Phone: (876) 972-0905

Address: Shop #5, 61 Windsor Rd., St. Ann's Bay

Website: http://www.hoovesjamaica.com/

Other Contact: inquiries@hoovesjamaica.com
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Hollie
17
28
396

Packing List

Luggage And Bags: Pack light! You won't need much. Bring a bathing suit, a cover-up and one nice dress (or pants and a collared shirt for the men) for your evenings out. Most of the time you can get away wearing just a bathing suit or a pair of casual shorts and a t-shirt.

 

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you're doing the Falls tour bring a pair of water socks (you can buy them there for about $13us) or a pair of old sneakers - I used a pair of old Keds and was fine. These will also come in handy if you go mountain biking or horseback riding.

 

No need to bring your scuba gear. It's included at the resort. And wetsuits aren't necessary. Trust me. I get cold very easily and was just fine.

 

Toiletries & Medical Supplies: I had been warned by a friend to bring a supply of pepto, immodium, etc., anything you think you might possibly need. The reason being, you're on an island so things like aspirin, etc will be much more expensive over there. Even if you never use it it's nice to have it with you. Just buy the travel size.

 

Sandals provides each couple with a welcome pack that includes healthy portions of shampoo, bath gel, aloe vera gel and lotion.

 

Don't forget the sunscreen!

 

Photo Equipment: Bring a waterproof camera - the disposable kind will do just fine. And bring lots of film... It's gorgeous over there.

 

Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: All the beach gear you need is provided by the resort. So don't worry about bringing anything yourself.
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