When it comes to relaxing and enjoying life, it’s possible that Jamaica wrote the soundtrack.  When your cruise ship stops in Ocho Rios, you can almost hear the steel drums and the voices of Bob Marley or Jimmy Cliff playing in the wind.

The world first took notice of Ocho Rios in 1962 when it served as the backdrop for Ursula Andress’s stunning walk out of the water in the James Bond movie Dr. No.  Since then, it has grown into a major tourist destination, and one of the most popular destinations for cruise ships.

With its natural beauty, laid-back atmosphere and perfect weather, Ocho Rios feels like it was created for you to kick back, relax and enjoy.

Enjoying Your Day in Tropical Paradise

While the shopping is fantastic in Ocho Rios, there are many tours and excursions that will bring you out into the tropical jungles and rivers that give Jamaica its distinct beauty.

Any number of packages will take you to the world famous Dunn’s River Falls.  The Falls are 900 feet of cascading water, shaded by lush vegetation that keeps the area cool no matter how hot the sun.  What makes them unique is that the water has formed terraces, and small lagoons, making the Falls into a sort of giant staircase, which thousands of tourists come to climb every year.  It’s not hard, but bring sturdy rubber-soled shoes, or opt for the staircase that runs along the river.

Another way to enjoy Jamaica’s rich natural beauty is to get right up into it.  Book an excursion into the trees on a Canopy Tour.  After your first view of the jungle canopy of the Cranbrook Flowering Tree Sanctuary, put on your harness, leap from your hilltop platform, and soar along a horizontal traverse 45 feet about the ground.  The nine traverses of the Canopy Tour will offer you a once-in-a-lifetime bird’s eye view of the stunning Laughland’s River Gorge, a lush valley carved by a sparkling river.

You can also experience the beauty Jamaica offers underground, with an excursion to the Green Grotto Caves.  The Caves are a series of underground passageways and lakes, offering an incredible view of stalactites and stalagmites. They used to be known as the Runaway Caves, and were said to have been a hideout for runaway slaves in the 18th century.

If you’re more interested in Jamaica’s modern culture, celebrate Jamaica’s contribution to the Winter Olympics by taking part in the Jamaican Bobsled!  Even if you don’t remember the surprising and charming Jamaican Bobsled team of the Calgary 1988 Winter Games, it still promises to be uplifting.  Book an excursion to Mystic Mountain, where you can take a chairlift up the mountain through the jungle treetops, before you plunge nearly 3,000 feet down the mountain on a specially-built bobsled.

Or you can arrange for tour of the Graceland of Reggae on the Zion Bus Line.  Your dreadlocked tour guide will show you the birthplace and the final resting place of the King of Reggae, Bob Marley, driving you through the scenic town of St. Ann, to the mountain village of Nine Miles, all to the beat of the steel drum.

Whether you enjoy the natural beauty above ground or under it, if you want to get wet or stay dry, if you feel like walking up a waterfall or flying through the trees or careening down a mountain, or even if you just want to sit back and feel alright; Jamaica has everything on offer for a perfect day in a world famous destination.

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