Ocho Rios

Old Feb 5th, 2001, 05:46 PM
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Ocho Rios

How busy, or "touristy" is Ocho Rios in Jamaica compared to other "safe" Jamaican cities?
Old Feb 5th, 2001, 06:41 PM
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I found it to be very "touristy". If you stay in a resort with a private beach you'll obviously be surrounded by other tourists. If you choose a more out-of-the-way location, you'll be pestered constantly by people trying to sell you stuff, which isn't very relaxing. Good luck.
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 06:05 PM
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Ocho Rios was kinda touristy when we went. Of course it was fine on the resort, but you can see the difference when you go to town, altho I didn't consider it a bad thing. Enjoy your trip!
Old Feb 7th, 2001, 11:27 AM
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It's the main cruise ship port. need I say more?

(Actually, that's not really fair. It's probably fine away from the cruise ship area. The city was developed specifically for tourism though, and the salesfolk are somewhat more aggressive than other places because of the cruise ships).

Least touristy city - Mandeville. Plenty of not-too-touristy towns along the coasts (esp south) and just about any town inland won't be touristy.
Old Feb 8th, 2001, 12:00 AM
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Just got home tonight from 14 days in Ocho Rios. Stayed at The Grande Renaissance. This is where the ships dock. The Resort itself is VERY relaxed & layed back. NO bars to hop in town or anything like that. Shopping only during the day in the very small town of Ocho Rios. Shops close at 5pm. Anywhere you go will be touristy cause your a tourist like every other guest at the hotel. E-mail me if you want to know more !
Old Feb 8th, 2001, 04:30 PM
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My husband and I went to Ocho Rios last year for our anniversary. We stayed 8nights and 7days at the Enchanted Gardens Resort. We found magnificent natural treasures to explore, as well as the "tourist attractions." Shaw Park Gardens was so beautiful and we had the pleasure of staying in a resort that was outlaid within a botancial garden itself, complete with its own aviary and the best and most polite service. I have to admit before this trip, we had never left the US and the poverty of the country was surprising. But the people are so wonderful to see and listen to. The resort had its own private beach area and vendors could be seen but did not bother you unless you inquired first. And I found those that did come up to you were easily deterred if you strongly say No Thanks. If you like to barter than you definitely won't mind those vendors that approach you. Never go with the first price always barter! We got some wonderful carvings and wall hangings for little to nothing. I'm not a "seasoned" traveler, but most definitely you can't experience the true island from a ship, you will definitely be directed into the tourist areas, But if you have time on your hand, you can find some treasures in some of the beautiful backdrips nature has to offer. This resort wasn't a Sandal or Hilton from an American point of view, but when you realize the situation of people in Jamaica, it was grand and the service was grand. Also, staying at the resort was the main way we got to explore the Off-beaten path. A raft ride down the river, a picnic by a natural spring pool, a dance at a reggae bar with locals-if you have time and are a little of a conversationalist, you can find that Ocho Rios can be what you make of it. I hope I've helped you by sharing my experience.

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