Ocho Rios Warnings or Dangers
Ocho Rios sits on the north coast of Jamaica in the Caribbean. A popular resort and cruise ship destination, Ocho Rios is beautiful, but can be dangerous. Plan ahead, pay attention to the warnings, and map out safe places to stick to.
While small, Ocho Rios can be a hot bed for crime. Most violent crimes are isolated to locals, affecting only a small number of visitors. Don’t venture outside of the city, especially at night. Criminals will try to lure you off the main streets and neighborhoods to take your money or to get you to buy drugs. Despite what many assume, marijuana isn’t legal in Jamaica and you will get arrested if you’re caught with it. Some locals will pose as tour guides: They’ll try to convince you to take a non-existent tour and overcharge you. If you plan an excursion, make sure it’s through a reliable tourism company. Call ahead, ask for a confirmation email, and go online to make sure the business exists before you agree to anything.
Travel and Transportation
Ocho Rios is an extremely congested city, and tourists should not rent a car. To avoid the frustration and chaos of Ocho Rios traffic take a cab, or better yet, book your travel through a tourism company. Many businesses offer bus rides to waterfalls or popular beaches. If you do drive, beware of potholes, washed away roads, and unsafe bridges, especially outside of the city. If you go to Ocho Rios on a cruise ship, keep in mind that it takes time to go from one place to another. Set aside a couple of hours for driving time, and don’t venture too far away from the ship.
Jamaica is in the Caribbean Sea and offers beautiful scuba and snorkeling areas. Around Ocho Rios, the coral reef is easily accessible and colorful. If you swim while in Ocho Rios, beware of where the coral is located and don’t venture near it unless you’re prepared and wearing the correct gear. The coral reef can be a hazard if you don’t respect it. Many tourists have cut their feet after accidentally stumbling upon the reef. Talk to the locals to understand where it’s safe to swim. It’s always important to pay attention to your surroundings.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Ocho Rios, Jamaica.