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Pam Smith

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  • Jamaica - Ocho Rios or Negril?

Jamaica - Ocho Rios or Negril?

by Pam Smith last updated on 07/25/2008 Disclaimer

I travel at least once a year to Jamaica, as I love it!

As a travel agent the most common question I receive is, "Which side of the island is the best". This is always a hard question to answer as it is a matter of personal choice. I love them both, but my heart is in Negril. For a great overview, read on or just contact me and I will help you figure out which area fits your desires!

Negril -
About an hour and half drive from the Montego Bay Airport. Negril is known for its laid back attitude and amazing sunsets! The water on this side of the island is also very calm, with gentle lapping waves. Resorts are either located on Bloody Bay or famous 7 Mile Beach. There are big chain all inclusive resorts from Beaches for families to Hedonism II for adults that desire an erotic atmosphere to Sandals and Couples for the romance seekers and Grand Lido for the luxury indulgers. There are also several smaller boutique type resorts that are all-inclusive, or simple EP hotels (room only - no food, no drink, no activities included). Negril may be laid back, but there is plenty to do! Visit YS Falls, party at Margaritaville or Ricks Cafe. Take an amazing sunset/booze cruise. Snorkeling is great right off the beach. Motorized water sports abound, such as water-skiing (included at some resorts!) parasailing, jet ski rentals and fishing.

Ocho Rios
This is about a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from the airport depending where your resort is, which also includes a stop for a break at a local shopping area, something most busses will do. This side of the island is very lush with many resorts having a garden oasis feel. Here you can visit the famous Dunns River Falls, take an amazing Canopy tour, swim with the dolphins and more! Most beaches on this side of the island are small, and the ocean has normal waves. You will also enjoy a nice breeze from the trade winds. You will typically lose direct sun around 4pm, as the sun rotates to the other side of the mountains. There is also a Margaritaville and several nightclubs to enjoy in Ocho Rios as well as some great shopping. Resorts here can either be huge resorts like the Riu, or small luxury resorts like Royal Plantation, or the great romantic resorts like Couples and Sandals.

Runaway Bay
This area is located halfway between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. You can still easily access tours, and even a trip to Margaritaville, but it is not the best location for those that like a lot of property. Breezes Runaway Bay and Hedonism III are great adult resorts, while FDR Pebbles and Franklin D are excellent resorts for families (including private nannies!)

Montego Bay
Great destination for everyone! There are couples only resorts, party resorts, family resorts, budget resorts and luxury resorts. Great destination for golfers as well! Beaches here are typically nice in size, and you are convenient to the airport.

Still not sure what area or resort will be right for your honeymoon or destination wedding? Then please contact me and I will help you find the right one for you!

This review appears on Jamaica.