Is Ocho Rios safe for travelers headed to the island of Jamaica?
Ocho Rios is one of the top places to visit for so many different types of travelers to this beautiful island paradise located in the Caribbean.
As one of the most popular places for Americans and Europeans alike, it has some of the best attractions and landmarks on the island.
From the Dunn’s River Falls to the incredible gastronomical greats and world-renowned hotels and accommodation.
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Is Ocho Rios Safe?
Ocho Rios is one of the best places to visit in Jamaica as it has things for all people; no matter what walk of life you come from.
Why is it then, that there are those that deem Jamaica as unsafe for tourists?
How can one of the most popular tourist spots in the western hemisphere be unsafe?
We’re here to dispel the myths that may have been carried over from the capital Kingston.
Where is Ocho Rios?
Ocho Rios is a port town located on Jamaica’s north coast, roughly in the center between the extreme eastern and western points.
Due to its positioning, its home to some pretty incredible beaches, with its own share of the bright blue waters along the island’s coast.
Ocho Rios is situated within the Saint Ann parish, which is bordered by parishes Trelawny, Clarendon, Saint Catherine and Saint Mary.
It’s located roughly 100km to the east of Montego Bay, and around 85km north of Kingston.
Is it Safe to Travel to Ocho Rios?
Definitely. If you consider most other Caribbean islands such as Haiti, Trinidad, and Cuba, Ocho Rios would be hedging your bets.
The crime rate is that of a lot of US cities, with the main issue being petty crime. Carry only the most needed travel essentials with you.
As long as you keep all of your belongings on your person and don’t flash expensive items, the holiday won’t have any hiccups.
As far as the weather and climate go, it’s up to you whether you’d like to visit during the hurricane season or not.
Most people who visit Ocho Rios are here to relax, so travelers shouldn’t feel as though their safety was in jeopardy.
Safety Facts about Jamaica
Where to Stay in Ocho Rios
First of all, it’s key to mention here that Ocho Rios is one of the safest destinations to visit in all of Jamaica, so there’s not really any areas of the town that are best avoided.
Having said that, you’ll want to be located near Main Street, simply for the best accessibility and prime location.
All the best amenities including some of the island’s best hotels, restaurants, bars and shops are located around this area.
The beach is also close to here too, and there are tons of private accommodation options that cater to all budgets too.
Ocho Rios Nightlife
The nightlife in Ocho Rios is definitely more relaxed when compared to the more hectic scenes of Kingston and Montego Bay.
Here you’ll find many beachside bars perfect for an evening beer or cocktail such as Margaritaville, which is popular amongst both locals and tourists.
When it comes to bigger clubs, be sure to head to Noir, which is the best in town and regularly hosts DJs from throughout the World.
For an alternative night out, head to Amnesia to get involved in Jamaican dancehall music!
Getting Around Ocho Rios
Ocho Rios is one of the best spots in Jamaica due to its prime location.
On the northern coast, the climate is prime and the connections to neighboring Kingston and Montego Bay are extremely useful.
Ocho Rios is also close to the Ian Fleming International Airport, which has connections to neighboring islands.
Taxi services and busses are frequent here, so there are always opportunities for exploring the area.
The main mode of transportation used by travelers for getting around Ocho Rios is in fact by taxi.
Taxis are governed by JUTA, MAXI, and ICAL, so look out for these brands.
Backpacking Jamaica Safely
One thing that backpackers need to consider, is that the Caribbean is wrought with hurricanes.
Even when the season was supposed to end in November, there were surprise hurricanes in January.
You’ll want to stay in an all-inclusive complex just because of the safety issues in places that aren’t prepared for them.
Petty crime is an issue of course, but it’s an issue for most places backpackers travel to. See these tips on traveling alone for the first time if you’re doing solo travel.
Jamaica is not designed for backpacking necessarily, but it’s extremely doable.
What you’ll find here however is just the complexes and hotels that cater for the package holidays rather than free travelers.
Ocho Rios Travel Safety Tips
Ocho Rios has the potential to be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions i.e. you don’t do your homework.
Here’s some top tips to help you before you make the trip out:
Solo Travel in Jamaica
Women may be frequently catcalled by Jamaican men, depending on where on the island you’re located.
If this does happen to you, be firm yet polite – saying you are in a hurry so you can’t stop to talk is usually better than ignoring someone completely.
Avoid hitchhiking if you are backpacking and don’t walk alone at night or in poorly lit areas.
You can choose to dress as modestly as you want (considering many complexes allow people to wear whatever they like).
Be aware of your surroundings and try to keep safe if you’re out and about at night. The nightlife of Jamaica is very hip, but there is still a chance that your drink may be spiked if unattended.
Travel Insurance for Ocho Rios
I always recommend backpackers and travelers (no matter who you are) use World Nomads Insurance for fully comprehensive cover.
If you are due to travel soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in Latin America and the rest of the world.
Best time to visit to Ocho Rios
The dry seasons in Ocho Rios are from December until April, and also from June until August.
During the winter, daily average temperatures range from 77-79°F, with highs of 84°F and lows of 73°F. In the summer this ranges from 82-83°F, with highs of 88°F and lows of 78°F.
Rainfall for both periods averages between 0.5-1.5 inches per month. The wet season runs in May and also from September until November.
Averages in May hover around 81°F, with highs of 86°F and lows of 78°F. From September until November, it’s between 80-82°F, with highs of 87°F and lows of 76°F.
Rainfall during these wet months range from 3-4 inches each month.
Is Ocho Rios Safe?
Jamaica is an amazing island to visit and is perhaps the most comfortable island to stay in the Caribbean since it’s visited by millions every year.
It would help when visiting Jamaica if you knew how to take the necessary steps in staying safe if you explore the cities.
However, Ocho Rios is one of the safest locations on the whole island so there may not even be a need for strenuous safety precautions.
Ocho Rios is a great place to relax but if you want deeper cultural experiences in Jamaica see what to do in Kingston for more ideas.
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