We all have that one friend who moves away from home but it seems like they never quite left because almost every other weekend you’d get a call saying “I’m home, pick me up at the airport.” These calls used to happen far too often but since we’ve graduated from college, adulting has turned these spontaneous trips into a distant memory. So you can imagine how shocked I was when I got a call last week saying “I just booked a plane ticket home…well not a ticket, six tickets. I’m bringing some friends down for Spring Break.”
I wish I could tell you that my friend is coming back to Jamaica because he misses home and all the wonderful friends that he hasn’t seen for almost four years but no, it took something much greater to inspire this trip. A few months ago in my post about EDX, I had touched on the subject of EDM in Jamaica; well this March, Jamaica will be hosting its first major EDM festival, Paradise Lost. From March 10-12, Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in Ocho Rios will be graced by headliners Tiësto and the bass god, Bassnectar. The festival will not only feature EDM acts but also some local legends such as King Jammy.
If the beachfront venue isn’t enough paradise for you, don’t worry, there are plenty of things for you to do in and around Ocho Rios to occupy your time outside the festival. My friends will be here for a whole week, before and after Paradise Lost so I’ve been tasked with planning their to-do list which I’m going to share with all of you.
The most obvious thing to do while on an island is to grab an ice-cold Red Strip and relax on the beach but there are so many other ways to hit the water while in Jamaica.
Dunn’s River Falls
Dunn’s River Falls is one of Jamaica’s not so hidden treasures. Jame Bond fans will probably recognize it from the 1962 movie, Dr. No.
Whether you want to relax on the beach, admire the flora and fauna or you’re feeling adventurous enough to climb the 600 feet falls, Dunn’s River offer a bit of something for everyone. There are also several small souvenirs shops on the property filled with lovely handcrafted items that will make the perfect souvenir.
My friends and I have been planning to go on a catamaran cruise for some time now but our last attempt was foiled because of rough waters so make sure to call ahead to find out how the sea is before heading out.
I’ve heard great reviews for Island Routes’ catamaran cruise and it could be the perfect pregame before Paradise Lost. The cruise will take you out on the water with a DJ and a fully stocked bar. There’s nothing like partying out at sea to get you pumped for the festival.
Not nearly as well-known as Dunn’s River Falls, Blue Hole, also known as, Island Gully Falls is just as gorgeous in its rusticness. Located about 20 minutes outside of Ocho Rios, this watering hole might require more of a trek, up a hill and around a power plant but of it is well worth it.
It may not seem like much when you’re greeted by the small waterfall upon arrival but once you make it to the top, the view is spectacular! You’ll find a few guides up there showing off their tricks, who are more than willing to help you with the rope swing, count you down for your cliff jump and accompany you on your climb of the falls.
I’ll save the rest of my Things to do in Ochi list for next week’s post but if you’re an EDM fan or just someone who’s still looking for Spring Break plans, I’d recommend that you check out Paradise Lost and come spend the week in Ocho Rios.