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Ocho Rios Jamaica Dive Sites

Jamaican Diving at it's best

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Ocho Rios Jamaica Dive Sites by Travelllama

Ocho Rios Jamaica Dive Sites

Runaway Bay is located to the west of Ocho Rios Jamaica; 5 miles east of Discovery Bay, with hotels face the shores of Runaway Bay. Runaway Bay is of significant historical interest, as it is thought to be where Spanish forces fled Jamaica for Cuba after the crucial battle with the British in 1658.

The Runaway Bay Caves and Green Grotto caves are just outside the resort. The Runaway Caves which have extraordinary stalactites and stalagmites, were initially used by the Arawak Indians, later became a pirate and smugglers' hideout and then a place of sanctuary for runaway slaves.

This structure of caves and tunnels extend for over 9km. Steps lead down into the chambers where floodlights expose fascinating formations of stalagmites and stalactites. A shimmering lake 120’ below is called Green Grotto, where holes let in natural light and air. Boat trips can be taken on the lake, Tainos drawings can be seen on the walls.

The ruins of Edinburgh Castle are located around eight miles southwest of Claremont near the Village of Pedro. Although it’s called a castle, it was no more than a two storey fortified house. This property was built by an infamous Scotsman, Lewis Hutchinson, who had settled in Ocho Rios Jamaica. He used to shoot his leaving guests from a loophole in the tower, and rummage though the body for valuables.

The story says that he disposed of the dead bodies down a deep sinkhole close by. Nevertheless, no remains have ever been found, but 43 watches were discovered, perhaps belonging to his victims. After trying to kill a neighbouring planter, he attempted to run away from the Island, but was captured, brought back and hanged in March 1773.

James Bond Beach is located west of Ocho Rios Jamaica, in the town of Oracabessa in St Mary. Ian Fleming – the author of the James Bond novels resided close to here with his home called Goldeneye.

Ian Fleming spent a lot of time here, swimming and enjoying the beach. There are three white sand beaches, with remarkable scenery of the verdant mountains of St Mary that stretch down to the sea. James Bond Beach is renowned for the delicious fresh fish and seafood served at the Moonraker Jamaican Bar & Grill. Trips out to sea can be obtained on a glass bottom boat, kayaks, and wave runners, and snorkelling facilities can also be found here.

The former winter retreat – Goldeneye of Ian Fleming is now a Resort in Oracabessa, St Mary. He had spent many winters there and wrote fourteen of his James Bond thrillers there. The resort comprises of Fleming's original three bedroom home along with other properties.

Firefly is the former home of the famous playwright Sir Noel Coward. It is located on the cliff above Port Maria, around 20km east of Ocho Rios. Now a museum, there is a display of memorabilia, paintings and a biographical video of his life and achievements. Many famous visitors including Royalty were received at the house.

The house has been preserved as it was left and is now a national monument. The burial site of Sir Noel is the garden with a marble headstone. There is also a statue of Sir Noel sat on a seat in the garden at Firefly. The house and grounds offer panoramic views of the area.

Nine Mile Village is located high in the Mountains in the Parish of St Ann. This is where the reggae king Bob Marley was born and raised and his final resting place.The two roomed abode in which he lived is full of memorabilia, and beside it is the mausoleum in which Bob was laid to rest. Every year, Reggae concerts are held at Nine Mile on 6th February, Bob Marley's birthday.

Chukka Cove Farm is located just beyond St Ann's Bay (on the way to Montego Bay). Chukka Cove is a farm and stable which offers various trails from beginners to the more experienced riders. From one hour trail rides to six hour rides to Lillyfield Great House – a recently restored 18th Century Great House. Riding Lessons, Jumping Lessons and Polo Lessons are available.

Fern Gully is another famous site in Ocho Rios, a rocky gorge of incredible deepness, its road built into an old riverbed winds for around three miles from the Ocho Rios coast up to the central mountain area of the Island. There are over five hundred species of tropical ferns and the deeper you go into the gorge, the denser the tropical foliage and it gets cooler.

The Carinosa Tropical Gardens are located south of Town situated in a stunning river gorge that runs through tropical rainforest. A truly magnificent setting with waterfalls, lakes, ferns, and orchids and there is also has a hanging garden and aquarium. Take a relaxing stroll along the beautiful garden walks.

Harmony Hall is located around 4 miles east of Town; it was constructed in the 19th Century and was originally a Methodist manse with an adjacent pimento estate. After extensive renovations, the hall now exhibits the works of the Island’s most gifted artists and craftsmen. There is an art gallery, craft center, bookshop and boutique and restaurant.

The Annandale Great House is located outside the Village of Epworth, near Ocho Rios. This beautiful old plantation house was constructed in 1760 and showcases some magnificent antique collections. Set in some spectacular rolling hills with scenic views, makes for a relaxing experience.

Take a tour of the Prospect Plantation, the estate of the late Sir Harold Mitchell, British author, industrialist and politician. This working plantation is located around 3 miles east of Ocho Rios. Visitors can experience how Jamaican agriculture has been implemented for hundreds of years.

Guests can take a trip out into the orchards to taste exotic fruits and wade their way through crops such as coconuts, limes, breadfruit, and pineapples. Crops such as banana, cassava, pimento, coconuts and limes are cultivated here. The plantation also offers activities such as horseback riding and mini golf. Trees that are planted in the grounds were planted by many famous visitors including Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin and Henry Kissinger.

Dive sites near Ocho Rios include:

Dickie’s Reef: This site is suitable for beginners to intermediate divers. Marine life includes: Parrotfish, goatfish, sergeant majors, turtles and stingrays. Depths are from 22’ to 60’.

Kathryn 50’: This site is suitable for Intermediate to advanced divers. World War Two Wreck – 140’ long Canadian minesweeper sunk intact in 50’.

Reynolds Wall: This site is suitable for Intermediate to advanced divers. It has Dramatic drop-offs, is heavily encrusted Reef has lots of Creole wrasse, kingfish, starts in 45’.

Dive sites at Runaway Bay include:

The Ganja Planes: This site is suitable for Intermediate to advanced divers. Two airplanes - Cessna and Overhead Rockwell in 75' in a sand bed on a sloping wall and there is an abundance of barracudas. Depths are from 75’ to 130’.

Judy’s Paradise: This site is a drift dive and is suitable for Intermediate to advanced divers. Marine life includes: Large schools of jacks, lobsters, eagle rays, turtles, nurse sharks. Depths are from 60’ to 100’.

Llandovery 40’: This site is a drift dive and is suitable for beginner divers. Located at the west end of Judy's Paradise, marine life includes: Eagle rays and southern stingrays.

The Nursery 30’: This site is suitable for beginner/second dive divers. There is an abundance of marine life and colourful corals.

 

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