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Montego Bay, Ochos Rios, or Negril? Where to Stay?

WI, USA
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Montego Bay, Ochos Rios, or Negril? Where to Stay?

Hi~

I need some help deciding which city in Jamaica to stay. I'm looking to choose the city where there is the most to do. I don't plan to sit on the beach all day every day. :)

I've heard Negril has a lot going on but then a friend who just went to Ochos Rios a week ago said she thought Negril was more of a scenic destination. A lot of the activities I've read about take place in Ochos Rios, so now I'm thinking about going there...

Any advice?

Thanks!

Hemet, California
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1. Re: Montego Bay, Ochos Rios, or Negril? Where to Stay?

Negril is definitely laid back and I tend to get bored after a few days. It has the lovely stretch of beach and breathtaking views from the cliff. This is very appealing especially to a first time visitor.

I love Ocho Rios because I can choose a resort which is located only a few minutes from town (Sunset Jamaica Grande). I can shop during the day and party at night (pre-kids) quite easily. There are many excursions and shops within minutes of your resort, such as Dunn's River, Coyaba River Garden and Museum along with Tajh Mahl. I will take Negril for a day or two, Ocho Rios for a week or month.

Hope this helps.

Pauline

parsippany
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2. Re: Montego Bay, Ochos Rios, or Negril? Where to Stay?

Negril and Ocho are both great. Ocho Is about 2 hours by bus thats the only down fall. They do have great shops and a good night life. Negril Has Margaritaville and it has the 7 mile beach.It is only about an hour from the airport.We have kids and been to both.It is a tough one But I like Negril.

Hope that helps

Rob

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Montego Bay, Ochos Rios, or Negril? Where to Stay?

Negril => small tourist town with a fantastic beach, if plenty to do consists of enough different places to eat and drink at so you don't have to do the same one twice in a week if you didn't want to, well you're set... outside the beach and local food/bars, there's not a heck of a lot else to do there... at night there are live shows and the like, mostly geared towards tourists save a couple of clubs... you could head to the cliffs to see the divers and dive yourself if you are brave, but other than that, most excursions will take you at least 20-30 minutes away, most much more...

Ocho Rios =>smallish Jamaican city with a cruise port... not a huge walkable beach like Negril, but still a fair amount of eats/drinks in the city core... plenty of excursions and things to do in and around the area to enjoy (waterfalls, ziplining/atv tours, sight seeing, shopping ect)... nightlife is a little more of a real jamaican expeirience...

Ochi is an hour and a half straight from the airport, Negril is only a few minutes less (an hour 15 to and hour and a half depending on traffic, and how far along you are going...)

Montego Bay => fair-sized jamaican city with a cruise port... not a huge walkable beach like Negril, you have the hip strip for eats/drinks and nightlife (and Pier 1 which is a few minutes away, one of the better clubs that side of kingston)... There are some excursions in the area, not quite as many as Ocho Rios, but more than Negril... you are obviously much closer to the airport if that's important..

IMO if you are looking to go somewhere that is rich in "things to do" as far as excursions go, Port Antonio is another place you could consider (as long as being in the action and hustle and bustle isn't one of those things you need to do)... there is so much beauty to discover in the parrish of Portland that you'd have no trouble filling up a week or two... it's a bit of a distance to get to (roads are being worked on, current travel time from MBJ is about 4 hours, could be better within a few months), but it is well worth the trip...

the added benefit of this part of the island is that tourism isn't as aggressive, you won't get near the hassle that you get in any of the other places, you can experience the real jamaican hospitiality and beauty... most people who go to Portland love it beyond any other part of the island... and once the roads are completed to connect Ocho Rios to Portland, well it might not continue to be the untouched gem it is now....

hope that helps some

Chelle

Kingston, Canada
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4. Re: Montego Bay, Ochos Rios, or Negril? Where to Stay?

With regards to Negril there are many excursions to go to including YS Falls, Mayfield Falls, Black River, Pelican Bar, and Appleton Rum tour. I'm puzzled at the lack of information you've been provided so far.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Montego Bay, Ochos Rios, or Negril? Where to Stay?

"With regards to Negril there are many excursions to go to including YS Falls, Mayfield Falls, Black River, Pelican Bar, and Appleton Rum."

I know people do those from Negril, but I didn't mention because they are relatively pretty far! if that's the radius of opportunity then Mobay and Kingston can both be included as excursion destinations from Ocho Rios :) )

for reference it's somewhere in the neighbourhood of an hour and a half to get to black river (they have crocs here, not the shoes :)) and then add on another 15-20 minutes or so to get to YS Falls or Pelican Bar (which is way cool btw), and a few more to the Appleton Tour not sure what the distance is to Mayfield, i think it is closer....

if you are interested in all those, Treasure Beach provides a much closer homebase, but it isn't for everyone... and might not be the best spot for someone who does need to be near a decent beach... great spot tho, my personal favourite on the island outside the city...

Chelle

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Montego Bay, Ochos Rios, or Negril? Where to Stay?

my mistake... pelican bar is only 5-10min boat ride from black river... it is more a 15-20min from treasure beach...

it's probably one of the coolest places i've been even though Floyd is "scared of rain" (don't go when weather is threatening, he will leave lol)...

Chelle

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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7. Re: Montego Bay, Ochos Rios, or Negril? Where to Stay?

I would recommend Negril all the way, but then again, I am sliiiightly biased, lol! Depending upon what you like to do, they have clubs at night a different one every night, they have a long stretch of gorgeous beach you can do a sand 'pub crawl' on, since there are restaurants, bars and grills, along with resorts, all along it. The cliffs are more laid back and private, so sometimes it's fun to party on the beach and then 'come home' to the cliffs.

Check out negrilinfo.com, they have a lot of good information there. :)

Hemet, California
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8. Re: Montego Bay, Ochos Rios, or Negril? Where to Stay?

What do you do in Negril if you are not into the beach, have done most of the appealing excursions and visited the cliffs. Looking at a second or third visit.

Thanks

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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9. Re: Montego Bay, Ochos Rios, or Negril? Where to Stay?

Well I guess even paradise gets boring after a while..but I haven't been bored in Negril yet. :)

Sheffield, United...
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10. Re: Montego Bay, Ochos Rios, or Negril? Where to Stay?

Gosh, could anyone ever get bored in Jamaica ?

I'm sure if I had been so many times that I had seen and done everything I needed to, I could start and do them over and over again.