Although there isn’t that much underwater at Ocho Rios main beach – you’ll find richer pickings east of the harbour or at the reef at the bottom of Dunn’s River – the sand is lined with watersports concessions. Prices are set and displayed at boards by the entrances, and offerings range from jet skiing and banana boats to water-skiing and parasailing. Kayaks and windsurfers are also on hand. Half- or full-day deep-sea fishing for blue marlin or sailfish is available, as are glass-bottom boat rides along the coast to Dunn’s River Falls. For divers, the best spots are Devil’s Reef at the eastern end of town and a couple of shipwrecks further out to sea.
On most days, the coast reverberates to sound systems aboard pleasure cruises. Day-trips go to Dunn’s River for snorkelling and climbing the falls (try to go on one that leaves early in the morning, before the crowds), while romantic or soca sunset cruises enjoy the afternoon or early evening, usually with unlimited alcoholic drinks and snacks.
Some of the most fun activities are swimming, tubing, kayaking and rafting on the White River just to the east of Ochi. Bear in mind that the rapids are only mildly challenging even after heavy rain. Nonetheless, fear of accidents (and no doubt associated litigations) has led to a degree of over-cautiousness by commercial operators; this notably doesn’t include the lower-key attractions Irie River and Blue Hole.