Escape this Christmas to Ocho Rios

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Whether you’re spending the winter months hiding at home under a blanket, battling winter shoppers, of sanitising your hands in an attempt to avoid capturing the cold, the novelty of winter can quickly wear off. If find yourself dreaming of golden sunshine, gleaming sands and fantastical adventures, consider Caribbean holidays for a cosy Christmas getaway. You might not have heard of Ocho Rios, but this former fishing village is one of the most exciting hotspots in the Caribbean, with high-intensity nightlife, a roster of adrenaline boosting activities, and a cuisine worth ditching your onesie for.

How to get there

So where is Ocho Rios? This Spanish-named town (translation: eight rivers) can be on Jamaica’s northern coastline, and is a popular port for cruise ships, which are often found drifting alongside one of its two piers. It’s only anhour and a half from Montego Bay airport, and best reached by taxi.

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What to see

One of Ocho’s main attractions, Dunn’s River Falls is a stunning natural waterfall, and the perfect spot to cool off out of the sun’s glare. These frothing cascades are great fun to clamber over – just make sure you bring a pair of waterproof shoes to avoid slipping around! Then, channel your inner James Bond or Ursula Andress with a trip to James Bond beach, home to the villa from which Ian Fleming penned his world-famous spy novels, and one of the locations for the filming of Dr No.

What to do

If you want to challenge yourself to do something new and exciting before the year is out, you have come to the right place. Swim with dolphins at Dolphin Cove for a truly heart-warming experience, or if you prefer to stay dry, peer at the underwater wildlife through a glass-bottomed boat. Get your pulse pounding and your t-shirt wet with a spot of white water rafting, or head to the Rainforest Adventures Mystic Mountain for a day of thrills – there are no fewer than five zip lines, a waterslide and an abseiling course!

Where to eat

For authentic Caribbean grub, make for Bamboo Blu, where you can enjoy dinner on the beach with a front row view of the ocean. Favourites like grilled lobster, succulent jerk chicken and seared snapper fish can all be enjoyed with a fresh fruit cocktail. Just make sure you reserve seats in advance, as quality, value and setting combine to make this one of the island’s most revered eateries.

Image by Pete, licensed by Creative Commons