This Striking Island City Is The Remote Paradise To Escape Your Winter Woes

Dreary winter days can have us daydreaming of glorious sunshine when we should be focusing our attention on work, cleaning, cooking, or whatever mundane task demands our attention. It's hard not to be distracted by thoughts of crashing waves and gentle breezes when we're in the dead of winter and hear howling wind and see blankets of snow. Some love winter and all it brings, but others hate the cold and long for warmth. If you're the latter, you might want to plan a quick escape to somewhere gorgeous and hot — and a visit to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, might just be necessary.

This town is perfect if you enjoy quiet time in nature as well as the chance to connect with Jamaican culture. You'll find delicious food, fun hotels, and more — including a quick trip to where one of the most famous characters in history was conceived. So next time you're trying to escape the cold and all the woes that come with it, book a trip to Ocho Rios. 

Outdoor gems

For those that have a love for nature, once you get to Ocho Rios you'll want to head to Konoko Falls, where you'll find a breathtaking waterfall and a lovely botanical garden complete with plenty of birds.  You can take a leisurely stroll through the lush plants and reflect by the waterfall in this especially peaceful place. For those looking for a more quintessential Jamaican experience, you'll want to consider taking a ride on a bamboo raft. Island Routes offers such rides along the Martha Brae River for $171 per raft. 

If you're a fan of James Bond, you absolutely have to make a short 20 to 30 minute drive from Ocho Rios to Oracabessa. The author of the series, Ian Fleming, was stationed there for military service and eventually returned and created a villa he called GoldenEye — which is now a resort with additional villas. Depending on which villa you stay in, prices range from just under $600 to well over $2,000 per night. If you want something free, you can simply head to James Bond Beach, where you'll find beautiful scenery and fun water activities. Additionally, the large lawn at the beach functions as a music venue that has hosted big name artists in the past, including Rihanna.

Where to stay and eat

If you're traveling with your family, you'll want to consider Moon Palace Jamaica in Ocho Rios. You'll find entertainment, food, pools, and more all on site. Prices start at $527 per night. The Blue House Boutique Bed and Breakfast Villa is a great alternative that has five stars on Trip Advisor and is more affordable for those looking to save: their rates start at $160 per night.

For food, you'll want to check out the cheery Miss T's Kitchen for some authentic and delicious Jamaican cuisine. If you want to try island food but also want variety, check out Christopher's at Hermosa Cove for delectable meals of all sorts, like jerk chicken wings or pesto pizza.

So remember to consider Ocho Rios, an underrated tourist destination, the next time you're looking for a lovely and relaxing vacation to escape the cold of winter. You can unwind on the sandy shoes or take nature walks under the sun. And most importantly, you'll be exposed to the beautiful calm of the Caribbean.