I would suggest you contact Trevor Hudlin. Although we did a Dunn's River Falls/White River Rafting tour, he can customize a tour for you to include any excursions of interest. He is dependable and professional, very reasonably priced and just a truly nice man. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
I've booked with Phil Lafayette for January. I've heard (and read) that he is really good. Only positive comments for him. I hope the reviews are correct. I will let you know how he is when I get back.
If anyone has any comments on Phil I would love to know what you thought.
We took a tour with Phil Lafayette just last week and he was wonderful. He is funny, delightful, informative, and gave us insights into Jamaica that even our teenagers found interesting. It rained when we were there, and although we did do the Falls (or rather, the kids climbed it -- we watched), Phil spent a lot of time showing us other sights. The Falls are beautiful even if you're not in the middle of them. If you want a boring tour, don't contact Phil. If you want a fun time, look him up.
I have booked Phil for April. It's just me and my daughter going. Will we be completly safe with him. I have heard bad things about this Island and to only stay in the town. But I want to see as much as I can. That's why I booked Phil. The pictures on his web site are great. Do you really see theses areas.
While we did not go to ocho rios we were in Montego Bay-on a tour in town (as me and my sister love shopping) and we did not for a minute feel safe!! We said we would never go back there but now we are considering a special cruise on Celebrity and thats one of the stops!!
We had been in Jamaica twice in the mid to late 90's and swore we would never go back. We found it too scarey. In February our Carnival Liberty cruise had a port change from Cozumel to Ocho Rios. Although we were dissapointed, we decided to make the best of it.
We took the ship's tour that did mountain biking from up in the mountains down to the ocean. The scenery was absolutely beautiful. The guides they had with us were very friendly and very professional. We briefly stopped at a grade school in one of the villages we road through and visited with the children.
I probably would have been hesitant to be in the same area by myself, but with the group and with guides it was fine.
The only bad part of the excursion was the bikes were tired and worn.
After our excursion our shuttle dropped us off downtown. We did some shopping at the Taj Mahal and the Marketplace. Both of which were very nice. There were police everywhere and they were very noticable. The city was much cleaner than the last time we visited.
In short, after this last visit I would return to Jamaica. I think the island is aware of how important tourism is and it trying hard to provide a safe and fun environment.
We did a cruise last week, and stopped in Jamaica on Wednesday. I'd have to say I will never go back either... I'm glad that we did just a stop and not a week long vacation there!!! We did the Black River Jungle tour. It took us through the real slums of Jamaica...it was really scary to see the poverty right there in our face.
We were even uncomfortable on the bus, stopping at lights made us nervous....we are not at all nervous people....
We were dropped off downtown for some shopping after and actually had one woman follow us from store to store. She was the owner of a store and when we left hers she followed us into other shops and was literally screaming at us if we looked at anything that she had in her shop.
We then took a cab to Margaritaville (we were advised to only get into a cabs with red licence plates). There were locals standing everywhere (in the middle of the day) and watching the tourists. They were lined up all along the railings, it was hard to even get pictures off the decks. It was almost like they were just waiting for someone to look the other way so they could run....
I guess for us it was just a really different experience, we are in our late 20's and have travelled all over the world, we've stayed in hostels, tented in alot of countries, but never felt like we did in Jamaica. I honestly hope that you have a better experience!!!