Write because you want to, not because you have to.
Published June 23rd 2016
Unleash your inner adrenalin at its peak
Ocho Rios is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Jamaica, where people from all over the world flock to this beautiful and super-green spot to fulfill their wanderlust and traveling dreams.
One of the main attractions in Ocho Rios is the iconic Mystic Mountain Rain Forest, which offers its guests with the opportunity to try some fun and extreme sports such as the Sky Explorer, the Bob Sled, and the canopy Zip line.
While the trip to Mystic Mountain (and to Ocho Rios in general) might be a bit expensive, if you have saved up enough, it is well worth the money you pay. Being a volunteer here in Jamaica, I was lucky to qualify for the local rate and take advantage of this offer by opting for the Sky Explorer and Zip Line package.
The staff here is very knowledgeable and friendly and are ready to assist you with any queries that you may have, regarding the activities that you'll be engaging in. I was particularly impressed with how one of the floor staff members (Shoyan) was able to problem-solve a situation involving the purchase of my Zipline photos. That experience made me realize that the staff members there are 100% committed to making sure you have the best day out at Mystic Mountain.
Upon walking in to this beautiful sanctuary after paying for the appropriate package of choice, you are welcomed with the soothing and sweet sound of nature at its prime. Holding true to its status as a rainforest, you are surrounded by lush greenery. While most people go for the option of using the Sky Explorer to get to the top of Mystic Mountain, there is an option to hike the way up there.
Waterfalls and beautiful greenery at the base of the mountain
The Sky Explorer is a more open and relaxed version of a cable car, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the rain forest and get a bird's eye view of the Ocho Rios coastline. It takes around 15 minutes to get to the top, but it is such a calm and pleasing ride! My soul felt refreshed upon being carried through the dense and beautiful views of the forest as well as the ocean on the other side. The ride is slow but so good. If you suffer from motion sickness, I'd suggest relaxing on the seat and not looking down. The view of the ocean was equally serene and helped me obtain a state of zen in no time.
Picturesque views of the ocean and the forest from the Sky Explorer
Upon reaching the top of the Mystic Mountain, we decided to grab a bite (and use the WiFi) at the Mystic Dining restaurant. Think upper class dining with a spectacular view of the infinity edge pool and the ocean that you were treated to, on the way up with the Sky Explorer. The staff is very friendly and ready to cater to your needs. Most prices are denoted in US dollars, but you can ask for the Jamaican equivalent as well. Being on a tight budget, I opted for the mozzarella sticks for $7.50 ( tax) and some good ol' free, chilled tap water. The mozzarella sticks were absolute perfection and the cheese practically melted off the sticks in the most foodporn manner possible. They were served with a side of marinara sauce, but tasted better with the tomato sauce on the table. The sticks were crispy on the outside and presented with molten, delicious cheese on the inside. I'd advise going for a similar meal that isn't too big in portion, especially if you're planning to do the zip lining or bob-sledding activities afterwords.
Mozarrella Sticks for $7.50 (US) tax
Once you're at 700ft above sea level, the Infinity Edge swimming pool offers its guests with the ultimate way to enjoy the beauty of nature. The depth of the pool itself is not major - you can stand in it (as a 5 ft 4'' person, I can vouch for this)! The water is cold, but on a sunny, shiny day - as we were lucky - it is pure bliss. You can laze around and lounge by the edge of the pool, where you can enjoy one of the most wanderlust-worthy moments and be in awe for hours. I would suggest getting to Mystic Mountain early during the day, so that you can take full advantage of this rare and delightful experience. There is also the water slide, where you can swim into a powerful yet enjoyable whirlpool of water.
The Bob Sled is another massive attraction that most people tend to opt for, when visiting the Mystic Mountain. While I didn't personally do the Bob Sled, my friends who did thoroughly loved the experience. While it only lasts 90 seconds, you are in complete control of the speed you are going at, and the adrenalin rush you get from it is priceless (as one can imagine)! One of my friends who participated in this sport later informed me that she saw me zip-line past her. The fun never ends when you're doing all these awesome and amazing things at Mystic Mountain!
The Canopy Zip Line
This was the highlight of my visit to the Rainforest! I had been wanting to visit Ocho Rios purely for this once-in-a-lifetime experience of zip-lining through the beautiful trees and bushes of Jamaica.
Right from the stage of being equipped to actually doing the zip-line, the staff members were very friendly, professional and kept the tour interesting with their occasional pranks and witty remarks. The line was secure and the 5 platforms that we visited took less than 15 seconds to reach every time. For all those with an adventurous streak or even beginners who are new to the extreme sporting thrill, seek this amazing sport and you won't be disappointed.
Overall, I believe that a trip to Mystic Mountain will be an expensive but worthwhile one, especially if you decide to engage in some of the activities that they offer with spectacular panoramic views of the rainforest and the ocean. The staff is very friendly and are more than happy to help you make a decision on what you'd like to participate in, while visiting Mystic Mountain. The manager (Max) has been very helpful and professional in communicating with me regarding my comments and feedback that I emailed him via the "Contact Us" page on their official website. He is prompt in replying, so I'd suggest taking that as a point of contact, especially if you'd like to book your trip in advance. Prepare yourselves, because this place will tick all the boxes of an exciting vacation in the Caribbean.