How To Get From Kingston To Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Wondering how to get from Kingston to Ocho Rios, Jamaica? Here is everything I learned during my research about traveling from one side of Jamaica to the other.

I recently visited Jamaica for the first time. This small island nation in the Caribbean Sea is full of thumping music, lush landscapes, flavorful food, and happy, smiling people.

Jamaica is definitely worth a visit!

I’m writing this article to address a specific question that I had during my trip: how to get from Kingston to Ocho Rios in Jamaica.

My boyfriend and I had booked five nights at a fancy couples resort in Ocho Rios for my best friends wedding.

Flights from the US to Jamaica were surprisingly expensive. Even when flying in and out of Florida, the 2-hour plane journey still cost around $550 USD round trip.

I picked a flight into Kingston because it was the most affordable option.

We decided to spend 2 days in Kingston, Jamaica, just to experience a more local side of the country outside of the resort.

But then I had to deep dive into finding the best way to travel from Kingston to Ocho Rios for the wedding. There are surprisingly few travel blogs about transport in Jamaica! So here is everything I found.

Read next: 15 Best Things To Do In Kingston, Jamaica

kingston to ocho rios jamaica
Views while flying into Kingston, Jamaica

How To Get From Kingston To Ocho Rios, Jamaica

After spending some time researching the best way to get from Kingston to Ocho Rios, here are all the options I found.

I’ll start with the best option, which is the one I chose.

Knutsford Express

The Knutsford Express is a major coach bus company that offers journeys around Jamaica.

This is the best option for traveling between Jamaican cities for a few reasons:

  • It’s very reputable and well-known
  • They have great customer service and lots of positive reviews
  • The buses are comfy and drive safely
  • It took just under 2 hours to travel from Kingston to Ocho Rios
  • The journey only cost around 20 USD (one way)

So with Knutsford Express, you get great value for money. The prices are reasonable and the buses run efficiently.

I booked my tickets on their website, and I emailed them a few times with questions. The staff always responded promptly and were very helpful.

So I highly recommend taking the Knutsford Express if you’re traveling from Kingston to Ocho Rios!

walking through Kingston Jamaica to ocho rios
Walking around local neighborhoods in New Kingston

Traveling From Kingston To Ocho Rios With Knutsford Express

While staying in Kingston, we just walked to the Knutsford Express bus station in New Kingston.

The station is easy to find with Google Maps. And despite what everyone says, Kingston is safe and we had no issues walking around the city with all of our luggage. People were really nice and always helped us with directions.

But I definitely recommend arriving at the bus station at least 15 minutes early!

After purchasing a Knutsford Express ticket online, you have to visit the ticket office in person before boarding the bus.

The attendant will look at your receipt and then give you a paper ticket. You need a paper ticket to board the bus!

We arrived at the station about 10 minutes before our bus left, thinking it would be quick and easy.

But the bus station had only 2 ticket staff and there was a long line. Luckily the bus didn’t leave right on time because they were waiting for all the passengers to get their tickets and board.

But I was nervous about missing our bus while waiting in line. So I recommend arriving at the bus station early!

Ocho Rios Bus Station

I was also a bit confused while planning our journey about where we would arrive in Ocho Rios.

There is a bus that goes directly to downtown Ocho Rios from Kingston, but it only travels late in the day.

I wanted to leave in the morning, so I booked the route from Kingston to Drax Hall at 8am.

Drax Hall is a big bus station located just outside Ocho Rios. The exact address is 12 Drax Hall Estate, St Ann.

This was close enough to Ocho Rios that we were still able to organize pick up, but it isn’t exactly in Ocho Rios.

Again, the Knutsford Express staff were super helpful, so I just emailed them to confirm the address where we would get dropped off.

From the Drax Hall bus station, the staff from our resort picked us up.

There are also lots of taxis right outside the station if you need a taxi!

Read next: 50 Budget Travel Tips

Resort Private Transfers

Another way to travel around Jamaica is by private transfers.

Jamaica isn’t that big, so many resorts will offer transfers to and from airports within reason.

We were staying at Couples Tower Isle in Ocho Rios, which offered free transfers to Montego Bay Airport but not Kingston Airport.

I enquired about a transfer from Kingston and it would have cost $180 USD one way.

So although a private transfer is a nice, easy way to travel, I couldn’t justify spending that much when the Knutsford Express was only $20 USD.

I did ask the resort if we could get complimentary pick up from the Drax Hall bus station and they said yes!

So wherever you are traveling in Jamaica, just be sure to ask about your options! Jamaicans are very nice and are happy to help.

how to get from kingston to ocho rios jamaica
The beach at our fancy resort in Ocho Rios

Car Rentals In Jamaica

I also looked into car rental in Kingston.

We wanted to spend some time in the Blue Mountains, and I found that public transport options were very limited.

The only way to get into the mountains from Kingston was with a car or a tour. (We booked a tour which ended up getting cancelled due to lack of participants. Definitely plan Jamaica tours in advance and maintain steady communication with tour operators!)

So I wondered if it would be easiest to rent a car in Kingston and drive ourselves up to Ocho Rios.

But I learned that car rental in Jamaica is not recommended.

The roads are not always well marked or maintained, and the costs of paying for insurance, fuel, and car rental are not worth all the hassle.

Stick to the Knutsford Express, private shuttles and transfers, or guided tours.

Read next: Budget Traveler’s Guide To Travel Insurance

So that’s my summary of how to get from Kingston to Ocho Rios in Jamaica!

I thought I would write an article specifically about this topic because I spent so much time researching it and wondering what the best option would be.

Now that I’ve been to Jamaica and done the journey myself, I am happy to recommend the Knutsford Express. It’s the easiest and most affordable way to travel from Kingston to Ocho Rios.

Jamaica isn’t that big, so traveling around is relatively quick and easy.

The Knutsford Express can take you long distances, and you can use taxis or shuttles for smaller distances.

But it does help to plan your journey in advance. Jamaica is still a developing country and there isn’t much information out there about how to get around for travelers.

So hopefully this article was helpful! Let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions or ideas!

how to get from kingston to ocho rios jamaica

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