Like the culture of the rest of Jamaica, there are influences from all the Irish, English, German, Chinese, Indian, Lebanese, and African descendants that inhabit the island today. Many visitors never realise that Jamaicans have such a varied cultural background and so miss the opportunity to explore the full culture of the island. 

Jamaica is a very Christian nation and a plethoria of religions co-exist on the island. Ocho Rios has a multitude of churches for you to visit for services. Strong Christian values are firmly rooted in the core of the Jamaican people and is the source of their much lauded warm, genuine hospitality.  

 The culture of Ocho Rios and the rest of the island is influenced by the flavor of the Caribbean and the roots of reggae music.  One of the most popular tourist destinations in Ocho Rios is Reggae Xplosion, a themed museum devoted to commemorating the influence of reggae music on the people and the culture of the area.  The culture associated with reggae music is commonly known as Rastafari, a term which actually refers to an Ethiopian religion.

Although reggae is the music of choice associated with Jamaica, one of the biggest annual events at Ocho Rios is actually the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival ( http://www.ochoriosjazz.com/).  This weeklong summer festival which has been going on for more than fifteen years draws in big names in jazz as well as up and coming jazz performers and contributes greatly to the culture of the area during the summer months.

The culture of Ocho Rios is also influenced by the West Indian tribal cultures associated with the history of the area, the ancient Taino Indians, and the West African slave history of Jamaica.    These various tribal influences are reflected in the dance, theater, arts, language and dining in Ocho Rios.

Those who wish to explore the full culture of the island should consider a B&B, villa or cottage vacation which would showcase more of the true culture of the island than is found behind the walls of the large hotels.  

An excellent cultural tour has recently opened, Outameni, that entertainingly depicts the awesome extent of cultural growth on the island. Outameni should definately be on your list if you are truly interested in exploring the culture of this beautiful island.