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Ocho Rios

Saint Ann Parish
Ocho Rios
Type of Location
About Location

Ocho Rios is a town in the parish of Saint Ann on the north coast of Jamaica.Although he landed in many spots along the Jamaican coast, many believe that Christopher Columbus first set foot on land in Ocho Rios.Just outside the city, travelers and residents can visit Columbus Park, where Columbus supposedly first came on land, and see maritime artifacts and Spanish colonial buildings.It was once a fishing village but now caters to tourists.It is a port of call for cruise ships as well as for cargo ships loading sugar, limestone, and in the past, bauxite.There is scuba diving and other water sports.

The name "Ocho Rios" is a misnomer because there are not eight rivers in the area.It is most likely a British corruption of the original Spanish name "Las Chorreras" ("the waterfalls"),a name given to the village because of the nearby Dunn's River Falls.The north coast highway from the international airport at Montego Bay to Ocho Ríos has been improved since 2000 and the journey is now an hour and forty five minutes drive.The town has restaurants, night clubs in Margaritaville and Dolphin Cove, where tourists swim and interact with dolphins.It is perhaps most notable for its use in Dr No, the very first James Bond film, which was released in 1962.It was the home of Miss Taro, played by Zena Marshall, who was an adversary of Bond (Sean Connery) and in alliance with the main villain Dr Julius No (Joseph Wiseman).

Dunn's River Falls Known for its waterfalls, the most famous and visited attraction of Ocho Rios cascades over rock terraces down a 600-foot-plus cliff to the sea.The steppingstones of Dunn's River Falls shower and cool off guests and allow easy walking access up and down the cliff for guided tours.People can see the coastline from the top and participate every week in a feast that features music,dancing and swimming.This is the cruise capital of Jamaica.The bay is sheltered by lush garden-like mountains and protected by reefs.Ocho Rios hums with markets, shops, restaurants, and discos.Watersports and natural wonders are the attraction here.

How to Reach

By Air

A local airport provides charter plane access from the larger airports in Montego Bay and Kingston.

By Cruise

Many ships visit the town year round, and are served by two piers.The large "main pier" (nearest downtown) has some facilities and many vendors just outside the secure area.The "James Bond" pier farther West is very industrial, with almost no services except for tour operators it requires a substantial walk to downtown, but the sidewalk is lined with taxis.

By Taxi

Route taxis are everywhere.To give you an idea of the local cost 120 JMD is the cost of a shared route taxis between Ocho Rios and Oracabessa ( 1 USD is equal to 86 JMD) Chartered taxis from Ocho Rios to Kingston can cost as little as 500 JMD You share with lots of other people.Taxis called by hotels are safe but expensive.Have the hotel call a taxi for you they know the island better and you will not be put in an unmarked taxi.Minibuses go around the island from transportation centres.

Key places to visit
Dunns River Falls, Coyaba Gardens, Mahoe Falls, Shaw Park Botanical Gardens


Places to Visit

Dunns River Falls

This 600-foot waterfall drops down to the beach.One of the most photographed and visited waterfalls in the world. Can be extremely crowded as people climb up through a series of "staircase" waterfalls.Heading east from Ocho Rios, the drive from Ocho Rios to Port Antonio has some of the most spectacular scenery the north coast has to offer.Pass through small port towns such as Orcabessa, whose 19th century buildings are restored to their original look and feel.There are several "kodak moments" with breathtaking views of the coastline, bays and hills.The roads are narrow and windy, so be careful when driving on your own through this area.

Coyaba Gardens

The serenity of a genuine water garden, fed by streams that rise on the property exquisite Jamaican Spanish architecture.Spectacular Mahoe waterfalls a Museum of Island History focusing on the forgotten Taino/Arawak culture of Jamaicas first inhabitants a Shop of island curios and crafts, rums and coffees breathtaking views of the Bay of Ocho Rios the shade of giant banyan and cedar trees.Blue Mountain Coffee served in a cut-stone courtyard a natural aquarium filled with koi carp, mullet, snappers and turtles.

Mahoe Falls

Each visit to Coyaba is a new encounter with beauty, curiosity and nature.The seasons are marked by newly flowering plants and trees.The time of day by the reflection of sunlight on the water take a guided tour through the garden, amidst meandering streams and ponds, climb Mahoe Falls and dip in the pool at the base of the Falls a photographers dream, wander on your own, or dream away the hours to the roar of falling water.

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