Ocho Rios Jamaica was a sleepy banana and fishing port until the 1980s. The growth of the Jamaican tourism industry has transformed the town into one of the premier destinations for all-inclusive resort vacations and Jamaica cruises. Ocho Rios vacations are great for those who want to enjoy the sun and sand of this beautiful Caribbean island.
Ocho Rios Jamaica was one of the last bastions of Spanish rule on the island. An important battle in the history of Jamaica took place just east of the city in Rio Nuevo, where British forces defeated the last stand of Spanish forces in Jamaica. The name Ocho Rios does not mean "eight rivers," but is rather a corruption of the Spanish laschorreras — "the waterfalls."
Ocho Rios Jamaica
The impressive Dunn's River Falls remain a leading attraction on Ocho Rios vacations. Crystal clear water splashes 600 feet over stone steps into the Caribbean. A visit to the falls seems to get more expensive every year. A guided tour is now about $20 each, but it is worth every penny. These falls are perhaps the most beautiful in the world and Ocho Rios vacations are incomplete without a stop at this natural wonder. Nearby Dolphin Cove is also a must-see on Ocho Rios vacations.
Ocho Rios Jamaica is a good base from which to explore pleasant north coast or to go scuba diving or snorkeling along the coral reef. The main reason to visit, however, is for the luxurious Ocho Rios resorts.
Ocho Rios hotels and resorts are some of the finest resorts in Jamaica. All-inclusive Ocho Rios resorts like Royal Plantation, Sandals Grande Ocho Rios, Jamaica Inn, and Sans Souci Resort and Spa offer the finest in Caribbean accommodation, with top-notch service, varied cuisine, pool complexes, beach access, and a variety of activities included in the price of accommodation.
Ocho Rios Jamaica was home to Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels. Fleming's custom built mansion, where he wrote all 13 of his famous spy books, is the center of one of the best Ocho Rios resorts. Goldeneye is a complex of eight luxurious villas east of Ocho Rios. Goldeneye is one of the most expensive Ocho Rios hotels: rates start at about $1,000 a night for a single villa, but if you have deep pockets there are few better Caribbean resorts.
Independent travelers can also find some less expensive Ocho Rios hotels. Mahoe Guesthouse, Carleen's Villa, Pencianna Guesthouse, and Marine View Hotel are reliable options for $50 a night or less.
Ocho Rios Cruise
Many visitors to Ocho Rios Jamaica will not need to look for accommodation. Ocho Rios is a popular stopover on Caribbean cruises. Cruise visitors can head to the resorts too for exclusive beaches and some of the prettiest Jamaica pictures, eat some authentic Jamaican jerk, or shop for souvenirs in the craft markets. Souvenir hunters should be prepared for hassles of aggressive vendors. For a quieter stop in Ocho Rios Jamaica head to the self-contained Island Village entertainment center, which has a peaceful beach, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, a selection of restaurants and bars, and a reggae museum.
If you are not traveling to Ocho Rios by cruise ship, you will likely fly into Montego Bay. Many Ocho Rios resorts offer free shuttles from the airport and deals are often available combining flights and accommodation.