Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho Rios was originally home to the tribe of Arawak Indians called Taino, who had settled in Jamaica at around 1,000 BC and called the land Xamayca, meaning land of wood and water.

When the Spanish arrived (Christopher Columbus) in 1494 and claimed the island for Spain, Ocho Rios was named Chorreros meaning rapid rivers. Ocho Rios which means “Eight Rivers” is a town in the parish of Saint Ann on the north coast of Jamaica.

Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios port image by – Pinterest

In Discovery Bay, where the Spanish first landed, outside the city, visitors and residents can visit Columbus Park where can see Spanish colonial buildings and maritime artifacts.

Ocho Rios is a port of call for cruise ships as well as for cargo ships loading sugar, limestone, and in the past, bauxite.

A variety of water sports activities such as scuba diving, tubing and rafting are also offered in the town’s vicinity.

Ocho Rios is also famous for the nearby Dunn’s River Falls which is about 5 minutes out of the town.

The North Coast Highway from the international airport at Montego Bay to Ocho Rios has been improved since 2007 and the journey is now an hour and forty five minutes drive. 

Since March 2016, with the opening of the North-South portion of Highway 2000, driving and commute times into the nation’s capital, Kingston, has gone from over 2 hours to a little under an hour.

The opening of this highway has significantly reduced traffic on the old route between Jamaica’s two cities,make it easier to enjoy more of what Jamaica has to offer.

The Ocho Rios town has developed a lot over the years and now boast a number of restaurants, and night life such as Margaritaville and Dolphin Cove nightclubs where tourists swim and interact with dolphins.

Another major point of interest is Fern Gully. Fern Gully is the result of a 1907 earthquake that destroyed one of the river beds in the area.

Fern Gully stretches about 3 miles of great rocky gorge where travellers can see over 540 variety of ferns. In 1907, the British government paved over the destroyed river bed to create what is currently known as The Fern Gully Highway.

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About Sheinell

Jamaican Blogger and entrepreneur who enjoys a quiet day with family and friends.
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