Ocho Rios – where heaven spills into the sea
If you arrive on a cruise ship you will find that you are minutes away by foot from the shops and restaurants of Ocho Rios. Many will tell you that the name Ocho Rios means eight rivers, but the fact is the name comes from the Spanish word for waterfalls, Las chorreras.
Ocho Rios was once a fishing village, still you can find a local fish market where fish and lobster are still sold, but mostly the town caters to tourists who arrive on cruise ships or stay in one of the many hotels along the white sand beaches.
The Parish of Saint Ann, where the port of Ocho Rios is located, is known as the “garden parish” because of its natural beauty. There are many tours to be enjoyed by the visitor including scuba diving, horse riding, downhill bike riding, floating in a tube down the White River or you can choose to go a few steps from your ship and lie on the beach at Ocean View.
If you have never been face to face with a dolphin then you may want to go to Dolphin Cove and swim with the friendly dolphins there.
Some of the best know shopping plazas are the Taj Mahal with 26 duty-free shops, Pineapple Place Shopping Centre, Coconut Grove Shopping Plaza and the newer Ocho Rios Plaza.
Only four miles along the coast from Ocho Rios you will find Harmony Hall, a restored Methodist mansion, where upstairs you can see works by Jamaican artists, over hundred are represented by this gallery, and downstairs you can sip a local Jamaican beer at the bar.
Some of the food that you might like to try around Ocho Rios is jerked chicken, the spicy patties and lobster cooked a short walk from the cruise ship pier.
If you are with your children you may want to take them on an adventurous ride through the tops of the trees on a Canopy Tour, or enjoy the Rainforest Bobsled ride on 1 000 m ride on custom built sleds that take you through tropical forests.
Ocho Rios is probably best known as being the place where the very first James Bond movie was filmed Dr No.