Ocho Rios

Overview

Introduction

Ocho Rios, Jamaica, would seem to be Spanish for "eight rivers," but it is most likely a corruption of the Spanish word chorreras, which means "waterfalls." Jamaicans refer to it fondly as Ochi. The second-most important tourist town on the north coast, it offers the island's best shopping, plenty of regional attractions, varied nightlife and fairly good (though often crowded) beaches. It sits on the edge of the jungle in a sheltered bay with a mountainous backdrop—truly lovely.

Ocho Rios is one of Jamaica's most-visited cruise ship ports, and many noncruisers frequent the all-inclusive resorts in the area. Our only regret is that Ocho Rios can be crowded, especially when the cruise ships are in port, and as it continues to develop, it is losing the charm that made it so popular in the first place. However, there has been a townwide drive to crack down on hustlers and illegal vendors and to encourage residents to take more pride in their city and property, with regular maintenance and decorative plantings.

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