Ocho Ríos is a town in the garden parish of Saint Ann. It is nestled around a small bay on the north coast of Jamaica. It was once a fishing village; however, in the late 1980s, it blossomed into one of the island’s premier tourist destination. It is a port of call for cruise ships as well as for cargo ships loading sugar, limestone and bauxite.
The name “Ocho Rios” means eight rivers in Spanish. This 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. This world famous wonder is one of the few falls in the world that directly empties into the ocean.
Getting to Ocho Rios has never been easier. Since the roads from Sangster’s International Airport at Montego Bay to Ocho Ríos has been improved, the journey by car takes only an hour and fifteen minutes.
Today, Ocho Rios is a veritable Mecca of duty free shopping, hotels, and restaurants. There are many attractions for tourists to enjoy: Fern Gully is a winding road that was formerly a river bed boasting hundreds of species of ferns. At Dolphin Cove, visitors can swim and interact with dolphins. For those craving more action, there is scuba diving, jet-ski and parasailing.
Ochi, as it is affectionately known, is perhaps most notable for its use in Dr. No, the very first James Bond film, which was released in 1962. It was home to Miss Taro (Zena Marshall), who was in alliance with the villain, Dr. Julius No (Joseph Wiseman), against the protagonist hero, Bond (Sean Connery).