An idyllic vacation spot on Jamaica’s north coast, this town is a port for luxury cruises, a shopper’s delight and a backdrop for the capers of fictional spies.
Ocho Rios has everything that the Caribbean is known for: stunning beaches, lush rainforests, luxury hotels, energetic village life and movie-star allure. Stay in some of the most opulent resorts in the whole Caribbean in this major tourist town on the north coast.
Many international cruise ships stop at “Ochi.” The area has numerous shops, restaurants and spas catering for international travelers. Find many beaches in this stretch of coast, such as the popular Reggae Beach. The beaches often have entry fees. Lie on the beach and eat and drink or participate in other outdoor activities, including rafting, swimming with dolphins and ziplining in the surrounding rainforest. Relax at night with rum and reggae at a local bar or upscale nightclub.
The town was an industrial and fishing village until redevelopment in the 1960s. It was made famous as the setting for James Bond’s capers in Dr. No. Not far from town, visit James Bond Beach, close to Ian Fleming’s former home, the Golden Eye Villa. Noël Coward lived nearby too.
There aren’t really eight rivers in the surroundings but there are numerous waterfalls. See local natural wonders such as the Dunn’s River Falls and the Shaw Park Gardens.
Explore the region’s rich history. Near the township is the site of the Rio Nuevo battle in which the English rousted the Spanish from Jamaica in 1658. Most of the relics from the battle are gone, but you can still hear the story and see where it happened. This complements the other sites of Spanish Colonial history in the area, including Columbus Park, where Columbus supposedly first stepped ashore in 1494.
For a constructed experience, good for families, head to Island Village, which is an entertainment park with a cinema, shops, amphitheater and private beach. Turn your gaze from the ocean in Ocho Rios for a view of Jamaica’s mountain peaks standing guard behind you.