Ocho Rios, Jamaica | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho Rios is on the northeastern shore of Jamaica. Commonly referred to as Ochi it is a popular destination for cruise ships and tourists alike. It features a bulk of resorts and tourist attractions. There are many conveniences, such as supermarkets and restaurants.
It was once a fishing village but now caters to tourists.

It is a port of call for cruise ships as well as for cargo ships loading sugar, limestone, and in the past, bauxite. Scuba diving and other water sports are offered in the town's vicinity.

The name "Ocho Rios" is a possible misnomer, as there are not currently eight rivers in the area. It could be 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.

The... Read more

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Destination:

Ocho Rios is on the northeastern shore of Jamaica. Commonly referred to as Ochi it is a popular destination for cruise ships and tourists alike. It features a bulk of resorts and tourist attractions. There are many conveniences, such as supermarkets and restaurants.
It was once a fishing village but now caters to tourists.

It is a port of call for cruise ships as well as for cargo ships loading sugar, limestone, and in the past, bauxite. Scuba diving and other water sports are offered in the town's vicinity.

The name "Ocho Rios" is a possible misnomer, as there are not currently eight rivers in the area. It could be 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.

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. On 26 August 2011, the Jamaican government announced a $21 million revitalization plan for the resort area. Since the March of 2016, with the opening of the North-South portion of Highway 2000 (whose North terminus is located at Mammee Bay, a suburb of Ocho Rios), 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 reduced traffic on the old route between Jamaica's two cities (through the town and onto Fern Gully) immensely.

The town has restaurants, Margaritaville, and Dolphin Cove 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 the great rocky gorge where travelers 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.

In popular culture

The town is perhaps most notable for its use in Dr. No, the very first James Bond film, which was released in 1962. It was the home of Miss Taro, played by Zena Marshall, who was an adversary of Bond (Sean Connery) and in alliance with the main villain Dr. Julius No (Joseph Wiseman).

It also appears as the primary location for the horror sequel Piranha II: The Spawning, many of the scenes being photographed at the Mallards Beach-Hyatt, now the Sunset Jamaica Grande.

The town was featured on three episodes of Season 8 of Bravo's The Real Housewives of Atlanta reality show in early 2016.

In 2016, the Rio Chico resort just outside of Ocho Rios was featured on the 20th season of ABC's reality TV show The Bachelor.

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Ocho Rios, Jamaica: Port Information


Many cruise ships visit the town year round and are served by two piers. The large "main pier" (nearest downtown) has some facilities and many vendors just outside the secure area. The "James Bond" pier farther West is very industrial, with almost no services except for tour operators; it requires a substantial walk to downtown, but the sidewalk is lined with taxis.

Get around Ocho Rios, Jamaica


Route taxis are everywhere. 

Minibuses go around the island from transportation centers.

What to see in Ocho Rios, Jamaica


  • Shaw Park Botanical Gardens
  • Coyaba River Garden and Museum
  • James Bond beach

    , which is close to what was the home of his creator, Ian Fleming.

What to do in Ocho Rios, Jamaica


There are many different adventure-type activities from rafting to zip-lining.

  • Dolphin Cove

    , Highway A3, ☎ +1 876-974-5335, +1 876-795-0484. Daily 8:30 AM-5:30 PM. Dolphin encounters and swims.  
  • Dunn's River Falls, Highway A3 (5 km from Ocho Rios). Climbing these waterfalls in a human chain is one of Jamaica's most famous attractions. The series of waterfalls span about 900 feet and the park includes a private beach as well as a cafe and craft shops. 
  • Chukka Cove Adventures.
  • Calypso Rafting (Route taxi from the clock-tower up exchange road). Small business set up a little way up the White River. They have personal inner tubes down the river. They can also supposedly do jet ski rentals. No credit cards, cash/travelers check only.
  • Rainforest Adventures Mystic Mountain (Take a route taxi towards St Ann's Bay), ☎ +1-866-759-8720 (US), +1-876-974-3990 (JM), e-mail: reservations.jam@rainforestadventure.com. 11 AM-4 PM. A small amusement park 2km west of Ochi, which is a popular cruise ship activity. The chairlift (sky lift explorer). The lift with ziplining. The lift with a Jamaican 'bobsled'. The ziplining includes 5 ziplines and a 100ft abseil drop. There is a waterslide, small pool, restaurant and viewing tower at the top.

What to eat and drink in Ocho Rios, Jamaica


Eat

  • Steamed fish at the Fishermen's Beach in Ocho Rios.
  • Passage to India. Great Indian food.
  • Toscanini's. The best Italian/Caribbean food.

Drink

  • John Crows. Modern Bar and Food at very reasonable prices with excellent service.
  • Margaritaville. Beach, themed bar and waterslide. Drinks are expensive when compared to other local bars. Beach party and club nights a regular event.
  • Hard Rock Café.
  • Ocean's Eleven. Beachfront bar with special event nights (Thursday is Latin night!)

Shopping in Ocho Rios, Jamaica


  • Harmony Hall, ☎ +1 876 974-2870. Tower Isle. Genuine Jamaica artwork and handicraft in an exquisite Victorian gingerbread house outside Ocho Rios.
  • United Supermarket, downtown, offers virtually all basic grocery items needed for self-catering.
  • Crafts, Ocho Rios has 7 craft markets namely: Ocho Rios craft market (across from Sonis Plaza),

    Coconut Grove

    , Dunn's River Falls, Fern Gully, Swansea, Pineapple Place, and Olde Market.

Safety in Ocho Rios, Jamaica


Jamaica has the 5th highest murder rate in the world. As in any other foreign country, should any emergency situation arise, especially at the domestic level, it is advised to immediately contact your government's embassy or consulate. Governments usually advise travelers staying in the country for an extended period of time to notify their embassy or consulate so they can be contacted in the case of an emergency.

If you are approached by a Jamaican looking to sell you drugs or anything else that you are not interested in buying, the conversation will most likely go like this: "Is this your first time on The Island?" Respond: "No, I've been here many times before" (even if it is not true or as he will less likely think you are gullible). Next, they will ask "Where are you staying?" Respond with a vague answer: for instance, if you are approached on Seven Mile Beach, respond by saying "Down the street". If asked "Which resort?", respond with another vague answer. They will see that you are not stupid nor ready to be taken advantage of. They will appear to be engaging in friendly conversation, but once you are marked a sucker (like "It's my first time here"), you will be harassed. If you are further pushed to buy drugs or something else, calmly tell them: "I've been to this Island many times before: please don't waste your time trying to sell me something. I'm not interested." They should leave you alone, they may even say "Respect," and pound your fist.

The cultural and legal abhorrence against homosexuals (battymen) in Jamaica is far-reaching, and not only from a legal perspective, from which anal sex may be punished with up to 10 years. However, heterosexual anal sex is gaining in popularity, and while technically illegal, it has never been prosecuted by the state. It is advisable to avoid displaying affection to people of the same sex in public, especially between two men - Jamaica is a nation notorious for its persistent intolerance of homosexual behavior, gay bashings are not uncommon (particularly in popular reggae and dancehall music in Jamaica) and victims would be met with indifference by the authorities. Simply put, Jamaica is not a suitable destination for LGBT tourism.

Marijuana, (locally known as ganja) - synonymous with Jamaica but illegal for many years - was decriminalized in February 2015. Nevertheless, purchasing marijuana remains illegal at this time.

If in need of police, dial 119, just don't expect them to show up on the spot.

September, October, and November have a lower number of tourists due to being hurricane season. As a result, the police are encouraged to take their vacation during this time. This reduction in the police force can cause areas like Montego Bay's hip strip to be less safe than they normally are.

Language spoken in Ocho Rios, Jamaica


Jamaicans speak Patois (pronounced "patwa") natively. Its pronunciation and vocabulary are significantly different from modern English because it's based on a combination of languages such as English, Spanish and French. Despite not being official, some of the billboards and signs use phrases like "Everyting irie" to mean "Everything is all right."

Although all Jamaicans can speak English, which is the official language, they often have a very thick accent and foreigners may have trouble understanding them because of this. Some Jamaicans speak a little bit of other popular languages such as Spanish.

You will usually hear Jamaicans say "Waah gwan?", "Waah appen?", or "what tah gwan", the Creole variation of "What's up?" or "What's going on?" More formal greetings are usually "Good morning" or "Good evening."

LOCAL TIME

3:11 pm
August 24, 2019
America/Jamaica

CURRENT WEATHER

29.78 °C / 85.604 °F
light rain
Sun

27.57 °C/82 °F
moderate rain
Mon

27.42 °C/81 °F
light rain
Tue

27.47 °C/81 °F
light rain
Wed

27.02 °C/81 °F
light rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

JMD

1 USD = 0 JMD
1 EUR = 0 JMD
1 GBP = 0 JMD
1 AUD = 0 JMD
1 CAD = 0 JMD

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