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Ocho Rios Travel Guide, Jamaica

Ocho Rios is a town on the northern coast of Jamaica, at two-hour drive east from Montego Bay located in the parish of Saint Ann. It is a popular tourist destination, well known for water sports.

Ocho Rios was once a sleepy fishing village until it was discovered. Today it has experienced such an explosive growth over the last decade that is considered to be one of the favorite cruise ship ports in the Caribbean does not have too many sightseeing attractions, but the region surrounding Ocho Rios has plenty of places to be visited. Its picturesque landscape and first-rate attractions are making it one of the fastest growing tourist destinations on the island.

Ocho Rios owes much of its fame to Dunn's River Falls, a much-climbed attraction. It is a joy to be in or swim underneath the bitingly cool water of the falls, and great fun to make the climb to the top. Always crowded but relaxing, the river's beach cools you off with mist from the waterfall and waters that originate from the mountains. The scenery reminds you that you're in a tropical paradise, and the waters are said to imbue healing powers.

The surrounding countryside at Ocho Rios is lush and tropical, with fern-clad cliffs and breathtaking waterfalls, and a self-drive tour of the region to take in the scenery, like a drive through the famous three-mile vine-draped Fern Gully, is well worthwhile.

Ocho Rios is also famous for Fern Gully, a rocky gorge of tremendous depth which zigzags for about four miles from the Ocho Rios coast up to the central mountain area of the island. Although it has become rather commercialized in recent years by souvenir vendors with their carved-wood souvenirs, it is still well worth a visit to see the profusion of tropical ferns, hardwood trees, and lianas, only to be found in a tropical rain forest. In the deepest parts of the gorge, only faint dapples of sunshine penetrate through the thick foliage and the temperature is about ten degrees cooler.

Another local curiosity of this region is Edinburgh Castle; its ruins stretching on 13km (8 miles) north to the village of Bensonton, were once the house where Lewis Hutchinson, one of Jamaica's most famous murderers, used to invite his victims inside to wine and dine, and then shot them and throw their bodies in a pit.

You can also visit the first Spanish settlement on the island, St. Ann's Bay, with the statue of Christopher Columbus and lots of Georgian buildings, such as the Court House (1866) near the parish church.

Beside the luxurious resorts, other attractions represent the beaches with the best places for scuba diving, the working plantations and the Bob Marley Mausoleum.

If you are interested in the music of Jamaican people, then a visit to the museum Reggae Explosion is the perfect place where you can find out interesting things related to the history of Jamaican music.

Ocho Rios is the main choice for large groups, families seeking villa rental accommodation and for cruise ship visitors wishing to visit the sites of the town. It is a tropical paradise of the all-inclusive resorts such as Beaches and Sandals. One of the most expensive in this region, these posh resorts with private sandy beaches include in their price lodging, meals, drinks, entertainment and many out doors activities.

Eating options range from elegant gourmet restaurants to fast food outlets. Some of the most acclaimed restaurants in Jamaica are in Ocho Rios and include everything from hillside views, waterfall dining or starlight candles right on the beach! The majority of restaurants are to be found in the expensive resorts.

Do not loose any more time and book a ticket to Ocho Rios, a town dedicated to fun and sun, a crossroads of pleasure and leisure full of surprises and delights.

Nightlife in Ocho Rios is not spectacular, the majority of clubs and bars being located in the waterfront resorts.

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