Ocho Rios (Spanish for "Eight Rivers") is a town in the parish of Saint Ann on the north coast of Jamaica. Just outside the city, travelers and residents can visit Columbus Park, where Columbus supposedly first came on land, and see maritime artifacts and Spanish colonial buildings.
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 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.
The north coast highway from the international airport at Montego Bay to Ocho Rios has been improved since 2000 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.
The town has restaurants, nightclubs in 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 great rocky gorge where travellers 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.