Ocho Rios, affectionately referred to as «Ochi» by the locals, is situated on the northern coast of the island of Jamaica, midway between the capital, Kingston, and the popular tourist resort of Montego Bay. The Spanish translation of Ocho Rios is «eight rivers,» but the town's name most likely was derived from the abundance of waterfalls in the area (since you won't find eight rivers there). The shoreline is dotted with one hotel resort after another, with the Caribbean's trademark warm sands and turquoise waters in their backyards. Beyond the shoreline, rainforestlike greenery blankets the mountainous landscape. The strikingly lush tropical foliage makes it easy to see why the Parish of St. Ann, of which Ocho Rios is a part, is known as the «garden parish.«
Set just slightly past the cruise port, the shabby town of Ocho Rios offers plenty of duty-free shopping bargains, open-air eateries and happening bars on its two main drags, Main Street and DaCosta Drive (which run parallel to each other). Although the town is worth checking out, spending an entire day there would be overdoing it. For cruise-ship tourists, primary points of interest and attractions -- like Dunn's River Falls, Mystic Mountain and James Bond Beach -- lie beyond the actual town and are short 5- to 10-minute taxi rides away.
Ocho Rios gets its fair share of precipitation with the most rain falling in October, and average temperatures in Jamaica are in the 80's and 90's. (July and August are the hottest months, while February is the coolest.) Watch out for hurricane season in Caribbean ports from June until November.