History of Ocho Rios, Jamaica

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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 no 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.

It 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.

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.

Ocho Rios is the name of the sixth track on the album Sounding out the City by El Michels Affair and was also featured in the 10cc song "From Rochdale to Ocho Rios".

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