Ocho Rios, or "Ochi," is famously the garden center of Jamaica. It is a resort community, to be sure, situated on a splendid bay on the island's north shore, just to the east of Montego Bay, and backed on its south by rolling green hills that are quite spectacular in themselves. High up in the ripples of these verdant hills are one of Jamaica's lushest spots, the picturesque Dunn's River Falls, as well as one of the island's most striking areas, a tunnel of supreme greenery, known simply as Fern Gully. Also tucked away in the hills and accessible from Milford Road are the Shaw Park Gardens and Coyaba River Garden and Museum, plus the lovely Enchanted Garden Resort.
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Ocho Rios is also notable as the setting for Dr No, one of the earliest James Bond films, released in 1962. In fact, just to the west of here, in the small town of Oracabessa is the former home of James Bond author Ian Flemming, nicknamed Goldeneye, near to which you can visit the James Bond Beach which offers a full slate of recreational activities as well as a beach bar and grill. Another nearby resort community of interest, also west of Ocho Rios, halfway to Montego Bay, is Runaway Bay, a collection of smaller tourist resorts.
Ocho Rios itself is the principal town in the parish of Saint Ann. Formerly a fishing village, it is now a bastion of tourism and a port of call for both cruise ships as well as cargo ships transporting sugar and limestone. Its name, however, "Ocho Rios," which in Spanish means "Eight Rivers," is a bit of a misnomer and is believed to be a corruption of its original name, "La Chorreras," meaning "the waterfalls," ostensibly a reference to the nearby Dunn's River Falls.
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