Ocho Rios and Runaway Bay are located in the heart of the north-coast region defined by fern-clad cliffs and cascading waterfalls, not far from where Columbus first landed more than 500 years ago. Amazed by the island’s beauty, the explorer declared: “It is the fairest island ever eyes beheld.
”Today, visitors come from all over the world to make their own discoveries in this stimulating yet tranquil resort area, which combines the attractions of one of the Caribbean’s most popular ports-of-call with the splendid scenery of the surrounding garden parish of St. Ann.One of the island’s best-known natural attractions is Dunn’s River Falls, a dramatic 600-foot (183-meter) drop of cascading water. A highlight of any trip to Ocho Rios is a careful climb up its limestone tiers, followed by a swim at the beach below. Visitors are advised to climb with a staff guide.
From the open-air museum of Columbus Park in Discovery Bay to the sleepy settlement of Oracabessa, a dazzling sequence of brilliant-blue bays, charming fishing villages and sandy coves along the craggy coastline attracts sunbathers, swimmers and water sports enthusiasts.