The striking beauty of Ocho Rios has been alluring visitors to this magnificent land for millennia. First to arrive were the Taino Indians who got here from their homeland in Central America about 3,000 years ago. Much, much later, it was Columbus who didn’t hesitate to found a new colony on the spot under the name of Chorreras (Spanish for “waterfalls”). After two infamous centuries of sugar plantations, slavery and pirates, the British seized control of the island. They didn’t seem to be very proficient in the language of their historic enemy since they mistranslated the name Chorreras and changed it into Ocho Rios (Spanish for “eight rivers”). Surprisingly enough, the name stuck. These days, a selected group of international hotel chains continue to allure travelers from their expansive locales scattered along the now tranquil coast.
Ocho Rios still retains the relaxed vibe and flavor of a traditional Jamaican fishing village, including a gorgeous bay and a bustling marketplace in the central plaza. Coupled with Jamaica’s contagious zest for life, succulent cuisine, and infectious rhythms, Ocho Rios should be ranking real high on your top destination list for incentive trips. Moreover, Ocho Rios is also famous for the multiple excursions and activities that can be enjoyed in the vicinity: From climbing world-famous Dunn’s River Falls or chartering a catamaran for a day of sailing and snorkeling to riding a bobsled through the forest at Mystic Mountain, beachcombing at James Bond Beach, or even biking down the misty Blue Mountains. And last but not least, special events can be organized at the gorgeous Konoko Falls and gardens, at the top of Mystic Mountain after a day of team recreation, at Sandals’ private beach, or at the luxurious Moon Palace resort.