Ocho Rios is a former fishing village on a wide bay that was developed for tourism in the mid-1980s. The frequent docking of cruise ships (sometimes three in a day) at the central pier that commands the town’s focus gives ‘Ochi’ a slightly ‘packaged’ feel, spiced up by the entreaties of ‘guides’ and souvenir sellers. The hassle quotient is relatively minor, however, and the town has a relaxed vibe when there's no ship in dock.
Tourism has endowed the town with a great eating scene, lively nightlife, and a plethora of guiding companies offering everything from scuba diving to zip-line tours. Throw in some of Jamaica's best waterfalls on its doorstep, and Ocho Rios makes an excellent base for exploring the north coast.