The Fern Gully at Ocho Rios is one of the true natural wonders of Jamaica. Unlike other highways, this is surrounded by beautiful scenery, making it a site to behold.
This highway is a three mile stretch at Ocho Rios. Ocho is at the northeastern shore of Jamaica. You can reach the place by plane or by cruise ship.
What to See
The highway goes through a rocky gorge. It is home to different types of ferns, hence the name. The country of Jamaica is home to 570 fern species, the largest in the world. The mahoe trees and trumpet join up at the top. The result is an atmosphere akin to a cool rainforest.
As you cross the Gully, you will see numerous craft stalls. You can purchase Jamaican sculpture and wood here. As you traverse the Fern Gully at Ocho Rios, you will come across stalls selling amusing caricatures.
The highway used to be a riverbed. However, an earthquake altered the course of the river. It is actually a geographic formation and not man made. Ocho is actually a town at Saint Ann. According to the stories, it was here that Christopher Columbus first landed in Jamaica.
During its early years the town became a fishing village. Today, the town is used as a port for calling out ships. The town is also known for the ships that carry limestone and sugar.
Aside from the highway, the town is also known for its water sports and scuba diving. There are also several beautiful beaches in and around town.
The only costs you will pay for is the taxi fare. They are usually very cheap and the price negotiable. If you are renting a car, the rental is all you pay for. The costs of the items in the stalls differ of course.
Aside from the view, the experience of driving or riding on the highway is truly unique. You go through a series of turns and twists. You will go through all this under a foliage canopy. From your seat, you will see the tree roots very close by.
The best time to drive the Fern Gully at Ocho Rios would be the day as you will know where the twists and turns are. However, you can also drive there in the evenings. One of the most amazing sights is the headlights bouncing from the forestry wall. This also helps in the navigation of the highway.