When someone mentions the surreal blue waters of certain swimming spots in Jamaica, there is often debate about the location, well there are actually four Blue Hole spots in Jamaica that are all well worth visiting. Do a quick search for Blue Hole in Jamaica on Google, and it returns several different locations. It would seem as if there’s a Blue Hole in every parish!
Irie Blue Hole
Still, the most popular of them all might be the Blue Hole nestled in the hills of St. Mary where the White River flows. Also known as "Island Gully Falls", "Secret Falls" and "Irie Blue Hole", this attraction isn’t commercialized and it’s free to visitors, leaving it unscathed but also without facilities. A short trek over steep and rocky terrain opens up to the landing where you can park and buy water shoes, and there is exquisite local food that can be purchased. Before you take a dip in the cold, turquoise waters, the locals can provide you with other gears for your convenience as well.
There’s a Tarzan-esque swing that hangs from a rope on a tree above the water for your enjoyment. You can also choose to take a guided tour of the surroundings via the locals, some of whom are trained tour guides and lifeguards from nearby attractions.
Heed these words of advice from a long-time Blue Hole visitor; Try to go early in the morning before the rain. If it rains, it may turn the gorgeous waters to a murkier brown colour.
The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon in Portland has similar turquoise waters, but offers an amenity many swimmers appreciate. More space. Here, one can enjoy a leisurely swim in the lagoon that is said to be bottomless. While it is actually about 200 feet deep, its majesty remains intact. Go rafting on bamboo rafts and you can be taken out to the nearby Monkey Island. Once the backyard for actual monkeys, visitors enjoy walking on the island through the cool, shallow waters. Just don’t step on the sea urchins.
Dornoch River Head
If you take a tour of the Cockpit Country, you’ll end up at the Dornoch River Head. The cold waters of the lagoons are bound to refresh you and the translucent water looks as incredible as it feels. Likewise, the tour guides are welcoming and outgoing. This region was once home to the Maroons, African refugees who escaped American slavery, and these guides enjoy sharing the history of the caves and the inner workings of the Cockpit Country. Different animals that aren’t common to the rest of the island can also be spotted and shown to you by these hospitable guides.
The Blue Hole Mineral Spring
The Blue Hole Mineral Spring in Negril is complete with amenities for your comfort and has a delightful bar and pool that caters to guests. This one really is a blue hole. You’ll have to take a ladder down into a cavernous spot to experience the deep waters that were said to have healing properties. If you’re especially daring, you can take the 22 ft. jump into the Blue Hole. On the other hand, if it all sounds like a bit much, relax in the pool that filled with the same waters. Set up a horseback ride while you’re there for a tour you won’t soon forget.