Ask anyone who has ever visited Jamaica and they will almost certainly say they visited the famous Dunn’s River Falls in the tourism hotspot of Ocho Rios, St. Ann. But the island, proudly known as the land of wood and water, in fact, boasts over 100 rivers. Although many are not navigable and largely unexplored, here are three worth the trek off the beaten path, if only for the lack of crowds, the amazing photo ops and the unspoiled natural beauty all around.
Reach Falls is only an hour from the quiet town of Port Antonio in the east. Found in the lush area of Manchioneal, the majestic waterfall is overwhelmingly beautiful and surrounded by dense vegetation that serves as the home to indigenous species of birds. From a distant perspective, you'll notice that the waterfalls cascade into a natural heart-shaped pool, making it even more intriguing and romantic for visitors.
This natural spectacle has been featured in major Hollywood films including the classic retelling of Lord of the Flies and the Tom Cruise movie Cocktails. For the more adventurous ask the guides about experiencing The Rabbit Hole, where you simply cross your hands across your chest and jump feet first, or jump off of the cliff into the main swimming area. Don't forget to visit the alluring underground cave during your climb up the falls.
Get Here: From Port Antonio continue to head east to the town of Manchioneal. Hang a right up the hill through some vegetation and don’t get distracted by locals who may try to lure you on a ‘private tour’. The signs will lead you to the well-marked parking area of the government managed site. A small fee is required to enjoy.
In the southeastern region of St. Thomas is the mesmerizing Reggae Falls. Also known as the “Dam Head” by locals, these falls have a convoluted history to go along with its name. Once a hydroelectric plant, storms wore down the equipment and eventually the plant closed. Today, the water that runs over the dam collects into the swimming pool below the falls.
An idyllic escape, Reggae Falls is best known as a peaceful getaway for family and friends to pass the day hiking and swimming or simply relaxing in the sun, taking in the sights and sounds of the rushing waters.
Get Here: Drive east from the Roundabout by the turn off to Palisadoes to the Airport continue along the main road past Whitehorses until you turn reach the Morant Bay Roundabout. Take the 1st exit (left up the hill) and stay on the main road to Seaforth then onto Hillside. You will see the sign to Reggae Falls which takes you off the main road. Most locals will point the way. It’s best to drive a 4 wheel drive vehicle and be mindful of how heavily any river is flowing that you may have to cross.
This river adventure in Westmoreland is a great day trip out from the beach town of Negril. Many tour companies run excursions that include the scenic river walk on this off the beaten path adventure. Learn about the background of the exotic flora and fauna during this glimpse of paradise as you trek around this 14-acre property. It is the longest river walk in Jamaica and you will feel as if you’ve discovered the garden of Eden as you climb rocks, explore underwater caves, splash in the waterfall and swim in clear, cool waters.
Get Here: Check in with the concierge desk at your hotel or call a local tour agency and plan a day trip out to the falls.
© 2019 Jamaica Experiences All Rights Reserved