There’s more to Jamaica than just scrumptious food, stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife. The island is bejeweled with fascinating hidden gems and natural wonders suited for anyone looking for an off the beaten path adrenaline rush or simply a tranquil day amongst seductive scenery. Numerous navigable rivers and exhilarating waterfalls offer a number of exciting opportunities for activities and adventures. To help you decide which ones to visit here’s a list of 5 Must See Rivers and Waterfalls in Jamaica:
Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios is one of Jamaica’s most celebrated national treasures. It is hands down the island’s most frequented waterfall and one of most popular attractions in the Caribbean. This 600-foot majestic waterfall, known as “the Niagara of Jamaica” sees thousands of visitors from around the world each year climbing the limestone rock formation as water cascades past them and splashes into the ocean below. A truly outstanding treasure for everyone from the adventurous tourist to the more cautious individuals and an experience the whole family can truly enjoy together.
Climbing up the waterfalls is a popular tourist activity and is often, but not exclusively, performed with the help of tour guides from the park. The falls are bordered by lush, green vegetation that shades the area from the sun. This helps keep the area cool as people try to climb the waterfall. The falls can be hiked with relative ease, often in a hand-holding human chain behind the guide. Climb this famous waterfall at the point where its river meets the Caribbean Sea, to test fun boulders that double as slippery waterslides along the way.
( via Varun Baker )
YS Falls is one of the most beautiful and pristine natural attractions in Jamaica. A nature-based attraction nestled in the foothills of the cockpit country of St. Elizabeth. Vacationers are invited to enjoy an intimate experience with a spectacular 7-tiered cascading waterfall surrounded by lush vegetation, exciting canopy rides which carreen you down the alley high above the falls, river tube rides and spectactular views. A tractor drawn jitney takes you through a working thoroughbred horse and cattle farm to the hidden valley – home to the waterfalls.
Famous for their jagged sky-high rocks with crystal clear torrents of water flowing over them for 120 feet. Large pools at each level fed by underground and above ground springs allow for a refreshing swim and are accessed by stairs alongside the river. Your guide gives you the opportunity to then swim in the lakes, and picnic beside them on the expanse of fields nearby, where you can just sit back and enjoy the view. River tubing is offered when river conditions permit, rides promise excellent views and an overall jungle adventure.
Martha Brae River
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Flowing for over 20 miles from the tip of the Cockpit Country to the Caribbean Sea, the Martha Brae’s fame comes from its beauty and legendary past. According to local myth, the river is named after a Taino woman who was believed to possess magical powers and to know the location of a secret gold mine. One day the Spanish forced the woman to take them to the mine, but on the way she used her powers to alter the river’s course, and so the roaring river blocked the mine’s entrance and killed the Conquistador.
Today, over 40000 visitors travel down Martha Brae on bamboo rafts every year. Your tour starts at the “Rafters’ Village”, about thirty minutes outside of Montego Bay. While there, meander the six-acre grounds, take a dip in the village’s swimming pool, have a drink or a bite at the restaurant, or pick up a few souvenirs. Once on the calm river, you glide for three miles through Jamaica’s lush interior. At Tarzan’s Corner, you may zip through the air on a rope to swing or plunge into the refreshing water. The tour ends at “Martha’s Rest”, a rustic building that houses another souvenir shop and bar/restaurant.
( via Discovery Falls )
Nestled within a secluded mountain setting on the western part of Jamaica, Discovery Falls is situated in Silver Spring, Hanover, only 15 minutes outside of Negril. Experience the culture of our rural villages and the beauty of the Jamaican countryside as you meander along the mountains base to this hidden paradise. Palm trees, waterfalls and beautiful gardens line lagoons from natural springs nestled on the edge of the mountain with 1000 feet of zip lines through the canopy of trees is the setting created.
Suspended in the air at approximately 40 ft above the ground, you are strapped in and ready for the over 1000 ft ride through the Canopy of trees. They will prepare you for your experience with a complete safety briefing and demonstration of techniques. Their certified ZIP-Line operators stay with you throughout your adventure and take care of you along the way. Those less adventurous may choose to simply sit under the almond trees on the mountainside sunset patio, play in the natural mineral springs pool under waterfalls and walk beautiful natural paths on the mountain.
( via Chukka Caribbean )
Seven miles outside of bustling Ocho Rios, Jamaica is a 300 acre hidden paradise known as the White River Valley. Home to Jamaica’s White River; one of the eight rivers in the aptly named Ocho Rios found by the Spanish in the 17th century. It is famous for it’s rapids and alluring crystal clear pools and is a popular spot for vacationers looking for everything from romantic picnics to lazy river tubing and kayaking. Chukka Caribbean Adventures’ White River Kayaking combines the thrill of the river’s rushing waters with the quiet serenity of floating through a bamboo cathedral.
Their River Tubing Safari is also extremely popular. Experienced tubing guides will take you on a breathtaking three mile journey down the White River. This river is not only known for its beauty but also as the dividing line between two of the most beautiful parishes in Jamaica, St. Mary & St. Ann. Feel the changing pace and moods of the white river while passing through coconut plantations and bamboo groves along the river banks. Enjoy many challenging rapids and enchanting lagoons. This is fun for the whole family and is the best kept secret in Jamaica.