Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, ginger lilies, orchids, swaying palm trees, ferns and bamboo forests, the Dunn’s River Falls are one of the most picturesque sights in Jamaica. Swimming here is so refreshing that you won’t want to leave. The spot is very popular, so come early if you want to avoid the crowds!
The falls are over 600 feet (183 meters) across and are one of the few river falls in the world that flow directly into the sea. They are a living, growing phenomenon: the river causes a rain of calcium carbonate, which in turn, creates dome shaped deposits of travertine rock.
Climb the rocks and dip into one of the lagoons along the way. Stop at the cascading ‘massage parlor’ and have your muscles pummeled by the falling water. When you reach the top, sit under the terrace structure while listening to the chorus of tropical birds. The views are excellent from this high up.
The site is believed to be the place of the famous 1657 battle named Las Chorreras. This fight between the Spanish and the English in their bid for ownership of the land.
Bring a food basket and use the picnic facilities at the falls at lunchtime. Near the parking area on the bottom is a café, if you rather buy refreshments on the spot. At the gift shop you can commission an artist to create a personalized artwork and collect it when you return from your climb.
Dunn’s River Falls are located in Ocho Rios. The park is open daily. It can take up to an hour to climb the falls if you are taking your time, so set aside a morning or afternoon for the return trip and lunch. If you didn’t come here on an package tour, it is recommended to hire a guide, as the locals are familiar with the terrain and can watch out for your safety. If you carry a camera, bring a special dry bag.