The original article was posted by me on Sun Island Jamaica Ltd’s website in 2015. Since then, it has gotten tremendous feedback which caught me by surprise as my first blog post. I’ve visited a few of the mentioned locations since the original article and have edited them accordingly…
We’re all accustomed to the usual beach flex, but what about those days where you’re not too thrilled about hot sun, sand and sometimes overcrowded venues? For those like me who appreciate the occasional river outing to help “clean your heart”, the trip to a refreshing, natural stream may not be as far as you may think. Though I’m aware dozens of rivers could’ve been included here, I thought 1 per parish was sufficient.
Bowden Hill/Falling Edge Falls – Kingston & St. Andrew
Be prepared to do a little hiking or riding if you seek out this majestic treasure. The route I traveled included an easy 10-minute walk after parking at an all-age school, which served as a driving dead end. I’ve been told there’s a path which includes walking through the hermitage dam, but I haven’t yet discovered it.
Mountain River Cave – St.Catherine
Located in the lush green terrains of Cudjoe Hill, it houses a large collection of art of Jamaica’s native inhabitants, the Tainos, and shows clues to their early existence.
Salt River – Clarendon
A favourite among residents of the town for a cool dip. After the highway toll booth, turn left at Sandy Bay and be blessed.
Gut River – Manchester
A river, beach and small hamlet together on an isolated stretch of south facing coastline. The name is said by the locals to derive from the German word for ‘good’.
Breadnut Valley Falls – St. Elizabeth
From its entrance you wouldn’t imagine all the hidden beauty inside! It starts as small streams flowing into a natural pool but as you hike just a few yards upwards you’ll find bigger, deeper cascades.
Mayfield Falls – Westmoreland
2 beautiful waterfalls, 21 natural pools, 52 types of ferns and lots of exotic flowers, plant species, birds, butterflies and wildlife native to Jamaica.
Discovery Falls – Hanover
Nestled within a secluded mountain setting on the western part of Jamaica, Discovery Falls is situated in Silver Spring, 15 minutes outside of Negril. Palm trees and beautiful gardens line the lagoons. Natural springs nestled on the edge of the mountain with 1000ft zip line through the canopy.
Great River – St. James
The Great River is one of Jamaica’s major rivers, and forms the boundary of the parish of St James with Westmoreland and Hanover. It is greatly used for a rafting, along with river tubing. I’ve been rafting before (on the Martha Brae river), and it is one of the most relaxing experiences, highly recommend it. I wouldn’t mind doing it on a bigger river such as this.
Dornoch Head -Trelawny
The source of the Rio Bueno River. Off to the left side of this pool, the spring water comes from a rock, and off to the right side, the river begins its descent to the sea.
Konoko Falls – St. Ann
Nestled in the hills of St. Ann overlooking the resort area of Ocho Rios, just five minutes away from the town centre. The ascension of the falls is easier than it may look; I recommend climbing for the sheer satisfaction plus lying on the rocks as you listen to the flowing water. Location also includes a Taino Museum, a mini-zoo, and eatery.
Kwaamen/Kwame Falls- St. Mary
A mostly deep pool beneath the falls, with some very warm spots (I’ve been told), is great for a refreshing dip. You may have the option to hike the whole way (took me 1h 40m) or take a boat to cut out a significant portion of the trip (approximately 30m hike) through different guide offerings in the Robin’s Bay area.
Nanny Falls – Portland
Located in Moore Town, the falls are about a half hour to 45 minute hike and said to be worth it. Tucked away, the secluded waterfall plunges into a deep pool which is great for swimming in.
Reggae Falls – St. Thomas
Known by residents as “damhead”, the waterfall cascades several feet to the Johnson River in Hillside, St Thomas to serve as a relaxing place for visitors wanting to spend an enjoyable day with nature.
If you’ve been to any of these (especially the ones I haven’t), please leave any reviews / suggestions in the comments.