On a beautiful day, 3 Jamaican bloggers set out to enjoy one of the island’s natural beauties. This time around, the destination was a river running through the lush, green Breadnut Valley Estate in Maggotty, St. Elizabeth.
Directions to Breadnut Valley Falls
Head towards the direction of Santa Cruz in St. Elizabeth, and look out for a sign situated by a gas station directing to Accompong village. Make the right turn by that gas station, where you should also observe a sign directing to Appleton Rum Tour. Keep left and follow the road until you observe the entrance of a hydropower plant on the right.
What do I mean by hidden in plain sight? Well, it’s behind a marked hydropower plant but you have to know it’s there. After you drive past the sign and transformers, follow the dirt road beyond a fence to hear the first series of small cascades.
Breadnut Valley Estate
The spacious venue includes a small bar, picnic table and bench to enjoy group trips. On the day of this trip, a wedding was being set up by the lower waterfall, so the venue seems to be privately-owned and available for rent. Luckily for us, the multiple cascades on property provided numerous options for us so the day didn’t go to waste. We doubt it would’ve been either way, with thoughts of possibly visiting other attractions in St. Elizabeth, just in case things didn’t work out here. I took the liberty of assigning names to all the pools for easier reference by the way :)!
Breadnut Falls: Base Pool
The lowest level includes multiple streams of varying sizes. The base is lined with sizeable river stones, and the depth can vary from ankles to full submersion. The refreshingly chilled water rains down with enough force to provide a great aqua back massage! Plus the stones surrounding the casades allow you to stand under and behind them. That’s not all though, if you take a short hike chasing waterfalls, you’ll find a couple more!
Breadnut Falls: Deep Pool
To find arguably the most picturesque pool of the series, head uphill and listen for the sound of rushing water (seriously, because you can make a wrong turn like we did). The hypnotizing turquoise water is surrounded by large rocks, fallen trunks, crowds of trees and greenery, making the thought of access a bit puzzling at first. A cautious descent maneuvering these elements would be required to immerse in the aquamarine beauty.
This pool is completely deep water, and isn’t recommended for non-skilled swimmers. Being one of the few (if not only) persons within my usual circles with mentionable swimming abilities, I’ve yet to swim here… BUT I have crossed the head of the waterfall if that counts for anything 😉 .
Breadnut Falls: Chill Pool
Continue along the path to then access a calm pond that looks like it’s slapped in the middle of a rainforest! Truly a fitting definition for untouched, unspoiled land… GAH! From here, you can observe yet another waterfall higher in the distance. A careful descent around small trees will grant access to the water that can also be enjoyed by non-swimmers up to a short point. The base of this one is sand, possibly mixed with mineral clay (like that of a mineral pool in Portland). I suspect that because your feet sink into it instead of resting atop, and it has a slight sticky, suction feeling.
Little critters may nibble at your toes here, but constant feet movement may reduce that if you’re like me and it’s not your choice of pedicure style. The floor deepens quite quickly, just like Blue Lagoon, indicating the limit for those not confident in their own swimming abilities.
Ready to venture to the waterfall you noticed in the distance? If a guide / community member is nearby, this is where one would be desired most. From the chill pool, you can either swim or walk the perimeter to cross the head (ie. top of) of the previous grand waterfall (aka ‘deep pool’). An upward pull plus a firm step on the loosened earth will allow you to climb to slightly higher ground.
Trek through overgrown paths and stony ground to reach the serenity surrounded by hanging vines and lushness.
Breadnut Falls: Private Pool
Here, in solitude, is where you’ll probably find the most tranquility. I was informed by our volunteer guide of the day from the community that this pool may require the most caution when swimming. Though it may seem calm, its underlying current is no stranger to introducing muscle cramps towards the middle of the pool. With that caution provided, we cooled off by the water’s edge, stooping against the river stones to submerge the lower half of our bodies. The peace and quiet here made it hard to believe that places like this exist during our everyday busy lives, and even harder to want to leave!
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