In the district of Comfort Castle, Portland Jamaica lies a treasure trove of rivers and waterfalls, mainly to the fortune of its residents. On a beautifully sunny day, a road trip to the region was orchestrated for a blogger collaboration by female travel enthusiast, Njari aka Travel Buddy. Considering her outings specially cater to women, it’s no surprise that this particular touring tribe (including myself, Toni-Ann, Monifa,and Tasheika) was all-female. A captivating hidden Portland waterfall is found within the area, pouring from Dry River. Five of us met up with community residents Derise and Damian of On the Edge Tours to venture to the tucked away Dry River waterfall.
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Getting to the rural Comfort Castle community, then to Dry River, is not the simplest venture. The town rests well off the beaten path following a run of turbulent roads. After parking at the home of our hosts, the hike segment of the journey began. We briefly followed a stream running adjacent to the roadway, before ascending a dirt trail to a resident’s backyard which opened out to a lush cow pasture. The revolving view of green fields and wrapping mountains makes the moderate hike that much more worthwhile. Few cattle and other farm animals dotted the stretched land of crop beds.
Thankfully our tour guides made the journey as simple as they could for strangers to the terrain (read: us). While tending to everyone’s individual pace, the landscape was made-to-measure by adding bamboo bridges, step ladders, soil-carved stairs and mowed pathways.
Dry River Waterfall, Portland Jamaica
A hill descent to meet flowing water initially feels like the conclusion of the journey, but it continues upstream to reach the main attraction: Dry River Waterfall. The towering falls aren’t immediately visible from this point; some additional rock scaling and hopscotch will lead you to the cascade and its swimming pool. Bag(ged) juice replenished our blood sugar and added an extra sweet treat after the approx. 20-minute hike. The area sits in a gorge framed by crags and foliage, where the afternoon sunlight peered tenderly on the cool river. Its translucent water runs deep with a view of stone flooring and an emerald overlay, likely painted from the sheltering greenery. Gentle breeze floats little leaves in the air before they sprinkle the water surface
On The Edge Tours constructed their own bamboo raft to transport visitors from the rocks directly to the waterfall. It may not be a long leisurely trip like rafting in Portland on the Rio Grande, but the quick voyage gets the job done. Dry River Falls is tucked inside a shallow rock passage where the force of the pouring water creates its own spray. The stones lining Dry River’s bed are populated with a local delicacy – busso, a tiny river snail that many Portlanders enjoy as a part of meals. I first saw this little mollusk at the sacred Nanny Falls then at Scatter Falls (both also in Portland).
Boulder beds created seats for lounging. In true local fashion, a customary meal by the riverside was prepared by our hosts. A fire pit was set on the rocks using a collection of sticks, dry leaves, and a lighter to roast breadfruit. We later indulged in home-cooked ackee and saltfish (our national dish, and 1 of my favourites!), made with love by Derise. It was definitely a beautiful rewarding day, in many ways.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of this hidden Portland waterfall before; is it on your travel list now???
In some of my posts I include directions to the attractions but I can’t begin to comprehensively describe the route to get here!
* Unbranded photos by other members of this travel tribe
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