This portion of the famously-pristine White River on the cusp of St. Mary and St. Ann isn’t called ‘Hidden Beauty’ for no reason. Beyond the better known Blue Hole and Island Gully falls attractions lies a sizeable property perfect for river cookouts and group day trips. I was happy to be invited by fellow local vloggers Down Di Road, which redeemed the memory of my previous experience here (following rainfall).
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A wooden sign, carved and coloured with red, gold, and green, marks the entrance, with similarly-styled signs throughout the venue. A J$1000 entry fee grants access to Calby’s tranquil venue. The property really gets its laid-back charm from all the quaint man-made structures; you’re likely to notice 2 harmless native dogs relaxing by the river too. Multiple bamboo shacks are stationed for rented river tubes and personal belongings. The patois ‘Bwoy’ and ‘Gal’ labels as bathroom signs, which kinda reminded me of the ones at MayField Falls in Westmoreland, added to the light vibe. Hammocks hang from a few trees near the flowing river to make the perfect siesta spot!
Benches and picnic tables provide seating choices in a number of areas for your group to situate. In true cookout fashion, an ‘open van back’ was on location, housing deejay equipment, food, drinks, and patrons prepared for a fun day by the river.
Several plant and tree species form a lush border around the azure water body. Ready for a swim? Of course you are, but first, be mindful of the shallow vs deep areas. It may not have the mesmerizing hue or glow of blue lagoon or glistening waters, but the water is pretty damn PRETTY!
Large, smooth rocks line the river to create a walking path in some parts of the waters. Due to the formation of some of the rocks, the calm contrast transitions into a rushing flow (perfect for Chukka Cove‘s offered activity on this river) depending on the area at which you access. A rope swing hangs from a tree for those who’d like to really get into the swing of things and make a splash.
The large land was ideal for a scavenger hunt game that the Down Di Road crew created with a number of natural elements that could be found on the venue. The prize? A special bottle of aged rum that I previously enjoyed during a rum tour.
Speaking of play, when’s the last time you enjoyed a playground?! For children (of any age *wink*), there is a handmade swing and see-saw on property for enjoyment! These really take you back to your carefree days as you propel yourself back & forth or up & down into the air.
I’ve now visited twice with both small and medium groups. IMO the medium group was a better fit for this spacious venue (that’s rare for me who likes as little crowd as possible).
What would a perfect day here look like for you? Describe in the comments!
Drive past Blue Hole and Island Gully Falls in the hills, just outside of Ocho Rios. Continue along the road (SUV or larger vehicle recommended) until you observe signage for Hidden Beauty or a colourful wooden sign like depicted above.
Ask for Mr. Karl Calby Williams on entry.
* The map below isn’t the exact location; but shows the general area.
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