Yet another example of untapped and unspoilt nature, flowing in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Blue Mountains. The grand sight of Cascade Falls commands attention as far as the opposite side of the mountain, roughly a half hour trek at least a mile away. This waterfall, said to pour 100ft down the mountainside, is surrounded by vegetation and boulderstones chipped off the rocky slope.
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The cool river water is the perfect reward after over an hour of hiking, wouldn’t you agree? Cascade Falls towers the landscape, plummeting into a fairly shallow pool below. If the water isn’t too cold for you, I highly recommend sitting on the nature-made ‘bench’ behind the water curtain, or better yet get a back massage from the force of the cascade!
Just like many of these 13 lesser known falls did in the last few years, this uncommercialized natural beauty seems to be steadily ascending on the radar of waterfall chasers. What helps to maintain seclusion is the need to hike to get there, which not everyone is willing to do. With the guidance of hiking group Wanderlust Trails Jamaica, my visit to Cascade Falls was curated for a small personal group, and began from Holywell National Park.
Blue Mountains Hike Trail Journey
The 1.5hr downhill hike trail just to the right of the National Park is nothing short of scenic. The starting point is geographically located in St. Andrew but the destination is in the neighbouring Portland parish. Being mostly a decline, the journey to Cascade Falls isn’t very energy-taxing; hiking back to Holywell is where the real challenge begins. Navigating boulders and walking through slippery paths including flowing water all contribute to the authentic Jamaican hiking experience.
During our excursion, we hiked in [refreshing] rain for at least 30mins, thankfully it wasn’t very heavy and didn’t make the trail much more challenging. Wanderlust Trails came to the rescue by providing us all with raincoat ponchos, which we used as protection from cold winds more than we did the heavenly showers. Snacks and hydration are also provided during the journey to replenish energy levels.
After refreshing beneath the gushing waters, you’ll be trudging uphill for most of the journey back. What I like about Wanderlust Trails is that they match each person’s pace to leave no one alone or behind (and trust me, I was behind). One of the guides stayed with and engaged me consistently as my body complained during the uphill battle, while another led the remainder of the group forward.
Despite how slow and inconvenient I felt at times, it was comforting to not feel pressured to overexert myself, plus the guide that was with me offered encouraging words, “Woooo!”s, music, and drinks throughout. Once the end was in sight, CHUSS MI (trust me), the euphoria is real. P.S. Ornella, I understand your Wanderlust Trails experience wholeheartedly!
Wanderlust Trails Jamaica
Wanderlust Trails Jamaica is a group of 4 nature hike-loving friends who decided to share their preferred leisure activity with others. What initially began as a weekend hobby evolved into an open hiking tour excursion that showcases Jamaica’s natural beauty. As the name suggests, their guided hike destinations are all come with scenic routes.
If you’re a nature and adventure lover seeking Instagram-worthy off-the-beaten-path journeys, they’re who to contact (on Instagram or Facebook). Look out for their future open trips or do what I did and ask them to create a tailored hike for your group.
Why Take a Blue Mountain Hike
Despite how much my body may disagree at the time, I enjoy hiking in the Blue Mountains because of all its lovely flora and fauna you don’t typically see in other areas of Jamaica. Many of them are also indigenous to the area, and the country! My hike to Cinchona Botanical Gardens was a real eyeopener for me as my first trudge there. Since then, I always get excited when something catches my eye that I never knew was produced in Jamaica (or even existed). Strolling through hypnotizing fog and cooling mist is another perk to Blue Mountain hikes in my opinion; a break from the typical heat on the plains!
With one of the most famous coffees in the world, commemorated by a dedicated festival and culinary trail, be sure to look out for blooming coffee plants along trails. We were able to pick coffee beans right off the stem! Have you ever tasted it? I’ve made Blue Mountain coffee from scratch before, but it’s been years since sampling a sweet bean. In addition to a few coffee beans, we were also able to snack on a few different berries along the way. Besides the Blue Mountains, Wanderlust Trails has hosted trips in other local elevations, such as Nanny Falls in the John Crow Mountains and Falling Edge Falls in Bowden Hill for example.
Where would you like to hike to in Jamaica?
Let me know in the comments; this is probably my 6th waterfall hike to date.
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