Spread the niceness

A number of music-filled corner shops, roaming farm animals, and lyming residents were the scene of the Roaring River and Caves heritage park. This aquatic lifeline and one of the island’s few commercial caverns lie near the villages of Shrewsbury and Petersfield in Westmoreland, Jamaica.

Roaring River & Caves Park

It is said that the lush Roaring River estate was formerly owned by one of the first English families to settle in Jamaica, the Beckfords, after the Spanish were defeated in the late 17th century. Today, it is an attraction rooted in Mother Nature’s bounty and community tourism.

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Roaring River Caves

A flight of stairs along a hillside will lead you to the entrance to the expansive Roaring River Caves. The 45-minute tour explores a series of limestone caverns laced with sprinkles of glistening natural quartz stones and 2 mineral springs inside! Our eyes gradually adjusted to the interior darkness with the help of flashlights and a string of bulbs lining the walls to reveal the intricate details. Unfortunately my video camera didn’t adjust as well as the eyes did, but at least the photos can speak for themselves.

Throughout the tour, bats could be heard while hiding in the roof. We caught glimpses of their dark silhouettes fluttering. Tour guides made sure to point out and suggest multiple humanoid and animal-like rock formations in the cave, For example, what image do you see in this photo below?

There is a sacred feeling that rests inside the quiet grottos, especially from ritual elements left behind such as melted candles and the aroma of incense and marijuana (which is often used for religious purposes among Rastafarians). We even spotted physical offerings such as money placed in the Roaring River Caves. “Powerful” is one word that lingered after touring the caves of the Roaring River, partly because our tour guide sprinkled this adjective after sharing numerous anecdotes. You may even be told stories of how musical artistes such as Beenie Man and Peter Tosh have enjoyed the cave sanctuary!

Roaring River Caves’ Mineral Pools

Two cool mineral springs within the caves offer refreshing swims while touring. One of them is shallow enough to sit in, while the other reportedly had no confirmed depth (similar to the once-acclaimed “bottemless abyss” in Portland) after diving as far as 115ft… and guess who jumped right in?! This was actually my first cave swim experience. Enjoyed it so much, I swam in cave pools at another venue 2 weeks later!

The 2nd cave pool is not for non-swimmers

Roaring River, Westmoreland Jamaica

The caves are the source of the essential Roaring River waterway. Take a stroll to the community watering hole where you’ll probably find residents of all ages frolicking and jumping a few feet from the overhead bridge into the river. The current of the chilled water will leave you floating downstream if you’re not careful, perfect for a lazy river! By the way, you can immerse here and in other spots along Roaring River with the authentic, cultural RastaSafari Experience.

Travel Tip: There may be a rope hanging under the bridge for strong currents

The Roaring River is the main source of water for the Shrewsbury community and central Westmoreland. Sources of the river’s water meet at a towering 300-year-old cottonwood tree with an impression of an eye in its centre, while a hydro plant with an old stone aqueduct collects its runoff to generate electricity.

girl swimming Roaring River Jamaica

Roaring River community bridge Jamaica


An on-site Tourism Product Development Co. (TPDCo.) office facilitates guided tours of the Roaring River and Caves during business hours. Phone: (876)648-6401
RastaSafari Experience offers cultural guided tours of the river and surrounding community. Phone: (876)445-7203

 Let’s talk; In your opinion:

What differences do you observe between a public river and a privatized river?