There are probably more waterfalls in Jamaica than one could ever visit in a lifetime, but I am on a mission to see as many of them as I can in mine.
Water flows steady from the mountains in Jamaica and if you pause to listen while touring the interior you can hear the water rushing all around you. What makes Jamaican waterfalls so spectacular though is their accessibility. As a Canadian, the thought of frolicking in waterfalls here seems stupid (hello, Niagara Falls) but in Jamaica, it’s as if they were planned for play. So, if you’re heading to Jamaica soon, don’t forget to pack your water shoes and camera, and visit one or more of these five can’t miss waterfalls in Jamaica.
Dunn’s River Falls
Perhaps the most famous of all the falls in Jamaica, the locals tease that customs officials may not let you leave the country if you don’t visit. There is no doubt Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios is spectacular but be warned, it’s about at touristy as you can get. One of the things I dislike about visiting Dunn’s is that you have to hold hands and climb the falls as part of a human chain. I have very strict personal space issues to begin with, so holding hands with total strangers means I’m paying more attention to the person’s hand I’m holding than the surroundings. If you’re a touchy-feely person though these are the falls for you! As an added bonus, Dunn’s River is close to Dolphin Cove and bobsledding at Mystic Mountain, so it’s easy to make a full day of sightseeing.
If it’s your first time to Jamaica, you really should take the time to see Dunn’s River Falls. If however, you’ve been there done that, then consider visiting one of the four falls below.
If you’re vacationing in Negril while in Jamaica then Mayfield Falls is much closer and much more intimate than Dunn’s River Falls. Mayfield Falls is a lovely 90 minute drive through the lush Jamaican interior, as opposed to the 2 1/2 hour drive to Ocho Rios. Upon arrival a guide will take your party up the falls. Yes, you have to hold hands in certain spots, but thankfully it’s with people you love. You can read more about Mayfield Falls in this dedicated post over here.
The Blue Hole
On a recent trip to Jamaica, we hired a driver for the day to take our group on a tour around the island. We visited the Bob Marley Museum first and then drove to the Blue Hole Waterfalls. Let’s just say, we wished we’d skipped the museum and spent the day at the Blue Hole instead. This little piece of paradise is not far from Ocho Rios, so if you’re staying anywhere east of Montego Bay it’s a reasonable day trip. I don’t like to play favourites, but these falls don’t disappoint.
The Fountain of Youth
I can not in good conscience confirm the claim that the name of this falls makes but I will say that in the four months since I’ve visited it, I’ve barely aged at all. Cheekiness aside, part of the fun in visiting these falls is the journey to them. Book the Blue Mountain Bicycle Tour when in Jamaica and you’ll be able to dip yourself in The Fountain of Youth at the end of your journey. Don’t stress too much about the biking. It starts at 5000 ft but it’s all downhill so it’s the easiest, and most scenic bike ride you’ll ever take.
YS Falls is roughly the same distance from Negril as Dunn’s River Falls, so if I had to choose for you, I would say head to YS Falls instead (less crowded and minimal handholding — what can I say, it’s a thing I have).
Deep within the interior of Jamaica, YS Falls is located on an old cane farm. This is a great destination for adrenaline junkies who might find playing in waterfalls a bit of a yawn. Guests can zipline over the canopy or jump on a Tarzan rope to swing out into the rushing water. For the crowd that likes to chill, the natural spring pool is the perfect place to find your zen. The picture I took below was taken during rainy season so the water was rushing harder than usual and was brownish in colour, but still spectacular.
If you want to see what it usually looks like, check out the gallery on the YS Falls website.
Have I missed any you think should be added? What waterfalls did you love in Jamaica?