Some falls like the Blue Hole and Dunn’s River Falls have earned international fame for their beauty and are two of the most popular waterfalls on the island.
Dunn’s River Falls
If your Jamaican vacation takes you to Ocho Rios, you should place Dunn’s River Falls at the top of your must-see list. It is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Jamaica, located in the Dunn’s River Falls State Park. At 54 meters high, it cascades for about 182 meters and looks like a staircase that empties into the Caribbean. At the bottom of the falls are a number of small lagoons.
Besides capturing great photos of the waterfall, it is a popular tourist activity to also climb the falls. It is best to traverse the falls with a local guide who can navigate you around the uneven terrain for the 1.5-hour climb. For those who just want to admire Dunn’s River Falls and stay dry, you can walk alongside it on the stairways. The best option is to do a Dunn’s River Falls and Shopping combo tour from Ocho Rios. This four-hour excursion includes pickup and drop-off from your hotel or cruise ship port.
If you visit Dunn’s River Falls, it is worth taking a little more time to stop by the nearby natural Little Dunn’s River Falls.
One of the most famous waterfalls in Jamaica, and for good reason, is the Blue Hole waterfall near Ocho Rios. The locals often refer to it by several names, including Island Gully, Cool Blue Hole, or Secret Falls. While Jamaica is surrounded by the Blue Mountains, the Blue Hole actually gets its name for the intense deep blue shade of the water. Though the Blue Hole is well-known, it is still relatively uncommercial.
During your visit to the Blue Hole, you can swim or even dive into the water or take a guided tour. If you plan to swim, look for the Tarzan rope that lets you swing far out over the water before taking the plunge. If you feel like being more of a spectator, you can relax on one of the nearby bamboo benches and watch others enjoy the forested swimming hole.
The Blue Hole is located about 20 minutes from Ocho Rios. If you walk around the area, you will see several smaller waterfalls feeding into the Blue Hole.
The YS Falls located near Saint Elizabeth Parish in Jamaica is more of a waterfall attraction than a natural waterfall. It is located on a local estate that has a cattle and horse farm. There are seven waterfalls that make up YS Falls that all flow into pools.
While visitors can get into the pools, it is advised that only those who can swim wade into the water. There are other natural spring pools in the area that are more suitable for children and for those who cannot swim.
It is easy to make a day-long adventure to YS Falls because there are other things to do in the area. Besides the tractor ride back to the falls and relaxing by the water, you can also take canopy tours that launch you from the top of the falls to the bottom for a different perspective.
A natural valley in Westmoreland, Jamaica is where Mayfield Falls is flowing. It is a natural paradise that is ideal for those who want to get away from the touristy areas and experience some of the true natural beauty of the island. What makes Mayfield Falls spectacular is the numerous cascading waterfalls of varying sizes. The most popular is the “Washing Machine,” which is over three meters high.
Around the waterfall are 21 natural swimming pools and natural jacuzzis, which are fun to experience if you have never been in them before. Be aware that the pressure of the water can be intense, so make sure that your bathing suit has staying power as you frolic beneath the falls.
You might want to hire a guide for your visit to Mayfield Falls. A guide can point out the best places to swim, identify fern species in the mountain, and point out an underwater cave. There is a fee to get into the Mayfield Falls waterfall. Lockers and water shoe rentals are available.