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Plan your visit to Jamaica: find out where to go and what to do.
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Jul 20, 2022
04:21 PM

Explore Jamaica’s Best Natural Attractions:

Enjoy A Jungle Hike To The Blue Hole

The Blue Hole in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, also known as the ‘cool blue hole’, is a magnificent place for swimming. Far from an ordinary swimming pool, the Blue Hole is formed by nature and combined with the most mesmerizing waterfall. Just a glimpse of this natural wonder will take your breath away. Its beauty may even make you crazy enough to jump off the edge, right into the turquoise waters of this pure, hidden gem of Jamaica.

The Blue Hole Waterfall in Ocho Rios
The Blue Hole Waterfall in Ocho Rios
Use the rope to swim across the river
Use the rope to swim across the river
Views from the hike to the Blue Hole
Views from the hike to the Blue Hole

The Blue Hole in Jamaica gets its name from the surreal color of its water. This spot attracts cliff divers, nature lovers, and thrill-seekers of all varieties. The site is even more appealing because, just a short hike away, you can find another waterfall, more natural pools, and rope swings that will catapult you into this most liberating experience.

The Blue Hole is undoubtedly one of those places where you can let your inner child out. Explore and make the most of your time in Jamaica by taking full advantage of the rope swings, and trying a cliff jump into the natural pools in this area. That is, if you think you’re brave enough!

First-time cliff jumpers might need a bit of convincing, but once you take that first big leap you’re sure to be back again for more. The water in the swimming hole is clear and cool. It is also rich in minerals. The main natural pool in this area is quite deep, so you don’t have to worry while jumping in using the rope swings or free-falling from the surrounding cliffs. Pay attention to the instructions from the tour guides who’re usually on hand, and you’ll be able to make the most of this experience while staying safe.

Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios
Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios

Experience the magic of Dunn’s River Falls

Saying that Dunn’s River Falls is a popular attraction in Jamaica is a bit of an understatement. Over the years, this attraction has worked its way onto the list of things you probably don’t want to leave Jamaica without seeing. In fact, if you return home without a photo at Dunn’s River Falls, did you even go to Jamaica at all?

On a more serious note, Dunn’s River Falls is definitely one of those places you can absolutely enjoy with friends or family. A half or full day at this attraction near Ocho Rios can be spent climbing the falls, hiking, bathing in natural pools, and even relaxing on Dunn’s River Falls Beach.

Hiking up Dunn’s Fall
Hiking up Dunn’s Fall

What to expect when climbing Dunn’s River Falls

The view from the summit of Dunn's River Falls is simply amazing! This is why so many people go out of their way to have this experience while in Jamaica. If you want to climb Dunn’s River Falls, you’ll first need to decide whether you want to do the wet climb or the dry climb.

While the wet climb takes you directly through the falls and toward the summit, the dry climb will lead you along the falls to a spot near the summit. If you’re trying to decide which to try while at the Dunn’s River Falls, here's some information that might help:

Wet climb at Dunn’s River Falls

First off, you’ll need a guide to embark on the wet climb and this is the only way to get to the summit of Dunn’s River Falls. As you make your way to the top during the wet climb, the tour guide will provide guidance on the best path to take and where to step to avoid slipping. Sometimes along the way on the wet climb people who’re climbing will hold hands and make their way up and down the falls. This human chain is a Dunn’s River Falls tradition, and it is more likely to happen on days when the falls are more crowded.

Dry climb at Dunn’s River Falls

Much like the wet climb, you’ll also have to get a guide for the dry climb at Dunn's River Falls. You should bring or wear suitable sneakers and lightweight clothing. These will help keep you cool and comfortable as you make your way to the furthest point of the dry climb. It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes (sometimes less) to get to the end of this hike. As you walk along the path, you’ll be able to use the built-in handrails if you need help to steady yourself. Even on the dry climb, there are areas where you can dip into natural pools as you ascend.

Other things to do at Dunn's River Falls

You can do much more than just climbing the falls at Dunn's River Falls. If you want a more relaxed experience or just something else to do once you’ve made your way to the top, there's plenty for you to do.

When visiting Dunn’s River Falls Beach, you just might be able to spot some of the areas where the falls empty out into the sea. If not, you'll still have an amazing beach day that can include a fun stroll, sunbathing, swimming, and admiring the views of the falls from the beach. Beach access is included in the price you’ll pay to access the falls, so you can stay on the beach for as long as the falls remain open. While out near the shore, you’ll find lots of photo-friendly locations with backdrops of tropical flora including bamboo, ferns, crotons, orchids, ginger lilies, palm trees, and more.

“By the Fruit Stalls” in Norwich, Portland
“By the Fruit Stalls” in Norwich, Portland

Drive along the Northern Coastal Highway from Ocho Rios to Portland

Rent a car and explore Jamaica’s stunning scenery along the coast from Ocho Rios to Portland – during this drive you'll find sweeping coconut plantations, mangrove swamps, luscious farmland, and miles of white-sand beaches with reefs less than a hundred feet out to sea.

Palm Tree Forrest
Palm Tree Forrest

Enjoy the ocean view as the road glides through some of the most beautiful scenery Jamaica has to offer. Pull over at the fruit stands to pick up fresh mango and stop at lookout points and palm tree forests for photos. Once you get to Portland, you can visit The Blue Lagoon which is notably one of Jamaica’s most beautiful destinations.

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