Most visitors come to Jamaica for the world-class beaches, but if your toes are stuck in the sand, you’ll miss out on the beautiful and lush interior filled with jungle, mountains, and of course, waterfalls. If you are ready for an adventure past the white sand and resorts you need to add the best waterfalls in Jamaica to your next vacation itinerary.
Here is our list of the waterfalls in Jamaica worth checking out! Some are easier to get to than others, but all offer something unique that makes them worth the trip!
1. Dunn’s River Falls
The portside town of Ocho Rios is known for many things, especially sunshine and white sand beaches. What was once a small, sleepy village has transformed into a tourist hub that attracts thousands of visitors a year.
One of the most popular attractions in Ocho Rios is Dunn’s River Falls. This tiered cascade stands about 180 feet high and is 600 feet long, which is quite impressive for a waterfall! The water plunges into several different paths and tiers, giving the waterfall a terraced appearance.
If you follow the waterfall until the end, you’ll reach a beautiful beach that edges the Caribbean Sea. It’s one of the few waterfalls in the world that actually flows directly to the ocean. It’s hard to believe because the falls are surrounded by a lush jungle, which is not often seen near the sea.
You can climb to the top of the waterfall, which takes roughly 1 to 1.5 hours. Many visitors choose to climb the falls with a tour guide who can assist them with the advanced hike. If you’re not feeling that adventurous, you can also climb using the stairs that ascend along the side with partial views of the falls along the walk.
- Dunn’s River Falls & Park, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
- Recommended Tour: Dunn’s River Falls and Beach Book Online Now
2. YS Falls
If you have an entire afternoon in Jamaica, then consider spending the day at YS Falls. Located right off the Black River, this nature park has been entertaining visitors and locals for the last 30 years.
There are seven different waterfalls on the property. Each one is surrounded by green, picturesque gardens and towering trees, adding even more of a tropical atmosphere to the park.
During your visit to YS Falls, you’ll have plenty of activities to participate in. Swimming is by far the most popular activity, and there are several lifeguards on duty to keep you safe and sound. However, as with most waterfalls in Jamaica, the surrounding area can be extremely rocky and slippery. For this reason, some of the pools are not open for swimming.
Besides admiring the beautiful waterfalls, you can also take a guided canopy tour of the park. The zip line and rope swings are a big hit for both children and adults. They also have modern and clean facilities, with a restaurant and bar if you need to stay hydrated throughout the day.
If you are looking for things to do in Jamaica and want to get off the resort, head to YS Falls for a few hours!
- YS Falls, Saint Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica
- Tuesday – Sunday: 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
- Recommended Tour: Black River Safari, YS Falls, and Appleton Rum Tour with Lunch – Book Now
Related: Best Sandals Resort in Jamaica
3. Mayfield Falls
Tucked away behind the coconut palm trees and rolling hills of Pennycooke, Jamaica, lies Mayfield Falls. Located next to the tranquil Mayfield River, Mayfield Falls is a relaxing tourist attraction that’s ideal for the entire family.
The park has so many different water-related activities that it’s difficult to choose which one you want to do first. There are two large waterfalls and a total of 21 different swimming pools, including the park’s largest cascade, the “Washing Machine.” Here, the water plunges down 10 feet, and it’s wide enough for people to stand and get drenched from each side, as its name suggests.
There are also several underwater caves and even four mini-sized waterfalls, which are ideal for the little ones. However, keep in mind that the rocks can be very slippery, so it’s advised that you wear comfortable, sturdy shoes when visiting Mayfield Falls. You can also make reservations at the wellness center and spa if you need a little more relaxation during your visit.
The jungle-like setting also makes it one of the most unique waterfalls in Jamaica. You’ll be able to spot more than 50 different kinds of ferns and flowers. There is also an abundance of tropical butterflies and birds that live in the wilderness surrounding the falls.
On Sundays, Mondays, and Fridays, Mayfield Falls plays host to a live cultural performance. With Jamaican music, dancing, and even a traditional gift ceremony, it’s one of the most culturally stimulating things to see at a waterfall in Jamaica.
We first visited Mayfield Falls on our first trip to Jamaica, where we stayed in Negril. If you are looking for things to do in Negril, put Mayfield Falls on your list.
- 3254 Norman Manley Blvd, Negril, Jamaica
- Daily: 9 am – 5 pm
- Recommended Tour: Original Mayfield Falls tours with Lunch & drink option – Book Now
4. Blue Hole
As one of Ocho Rios’ most undiscovered gems, the Blue Hole is well worth your visit while in Jamaica. Also known as Secret Falls or Island Gully, the Blue Hole is actually a natural limestone sinkhole. The rich, dark hue of the water is juxtaposed against the tall towering forest that encompasses the sinkhole.
Unlike other destinations in Jamaica, the Blue Hole is relatively undiscovered. That means you won’t be bumping shoulders with crowds of tourists taking selfies. On the other hand, the landscape is so beautiful that you might want to snap a few shots yourself. Since it’s only a short 15-20 minute drive from Ocho Rios, there’s really no excuse not to go!
Best of all, this waterfall is an outdoor lover’s playground; there are a lot of fun and thrilling activities to help you pass the time. Spend the day jumping off the rocks, swinging from the adrenaline-inducing rope swing, or simply wading in the refreshing ripples underneath the little waterfalls. There are even a few limestone caves that you can dive under.
Don’t be surprised if you hear Reggae music blasting from one of the local’s boomboxes. It will only add to the vibrant atmosphere as you explore the Jamaican jungle.
To get to the Blue Hole, you can either hire a taxi or join a tour group. While you can visit the pool on your own, it’s recommended to go on a tour so that you’ll have a ride back to town once you’re done playing for the day.
- Cascade, Lodge, Jamaica
- Recommended Tour: Blue Hole and Beach from Cruiseship Ports or Ocho Rios Hotels Book Now
Related: Overwater Bungalows in Jamaica
5. Falling Edge Waterfall
A quick 30-minute drive from Kingston, Jamaica, takes you to Falling Edge Waterfall, one of the most picturesque spots in the country. Although you’re not too far from the city, it feels like you’ve entered an entirely different world. Away from the hustle and bustle of life, Falling Edge Waterfall is a tranquil retreat where you can unwind for a few hours.
Two different routes take you to the falls. One route is very scenic, but it can also be rugged and time-consuming, especially if you are eager to arrive at your destination and cool off in the waters. There’s also an alternative route, which only takes 10 minutes. If you’re more about the destination than the journey, this is the best option for you. You’ll want to head towards Bowden Hill Primary & Infant School before following the painted arrows on the trees. This path will lead you directly to the falls.
The crisp blue water is shallow and should only come up to your waist. If you have your camera in tow, the falls act as a great background for taking photos. Most importantly, this place is off-the-beaten-path, so don’t be surprised if you have the entire area to yourself!
Due to the remote location and the tranquil setting, it’s one of the best waterfalls in all of Jamaica.
- Bowden Hill Road, Kingston, Jamaica
6. Reggae Falls
At an impressive 70 feet high, Reggae Falls was actually created by the remnants of a defunct hydroelectric project from the early 1900s. Nowadays, the landscape is overgrown with green foliage and protected by giant rock formations, erasing any evidence of what it once was.
It’s one of the more remote and rural waterfalls on this list, so don’t expect any facilities. There aren’t any restaurants (so make sure to bring your own water and snacks), changing rooms, or rope swings. It’s also important to note that during several dry months of the year, the pool is too shallow for swimming.
However, if you’re looking to relax and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the cascading falls, then you’re in the right spot. After the rainy season, the falls will be bursting with water, and the pools will be ideal for swimming. Bring your camera because you’ll get some amazing photos of Reggae Falls, especially if you’re one of the only visitors there!
The drive to the falls can be quite tricky, even with Google Maps or a GPS. It’s recommended that you go on a tour or hire a local guide who’s willing to take you to the right spot. There aren’t any signs directing you to the exact location, which only adds to the confusion about where the falls are.
However, once you hear the roaring waves of the water and the chirping of birds, you’ll know you have arrived!
- Hillside, Morant Bay P.O, Jamaica
7. Reach Falls
Add a bit of adventure to your Jamaica itinerary with a fun-filled day at Reach Falls. Nestled in the Montane Forrest in the John Crow Mountain Range, this breathtaking waterfall is more than just an eco-park. It’s actually been the setting for several Hollywood films, including Cocktails and Lord of the Flies!
While you are unlikely to find any actors or directors here, Reach Falls is still one of the best waterparks in the country. Unlike other parks in Jamaica, you have the opportunity to jump off the waterfall. If the weather is hot, there’s nothing more refreshing than splashing into the refreshing, heart-shaped pool below you.
If you’re not feeling that adventurous, there are also places along the river to relax. You might even do a bit of wildlife viewing. The falls are home to more than 23 species of ferns, several types of parrots, and even wild pigs.
Although Reach Falls tends to be less crowded than other waterparks, it’s still very safe. Besides a few slippery rocks, the water is mellow and shallow, which is ideal for swimming. There’s even an on-site guide to help prevent any falls or injuries.
Reach Falls also has a very fascinating history: the area was discovered by runaway slaves. Many of them fled the parish of St Thomas and hid in the mountain range for safety. It was then that they stumbled upon the majestic oasis that is Reach Falls.
- Manchioneal, Jamaica
- Wednesday – Sunday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
- Recommended Tours: Reach Falls from Ocho Rios Book Now
8. Tacky Falls
Get off the beaten path and head straight into the wilderness to see Tacky Falls. It’s so remote that even some locals don’t know that it exists! That means you’ll need to hire a guide that knows their way around the falls.
This scenic waterfall is often overlooked by the other larger, touristy waterparks on this list. If you don’t mind the lack of restrooms, restaurants, or facilities, you might discover that Tacky Falls is one of the most authentic places in Jamaica.
The waterfall is divided into two tiers. While the top tier is suitable for hiking, the bottom tier is considered too dangerous, even for advanced hikers.
If you plan on hiking up the waterfall, it’s recommended to go with a knowledgeable guide. The trek can be steep, and you’ll be required to hold onto vines and trunks as you make your way up. In just 20 minutes, you’ll be at the top of the falls enjoying dramatic, picturesque views of the emerald pools below you.
Going back down is actually harder than climbing up. The backsplash from the falls makes the trail slippery, and you’ll need to keep an eye out for jagged rocks on the path. For the hike, you’ll need sturdy shoes, insect repellent, and long pants to avoid getting cut by plant growth.
Unfortunately, the water is too shallow for swimming. However, its exotic, hard-to-reach location makes it one of the best waterfalls in Jamaica.
- Islington, St.Mary, Jamaica