Blue Hole is one of those breathtaking water attractions in Jamaica that’s a favorite for both locals and visitors to the island. It’s a crowd-pleaser that has not been privatized, meaning it’s free to access and you’ll only be paying for your guide which you will discover is well worth the few bucks. It’s close enough to Ocho Rios and awe-inspiring enough for you to make this trip a priority when visiting Jamaica.
Having been to Blue Hole a few times myself, I have a few very important tips for those visiting Jamaica or this delight for the first time. Tip number one, go early because it usually rains during the later hours of the day.
Blue Hole is aptly named because of the unbelievably bright and beautiful turquoise water of the White River nestled high in the hills of St. Mary. The river offers several sizes of natural swimming pools, plus a few caves to explore and a few waterfalls for climbing, rope swinging, and leaping.
However, being in the hilly interior of this tropical island means it can rain a lot in the early afternoon depending on the time of year. This makes it more of a brown hole than a blue hole as the rain washes down the mud from the grassy banking, so to ensure you experience this spectacular attraction in all its glory, head to the hills as early as possible.
Tip number two, bring cash. This is to pay your guide and perhaps purchase a hot cup of pumpkin soup or a cool, refreshing coconut after your swim. Your guide will provide you with life vests, but you’re welcome to bring your own. There are lockers available to secure your valuables while you leap into the Blue Hole, and water shoes are on sale from some of the vendors in case you forget your own.
Getting to Blue Hole is quite easy. Stick it into your favorite navigation guide and it will take you there in no time. Just don’t mix it up with Blue Hole Mineral Spring which is all the way in Negril. If you become uncertain as to whether you’re on the way to the right attraction, just, stick your head out and ask any friendly person in the community for directions as they are well accustomed to locals and visitors shouting, “Hey, which way to Blue Hole?” They’ll tell you to look out for the JPS Power Station about a 20-minute drive up the hill. The road is a little bumpy and a little twisty, and empties out into a field decorated with a backdrop of large flags. This feature is also a staple at the main Blue Hole waterfall and is the perfect spot for a photo opportunity.
Blue Hole Tours
Once you’ve parked, guides will start to approach you along the walkway down to the river. Ask them for the full tour and they’ll take you all the way up the top for a mud bath. You’ll then be taken along the river as your guide shows you the safest spots to climb, jump, and swim.
The tour ends at a large pool with a swinging rope for some fun. Experienced divers will bypass the rope and dive off from tree branches high above as you watch in amazement.
After all the excitement, you can make your way back up to the main waterfall to chill out for the rest of the day in the most intense blue water you’ve ever seen. Along the lush river trail, you’ll see all the colorful flowers and plants you missed as you swam down. Finish your day with a stop at a St. Ann restaurant for some jerk chicken or fresh seafood by the beach.