The most famous waterfall in all of Jamaica, the iconic Dunn’s River Falls, is a must-visit when visiting the island of rhythm and spice. Jamaica isn’t short of rivers and waterfalls as at least one can be found in every parish, yet Dunn’s River rises majestically above them all. Plan to head out early for this one since Jamaica is notorious for afternoon showers. Grab your waterproof camera and let’s go chasing waterfalls.

Dunn’s River Falls Tour

As one of Jamaica’s most popular attractions, booking a tour to this Ocho Rios waterfall is the easy part of this excursion. Pulling into the parking lot at the top of the falls is instantly relaxing as the astounding beauty of nature soothes the soul. The sounds of water rushing in the distance, birds chirping above, and cool breezes from the surrounding hills invokes the awesomeness of the awaiting experience.

Just past the entrance, where locker rentals and water shoes in Jamaican colors are available, children are at play in the waterslide and splash park that was recently added to the attraction. You can also hear the joyful shouts of zipliners whizzing over the falls, perhaps taking the easy way down to the bottom of the climb.

The Climb

Speaking of the climb, getting to the bottom of the falls and back up is all part of the adventure. As the falls cascade slowly over a stretch of 600 feet long, the hike to the bottom is a little long and a little steep, but so worth it as it opens out to the most beautiful white sand beach. Stopping along the way at erected viewpoints to peek at the spectacular falls from above helps with the trek. Excitement builds as you picture taking on the picturesque climb.

Arriving at the beach is the perfect moment to relax and take a dip in the crystal clear water, warm from the sun blazing high above. It’s gentle, shallow, and delightful, giving you rest and recharge as you prepare for the trek up the waterfalls. Catamarans sail up to the shore with more climbers who skipped out on the trek downhill.

Dunn’s River Falls

It’s a rare phenomenon to see waterfalls emptying into the ocean. At the base of the falls is the perfect photo opportunity as the water roars over the last of the rocks before joining the Caribbean Sea. Climbers feel the power of the waterfall as they clamber behind the crushing sheet of water beating down on their backs for a photo before joining guided tours or venturing up on their own.

These falls are for everyone as couples, solo adventurers, groups of teens, small children, parents, and grandparents can be seen taking on the challenge. It usually takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to get to the top, but no one’s in any rush as there are so many gorgeous natural pools to enjoy along the way. The different levels of the falls are awe-inspiring and worthy of their own moments of admiration.

Finally, at the top, a large colorful sign congratulates you for making it. Snap a photo to save this one for the books. There are steps all along the side and exit points too, just in case the top seems too far. The walk back to the parking lot meanders through a beautiful botanical park where vendors offer souvenirs of the falls itself as well as your time in Jamaica. 

Enjoy this magical excursion conquering the 180-foot climb to the top and create beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.