Martha Brae River
A Smooth Ride
Located a few miles inland from the historic town of Falmouth lies a slice of tranquility. The Martha Brae River has been home to Jamaica’s top rafting attraction for decades. The river head is said to shoot from a small hamlet called Windsor, deep within the rocky Cockpit Country, and pours down to the serene setting.
Martha Brae, Trelawny
Martha Brae Rafting Village is the name coined for the embarkation area at the entrance to the bamboo raft experience. The village stretches 6 acres via green manicured lawns on a horseshoe-shaped islet. In addition to the river attraction, the venue boasts a holistic garden, scenic picnic grounds, full-service bar perfect for an ice-cold beer, swimming area, and of course gift shops for convenient souvenir shopping. There’s also Miss Martha’s Herb Garden which is abundant with natural produce renowned for their medicinal and healing powers.
Martha Brae History
The river is located near well-known areas like the former parish capital of Rock, the Fisherman’s Inn property reminiscent of British pub hotels, and natural night-time wonder, the Luminous Lagoon. In days past, Martha Brae connected estates to Falmouth, the current capital of Trelawny parish. Bamboo rafts were then used to transport major crops such as sugar and banana to the harbor for export.
Martha Brae River Rafting
Assembled bamboo rafts gently float down a 3-mile stretch of the calm river for approximately one hour. Passengers sit atop a double-seat throne adorned with colorful flowers. Martha Brae River rafting is said to have hosted a number of famous figures over the years, including but not limited to Queen Elizabeth II, Spike Lee, Kenny Rodgers, Johnny Cash, and home-bred Olympic champion Usain Bolt. Each raft typically accommodates two adults, and possibly also up to two very small children.
Whether you're looking for a unique romantic excursion or a relaxing family outing, the soft sounds of the whispering river creates an idyllic environment. The towering trees lining the river banks bear hanging tropical fruits and host frolicking wildlife. Exotic bird calls and overhead drilling by woodpeckers are likely the only sounds that may interrupt the water’s purr. Gaze above and you’ll probably spot thrill seekers whizzing through the air along a zip line courtesy of Chukka Adventures Park on the Good Hope estate.
Raft captains typically focus on pushing their wooden oars against the river bed below to ensure not to disturb your peaceful ride, unless you choose to engage them in conversation. They’ll graciously share the legend of the Martha Brae River and point out native natural elements. Feel free to ask them to pause for a quick swim in the mostly shallow river. Many of the raft captains double as talented craftsmen, proud to share their handmade creations for sale as you glide through the dense jungle. Decoratively carved calabash bowls and wooden parcels tend to be the main products, which can perfectly encapsulate your memorable visit.