Explore The Best Waterfalls In Jamaica For An Unmatched Family Vacation!

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There are so many waterfalls in Jamaica that it can be difficult to decide which one to visit first! To pick the right one (or ones), it is absolutely crucial to know the type of experience you're looking for. On this island, some waterfalls are more secluded and can require a 4x4 or even a bamboo rafting adventure to get there. These are best for those seeking a full day of adventure.

Other waterfalls are as remote as they are picturesque -- these tend to be ideal for hikers, lovers of photography, and anyone who just wants to get away. At some waterfalls in Jamaica, you can have a true reset and swim in or lounge next to natural pools. These are the sort of waterfalls that’ll have you feeling like you really are in paradise. They're certainly worth experiencing while on this island.

The most popular waterfalls in Jamaica, Mayfield Falls and Dunn’s River Falls, offer lots of different activities all in one place. These can be great options for families or groups. Ultimately, the decision of which waterfalls to check out is up to you. To help you decide, we've listed some of the best waterfalls in Jamaica for the most refreshing vacation yet!

Expert tip: Planning on traveling to Jamaica? Before you get there, you might want to view our list of things Jamaica is known for. Also, get familiar with these Jamaica travel tips (dos and don’ts).

1. Ocho Rios Blue Hole

Ocho RIos Blue Hole

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The Ocho Rios Blue Hole is sometimes referred to as the ‘Cool Blue Hole’. If you visit this attraction while in Jamaica, you're sure to be up for quite the fun-filled island experience. If you go with the mindset of letting go of your inhibitions, you might find yourself swinging from a vine into the clear, blue waters of the natural pool at this location. The Ocho Rios Blue Hole was created naturally, and an experience here includes being able to see one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Jamaica.

The Cool Blue Hole is wonderful for swimming. Once you get to the general area, you’ll need to pay $20 USD per adult to get in, unless the cost has already been covered with your tour package. Children pay half price ($10 USD). The Blue Hole is about 20ft deep, and you can jump in from an area about 6ft above or use the rope swing. It is possible to ease down the rocks to get into the natural pool as well. Once you're done exploring the first waterfall, there's a second one that is a little more hidden. Known as Secret Falls or the Island Gully Falls, all it'll take to get there is a light 10-minute hike. The views in this area are stunning!

Expert tip: Want to explore the Ocho Rios area while in Jamaica? Here are some incredible things to do in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

2. Dunns River Falls

By far, Dunn’s River Falls towers over the competition where waterfalls in Jamaica are concerned. At 180 ft high and 600 ft wide, this massive attraction is certainly one you'll want to see while on the island. These falls attract millions of visitors on an annual basis, and you can easily access them near Ocho Rios on the north coast.

At the famous Dunn’s River Falls, not only will you find a unique and beautiful waterfall but lots of pristine natural pools as well. There is also a beach and hiking opportunities in this general area too. At Dunn’s River Falls, you can try the wet hike or dry hike, completely different types of experiences, that allow you to climb the falls. During the wet climb, you'll literally make your way to the top of the waterfall by walking through it with the help of a guide. For the dry climb, you'll walk along a trail next to the falls. Adults pay about $20 USD to get into Dunn’s River Falls Park, while children over age 12 pay $12 USD.

Expert tip: Staying in the Ocho Rios area will make it super convenient to visit Dunn's River Falls particularly if you stay at Beaches Ocho Rios which is about a 5-minute drive away!

3. Reach Falls

Reach Falls Jamaica

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Reach Falls is in the Montane Forest on the John Crow Mountain Range. It is located inside an ecological sanctuary about 45 minutes east of Portland. Lovers of nature will be right at home at this stunning natural attraction where lush greenery frames the most magical waterfalls. The fact that there are small caves beneath the waterfalls adds to the allure of this space. These natural caves were created over time by the powerful flow of the water and there's even one cave that's just large enough to climb in and out of.

If you decide to spend some time at Reach Falls, you likely won’t be able to get enough of the heart-shaped natural pool either. Plus, there’s a wide variety of flora and fauna in this area, as well as exotic birds. If you search carefully between the trees, you might spot some colorful parrots all while taking in the peaceful ambiance of this must-visit natural gem.

Good to know: It'll take about one and a half hours to get from Ocho Rios to Reach Falls.

4. Mayfield Falls

Mayfield Falls Jamaica Westmoreland2

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If you want to witness one of the best rushing-water wonders of Jamaica, then look no further than Mayfield Falls in Westmoreland, Jamaica. Surrounded by rich greenery, a trip here can be as action-packed or as relaxing as you’re in the mood for. Not only are there spectacular waterfalls at Mayfield Falls, but there are underwater caves as well. Some of these you’ll even be able to swim through, particularly the cave at this location that is about 5 feet long.

During a visit to Mayfield Falls, you'll be able to explore the multiple waterfalls and natural pools with a guide. A few of the natural pools here are positioned near the waterfalls which creates a jacuzzi-like effect as the water cascades down. The tallest waterfall at Mayfield Falls is known as “The Washing Machine”. Bathing in the natural pool below this waterfall is an experience you won't want to miss out on!

Good to know: Mayfield Falls is on the western end of Jamaica with Montego Bay and Negril just about an hour's drive away. The drive to Mayfield Falls is scenic and adds to the experience.

5. YS Falls

YS Falls is a series of waterfalls near the Black River in St. Elizabeth’s Parish (on the south coast of Jamaica). This is a family-friendly attraction complete with picnic tables set in scenic locations, a ‘Tarzan swing’, a tropical garden, and lots of room to explore. YS Falls is relatively easy to access from Negril and other areas along the south coast of Jamaica as well.

There are seven waterfalls in total at YS Falls. The few natural pools here are a major source of attraction and appeal very much to anyone looking for an adventure. If you’ll be going with family and have children, everyone will have a blast exploring the various falls, testing out the natural pools, and being out in the Caribbean sunshine. If you'll be staying at one of the all-inclusive resorts in Negril, you’ll easily be able to plan your excursion to this waterfall through your resort tour desk. Aside from visiting waterfalls, there are lots of other things to do in Negril, Jamaica as well.

6. Konoko Falls

Truly a sight to behold, Konoko Falls near Ocho Rios, Jamaica (about five minutes from the city) is one of those attractions where you’ll find an array of things to do in addition to what you actually go there for. This waterfall, previously known as Coyaba River Garden, is in Shaw Park Estate. It is beautiful, energetic, and spectacular to look at. Though small, Konoko Falls is comparable in beauty to Dunn's River Falls. In that regard, a plus of visiting this site is that it is hardly ever crowded.

With lots of space to move around, you’ll have plenty of time to take in the natural beauty of Konoko Falls, explore the museum and spend some time in the on-site zoo during your visit. There's also a Koi pond that adds to the zen feel of this location. Not only is Konoko Falls great to explore, but it is also the ideal location if you want to host an outdoor wedding or another special event.

7. Laughing Waters

If ever there were the perfect name for a waterfall, it would probably be Laughing Waters. In Jamaica, you can experience this majestic waterfall where you can sit back and really soak in some peace and tranquility. Laughing Waters waterfall is located along a beach. You can hear the waterfall before you see it, particularly when you're sprawled out on a beach blanket taking in the beachside views. When you're ready, take a walk to the waterfall to see it close up. Chances are you'll have a hard time looking away.

Laughing Waters is near Dunn’s River Falls and its nearby beach, so it is possible to visit both waterfalls on the same day!

8. Somerset Falls

Somerset Falls Jamaica

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Some describe Somerset Falls in Jamaica as ‘nature's best-kept secret’. This waterfall is located in Portland Parish near Port Antonio in the town of Hope Bay. Truly tranquil, Somerset Falls is ideal if you're looking to visit a waterfall without having to hike a long way. The appeal here is the stunning natural backdrop and the mesmerizing way the Daniels River free falls into a gorge below creating the most beautiful natural waterfall.

Once you arrive at this location, all it'll take is a short walk down a path to get to the waterfall. As part of the experience, there are lots of fun ways to explore the waterfall including the ‘wet tour’, which involves hopping on a boat that'll take you right up to the waterfall. There's a natural swimming pool below the waterfall that is ideal for a refreshing dip. When you're done exploring Somerset Falls, your waterfall adventure can continue with a gondola ride to nearby waterfalls including Hidden Falls.

9. Nanny Falls

Nanny Falls Jamaica

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Nanny Falls is one of the lesser-known waterfalls in Jamaica, but it is captivating all the same. A day spent at this waterfall can be quite the island treat if you're looking for adventure mixed in with a dose of history. Nanny Falls was named after ‘Queen Nanny’, a Jamaican Maroons leader. She is said to have led slaves to freedom through a trail that passes through this waterfall.

Perhaps as you soak in the peaceful ambiance of Nanny Falls, you’ll also savor the sense of freedom that still lingers in the air. Nanny Falls is a 30–40-minute hike from Moore Town, but the trip is well worth it. The length of this hike really depends on your starting point, and your level of physical fitness as well. There are lots of fruit trees along the way to the falls that you might be able to pick from as you trek along. After your hike, you can cool off in the water in a pretty quiet space. Nanny Falls is about an hour from Port Antonio.

10. Reggae Falls

Reggae Falls Jamaica

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It seems fitting that a trip to Jamaica should include a visit to Reggae Falls. You can move and groove your way to St. Thomas Parish where you'll find this waterfall right along the Johnson River. This particular waterfall is a manmade structure, which sets it apart from some of the other waterfalls on the island.

As its history goes, the falls were constructed in the 1920s using a 60 ft dam built to supply water to residents. Even though it is manmade, Reggae Falls is still interesting to see particularly as the pool beneath the falls is surrounded by rich greenery. You'll need to go a bit off the beaten path to get to this waterfall, including through areas that are not clearly marked out. Before you give up trying to get there though, keep in mind that the locals are usually happy to help you find your way.

Expert tip: If you're staying at a resort and want to visit Reggae Falls, ask the resort staff about the best way to get there. When you arrive, note that there are some steps near the dam wall that you can use to get to the top of the waterfall.

11. Cane River Falls

Cane River Falls Jamaica

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Cane River Falls is in the Bulls Bay area of Jamaica, just about 15 minutes by car from downtown Kingston. This waterfall is more popular with locals than visitors. It is relatively remote and is said to have been a favorite of the late Jamaican reggae star, Bob Marley. He is rumored to have gone there often to wash his dreadlocks.

The natural pools at Cane River Falls are spacious and inviting. These are at the base of the waterfall, and you can simply choose the one that looks most appealing, and hop in. Spend the day here swimming in the various natural pools, relaxing at the on-site bar, and just taking in the laid-back ambiance. By the time you leave Cane River Falls, it just might be your favorite spot in Jamaica.

Expert tip: Cane Falls (or any waterfall for that matter!) is best enjoyed on the hottest of days. Having a cold beer like Red Stripe at the on-site bar is a vacation must!

12. Roselle Falls

Roselle Falls Jamaica

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While you’re in Jamaica, why not have a reinvigorating natural shower at the quaint Roselle Falls? This waterfall is near the beachside in Morant Bay close to St. Thomas. Roselle Falls is small and its location near the roadside makes it easy to find. At one point in time, this waterfall had dried up, but it is now flowing again and will be worth checking out while visiting Jamaica. Roselle Falls scores major points for its amazing views of the ocean.

13. Tacky Falls

At 200 ft, the towering beauty that is Tacky Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in Jamaica. Stunning to witness, this waterfall near Saint Mary’s Parish is also one of the least commercialized in Jamaica. Tacky Falls is a multi-tiered waterfall that is in the category of observation-only. This means that unlike some other waterfall locations like Dunn's River Falls, you won't be able to climb or get into the water at Tacky Falls.

Just about 40 minutes from Robin’s Bay, Tacky Falls appeals to anyone looking to have a quieter waterfall experience in a natural and secluded space. The views here are outstanding, and it will take some hiking to get to the falls themselves. The trail to the waterfall is quite steep so keep this in mind while planning. You will need sturdy shoes and some determination to be able to admire this natural wonder up close!

Good to know: There's no restroom or any concession facility at this location. A guide is necessary to get to Tacky Falls because there aren't any signs or footpaths. Wear appropriate shoes and proceed with caution.

14. Scatter Falls

Scatter Falls Jamaica

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Scatter Falls is in the Rio Grande Valley in the small Berrydale community. You’d have to really be searching for off-the-beaten-path waterfalls to find this diamond in the rough. It's a real adventure to get there, one involving a jungle hike, passing limestone caves, and spotting wildlife in the tall surrounding trees. There might even be some Jamaica bamboo rafting involved! Scatter Falls is mostly visited by locals, but truly adventurous visitors will enjoy this scenic waterfall.

Just outside Port Antonio, it can be a little difficult to get to Scatter Falls. As such, it is best to plan this expedition through your resort tour desk to find the safest way to get there. A tour guide can help you get across the Rio Grande via a bamboo raft so you can make the most of this experience. If you don't go on a tour, then make sure you go with someone who has been to the falls before.

Good to know: There are four cascading waterfalls at Scatter Falls and a rock pool that can be quite therapeutic once you get in. It is possible to climb up and around the falls to see the top of the cascading waterfalls in this area.

15. Falling Edge

Falling Edge waterfall is near Kingston, Jamaica. This is the waterfall to go to if you're looking for a cool spot to relax with a group of friends or family. A half-hour hike is necessary to get to the falls and the journey there is quite scenic in itself. There are orange arrows spray-painted on trees, roots, and rocks leading to the falls, once you take the path to the left of the Bowden Hill Primary & Infant School. In the midst of rich greenery, you'll find this natural wonder that is best visited in the hot, summer season.

Falling Edge waterfall is sometimes referred to as Bowden Hills Falls. You can make a day of your waterfall adventure here — simply bring along some cold drinks, snacks, and whatever you'll need to be relaxed and comfortable. Falling Edge waterfall isn't usually crowded and should be explored with a guide. Good walking shoes and bug spray come in handy for this waterfall/hiking experience. Water shoes can also be useful if you plan on getting into the natural pool beneath the falls.

Expert tip: If you’re looking for all-inclusive family vacations or all-inclusive group vacations the island of Jamaica is a great option! You’re sure to find activities that everyone can enjoy.

16. Kwaaman Waterfall

Kwaaman Waterfall Jamaica

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You might hear the locals referring to this waterfall, located in the parish of St. Mary, as either Kwaaman Waterfall or Kwame Falls. This is a tropical oasis that’ll give you a true taste of the kind of refreshment that waterfalls can bring. Kwame Falls is about 100ft high, and it is one of the largest waterfalls in Jamaica.

Kwame Falls is near Robin’s and Mahoe Bay on the north-central coast of Jamaica. This cascade is well hidden in the forest and treats anyone who visits to unspoiled, scenic views. It can take 1.5-2 hours to get to this waterfall each way if you’re hiking, but you can cut down the travel time by going via boat. It takes about 20 minutes to get to this location by boat. The boat usually stops at the black sand beach near the waterfall, and from there, you can make your way to the falls with a guide.

Expert tip: Some tours to Kwame Falls include a lunch that you can enjoy beside the waterfall. Afterward, take a dip into the natural pools that are deeper than what you’ll find at some other waterfalls in Jamaica.

Begin your trek to the very best waterfalls in Jamaica

There are so many reasons to visit a waterfall while in the Caribbean, beginning with their pure natural beauty. Being out in nature can help you feel more centered, and your skin will love the mineral-rich waters of the natural pools. All you need to do to experience waterfalls in Jamaica is book a tour with your resort, preferably one that includes transportation to and from your accommodations. Oh, and having lunch as part of the whole deal is always a plus!

Ocho RIos Blue Hole Jamaica Tour Photo

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There are quite a few Jamaica resorts near some of the best waterfalls in Jamaica. Ocho Rios resorts and Negril resorts, in particular, are great family and group options that’ll make it a breeze to plan waterfall and other types of excursions. Once you decide on a resort, it’s time to start packing and counting down to your island getaway. Don’t forget your swimsuit and a waterproof camera!

Expert tip: Visiting island waterfalls is one of the most exciting things to do in Jamaica with kids. There are lots of other activities you can plan too! These Negril excursions (including river rafting) are bound to go down well with the kids.

Kylie Morrow

About Kylie Morrow

Writing for 13 years, Kylie discovered that experiences tell the best stories. As a Caribbean mother who wrote for newspapers, magazines, and blogs, she believes inspiration is even found in our kids!