Where adventure is concerned, there’s no short supply in Jamaica. A vacation on this Caribbean island will ensure you’re kept as busy, or as free as you’d like. For the more adventurous however, staying put probably isn’t an option in Jamaica, and this is especially so for people on a family vacation.
The big question many travelers face in Jamaica revolves around deciding where to go, or at least where to go first. If you already have things like beach time, river rafting, and even bob sledding on your agenda, what may be missing is a good ol’ waterfall excursion. Even better is a waterfall tour like the one available at Konoko Falls which is multifaceted – you and the kids will be able to enjoy the falls, and also spend time at the onsite zoo, museum, aviary, and even feed the fishes in the Koi pond.
This is the optimal all-in-one tour if ever there was one – a trip here saves parents from hopping around to different places, just to find all the activities available here. Konoko Falls is one of many waterfalls in Jamaica and has great reviews with family travelers.
If this sounds like something your family will love, read on as we get into the nitty gritty of this amazing Jamaican attraction!
In this article on the Beaches Blog:
Fall in love with Konoko Falls
What will I find?
How long should I expect to spend?
Things to bring along
What are the entrance fees?
Should I book a tour guide?
How can I get there?
Best places to stay near Konoko Falls
Great fun for the entire family!
Konoko Falls at Shaw Park Estate is about five minutes from the town of Ocho Rios. It was previously known as the Coyaba River Garden. This attraction is perfect for a tour that includes historical and cultural elements, with more than a few doses of fun. Kids will love this location, which includes a museum and a small zoo. The Falls can be found in the hills of St. Ann and are representative of the pure beauty to be found in Jamaica.
Konoko Falls is considered one of the best kept secrets of Jamaica, and its spectacular beauty not only makes it a great tour option, but also a suitable location for weddings, and other special events.
The gardens are quite extensive, so kids will be able to stretch their legs and exert some energy, which will be good for everyone!
Konoko Falls ranks high in terms of fun things to do in Jamaica. It’s an amazing experience that gets you reconnected to nature, while you have more fun than you’ve probably had in a while!
Konono Falls includes a botanical garden, a zoo, and a waterfall. There’s even a swimming pool, museum, restaurant, aviary, and lots of free space to roam about. It’ll be a sure thrill for the kids as you all climb up the cascading falls.
Once you’ve climbed to the top, you’ll find the swimming pool. You can then take the steps back to the bottom of the falls, where you can stop at the bar for parents to sip on a Red Stripe beer, or something else that’s cold and refreshing. You can start the climb all over again if you wish, when you’re ready. The kids certainly will not say no to that!
Konoko Falls are slightly smaller, but comparable in beauty to the famous Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica. It is unlikely that you will arrive there to a crowd, which means you’ll have plenty of time to dip into the Falls and explore the rest of the property.
Expert tip: As the falls can be slippery, it is recommended that you bring along water shoes. If you don’t have any, you can purchase them on site.
The botanical garden at Konoko Falls reflects the beauty of Jamaica in a magnificent way. Here you’ll experience tropical flora that’ll literally press the reset button within you, so much so that you may just want to pause for a bit to take some photos, or just to breathe.
The knowledgeable guides are always ready to share whatever information they have about this beautiful garden and the magic contained within it. As you’re scoping the flowers and other lush vegetation, you’ll notice the many natural streams that flow through the property and right into the gardens. These transparent streams of life also flow into ponds on the property, which are home to koi carp and tilapia fish.
There are many pathways and bridges within this space, and if you want to spend some time in the garden, it will not be hard to find a hidden spot where you can take it all in.
Kids love animals, and the bond they create with these creatures helps their emotional development as they learn empathy, and how to love and share. At Konoko Falls, there is a mini zoo where your kids will be able to interact with animals including crocodiles and snakes. The guides here sometimes bring out a boa constrictor that kids can hold if they’re brave enough.
There’s also an aviary with exotic birds, including endemic Jamaican species. The aviary is along the Orchid Path at Konoko Falls. Birds you may come across include the Jamaican Barn Owl and Mountain Witch Doves.
Kids will love the walk-in bird cage at this location where they can feed the birds and watch how they spend their day. It’s a sure thrill when the super friendly birds land on hands, shoulders, or even atop the head of the most curious onlookers.
Konoko Falls makes it possible for visitors to learn a bit about Jamaica’s history, and at the onsite museum, you can learn about the Taino Indians and other early inhabitants of the island. You’ll be able to gain a better understanding of the island’s colonial past, and take a look at ancient artefacts, pictures, maps, and more. At the Konoko Falls museum, you’ll not only be able to look back, but see how Jamaica has progressed to the present time.
Worked up an appetite during your tour? The Columbus Café offers some neat treats, or you can get some jerk chicken at the Taino Jerk Pit. You and the kids are sure to find something to please your taste buds, and a refreshing and cold drink to cool you down.
Want to take a bit of Konoko Falls home with you? Check out the gift shop where you can get a range of items including t-shirts, bags, caps, and even Blue Mountain Coffee and Jamaican craft and spices. The gift shop is in the Spanish Courtyard at Konoko Falls.
Konoko Falls is a convenient place to sightsee and explore as there’s parking, restrooms, a restaurant, and gift shop. There is ease of accessibility in this space that is also kid friendly.
Whether you go as part of a couple’s exploration, or you go with your family, there will be something to do for everyone at Konoko Falls. Go swimming, climb the waterfalls, visit the zoo, try bird watching, or explore the botanical gardens – whatever you do, it’s bound to be fun and fulfilling.
Plan to spend about two hours during your tour of Konoko Falls – this will give you enough time to explore the space, and dip into the falls.
When visiting Konoko Falls, make sure to bring the following:
Adults will pay 20.00 USD to get into Konoko Falls, while children ages 3-12 will pay 10.00 USD. There is no entrance fee for children under the age of 3.
Konoko Falls is a great place to spend the day, whether you explore on your own or take a guided tour. In most cases, it is more beneficial to do a tour as the expert guides can show you things you probably wouldn’t even think to look for.
On a guided tour, you’ll make your way through the River Gardens, and along the way, the guides will give you a brief history of the early inhabitants of Jamaica, the Taino Indians, who history tells Christopher Columbus met upon arrival to Jamaica. Guides will also provide some insight into the various indigenous birds and animals that can be seen here.
Like most people you’ll encounter in Jamaica, the tour guides are pleasant and friendly. They’re also very knowledgeable, and you’ll most appreciate their presence as you’re climbing the falls, at which point they’ll show you the best places to step to make it safely and easily to the top, and even give you a hand if you need it.
It might be easiest to schedule your tour to Konoko Falls in Jamaica through your resort. If you prefer to book directly with a tour provider, consider Island Routes’ Konoko Falls Rainforest Trek.
Tours of Konoko Falls typically begin with a breezy 30-minute climb up the Falls led by an experienced guide. Once you get to the top, it’ll be time to check out the Yssasi Lookout Point which offers an incredible view of the Ocho Rios bay area.
Next up is the museum tour – you’ll need to go to the Spanish Courtyard to get there. Then it’s onto the botanical garden, aviary, and Koi pond. At the aviary and pond, kids can feed the birds and fishes.
What you do past that point is up to you – you can head to the gift shop to purchase some memorable items including tour photos, or just soak in some more of the relaxing space.
Finally, you’ll be continuing your excursion to the Taino Jerk Pit where you can learn how to make an authentic Jamaican jerk meal!
Insider tip: Make sure to book your Konoko Falls excursion before traveling, to ensure availability!
If you’re in Jamaica on a cruise, Konoko Falls is about 15 minutes from the cruise terminal via taxi. Another option is booking a tour through your all-inclusive resort (if you’re staying at one), which takes care of transportation to and from. Beaches Resorts in Jamaica make it easy to book tours right on property.
If you get a rental, you’ll find Konoko Falls on Milford Road. It is a 5-minute drive west of Ocho Rios. If you drive yourself, you’ll be able to find parking, but it is most ideal to get to Konoko Falls via a cab, or through your resort, as that way you won’t have to navigate on your own through unfamiliar territory.
Picture: All the things that make Jamaica such a uniquely spectacular destination are at the heart of Sandals Ochi.
There are plenty of options when it comes to accommodation in Jamaica. The biggest decision you’ll have to make is whether or not to go the all-inclusive way, which has increasingly become the ideal choice for vacationers who want a packaged experience with lots of inclusions, like unlimited (alcoholic) drinks, amazing restaurants, day & night entertainment, water sports and sometimes even golf. Wherever you stay, make sure to stay at the beach in Jamaica!
This is where all the action happens.
Recommended beachfront all-inclusive resorts in Ocho Rios:
5-minute drive to Konoko Falls
Beaches Ocho Rios. Family friendly beach resort with waterpark.
Sandals Ochi. Couples-only resort with lively atmosphere.
Sandals Royal Plantation. Couples-only boutique resort with butler service.
It’s hard to know ahead of time which attractions your kids will love more than others, but Konoko Falls is generally one that keeps the interest of kids and allows them to have fun in an interactive space. This attraction offers the opportunity to learn and to gain a better understanding of Jamaica’s history, culture, and cuisine, all tied in with an amazing adventure, and all of these are the perfect ingredients for an unforgettable experience.