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Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

A few years back, while on a Caribbean cruise, I (along with my wife and sister) decided to head over to Dunn’s River Falls on my Birthanniversay (Birthday and Anniversary – sounds cool to have, but trust me, BIG MISTAKE!)

Leaving behind my daughter with the parents at the wonderfully named and rather cute Mahogany Beach, we took a taxi to the Falls.

A tip would be to inform the taxi driver not to leave the parking. We didn’t, and as a result, thinking that we would take longer than we did, he decided to take another fare, while we were left waiting and a little frantic about missing our ship.

Dunn’s River Falls is one of the primary and most-visited tourist attractions in all of Jamaica and is quite well-managed to avoid being over-crowded – even if it does look like that in some of the photos.

A ticket of US$ 20,- got us in and into a group led by authorised guides. There are lockers inside the property to leave your valuables, and it’s advised that you use them because the falls can be a bit challenging at times.

Also available on location are water shoes which can be rented for a small fee. Once again, it is advisable that you rent the water shoes as the rocks, while climbing up, are extremely slippery.

Alternatively, before the car-park of the falls, locals have stalls renting water-gear which can be bargained for and gotten a little cheaper.

As a tourist attraction, the whole arrangement is well organised. There are groups of 12-15 people that are taken by two guides. It’s essential that you use the service of the guides (included in the entrance fee) on your first trip up because they point out all the plunge pools deep enough for you to take a backflip in and more importantly the corners that should be avoided

Carrying a video camera, the guides also make a video of your whole “expedition” up the falls which can be yours for US$ 40,-. A bit expensive, we gave the video a miss, but the guides were not at all pushy about it. They were friendly and as expected flirted with the girls, at the expense of the guys, but then that’s become so common now anywhere you go.

The areas where the flow of the water is strong, the climb a bit steep, or the rocks are really slippery; there are handlebars on the sides to provide support. Moreover, walking in a group, a human chain is usually formed to give the necessary balance to everyone.

Although I saw people of all ages go up the falls, I would advise the really young and the really old to skip climbing the falls.

There is a good chance most people will end up with tiny cuts and scratches by the time they reach the top, but that is not to say that this is a dangerous activity.

Dunn’s River Falls is one of those attractions that you want and need to have on your bucket list.

The sound and sight of the gushing cool water amidst the thick green vegetation, the joy of falling back into plunge pools, and the excitement of the climb is immensely refreshing and something I definitely recommend for everyone visiting the region.

Once you have had your guided climb, you can always go back down and climb up again if you desire. And this time around you can take your time and stop for longer in-between to enjoy the small waterfalls and pools at a leisurely pace.

There is also a small beach at the bottom of the falls which is fun for the younger and older members of the family, but if you want to save some money, then it’s best to explore the other “free” beaches especially if one doesn’t plan to climb up the fall.

While we spent time clambering up the falls, our daughter and parents enjoyed playing at Mahogany Beach and even got to witness a regional “comic” dance performance. Unexpected and fun at the same time.

However, the falls are not the only attraction in this region. There is an abundance of things to do in Ocho Rios, each one packed with culture, traditions, food, and of course astounding sights. There is so much natural beauty around us that is not accessible, so places like Dunn’s River Falls gives even amateur adventure enthusiasts a chance to experience the wonders of the world from up close and get the type of high that is often hard to find living a city life.


  • Abigail
    Posted 24 November, 16 at 8:47 AM

    What a gorgeous waterfall that is! I’d love to see more of the spots you visited while in Jamaica – looks like a really beautiful country!

  • Ticker Eats The World
    Posted 24 November, 16 at 9:09 AM

    Hey Abigail, this was during a cruise so we spent only a day in most places. I’ve written about some of the other activities that I did in other Caribbean countries. Thanks

  • mohitarts
    Posted 24 November, 16 at 9:37 AM

    what a unique trail it is….traversing the waterfall sound so attracting..

  • wellcaffeinatedtraveller
    Posted 24 November, 16 at 11:06 AM

    What a really cool experience. I had no idea you were allowed to “hike” the falls. I’ll have to put this on my bucket list!

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 24 November, 16 at 12:13 PM

      Yup! One of the few places in the world where this is possible. A totally different experience and real fun! Thanks

  • Shemylah Hooda
    Posted 24 November, 16 at 12:35 PM

    I visited Jamaica earlier this year but was only able to stay in Montego Bay and do one zip-lining excursion. I would love to re-visit and see Ocho Rios and check out Dunn River Falls, as I’ve heard wonderful things about it in the past as well. Love the tips you gave — although, it sounds a bit scary to be relying on the “human chain” for balance! Haha .. I guess trust plays a big part in this excursion!

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 24 November, 16 at 1:29 PM

      Yeah, Jamaica does have other adventurous options and sometimes it’s impossible to cover them all in one trip. Don’t worry about the human chain aspect, that’s only in some places. The difficult sections (there aren’t many of those either) have railing on the side for support. Just need to take it easy and slow and enjoy it. Cheers

  • Kreete
    Posted 24 November, 16 at 8:10 PM

    That’s awesome you got to visit Jamaica! This Dunns River Falls you described looks so cool! It sounds like a great day out and to get to be cooled down by the water as well.. 🙂 I can’t believe they actually let you climb up the falls. I mean.. WOW! I haven’t seen that anywhere else. Who needs a water park if you can go there, right? 😀

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 24 November, 16 at 8:25 PM

      Yup a bit of extreme water-parking if you will and it has a few plunge pools where you can take dips and what nots. Thanks

  • Neha
    Posted 25 November, 16 at 9:35 AM

    It looks like a one of a kind trail. And the waterfall is gorgeous. Nice that you can reach up to it and experience it so close. Not possible with many other waterfalls

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 25 November, 16 at 9:53 AM

      True and the fact it’s not that easily reachable makes it special. Thanks

  • gobeyondbounds
    Posted 25 November, 16 at 10:24 AM

    Dunn’s River Falls looks majestic and gorgeous. Its amazing to know that they take care of overcrowding and have locker facilities too. Hiking through nature is our favorite and we are going make sure to bookmark this for our visit.

  • Juliette | Snorkels To Snow
    Posted 25 November, 16 at 12:08 PM

    Sounds like a gorgeous spot! Good advice about the taxi though…eek! That must have been a panic finding he had driven away! Looks beautiful and a very refreshing place to visit.

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 25 November, 16 at 12:54 PM

      Yup! Apparently they are under the impression that once in it will usually take 3-4 hours and try and find someone else to take during that time. Still, all’s well that ends well 😀

  • Aleks F.
    Posted 25 November, 16 at 12:54 PM

    I’ve been to beautiful Jamaica but missed these falls, and it looks like a shame! They look so incredible and it looks like an amazing adventure! It’s so refreshing to swim under the falls!

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 25 November, 16 at 12:55 PM

      Yeah! We were short on time so we just did the climb once, but if you keep a whole day, you can go back again and again and take it slow. Wonderful experience! Thanks

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  • Amanda Keeley-Thurman
    Posted 4 April, 17 at 12:39 AM

    We just took our kids up the falls. We weren’t sure if my youngest could do it, but he did. We took a tour with our cruise, because I was stressed about missing the ship.

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 4 April, 17 at 11:20 AM

      I think taking the Cruise tours is a good idea, because as you said, it takes away all the headache and they are usually well organized. Glad you enjoyed it and the little one also managed to do it.

  • Melissa Grant
    Posted 7 April, 17 at 8:50 PM

    Great tips! Next time your in Jamaica, visit the recently opened mini water park & central gardens at Dunn’s River Falls.

  • Jhunelle J
    Posted 19 April, 17 at 9:30 PM

    I share the same sentiment about really young and old climbing the falls, always hold my breath lol. Glad you enjoyed it here, it’s a shame you didn’t have a longer stop.

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