Mayfield Falls is a delightful series of 21 widely-spaced mini cascades along the Mayfield River, a tributary of the Cabarita River in rural Westmoreland, bordering on the parish of Hanover. In fact, most of the attraction lies in Hanover, but you know how Westmoreland is always stealing Hanover’s attractions, or we pass everywhere off as Negril for the travel brochures. Anyway, I knew about this waterfall long before I ever heard of Benta River Falls, but somehow ended up visiting there first– likely because it was more accessible. Both attractions are located on the same road, but are 20 minutes apart in terms of driving time give or take. I went to Mayfield Falls as a staff trip one month ago. One of my colleagues was recounting a previous staff trip to the falls which they held several years ago and I encouraged her to plan a second trip. The date ended up even clashing with work but.. errr, here’s how the trip went. 🙂
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Mayfield Falls is located on the outskirts of Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland in a rural district called Glenbrook. The road to get here wasn’t the best but it is navigable by an ordinary car (no ATV or 4WD needed). I paid one upfront fee of $2,000 for food and admission fee, however entry without food is $600.00 per adult (locals). I assume the admission of children should be half that. For foreigners, admission is US$20 for adults and US$10 for children. Outside food is allowed. Clean bathrooms and changing rooms are available, albeit poorly lit. Lockers are available for rental at $500.00. You can also rent or purchase water-shoes if you don’t already have a pair. I’d recommend water shoes for this and all river adventures, but of course it isn’t 100% essential. You can also stop at various stalls and purchase souvenirs such as wooden carvings.
The grounds are stunning– from the parking lot and courtyard, to the bridge you have to cross to start the waterfall trek. You pay and secure a guide, change, eat, rent lockers etc. at the courtyard before the tour. The bamboo bridge was one of my favourite parts of the property. It gives me Bali vibes– you know those dreamy vacation pictures we adore on Instagram? Well, you don’t have to leave Jamaica to get those envy-inducing #travelgram photos at all. What don’t we have on this beautiful island?
Exploring Mayfield Falls
Jamaica is rich in limestone so our rivers flow long and laboriously through this porous rock, carving out hundreds of caves, caverns and cascades in their path. Mayfield Falls is another example of this. It’s impossible to capture all 21 of its small cascades in a single shot, but it’s nice being able to get close to and interact with each and every one if you desire. In fact, I urge you to. That’s the fun of “going river” in Jamaica. You get to enjoy back massages from nature while slipping, sliding and scrambling up the omnipresent rocks. The largest waterfall is nicknamed “The Washing Machine” and is located quite a distance upriver (didn’t remember to take a photo, sorry). The washing machine makes the entire experience, honestly. You won’t understand why it got its name until you get inside, ha. You’ll tumble about just like an article of clothing (but in a good way).
There is another smaller cascade you’ll encounter first where you can achieve this cool illusion.
The guide had one of my colleagues lie down above the cascade to “turn off” the water. In other words, his body diverted the stream of the water, and allowed someone to climb beneath the waterfall into a small cavern. That person stuck his hands out and well, there I am. I took a turn under the waterfall as well. It felt a bit claustrophobic under there but was enjoyable nonetheless.
The guides offer complimentary massages and scrubs with the natural clay found at the river, although tipping is strongly encouraged. My skin looked and felt really soft and smooth afterwards, but I can’t say whether that was the scrub or just from washing off in the river after. However, these people convinced myself and several friends to purchase a bottle of the stuff which they sell in repurposed soft drink bottles. In retrospect, this ‘mineral-rich clay’ looks like ordinary soil and I look at it sometimes wondering how did someone convince me to buy a 500mL bottle of dirt for JM$1,000, ha. Ahhh.. impulse purchases.
The food was OK– nothing to write home about, but I liked their customer service. It makes sense just getting your food and drink from them as there’s no other nearby facility, and you’re bound to feel hungry after that tour.
I’d recommend Mayfield Falls for sure because I’m a huge fan of lush green untouched countryside. Jamaica has many flaws but I try to focus on the positive side of life, and one of the blessings for which I’m incredibly grateful is the pristine beauty of our natural environment. That’s why I enjoy sharing Jamaica’s treasures on the Internet. Most of the news emerging from Jamaica is grim– the crime, the desperation, the unemployment and poverty. Thus, my articles aim to change that narrative. There is still a lot of beauty and love and good intentions here. I’m reminded of that every time I explore the rural areas. Jamaica’s beauty is under threat from littering, mining and other human activities though, thus it’s important we try to preserve, educate and advocate just as much as we enjoy what’s left of it. Mayfield Falls is a gem worth preserving for generations to come.
‘Til next time. ✌🏽
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