Konoko Falls, Saint Ann

Konoko Falls is a tourist attraction nestled in the hilly outskirts of popular resort town Ocho Rios. The Arawakan word for rainforest, konoko, lends its name to this 600-feet cascading waterfall and garden, formerly known as the Mahoe Falls and Coyaba Gardens; coyaba is also an Arawakan word meaning heaven. Both names are fitting, even more so given that Taino artefacts have been found here, suggesting that the area was once a settlement.

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Dunn’s River Falls, Saint Ann

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is a state-run tourist attraction featuring a natural cascade which flows out to the Caribbean Sea along Jamaica’s north coast. It has been minimally modified with cement to create footholds, making it safer and easier for tourists to climb but that’s about it. If the tiers seem too perfect to believe they’re natural, that’s because Jamaica’s limestone richness and our abundant rivers create magic when they meet, carving out thousands of caves and dozens of perfectly tiered cascades throughout the whole island which are a sight to behold. They didn’t name Jamaica from the Arawakan word meaning ‘land of wood and water’ for nothing. April 2018 was my first visit to Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, Saint Ann.

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Little Dunn’s River, Saint Ann

Little Dunn’s River in Ocho Rios is the last remaining span of free north coast between Portland & St. Ann’s Bay in Jamaica. Attempts have been made in the past by the government to shut it down, citing that the property was a safety hazard to patrons but really with the motive of handing over the property to private developers. In 2013, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) posted guards at the site, erected a fence with a locked gate, placed no trespassing signs on the property and mounted no parking signs on the adjacent strip of road on which patrons would park.

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Turtle River Park, Saint Ann

Turtle River Park is a cool oasis in the busy heart of resort town Ocho Rios. This small park is perfect for a picnic, stroll or jog, for reading, watching the fish and turtles in the stream which runs through the grounds and for entertaining bored children on its playground in the heat of the day. If you’re from or familiar with Kingston, you should know of Emancipation Park. It’s a similar spot except with fish, turtles, a pond/river and playground but minus the formidable 11-foot tall Redemption Song sculptures symbolizing our freedom. I made the comparison to imply that this park is only worth checking out if you’re in the area and isn’t a tourist attraction per se. However, once you find yourself in Ocho Rios and want a beautiful well-tended green space in which to relax, consider checking out Turtle River Park.

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