A Complete List of Jamaica’s Waterfalls

When I visited my first waterfall in January 2016, I didn’t realize this was the start of a new hobby (some would say obsession, because really, half my Instagram posts are at a waterfall and I learnt recently that ‘the waterfall girl’ is the name I go by in a few of my colleagues’ minds). I fell in love with Jamaica that much more, finally seeing the side of the island only tourists or the very adventurous post about.

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Breadnut Valley Falls, Saint Elizabeth

Magic happens when local female travel bloggers get together, and Breadnut Valley happened to be the first destination of hopefully many future linkups. Breadnut Valley Falls are a series of mesmerizing cascades and turquoise pools set in Breadnut Valley, Maggotty, St. Elizabeth parish. For an off-the-beaten path waterfall, surprisingly little hiking was involved! With that said, let’s talk about:

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Gut River, Manchester

When you grow up learning in school that the parish of Manchester has no rivers or beaches, this one means a lot. Relatively unknown even to my friends born and raised in this parish, Gut River runs mostly underground then emerges for a short 200m journey to the Caribbean Sea. It is found along a narrow remote coastal road and is one of the many places in Jamaica where fresh water can be enjoyed alongside saltwater. Gut River is said to get its name from the German word ‘gut’, meaning good.

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Bath Mineral Spring, Saint Thomas

The rural community of Bath in St. Thomas is teeming with history and beauty, home to Jamaica’s oldest botanical garden and a mineral spring by the same name. Legend has it that the bath was discovered in the 1600s by a runaway slave with leg ulcers. He stumbled across the spring, used it to wash his wounded limb then noticed the next day that his leg was rapidly healing. He shared the good news then stories of the fountain spread, soon attracting visitors from islandwide. 

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Bath Botanical Gardens, Saint Thomas

Established in 1779, the rural community of Bath in Saint Thomas is home to Jamaica’s oldest and the Caribbean’s second oldest botanical garden. Two and a half centuries later Bath Botanical Garden may not be as well-kept as it once was but it’s certainly a beautiful national treasure worth visiting. Many foreign plants which we have since made our own were first planted here. These include flowers like the croton, jacaranda and bougainvillea and foodstuff like cinnamon, ackee, otaheite apples, jackfruit and breadfruit– the delicious Jamaican staple which I couldn’t imagine our cuisine without! 

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10 Lessons from Chasing Waterfalls in Jamaica

What’s not to love about water putting on a grand display? My island home of Jamaica is blessed with over 20 waterfalls hidden in its verdant rugged mountains. Our cascades are small making them interactive and fit to be climbed, stood under, swam in and enjoyed unlike the world’s largest falls which can only be admired at a distance. Waterfalls are my favourite feature of nature and since 2016 I’ve been trying to see them all. I’m now at 8 and counting, 6 of which were off the beaten path.

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Tacky Falls, Saint Mary

Life is quite unpredictable and I’m learning to roll with the punches more each day. Earlier this year I’d set out to visit this waterfall’s smaller cousin, Kwame Falls, but the public transport in Kingston decided against that plan. Thus, I was most excited when a high schoolmate of mine who is now studying abroad came out for Christmas and organized a few trips to discover more of Jamaica, perhaps inspired by his own overseas adventures or this blog 😅. Tacky Falls in Islington, St. Mary was on his itinerary and that’s how it came about that I visited the harder-to-find St. Mary waterfall first.

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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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Island Gully Falls, Saint Ann

I try to demystify Jamaican off-the-beaten-path places on Adventures from Elle because usually not much useful information is available about these places online or by word of mouth. Island Gully Falls is one such place despite becoming very popular on social media and perhaps more recently popularized as Blue Hole.

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Gordon Town Falls, Saint Andrew

Let me start by saying that these falls are unnamed. It’s a pity to have such beautiful cascades of the Hope River tucked away in Penfield, a small district in Gordon Town, yet after all these years they are still nameless. Until a name for these falls catches on, myself and the other people who seek out this treasure will continue to call it the Gordon Town Falls.

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