If one of your favorite things to do while traveling is pose (and swim) in some epic waterfalls than you need to get yourself to Jamaica. The country is teeming with beautiful photo spots and crystal clear water just waiting to be explored.
Quick tip: Before I even start I want to add that you should 100% bring water shoes with you to Jamaica. All of these waterfalls require them and once you arrive you’ll either rent or buy them before you head in. Avoid overpaying while in Jamaica and buy them on Amazon before you leave. They are super tiny and will definitely fit in your luggage.
By the way, here are the exact water shoes I bought, and recommend... and here is a full packing list for Jamaica - so you don't leave anything behind.
I've included a helpful map to give you an idea of where each one is. Remember that even if you are staying in Montego Bay, you can hire a private car (like we did) and visit surrounding cities. We used the company Paradise Travel Jamaica and our driver was Willy, I highly recommend him!
So now... starting from the eastern most falls and working west...
This is a great falls to visit if you want to do some hiking and exploring in a natural environment. The entire area is an ecological sanctuary that sits on 4.6 hectares of land. Also, for all you Instagrammers Reach falls is naturally heart shaped - I mean what more can you ask for.
The Falls are far to the east of the island. About 3 hours from Ocho Rios and 2.5 hours from Kingston. Entrance is $10 a person.
This is seriouslyyy one of the best-kept secrets in Jamaica. It is kind of far, a 2-hour drive east of Kingston (and 3 hours from Ocho Rios). But if you make it here you’ll be happy you came. Reggae falls is huge with cascading waters constantly flowing. The warm water also has healing properties due to the sulfur mixed in from a local spring.
Tacky Falls is an hours drive east of Ocho Rios or a 90-minute drive north of Kingston. It is one of the most natural waterfalls in Jamaica. Getting there only takes a 15-minute hike but do be aware it is along a steep, and often times, narrow trail. If you do make the trek you will be rewarded with a 60m (120 ft) tall waterfall with no tourist crowds or hawkers. You can actually enjoy the natural beauty!
This place is AHHH MAZINGGG. I seriously can’t believe it’s real. Also, they used this filming location in the new movie Like Father on Netflix - so now you know it’s really good. The blue hole is off a side road in Ocho Rios and around 20 minutes away from the city center. It costs $10 per person to enter and that includes a guide.
Basically, the Blue Hole was purely locals only until about 6 or 7 years ago when it started to become insta-famous. Now it has railings being put in and guides for the tourists. You enter to a small lagoon with a super-fun rope swing. Then you can climb a short trail (maybe about 10 minutes) to another portion that has the huge waterfall known from most pictures. There are smaller pools above it and below it you can wade in and relax. Under the main towering waterfall is a small cave that is epic to visit. Next to the main waterfall is a 20 ft diving platform that tourists (and guides) take turns jumping from. It is scary in the funniest way possible.
Pro Tip: Our guides name was Coco and I highly recommend asking for him if you can. He took our nice camera all around the waterfall grabbing awesome photos of us from close and far. It was so nice! Plus he will guide you to some unknown spots.
Dunn's River Falls
Definitely the most well known of the Jamaican waterfalls, Dunn's river is on everyone's travel list. If you are staying in Ocho Rios it is only about 15 minutes outside of the main city. We visited Ocho Rios from Montego Bay (for the day) and the ride was a little under 2 hours each way.
I actually recommend skipping Dunn's River Falls (**GASP**) and checking out the Blue Hole instead. Dunn's river is fine, but even if you go early there will be lots of people there. Plus there is nowhere to jump in and other than climbing the falls - with a guide - you can only pose for pictures. This is still a great option so if you have time for both definitely do it as well. When we were there the cost was $20 per person.
Check out this full article on why I think you should visit Blue Hole over Dunn's River Falls. The article also includes info on entrance cost to both and how to get to both magnificent falls.
This gorgeous waterfall in western Jamaica actually consists of seven main tiers that are in close succession. YS Falls is 90 minutes from Negril. Once you arrive you’ll take a Disney-like tram pulled by tractors to the start of the play area. Here there is a gift shop, return tram, restrooms, and a man-made swimming pool. From the main area, you’ll find walkways that lead you to the falls and various turn-offs to take a swim in the pools or use the rope swings. There is A LOT to do here. Last I heard the cost was $15 per person.
By the way, the letters YS are in reference to the original landowners John Yates and Richard Scott.
Read on: How to travel Jamaica on a budget
Blue Hole Mineral Springs
So this isn't exactly a waterfall but I wanted to include it here anyway. This gorgeous place, which can best be described as a hole in the ground, has a deep swimming cave and even offers mud massages nearby. If you don’t want to jump (scary but fun!) you can take a steep ladder down to the bottom. You can also watch the locals who do super crazy dives into the hole. There is definitely no safety equipment so come at your own risk.
The springs are located only 30 minutes from Negril, 90 minutes from YS Falls, and 2 hours from Montego Bay. I think it is $10 a person but don’t quote me on that.
Final Thoughts on Jamaica
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you. Here are some books I recommend...
And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).