A trip to Dunn's River Falls is an easy excursion from Ocho Rios and probably the most touristed spot on all of Jamaica. Although it is a bit of a tourist trap, if you go early and when there are no cruise ships in port, it makes for a nice trip.
The Falls are very lush and pretty and the climb up is fun although I found the hand holding up the Falls to make the climb harder than it needed to be and rather annoying. It's not a terribly strenuous climb and there are several points at which you can get out if you need to.
Bring aqua socks or an old pair of tennis shoes, a towel, bathing suit and a waterproof camera. The guides did take a few non waterproof cameras up the Falls for people but then you can't take pictures although they will take them of you.
After the trip up the Falls, the guides will be looking for tips so bring a little cash with you. If you need to rent a pair of rubber shoes, you can do that for $5US and there are lockers if you need them.
This is the best known, and arguably the most hyped, tourist attraction in the Ocho Rios area. However, the falls are well worth a visit and the development has thankfully failed to mask their attractiveness, despite what appear to be considerable efforts to do so!
The “done thing” here is to climb the falls. A group of tourists, usually bussed in from a cruise ship, lines up hand in hand at the base of the falls and is led up from ledge to ledge by an experienced guide. It can be slippery but is quite safe, providing you wear the rubber shoes that can be hired or bought (or take your own if you have them). We were in two minds whether to join a group for this activity however, and in the end decided against it – partly because I’m not the most agile of people, partly because Chris is not very keen on getting that wet, and partly because the cattle-train approach to shepherding people up the falls seemed somehow out of keeping with the beauty of our surroundings. So we contented ourselves with enjoying the various views of the falls from the wooden steps and platforms along the edge – and, I must confess, with laughing at the struggles of some of older ladies, in particular, who found it hard to stay on their feet in the swift current (see photo 2)!
The surrounding gardens are nicely maintained and the vegetation is lush; the overall effect is very pretty despite the commercialisation. As well as the falls themselves, the colourful tropical flowers and a very large spider (see photo 4) kept my camera clicking happily for some time.
Admission to the falls is US$15 per person (adults) and US$12 (children 2-12 years).
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When we tired of watching the falls we headed to the small beach at their foot. Admission to this beach is included in the cost of admission to the falls, and there is no other access to it, so consequently it was fairly quiet and quite pretty. I enjoyed cooling off in the pool at the foot of the falls and also had a swim in the sea. There is a cordoned-off area for the latter, to separate swimmers from the jet-skis that operate here. The water temperature in the sea varied greatly, from warm to quite chilly to warm again in the space of just a few strokes – I imagine that this is caused by the cold rushing water from the falls pouring into the much warmer sea water, but it made for an interesting swimming experience!
If you want to swim or to climb the falls there are a few wooden changing cubicles down near the beach, and others at the top of the falls to change in when you climb out – although the warm sun should dry you quite quickly. Other facilities include hair-braiding and ice-cream stalls (we had a lovely chocolate frozen yoghurt). Nearer the entrance is a cluster of food stalls where we bought some refreshing Red Stripe beers – there’s also jerk pork and chicken, patties and other snacks available.
Between the falls and this area is the infamous craft market – we had been warned through tips elsewhere on VT, as well as by Elise at the Blue House, that hassling was a real problem here, but we didn’t find it so. Perhaps the stall-holders are more laid-back on a Sunday (see photo 4 for a good example of laid-back!), perhaps they’d just had some good sales from other tourists (though it seemed fairly quiet that day) or perhaps our firm but friendly “We’re not shopping today thanks” was enough to deter them – whatever the reason, we had no problems at all.
Admission to the falls is US$15 per person (adults) and US$12 (children 2-12 years).
Dunn's River Falls is an other great experence located in Ocho Rios. Dunn's River Falls is almost next to Dolphins Cove, This shot is Dunn's River Falls spilling into the ocean, we are at Dolphins Cove. Dunn's River Falls is world known for an experence you will always remember. This trip requires a lot of climbing up wet rocks, so must should be sure footed.
It is a short ride to the Park which the falls are located in. The cost for admission for Americans is 15 bucks for adults and 12 for children. Our admission was paid through the shore excursion on the ship. When you arrive at the falls,. You can either rent for 5 bucks water shoes or buy a new pair for 15. I suggest if you can pack your own that way you don’t have to rent or buy theirs. Once you get your watershoes you are then taken to the locker area by your guide. The guides are fabulous. The cost to rent a locker is 8 Bucks. You get 3 of it back at the end of your journey. The guides offer to take your camera up the falls for you so you can get some shots. At first we were hesitant as we had just shelled out 200 bucks for a new camera but in the end we were glad we did. He got some great shots.
You are led to the restrooms and warned that the water is cold. I honeslty didn’t think it was that cold. Then you are led to the falls. You join hands and begin the ascent up the 950 ft falls. IT is amazing and fun. Things to watch for are slippery rocks, holes in between rocks, rushing water. The force of the water in some spots is really strong. They take several photos on the way up and give you some info about the falls. It was a blast I am so glad we did this. We saw some scary looking spiders and webs and even a little crab out for a stroll on the rock ledge. We also saw a cool looking bird. At the end of the trip the guides tell you they work for tips. We tipped 30 american cause we were pleased with the pictures they took. You are also offered to buy a dvd of your climb for 40 bucks. You can and should negotiate this price. We got them down to 20 bucks. We didn’t buy it though. Another thing when leaving the park the people selling stuff are obnoxious. Just don’t look at them and keep on waling and they wont bother you. They handed my nieces and nephew a turtle and my sister had to take it away cause they wanted too much money for it. All in all a must see and a must do…
Dunn's River falls is a waterfall that is approximately 600 feet high and dumps into the Caribbean. The water is refreshingly cool. You start at the bottom of the falls and climb to the top.
It's a great place to go on a honeymoon and have your picture taken together in one of the pools you encounter while climbing.
Often while climbing you'll be grabbing onto the rocky ledge on either side of the falls. Keep an eye out in the crevices for Land Crabs.
Once at the top, there's a changing room and a couple of shops to buy your standard tourist junk before the trip ends.
It's probably one of the best trips to do in Jamaica. Make sure you have a bathing suit and a pair of shoes suitable for climing wet rocks. Bring a change of clothes if you want to be dry afterward.
Yes, it is overrun by tourists, but it's a definite must-do! The hike up the falls is a lot of fun. If you can, do it yourself. We did an organized tour through our resort. It was included in our package. Don't worry about having a waterproof camera - there are guides who will carry them up the falls along with you and they will stay dry. Wear tennis shoes - I did fine in a pair of old Keds. The water is cold, but you get used to it quickly. If you are with a group you can share a locker. We shared one with 2 other couples and had more than enough room to spare. (Incidentally, Sandals Ocho Rios runs the Dunn’s River Falls tour twice daily. Just sign up for it a day in advance at the tour desk).
So after you put your things in a locker you can start going out to the entrance of the river. You actually walk out to the beach then things got alittle confusing. I dont know if the entrance fee included a tour but we didnt buy any tour. The guides were telling us to hurry up and get together with the tour. We joined a group of about 12 other people. Our group was fun and quickly everyone makes friends and helps eachother go up the falls. Some parts are very slippery.
We stay with this group the whole way up. There are two guides, one in front and one in the back. They also take pictures of everyone and video in case you want to purchase it later. The video on CD is $40 USD.
After your first trip up you are on your own if you want to do it again.
I think for little kids it might be a little dangerous or stressful. Like I wouldnt take my five year old here but the 12 and 13 year olds would be fine. There is a little area where the younger kids can hang out with a parent but I wouldnt recommend the falls for them. They can also hang out at the beach.
Dunn River Falls is one of the premier attractions in Ocho Rios. I highly recommend going. The only downside is that it tends to get too crowded because all the tourists want to go. I have heard that the best day to go is Sunday because there are no cruise ships at port and therefore there are fewer visitors.
The vendors are kind of aggressive. Just walk fast and do not make eye contact if you are not interested in buying anything. If you respond to them then they won't leave you alone.
what can be said about dunns river fall????? it is really a wonderful place. we had an unforgettable time being massaged by these 200 foot falls full of carved bath style form where you lay in and well like a spas!!
and the falls makes it possible to hide behind the water ...to hide!! lol it was superb
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