The Dunn’s River Falls, near Ocho Rios, are a Caribbean treasure and one of the main tourist destinations in Jamaica. They flow into the Caribbean Sea, being among the few waterfalls in the world that flow directly into the ocean.
Thousands of tourists visit these waterfalls every year but this should not discourage you, because it is a sin to go to Jamaica and not visit this natural treasure. If you don’t want to run into a lot of people it is best to go first thing in the morning or just before closing time in the afternoon—they are open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Spaniards called the area Las Chorreras and the name eventually became Ocho Rios, as a reference to the rivers in the area, which are actually four rather than eight. These waterfalls are said to have been the place where a great battle was fought in 1657 between the English and the Spaniards, who sailed in from neighboring Cuba and wanted to conquer the island. The English emerged victorious and the battlefield ended up in private hands and became the Belmont Estate, which in the 1970s was administrated by the government and became a place of recreation.
These 183 meter waterfalls must be climbed by stepping from stone to stone and bathing suits are recommended, or any clothes that you don’t mind wetting. Footwear with a grip is likewise advisable. Throughout the climb, which is not complicated, you will come across several ponds in which you can take a swim. The steps used to climb up the falls may seem artificial because of how well they are placed but they are completely natural, being the result of the water erosion.
The Dunn’s River Falls are a refreshing experience that you won’t want to miss when visiting Jamaica.
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