Dunn’s River Falls is one of Jamaica’s most mesmerizing tourist attractions; a simply astounding 600 ft long waterfall which flows out into the Caribbean. Located in Ocho Rios, this destination is truly one of the nation’s gems, and the essence of earth’s beauty and power. Not only will you be in awe upon viewing the falls, you’ll be astonished by the impressive forces of the water. The site is not only worth seeing – but climbing.
Climbing the falls
If you’re feeling daring, join hands with others and ascend to the top of the river. Our adventure started at the bottom of the falls, right on the beach where the end flows out into the ocean.
We began to climb, holding onto one another and listening as our tour guide directed us. The rocks were slippery as we navigated the rapidly moving waters. Clinging to my husband’s hand for dear life, we worked together with our group members and were led to step in the best places by the tour leader, who guided us the entire way up.
It was definitely a team effort, as strangers helped one another along the path to avoid falling. We stopped along the route at various lagoon areas where the water leveled out. It was breathtaking to see how the waterfall descended behind us as we reached the top levels.
What’s fascinating about Dunn’s River Falls is that it’s completely naturally developed and carved out as a result of the water’s forceful flow overtime.
I brought my Go Pro Hero 5 to capture the videos and photos during the climb up. I wouldn’t recommend bringing your cell phone to take photos, unless you’re simply a spectator. Everyone was completely drenched by the end, as there are varying water levels and depths to swim through.
It was a thrilling experience that lasts about an hour. Our tour guides really did a great job directing each group and making it even more of an unforgettable time. Overall, I would highly recommend ascending the falls! Enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity to climb and witness one of the few rivers in the world that drifts right into the Caribbean ocean.
Tips before you go
Before you brave the falls, it’s essential to know these tips. I wish I had known these in advance!
Have actual water shoes: If you don’t have a pair, you can purchase them at the gate for $10 each. The rocks are extremely slippery, so it’s dangerous to wear just regular gym shoes.
Climbing requires physical strength: I wouldn’t suggest actually climbing the falls if you’re pregnant, have any heart condition, or other physical limitations. This simply wouldn’t be a safe experience if you have difficulties. There are several spots along the river to view the river, watch others climb and take photos.
This isn’t an activity for toddlers: I wouldn’t advise bringing children younger than seven or eight years old to climb (but that’s just my opinion!)
This isn’t an activity for those afraid of heights: If you’re scared of heights or falling, this is definitely not an activity for you. Once you get up to the top levels, looking back can feel as though you’re very high up.
Do NOT bring valuables, bags or a phone: Only bring a waterproof camera or Go Pro type device. There is a designated photographer who will follow your group around and take photos and videos for purchase afterwards. I used the chest strap and wore my Go Pro so I could have my hands free to climb.
Only wear a swimsuit and water shoes: Leave your personal belongings with your tour bus or rent one of the lockers before you get down to the beach to climb. I would advise just leaving your items on the bus if you feel comfortable with your driver watching your items. This is easier and free. We didn’t even bring our cell-phones or anything valuable anyway.
Purchase your tickets through the hotel: If you can, organize your day out with the hotel and you may save some money, or be able to find a package with other activities at Ocho Rios. We purchased our tickets through our resort; Sandals Royal Caribbean. You can read about our stay here:
We were able to book the visit to Dunn’s River Falls and the Yaaman Adventure park where we rode camels and toured the historic Prospect Plantation (New post coming soon on that!)
Looking for other Caribbean destinations?
Check out my reviews of the Hyatt Regency Resort in Aruba and the JW Marriott Resort in Cancun!