Heat Waves Got You Bothered? Find a Fall!

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With record heat waves across the UK and US , people are rushing to their nearest pool or beach this summer. Even with a year round tropical climate people in the Caribbean are also complaining about the scorching summer sun but luckily we may have more options when it comes to cooling down.

I love the beach. Living in Jamaica I have  an endless choice of beaches within a 2 hour drive but I especially enjoy waterfalls.

Waterfalls can be found in various countries not just the Caribbean. There is even a World Waterfall Data base which lists information about 100 waterfalls across the world, many of which seem to be in Montana, USA  which is not surprising as the state has thousands of rivers and over 120 named waterfalls.

Wherever you travel to this summer , consider switching up the usual beach routine and find a waterfall. It’s a total different experience from going to the beach and  laying on the sand with a good book but they are just so cool and awesome to look at.

If you make it to Jamaica consider checking out these gorgeous wonders of nature.

Dunn’s River Falls, Ocho Rios , St. Ann

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Photo from dunnsriverja.com

By far this is has got to be the most popular falls in all of Jamaica . Many may say it’s a tourist trap because of it’s fame but when you go you will understand. It definitely is not the “most beautiful” but it has been a long time favorite since I was a child . The beauty of this waterfalls is that you can climb from the bottom  , stopping to enjoy small pools along the way until you reach the top. It is the largest waterfalls on the island and by far the most fun. There is no rule that says you have to hold hands with tourists to climb or sing the corny songs that the guides make you sing,but it is part of the fun. It can be a challenge to climb so it’s always nice seeing people helping each other up the falls. I often climb on my own but sometimes just for the fun of it I join hands with tourists. I remember once how marveled a bunch of Americans were because I climbed with my bare feet while everyone had on rented shoes. For me climbing barefoot is an advantage as I can better feel the slippery rocks and maneuver my path . Call me crazy or brave, pas de problem ! Not in the mood to climb?,then just chill below the waterfalls where the river flows into the ocean. This is one more reason why people love Dunn’s River  you get a beach and a waterfall, best of both worlds.

YS Falls, YS Estate, St. Elizabeth

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Photo from YSFalls.com

YS falls may not provide the challenging climb that Dunn’s River does but there are more ways than climbing to explore a waterfall. The more adventurous visitor can choose to zipline across it from 40ft above or maybe tube down the river through a series of mini rapids. You can also keep it simple and just dive in. It’s great grounds for a picnic and all round family fun. There is  no wrong or right way to explore it so just go!

Reach Falls , Manchioneal, Portland

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I usually avoid terms like best and most beautiful as they are all relative but Reach Falls is arguably one of the most beautiful falls on the island and far from touristy. Most people hire the services of a local guide as I did on my first visit.  The white water cascades over beautiful lime stones and flows into a crystal-like pool in the midst of verdant rain-forest creating a magical atmosphere that is sure to leave you in awe. One treat is the secret cave. I would love to tell you where to find it but it’s a secret so you just have to visit and search for yourself. Getting there on public transportation can be a challenge as it is a 3km hike from the main road in Manchioneal but it’s all part of the fun and the beauty that lies ahead is a great reward.

Somerset Falls, Hope Bay, Portland

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Section of Somerset. Photo Credit Jim Smith via jamaicainn.com

The beauty about waterfalls is that no two falls are alike.  A short canoe ride through caves takes you to the head of this falls where you can climb up and jump off if you’re brave. I must admit I was brave enough to make the climb but wasn’t able to talk myself into jumping. Maybe next time. There is a park with various activities on the gorgeous property but the waterfalls is undoubtedly the star. The venue also hosts the occasional stage show.

There are a few more waterfalls on my radar , most of which have no address or online presence . Some so discreet many locals have never heard of them, which seriously have me thinking , maybe I need to go waterfalls hunting.

Drop me a comment if you would be in for a DryLand Tourist Waterfalls Hunt or maybe just to share your favorite fall in your neck of the woods. However you choose to cool down this summer just remember , stay hydrated and and don’t forget to protect you skin. Keep cool!

Janeen

Janeen is a Travel Writer based in Kingston, Jamaica. Her work has been published in the UK, Germany and Jamaica as well as various online publications. She is also a contributing writer to Our Jamaica Magazine, the official guide for the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association. Follow her @drylandtourist

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