As I stood staring upward toward the cliffside of powerful tumbling waters (mouth dry, heart thumping, knees quivering), Winston our guide at Dunn’s River Falls sidled up to me and said, “You – you’re coming with me!” Oh no, does this mean I can’t chicken out?! My fate is sealed – trust in Winston, tamp down your fears and climb for all you’re worth, Susan. Such was the beginning of one of the most exhilarating adventures of my traveling life at Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios Jamaica. Dunn’s River Falls is a challenging 600 foot climb up a hillside of cascading boulders through a swift moving waterfall that races from clifftop to sea.
Our enthusiastic group of two dozen Travel Bloggers joined hands and slipped and dipped our way upward. We were fortunate to have arrived late in the afternoon and had the climb all to ourselves. Before long we were squealing and laughing as currents twirled us around and dunked us into free form pools. Winston, of course, heightened the adventure by pushing willing climbers down natural water-slides into deep aqua pools. We all learned quickly – never be the first one to try one of Winston’s dares – Ji Yoon, you should have seen your face after the first unexpected dunking!
As we reached the upper levels, I don’t know what ached more.. my legs from climbing, my arms from holding on, or my cheeks from laughing. One thing I do know.. the thrill of reaching the top with friends all around, and looking down to see where we had climbed from was incomparable. What a blast! Thank goodness I didn’t wimp out, and praises to Winston, our guide extraordinaire.
Admission to Dunn’s River Falls is a very affordable $15 for adults and $12 for children under 11. You absolutely need a pair of aqua socks (a.k.a reef shoes) or at least an old pair of sneakers. Flip flops are NOT a good choice as the current will whip them right off your feet. There are vendors within the park who will rent you a pair of snug fitting water shoes if you don’t have your own. You should positively use the services of a Dunn’s Falls guide. They know where all the foot holds are, will make sure you are following the least slippery path, take control of your camera so it stays dry, and will snap hysterical photo’s along the way. Of all the sites we saw in Jamaica, Dunn’s River Falls proved to be the most exhilarating and memorable experience I had – You won’t want to miss it!