When we think of Caribbean islands, we usually envision turquoise and deep blue waves—and there are plenty of those in Jamaica. Hidden in its lush mountains, however, is a freshwater idyll that visitors shouldn’t miss.
Reach Falls is a refreshing destination—and a pleasant alternative to hanging out on the beach.
Cascades and Pools
What’s more exotic than a swimming hole in the jungle? That’s the magic of Reach Falls in the Blue Mountains east of the town of Port Antonio. Here, water cascades over the massive boulders in some places and forms quiet pools in others.
What I loved at Reach Falls:
- Swimming through the blue-green water (the milky color comes from the limestone) into shallow caves and peering out at the rainforest through the rivulets of water.
- Getting a shoulder and scalp massage by standing beneath the water of a rushing cascade.
- Riding the flume. This is achieved by swimming vigorously upstream to perch on a rock ledge with swirling whitewater around you. Then launch yourself into the current, and let it carry you downstream.
Details: There’s an entrance fee to Reach Falls. Facilities include picnic tables, toilets, changing rooms, and lifeguards for general safety.
—Laurel Kallenbach, freelance writer and editor
Originally published: June 18, 2010
Read more about my travels in Jamaica:
- A Cup of Jamaica’s Blue Mountain Coffee
- Creativity Blooms at a Writing/Yoga Retreat in Jamaica
- Rafting on Jamaica’s Rio Grande
- Jamaica’s Colorful Roadside Attractions
- Winnifred Beach: Where Jamaica’s Locals Go
- Room with a Jamaican view: Hotel Mocking Bird Hill
- What Makes Hotel Mocking Bird Hill So Green?
- Tropical Dining with a Jamaican Twist
- Artist Laura Facey’s Spiritual Voyage