As a lover of the outdoors, an admirer of beautiful landscapes, and someone who appreciates a good adventure I was excited to visit Reach Falls on my trip to Jamaica last month. Reach Falls is located in Portland Parish along the eastern tip of Jamaica, near Port Antonio. The falls are nestled within a virgin rainforest, and you’re surrounded by some of the most exotic plant species on the island. If you want to experience unspoiled Jamaica, this is the place!!
Although, not as well-known as Dunn’s River Falls or as the grand YS Falls, Reach Falls is famous for the unspoiled beauty of Jamaica. They’ve even served as the backdrop in the famous lagoon scene of the Tom Cruise flick Cocktail.
The drive from Ocho Rios to Reach Falls was a scenic 2 hour ride winding along the coast through little towns and fishing villages. Since there are no “tours” to Reach Falls we hired Chicken’s Magic Bus to take us there. Chicken was an incredible driver. He is a wealth of knowledge about the area and very personable. And did I mention, extremely patient… we made several stops along the way including pictures at the Blue Lagoon, a few local stores, and even a banana plantation.
The admission fee at Reach Falls was only $10 per person, and yes they did accept US dollars but no credit cards. We took advantage of their clean restroom facilities change into our swimsuits and water shoes. There are no lockers here, so you’ll want to be prepared for this! Thankfully, we had a driver and just left our bags with him.
The pathway down to the lagoon at the base of the falls is paved and easily accessible. There is even a nice seating area under a nice shaded area. It would be the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic.
During our visit there were only 6 other people (whom were all locals) there. It was almost like we had the place to ourselves. We explored the cave behind the falls and even jumped 25 ft. from a ledge into the lagoon.
Feeling more adventurous, we asked a guide to take us upstream through several natural pools, and into the underwater cave. Unlike other falls that we’ve experienced, at Reach Falls you’re not rushed, in fact it’s the opposite. Our guide encouraged us to take our time, while he carried our cameras and even took pictures for us.
We hiked up the river, climbing over boulders, and wading through the ice-cold water that flows down from the John Crow mountains to the unsuspecting underwater cave. Our guide led us through a 2 ft. by 3ft. opening in the rocks into the cave. Sorry, I didn’t have a waterproof camera so no pictures from this point in our journey but, was able to find this to show what it’s like.
The cave was incredible… it’s a very small space but, a truly unique experience. Definitely not something I’d recommend if you’re claustrophobic.
Overall, Reach Falls was everything I had hoped it would be and more. It was secluded and beautiful. Although, the cascade is not as dramatic as other waterfalls in Jamaica, Reach Falls satisfied my urge for adventure and a non-commercialized experience. I would highly recommend a visit to Reach Falls if you’re staying in the Port Antonio area or if you’re interested in a one-of-a-kind day trip that will take you off the beaten path and away from the “tourist trap” attractions. You can check out all of my pictures from Reach Falls in my Flickr album.
Want to experience Reach Falls for yourself? I’d be happy to help you plan a Jamaican getaway with a visit to one of the island’s most beautiful spots.
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