BLUE HOLE WATERFALLS, JAMAICA
Better Than Dunn’s River!
I’ve been hearing about Blue Hole in St. Mary, Jamaica for years but had never made the journey to go find it. With some prompting from a fellow Canadian friend who was visiting me and also wanted to go we started out on a day trip from Montego Bay that turned into one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever done in Jamaica.
Blue Hole is in the parish of St Mary and is located up in the hills after turning off at the JPS power plant. It’s not very straight forward to find it but is WELL worth the search once you get there. Do not drive there in any kind of car that’s lowered because you’ll lose the bottom of it on the horrible road leading in. We scraped out the bottom of our rented Suzuki Swift more than once.
Once you arrive it’s a short hike to the bottom of the falls and a gorgeous icy blue pool with a small waterfall. I thought that was it and I was happy. There are a couple of locals who act as guides here that asked if we wanted to go to the top which indicated to me this wasn’t it at all! Of course I wanted to go to the top! So we began what was probably a 15 minute hike through some challenging terrain up the hillside further. Once we arrived it took my breath away (not just the hike, but also what I saw).
Now that you’ve seen the photos there are some really cool parts I want to explain. Up at the big part of the falls the current from that waterfall is SO strong it’s like being on a treadmill – you’re paddling HARD to move forward but you either stay stationary or get pushed backwards. So the photo where I’m trying to grab the guy’s hand was no easy feat actually getting to him. Once he had me he pulled me hard and flung me underneath the waterfall into an awesome cave behind it. We chilled under there for a while marveling at where we actually were and I wished I had a waterproof camera to capture video under there. I’m so thankful my friend Demus came with us because I wouldn’t even have these photos if not for him. I didn’t even know he was up top shooting away!
I floated around on my back and tread water for a good thirty minutes or so. It was so refreshing and I never knew water this cold existed in Jamaica. It reminded me of glacier water from our mountains back home in Canada but of course I know it wasn’t THAT cold! Once we had our fill of the large falls and pool we began the hike back down. TIP: The hike is easier barefoot than with flip-flops. Once we reached back to the smaller falls and pool I jumped in again to cool off. There was another cool little cave down in this pool that we swam under and hung out on some rocks for a little while.
The two men who were at the falls this day are not employed by the place but they act as guides and assistants (for when you can’t manage the current LOL) and for the sometimes slippery hiking path. If you get up to Blue Hole and they assist you in any way, please make sure you leave them a tip. It’s how they make a living.