As a major Caribbean tourist attraction, Dunn’s River Falls attracts thousands of visitors every year. Dunn’s River Falls is one of Jamaica’s national treasures, a famous waterfall just a stone’s throw away from the city center of Ocho Rios. The natural beauty and uniqueness of this famous Jamaican waterfall welcome first-timers and entice back frequent visitors as it is one of the most stunning spots on this island. There is so much to know before heading to Dunn’s River Falls and this blog is packed with information including what to do, what to take, and what you can expect from a visit to the falls. Our guide is full of hints, tips, and everything you need to know to make your experience the best it can be.
What is Dunn’s River Falls?
Dunn’s River Falls is a natural waterfall flowing from the Dunn’s River in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The natural structure forms a staircase allowing visitors to climb up to the summit with relaxation lagoons along the way. While the waterfall is natural, there are several man-made improvements for safety reasons, which have truly enhanced the experience. Both locals and tourists visit the falls as a place of relaxation and to escape the heat of the Jamaican sun while the climb offers a spot of adventure en route.
What is the History of Dunn’s River Falls?
The magnificent Dunn’s River Falls is believed to be the site of Las Chorreras and at the base of the falls lies a commemorative plaque from the Jamaican Historical Society dedicated to the battle. The plaque states: Near this spot was fought the battle of Las Chorreras in 1657 when the English defeated the Spanish expeditionary force from Cuba. After the Spanish defeat, the area that includes Dunn’s River became known as Ocho Rios. Ocho Rios is a name that got lost in translation as it means eight rivers but the area is home to only four.
Where is Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica?
Dunn’s River Falls is located on the north coast of Jamaica in the famous resort town of Ocho Rios within the parish of Saint Ann. The falls are located less than 3 miles from the resort center of the port town. The easier option to reach the falls from the center of Ocho Rios is to take a taxi with a journey time of approximately five minutes. The Dunn’s River Falls are located close to the sea with the river flowing straight into the Caribbean Sea.
How far is Dunn’s River Falls From Montego Bay?
Dunn’s River Falls is located approximately 60 miles away from Montego Bay. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes dependent on the method of transportation, taking you along the northern coastline between the city and Ocho Rios. The city of Montego Bay is well connected by public transport to Ocho Rios with the falls just a short taxi ride upon arrival in the town.
How far is Dunn’s River Falls From Negril?
The Dunn’s River Falls are located on the north side of the island, and Negril is on the west end of the island with a 107-mile distance between them. The journey time to reach Ocho Rios is approximately 3 hours.
How High and Deep is Dunn’s River Falls?
Dunn’s River Falls has a length of 600 feet and stands at a height of 180 feet. The falls run from Dunn’s River and into the Caribbean Sea. The depth of Dunn’s River Falls is dependent on the time of year. The falls themselves make up a natural staircase with relatively no depth but there are also several small lagoons on the way down. The base of the waterfall is the deepest point reaching approximately hip height on adults meaning that most visitors do not require any safety equipment but caution should be taken with children and inexperienced swimmers.
What are the Weather and Conditions Like at Dunn’s River Falls?
At home in Jamaica, Dunn’s River Falls experiences tropical weather conditions and temperatures. The island of Jamaica has relatively consistent temperatures all year-round ranging between approximately 80-90°F with January the coldest month and July the hottest. The area has high levels of sunshine, however, the waterfall is often well shaded by the surrounding greenery. The waters are pretty consistent year-round with a reasonably cold temperature which is cool and refreshing in peak heat.
What can I Expect From Dunn’s River Falls?
At Dunn’s River Falls, you will find the options of both a wet and a dry climb. The dry climb is the best option if you want to avoid getting wet as the walking trail is alongside the falls. The dry climb is relatively safe and handrails are located on the route should you need them. Meanwhile, the wet climb, as you would expect, takes you directly through the falls and is the only way to reach the peak. The rocks can be slippery so caution needs to be taken and climbing the falls is not recommended without a tour guide.
During your climb up the falls, you will find several lagoons allowing you to stop for a break and enjoy some relaxation. As the lagoons are within the waterfall, the flowing water will wash over you providing refreshment from the Jamaican heat.
Dunn’s River Falls is also home to The Central Gardens with a small waterpark for the little ones to enjoy. There are also food kiosks, a lush garden with picnic areas, and there are lockers available for rent to safely store your belongings. You can check out the merchandise shop and the craft market that sells some unique and quirky souvenirs. For those who prefer not to climb the falls, you can chill at the beach which has a beautiful view of the waterfall, which is absolutely great for pictures!
Entrance Fee for Dunn’s River Falls?
The cost for admission direct at Dunn’s River Falls is
- Non-resident Price –
- $25USD for adults (aged 13 and older)
- $17USD for children (aged 4 to 12 years)
- Local Resident Price –
- $1000JMD* for adults (aged 13 and older)
- $500JMD* for children (aged 4 to 12 years)
*Prices are in Jamaican Dollars (JMD)
The price includes admission to the falls for the day and the licensed guide who will accompany you. This price does not include the cost of any transportation to and from your resort or your port of call. For a more all-inclusive experience, you will need to book your tour with a reputable tour company.
Please note, the price range will differ depending on the following factors –
- Hotel or port pickup location (Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Falmouth, Negril, etc.).
The closer your hotel or port of call is to the attraction the cheaper the price will be in most instances. In this case, Dunn’s River Falls is located in Ocho Rios, so guests staying in the Ocho Rios, or nearby Runaway Bay will most likely be offered a cheaper price than a guest staying in Montego Bay or Negril who is booking a Dunn’s River Falls Tour.
- Type of transportation selected (private transfer or shared coach).
Shared transfers mean that you will be traveling with a larger group, generally on a coach bus, and the transfer may include several pick-ups from different hotels/stops/ports. The price of a shared tour is cheaper than a private transfer but transfer times may take longer.
Meanwhile, private transfers include a dedicated tour bus and tour guide for your party alone. Private transfers mean you will be collected from your pick-up point and travel directly to the attraction location. Please factor in additional costs for a private transfer. Different tour companies provide different options so do your research to find the best deal and the tour suitable for your party. Ensure that you enquire about what is included in the price to ensure there are no hidden additional costs.
Super Travel Tip – For the best all-inclusive experience, we recommend booking your Dunn’s River Falls experience with Jamaica Super Tours, the price quoted is inclusive of round-trip transportation, entrance fee to the falls site, and the falls experience.
What is Included in the Dunn’s River Falls Tour?
The Dunn’s River Falls tour includes the following:
- Entrance fee to Dunn’s River Falls
- On-site falls guide
- Access to the beach
- Free time to explore The Central Gardens including souvenir shopping, food kiosks, and a small waterpark for the kiddies.
How Long is the Dunn’s River Falls Tour?
If you are booked with a tour company, they usually allow around 4 hours for the guest to climb the falls and explore the entire park. However, climbing the falls itself can take anywhere from 35 minutes to one hour and 30 minutes depending on your pace. If you are up to the challenge you can climb the falls again. And, if you get tired at any point during the trek, just look around for the nearest exit point along the way up the falls where you can bow out respectfully.
Super Travel Tip – As Jamaica’s number one attraction, Dunn’s River Falls can get busy. We recommend checking the local cruise port schedules and avoiding days with cruise ship arrivals when the falls will be exceptionally more crowded. The Dunn’s River Falls tour is available daily and some regions may offer more than one tour opportunity per day. We recommend going early in the mornings or late afternoons to avoid the midday rush.
What are the Opening Hours for Dunn’s River Falls?
Dunn’s River Falls is open 365 days a year inclusive of holidays and weather conditions. Regular hours of operation are 8:30 am to 4:00 pm (local time). The falls open earlier on cruise ship days with an opening time between 7:00 am and 4:00 pm (local time). The tour time depends on the tour company and their scheduled pick-up time from your hotel or the port and returns time.
How do I Book a Dunn’s River Falls Tour?
Booking the Dunn’s River Falls tour with Jamaica Super Tours includes return transportation pick-up directly from the hotel or port. Their transportation will take you directly to Dunn’s River Falls and also return you to your hotel following the experience.
What Should I Bring on the Dunn’s River Falls Tour?
It is recommended to wear comfortable clothing and water shoes for the Dunn’s River Falls tour including swimwear to participate in the wet climb. Consideration to bring the following items with you will enhance your experience.
- Water shoes (available to purchase or rent on site at Dunn’s River Falls)
- Change of clothes
- Camera (waterproof or waterproof casing is advised)
- Insect repellent
- Cash or credit card to buy souvenirs
What Important Information do I Need to Know for the Dunn’s River Falls Tour?
Please consider the following information when booking the Dunn’s River Falls tour.
- Tour experiences are subject to weather conditions. The falls are usually open regardless of weather conditions but tour company policies vary.
- Water shoes are recommended for safety reasons due to slippery surfaces
- Children must be accompanied by an adult
- The Central Gardens offers souvenir shops and food kiosks. Cash and contactless payments are accepted
- Gratuities are not included in the tour price
- Tours are offered in English
Are There any Restrictions on the Dunn’s River Falls Tour?
The tour is not recommended for individuals who have limited mobility, heart or back problems, and other serious medical conditions. The tour does not have wheelchair accessibility and is also not recommended for individuals who have received recent treatment or surgery for mobility. The tour is also not recommended for pregnant travelers.
How do I Book the Dunn’s River Falls Tour?
Jamaica Super Tours offers an incredible Dunn’s River Falls tour inclusive of entrance and transportation with no hidden fees. All tours booked with Jamaica Super Tours have the best price guaranteed and no booking fee to save you money on the experience. Your booking is flexible as Jamaica Super Tours offers easy, no-risk cancellation should plan change. Jamaica Super Tours does all the planning so you can enjoy a worry and hassle-free vacation.
If you’re planning a trip to Jamaica or stopping off on a cruise, you do not want to miss out on visiting Dunn’s River Falls! This tour experience is perfect for all groups including couples, friends, and family with kids looking for a combination of relaxation and adventure within the heart of stunning Jamaican nature. This is a great experience to enjoy on your vacation. Make sure to bookmark this post so you have all the information, tips, and tricks to make your Jamaican adventure one to remember! If you have visited Dunn’s River Falls, let us know about your experience in the comments. We want to hear from you!