Grab Your Water Shoes and Let’s Climb Dunn’s River Falls!

When I climbed Dunn’s River Falls several years ago, water shoes were optional. Back then, climbers locked hands with each other, formed a human chain and scrambled up the falls, one step at a time.

Climbing Dunn's River Falls
Climbing Dunn's River Falls

Now guides lead daisy-chained groups of climbers and water shoes are strongly recommended. But that hasn’t dampened the fun. The Falls are easily navigated. Missing your footing and falling into one of the many plunge pools on the terraced steps or having water cascade over your body, especially on a hot day, is part of the fun.

Climbing Dunn's River Falls
Climbing Dunn's River Falls

The guides cheer you on, point out best places to walk, take your photo, and even hold your glasses or any item you don’t want to have fall into the water. The climb takes approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the group you’re with.

Climbing Dunn's River Falls
Climbing Dunn's River Falls

Called Las Chorreras by the Spanish, Dunn’s River Falls is located in Ocho Rios, St. Ann. From the beach below, where it empties out into the Caribbean Sea, to the top, is approximately 600 feet.

Dunn’s River Falls was featured in Dr. No. It was the location where Ursula Andress emerged from the sea.

Climbing Dunn's River Falls
Climbing Dunn's River Falls

Hours: Daily from 8:30 – 4:00 p.m., from 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on cruise ships days.

Cost: US$20 (Adults), US$12 (Children); water shoe rental is extra.

What to wear: Bathing suits, shorts, t-shirts, etc., anything that won’t sag or separate when you’re in the water and water shoes.

Guides have cameras and will gladly take your photo for a fee, so leave your camera with a friend or at the hotel. If you decide not to go into the water, you can watch the climb from the look out area.

One of the guides I spoke with said the best time to visit is right after it opens as the water is very clear and you have a better view of the rocks below. I thought it was still clear when we went – around midday – but he said it was even clearer early in the day.

After you’ve climbed the falls, you can relax in the park, take a swim or a stroll of the gardens. And if you’re looking for a place to tie the knot, Dunn’s River Falls is the perfect spot.


22 comments on “Grab Your Water Shoes and Let’s Climb Dunn’s River Falls!

  1. Looks so lovely. There’s a lot of water there. Good for the thigh muscles?

    I’ve been meaning to ask for a while – does Jamaica have any Indigenous people?

  2. Oh, does this bring back a memory! A long time ago …. My husband and I arrived there shortly before closing in the middle of a rain storm. We climbed the falls by ourselves (no guide, nobody else around) and no shoes. It actually got pretty scary from half way up to the top as we threw our backpack back and forth to each other as we climbed and the rain kept coming. I felt like Indiana Jones!

  3. Lots of water!
    We did, Narelle, but they died out once the Spanish arrived. They were the Taino Indians. According to history, they had no immunity to the diseases they brought, some didn’t want to be captured and killed themselves, etc. There are descendants in some of the other islands but none that I’m aware of in Jamaica.

  4. Looks like a lot of fun. I’d even get in that. I think it’s the natural setting of the small waterfall over the rocks that’s inviting.

  5. Now for a bit of ignorance… Do you have to know how to swim to climb this thing? It looks kinda scary. Has anyone been hurt or maimed climbing/falling from it? Just curious… 😉

  6. No, it isn’t that deep and guides are there to point out the best places to climb. I did it and you probably remember I don’t know how to swim. Next time I go back, will ask the guides if anyone’s been hurt or maimed.

  7. Wow, looks amazing. These photos make me want to pack my bags and get on a flight right now! I love getting out into the natural world and experiencing things like the waterfalls. I am writing this from south London which seems like a whole world away! (I think I need to start saving for that flight to Jamaica!). Thanks for sharing

  8. Wow that is an incredible waterfall. Looks like a ton of fun! Thanks for sharing these great photos 🙂

  9. Hey Matt, please start saving and come climb this waterfall! It’ll do you a lot of good. What’s the weather like in S. London now? You’re welcome.

  10. Actually, for the UK the weather is pretty good right now, almost like summer! We get 3 or 4 months a year of sunshine so we have to appreciate it when it comes! Maybe I should head out to Jamaica next winter to keep the sunshine in my life…

  11. Lovely, glad to hear you’re done with snow — you do get snow in South London, right?
    Yes, yes, yes, start saving and spend some of next winter in Jamaica. If you do come, let me know, I can suggest some places to see, things to do. You’ll have to check out some of the old music/musicians as well.

  12. Yeah we get snow most years. It is nice because all the transport can’t cope with the snow and we get days off work! Will let you know if I can manage a trip…would be great to get some insider knowledge on the best things to do. Thanks Marcia

  13. Hahaha, I know what you mean about those snow days. Lovely treats they are.
    Yes, let me know and I’ll definitely share some of my favorite things to do here.

  14. I’m doing this in 26 days with my mom! We are taking a bus to Ocho Rios, doing a catamaran ride to a snorkeling location and the falls. We are so excited! My step-dad will sit at the bottom with our stuff. If he feels up to he might walk up the path and watch, but there is no telling. He is kind of a party pooper and doesn’t even want to try!

  15. You and your mom will have a blast. Your step-dad might change his mind when he sees how much fun you both are having or follow you up the steps. Hope you have fun!

  16. I just know we are gonna have a blast! I’m a little nervous because I don’t have the best balance and I’m not sure if holding hands with people is going to be the best. I won’t be able to catch myself like I usually would when falling.

  17. They usually encourage you to hold hands. It might make it easier to find your footing and if you miss your step and know you’re going to fall, just let go of whoever is holding you and let yourself fall into the water. Just have fun!

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