Cane River Falls, Jamaica

The other day by basically just searching online for lists of waterfalls in Jamaica, I found another cool place to add to my collection of ‘easy day trips from Kingston’. Cane River falls is apparently where Bob Marley used to wash his dreadlocks, but apart from that I couldn’t find much information online, so I thought it was best to go and see it for myself.

I located the general area on Google Maps and took two buses to get there. The area is Bull Bay and it’s on the East Coast of Jamaica on the boarder of the St. Andrew and St. Thomas parishes. (Kingston is in St. Andrew).

First, (the easy part), take any bus to downtown Kingston (e.g. 44 or 46). This will drop you off at South Parade, and then you just need to walk around the small gated park thing around to North Parade where other buses leave from. From North Parade take the 97 towards Bull Bay. These buses are 100jmd each (1 US dollar) and you pay when you get on.

The difficult part is knowing when to get off the 97. You could ask people on there where to get off for Cane River, or you could try and follow where you’re going using GPS / Google Maps on your phone, or you could look out for the blue Cane River Falls sign which will appear on your left once you’ve been on the bus for about half an hour. It’s probably best to use all three methods to be honest.

Get off as near to the blue sign as you can (by pressing the red button above your head) and then go to the road that the blue sign is pointing to. As soon as you step onto that road, taxi men will ask if you need a taxi up to the falls. You’ll be quoted a variety of fares from different ones, but the real one is 100jmd per person (if you’re happy to wait for the car to fill up with other passengers, so the driver can make 500 in total, otherwise you can pay more to make it up to the 500 yourselves).

The ride up to the falls is about 15 minutes and they’ll drop you off right here:


I would suggest you take the driver’s number if you have a local phone so you can call him if you can’t find another ride back down after.

The fee to enter the falls is 200jmd, and I think it’s a fair price because it’s well maintained – there are toilets (but bring your own toilet paper) and a bar, and they keep the whole place free of litter etc. It tends to be busy (mostly with Jamaicans, not tourists) on weekends and there’s more music and life at the bar then, so if that’s what you’re looking for then great, or if not then go on a weekday. I went on a weekend (well Good Friday) but I went early in the morning so the people didn’t start to arrive until I was about to leave.

From the entrance, you just have to walk down some concrete steps through a cave for about five minutes:


And when you reach the bottom, you can see why it was Bob Marley’s chosen spot (if that’s actually true)…


The water is so refreshing and clear and it rushes down so quickly. It’s deep enough for you to swim a bit but also shallow enough for you to just sit on a rock and feel the water running past you. As will as this part, there are rocks you can climb on opposite and little pools you can sit in:


I spent quite a long time there and could have stayed even longer. I was so in love with the water that I couldn’t resist drinking some!!

I haven’t been to many waterfalls in my life, but this has to be my favourite so far. If you’re reading this and you’re going to be in Kingston any time, you should definitely go, and buy some fruit when you stop at downtown on the way there or the way back to make your day even better! By the way, there weren’t even any mosquitoes… what more could you ask for?!

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