9 Things to Know About Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica

dunn's river falls tips

If you’re cruising to Jamaica, an excursion to Dunn’s River Falls should be on your list. As a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else in the Caribbean, the falls promise a fun and memorable adventure. But before you go, here are nine things to know about Dunn’s River Falls.

Dunn’s River Falls is a natural waterfall

Dunn’s River Falls is a natural waterfall fed by underground spring water. While the tiered appearance may make you think it’s man-made, this results from lime deposits in the water that continuously build up a rock in a staircase formation.

In contrast, the water continues to flow over. Dunn’s River Falls is also one of the few waterfalls in the world to flow directly into the sea!

The water is refreshing (cold!)

dunn's river falls tips

Since it’s fed by a spring, the water at the falls is cold. Don’t worry. You get used to it quickly. Plus, the cool water is refreshing as you sweat while climbing. Even with the chilly 72-degree water, it remains Jamaica’s most popular tourist attraction.

Wear water shoes

Sneakers won’t cut it here; they’ll just get weighed down with water and trip you up. You absolutely must wear water shoes.

If you don’t wear your own, you’ll need to rent some at the falls for $5. I bought my pair for $5 at Walmart before my cruise, so now I have a pair that’ll come in handy on other excursions during future vacations.

You climb Dunn’s River Falls as a group

dunn's river falls tips

You climb the falls in a small group with your guide, and everyone holds each other’s hands in a chain as support as you climb.

I groaned when I first learned this but was thankful for it once I began climbing. There were some places where the rock was slippery, or the water was rushing over my feet so forcefully that I felt I might slip, and it was oddly comforting to have some helping hands.

They scrape the algae

To ensure the rocks aren’t too slippery, Jamaican workers at Dunn’s River Falls must scrape the algae off the rocks. This is for your safety, and your guide will let you know before you start your climb to avoid any black rock.

There are lagoons

The falls cascade into the sea like a staircase, with shallow lagoons between each ascent. That means the lagoons give you a short break between each climb, which the guides like to use for photo opportunities.

Bring cash for items

Buying things in Jamaica

You’ll want to bring cash and plenty of it.

Your guide will deserve a tip at the end, and there will also be a photographer who will follow your group along the climb, taking photos and videos. (Even better, bring your waterproof camera to save from having to buy the excursion pictures.) There are lockers on-site to store your wallet and items while you climb.

There’s an emergency exit

If you don’t want to or cannot climb the falls, a staircase has been built into the land next to the falls so that you can follow along while others climb.

There are also a few places where the stairs will open up to a lagoon, so look out for these if you get tired during the climb and would like to finish the rest by stairs. This also makes the falls more kid-friendly, as sometimes the climb can be difficult for little ones.

There may be spiders and crabs

Dunn's river falls cruise excursion

The falls are located within the Jamaican rainforest, and all the critters come with that. In addition to watching your step while climbing, you must also mind your head – as you may find yourself frighteningly close to the low-lying webs of some very colorful, long-legged, creepy spiders.

Or, lurking in the rocks, you could come across a little crab. But don’t worry, they are more afraid of you than you are of them!

READ: Dunn’s River Falls Excursion Review in Jamaica

dunn's river falls tips

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