Once you’ve been to one of the Caribbean’s refreshing waterfalls, chances are you’ll be hooked. If on the other hand you’ve never been, and you’ve never seen these majestic waterfalls in real life, now’s the perfect time to explore.
The best way to start chasing these beauties is without a doubt by taking a fun-filled vacation in Jamaica. Five out of the seven best waterfalls in the Caribbean can be found on this tropical island country. Other amazing islands with great waterfall attractions include Dominica, Grenada and Puerto Rico.
Have a look for yourself!
Nature lovers will enjoy a trip to the Blue Hole in Ocho Rios which often makes all the way to the top of the list of fun things to do in Jamaica. The falls at the Blue Hole are around 20ft tall, and when you get there you’ll likely marvel at the mesmerizing flow of the water into the Blue Hole. So beautifully turquoise is the swimming hole at this location that you’ll hardly be able to resist the urge to climb the falls and jump in. As for the rope swing, let your inner Tarzan free!
Good to know: Admission to the Blue Hole is USD$20. Once you get in you’ll have access to all the amenities. There are lockers and bathrooms on-site as well. Some of the best resorts located nearby include Sandals Ochi, Sandals Royal Plantation (both adults-only) and Beaches Ocho Rios (family friendly).
Picture: Sandals Ochi offers a tranquil and relaxing experience during the day. At night, the resort truly comes alive! You'll enjoy 11 bars — including the Caribbean's first speakeasy — and 16 totally on-trend restaurants at this lush, coneveniently located property.
Considered the most visited attraction of Jamaica, there are plenty of reasons to visit Dunn’s River Falls. This waterfall is 180 ft high, about 600 ft long and impressive to witness. Dunn’s River Falls is extremely popular so there’s usually a good crowd there.
While at Dunn’s River Falls you’ll be able to do a wet climb (through the falls) or a dry climb alongside the falls to make your way to the top. The wet climb is the only way to get to the summit, so if you’re interested in doing that, bring along your swimwear or other quick dry clothing. Wear water shoes or anti-slip sneakers as well.
Aside from hiking, bathing in the falls and climbing the falls, other things you’ll be able to do at Dunn’s River Falls include exploring the tropical garden and waterpark for kids. You can also purchase souvenirs, enjoy local food and relax on Dunn's River Falls Beach.
Good to know: Climbing Dunn’s River Falls without a guide is not permitted.
Location: Dominican Republic
27 Charcos consists of a series of waterfalls that descend into 27 cool and clean natural pools. These waterfalls are located in the Northern Corridor Mountain Range about one hour from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. As this is a great adventure site, 27 Charcos are a must-see for travellers looking to spend time in a beautiful and peaceful natural environment.
When you get to 27 Charcos, after paying the entrance fee you’ll be able to explore with a local community tour guide. It is possible to climb to the top of the falls and also to jump into some of the pools at this location. If your goal is to see all 27 waterfalls, be aware that this can be a challenge. It is only advised that the most physically fit attempt to do so. Most of the time, the guides here will offer to take you to the first 7 falls, which is an incredible experience in itself.
If you’re on a waterfall expedition in Jamaica, Reach Falls is one of the locations you’ll probably want to see. The main falls at this secluded location in the Montane Forest near Port Antonio is about 25 ft tall and it is striking to see, particularly as the waterfall itself is quite wide.
Reach Falls is said to have first been discovered by runaway slaves. It has since evolved into quite the popular tourist attraction. There are often lots of exotic birds at this location including parrots which you might spot during a visit. In terms of swimming, the natural pool beneath the falls is clear, cool, large and very accommodating. If you decide to get into the water you’ll even be able to get behind the falls and into small, hidden caves near the base of the falls. The water at this location gets quite deep, so life jackets are recommended for anyone who cannot swim.
Expert tip: The rocks tend to be slippery at this location and the currents can be strong as well. Proceed with caution.
Mayfield Falls is on the west end of Jamaica and it is easily accessible from towns like Negril and Montego Bay. There’s a USD$20 entrance fee to get into the falls and you can rent lockers to store your stuff while there for just USD$6. A truly diverse natural attraction, at Mayfield Falls you can swim around the falls, hike to a more elevated vantage, explore underwater caves, and dip into natural jacuzzis. When you’re done exploring you can visit other nearby attractions like the Blue Hole Mineral Spring and YS Falls.
Next up in Jamaica is YS Falls, which you might even be able to visit on the same day you visit Mayfield Falls. These two attractions are close enough (about half an hour's distance) to warrant a combo tour if you can fit it in with whatever else you have on your schedule for the day.
YS Falls in a nutshell: a series of waterfalls that are incredible to look at and thrilling to dip into. Seven waterfalls are part of the YS collective and visitors love that these cascade into natural pools of varying sizes. It is possible to swim in these natural pools, and there are even specific pools for non-swimmers (more shallow) and deeper pools swimmers can enjoy. There are changing rooms and bathrooms available at YS Falls.
Hiking to a waterfall like Middleham is a sure possibility in Dominica. Wear comfortable shoes and you’ll be well set for this adventure in the south end of Dominica. Just a 20 minute drive from Roseau, the capital of Dominica, this is one of the easier waterfalls to get to on this island.
Most waterfalls provide a cold and refreshing dip, and this one isn’t any different. About 200 feet high, and slightly narrow, you’ll be able to swim in the natural pool surrounding the waterfall at Middleham. Of course, all of this will only be possible after hiking about 45 minutes each way to get to the waterfall at which point you’ll probably be overjoyed at the possibility of sinking into a cool, refreshing and clean body of water.
Good to know: The waterfall hike to Middleham can be challenging in some places. Keep this in mind when planning your visit to this location. Ask questions when making your reservation if you’re not sure.
If you’re looking for a waterfall where you’ll be able to swim around freely in a beautiful, natural lagoon, then visit El Nicho in Cuba. This waterfall is inside a nature reserve known as the Gran Parque Natural Topes De Collantes. The reserve is along the Escambray Mountain Range in Cuba and it is a great place for adventure.
It will take some hiking to get to El Nicho, 1.25 miles of hiking to be precise. Prep yourself for this walk and as you go along keep in mind just how wonderful it will feel to cool off at this breathtaking waterfall which has many streams. To get into the park you’ll need to pay USD$9, and then you’re free to enjoy the amenities and the tranquil environment.
The Caribbean thing to do is grab some drinks and snacks and even pack a picnic and then head out to a waterfall to spend the day. In Grenada, one of the most beautiful waterfalls you can visit is Seven Sisters Falls. This is a series of 7 waterfalls in Grand Etang National Park that are set a short distance away from each other. To get to the falls you’ll have to be willing to hike about 45 minutes each way, but the experience will for sure be worth it. Seven Sisters Falls is about a 25 minute drive from St. George’s.
Good to know: Water shoes are recommended when visiting Seven Sisters Falls. You’ll need a swimsuit as well, as part of the trek involves wading through natural pools. It’ll cost around USD$2 for entry.
Titou Gorge just might be one of the most beautiful waterfalls you’ve ever been to. At this Dominican waterfall, you’ll have opportunities to dip into natural pools and explore caves as you make your way to the main attraction. You’ll need a life jacket and it will take about 5-10 minutes to swim to the waterfall. Once you make your way into the cave at Titou Gorge, there’s actually a waterfall inside. Keep your camera close to capture all the amazing scenery.
Turtle River Falls can be found within Turtle River Falls & Gardens in Jamaica. This attraction was originally known as the Enchanted Garden. At this location you’ll find six waterfalls, tropical gardens, a bird sanctuary, and a koi pond. While at Turtle River Falls, in addition to enjoying the waterfalls you’ll be able to interact with the birds (including an African Macaw parrot and a peacock) and even feed the fishes. There’s an entrance fee of about USD$20 to get into the area, but once you do you’ll be able to make full use of all the amenities.
Location: Saint Vincent
Expect serenity when you visit Dark View Falls in St. Vincent, twin waterfalls that will definitely catch your attention. These twin waterfalls are around 100 and 200 feet high, and they are located in Chateaubelair.
It’ll be quite the adventure to get to the falls at this location; the path to the waterfalls is a mix of dirt and concrete road, taking visitors over a bamboo bridge and up some stairs as well. You might notice that the bamboo bridge was made with bamboo from the forest where these falls are located — all these little details add to a truly amazing adventure. When you get to the falls after your rainforest walk, you’ll be more than ready to jump in and cool off!
Location: Puerto Rico
If you’re planning to visit Puerto Rico and are in search of adventure, La Mina Falls in El Yunque National Forest will be a great place to start. Getting to this waterfall involves a hike on one of two popular trails: La Mina Trail or Big Tree Trail. Either one of these will get you to the kind of waterfall refreshment you’re seeking, but if you’ve got the time, definitely try both.
Salto Del Caburni or ‘Leaping Caburni’ is another wow worthy Caribbean waterfall. This waterfall is around 62ft high and is in the natural reserve known as Gran Parque Natural Topes De Collantes in Cuba. A hike to this waterfall in the Escambray Mountains in Trinidad, Cuba, takes around 1.5 hours each way, so it is one of the tougher falls to get to in this region. Much like El Limon in the Dominican Republic, it is possible to ride on horseback to the falls, or at least to the closest possible point to the falls. It’ll cost around USD$10 to get into the falls where you can enjoy a serene waterfall experience complete with a spacious lagoon for swimming.
Considered one of the wonders of the world with its pure, clear water and flowing streams, a journey into Harrison’s Cave in Barbados will include a chance to see several waterfalls as part of an all-embracing tour. The tallest waterfall at Harrison’s Cave is around 40ft, and there are many natural pools inside the cave as well.
When you get inside Harrison’s Cave, you’ll hear the rush of the streams from the waterfalls, and see several natural pools in various places. As you get up close to some of the more typical and expected cave features like stalagmites and stalactites, you’ll also learn about how they were created, and the role the water flow through this cave played in their development over time.
The beauty of Somerset Falls is what keeps it high on the list of must-visit attractions in the Caribbean. It is located in Portland, Jamaica, and when you get there you might wonder why you hadn’t heard about it sooner. Enjoy the falls, take lots of photos against the amazing Somerset backdrop, and even hop on a small boat and head up stream to get a closer look at the largest waterfall at this location!
Dominica is in a league of its own when it comes to beautiful natural attractions. One of these is Trafalgar Falls in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. At the smaller of the two falls that make up Trafalgar Falls you’ll be able to have a refreshing swim, while an exploration around the tallest waterfall can lead to rejuvenating hot springs. Trafalgar Falls is about 20 minutes from Roseau, the capital of this small island.
Guadeloupe has some of the most impressive waterfalls in the Caribbean and Carbet Falls is one of these. This is a series of three waterfalls located along the Carbet River at the southern end of Parc National De Guadeloupe. As this is the largest national park of the island accounting for 10% of the land in Guadeloupe, this for sure points to the type of experience you’re sure to have at Carbet Falls.
Waterfall number 2 is the easiest to get to at Carbet Falls; a 20 minute walk from the parking lot is about all it will take. It can take much longer to get to the other falls, 3-4 hours for the first waterfall (roundtrip) and 4-5 hours for the third, both ways. After hiking, visitors to Carbet Falls can enjoy natural pools as well.
Location: Trinidad & Tobago
Argyle Waterfall is located at Argyle Waterfalls and Nature Park in Tobago, Trinidad’s sister isle. There are several waterfalls in this park and to see them up close you’ll need to walk along a nature trail that is lined with lots of greenery, including cacao and samaan trees. Once you arrive at this nature park you’ll be able to set up a tour with one of the guides who will accompany you along the trail.
The walk to Argyle Waterfall takes around 15-20 minutes. Wear comfortable shoes for the hiking portion of this excursion. As you approach the waterfalls, you’ll see multiple streams of water rushing down from the hills into the natural pools below. There are waterfalls on various levels that you can explore via different trails. Entry to this waterfall is USD$10 per person. Bring along swimwear and water shoes if you plan on swimming.
Location: Puerto Rico
The Catarata La Coca waterfall flows down powerfully leaving all who see it in awe. This Puerto Rican gem calls out to anyone who wants to see nature in its purest and most beautiful state. This waterfall is located in the El Yunque National Forest and it is less than an hour away from San Juan. Catarata La Coca stands out for its easy access — the falls are a short walk from the roadside. Once you get there, you can soak in the scenery and later dip into the natural pool at this location. Be prepared to get splashed as the water pummels from the 85 ft waterfall into the natural pool below.
Location: Saint Lucia
Your journey to finding the best waterfalls in Saint Lucia can begin at the Diamond Falls & Botanical Gardens, Waterfall and Hot Springs in Soufriere. This is one of St. Lucia’s most attractive landmarks and here you’ll find a garden oasis complete with a beautiful waterfall. While in Saint Lucia, if you’re searching for somewhere to relax amid lush, tropical vegetation and even have a chance to soak in hot mineral springs, then the Diamond Falls & Botanical Gardens might be just right for you.
Location: Dominican Republic
There are many ways to get to El Limon Falls in the Dominican Republic, including on horseback. This 170ft waterfall is in the Samana province of the Dominican Republic. Other than a horse ride, you can also get to this location by hiking around 1.2 miles or get on a tour truck which goes down one of many trails. Once you get to the waterfall, you’ll be able to swim in the natural lagoon and even cliff jump if you’re brave enough. Ask for guidance on where to jump before cliff jumping in order to avoid rocks.
Spices aren’t the only thing Grenada is known for. This island has a number of amazing natural attractions including stunning waterfalls. While vacationing on this tropical isle, cool off at the 65ft high Concord Falls for a dose of true rejuvenation.
At Concord Falls you can jump into the natural pool, admire the amazing views, check out the gift shop, or even visit the in-house monkey. Sometimes cliff jumpers use this location, but it is not recommended to do so without a guide. Overall, Concord Falls can be fun for the entire family, and a great spot to take photos as well.
Location: Saint Lucia
Toraille Waterfall bursts powerfully through the greenery of the forest on Saint Lucia’s southeastern side with clear intention. As will be immediately apparent once you get there, this waterfall, as with many others of the Caribbean, exists almost solely to be a source of rejuvenation. Whether to refresh your mind or body, visiting this 26ft waterfall and natural pool will be one of your most unforgettable vacation moments. Toraille Waterfall is just over an hour’s drive from Castries, Saint Lucia. It’ll cost USD$3 per person to get in, and once you do, you’ll have access to all the facilities including changing rooms.
Guadeloupe has some pretty impressive waterfalls. One of these is Cascade Aux Écrevisses which is inside Parc National De Guadeloupe. This waterfall is around an hour’s drive from Basse-Terre, the capital of Guadeloupe. To get to the falls, you’ll need to go to the northern end of the national park.
Cascade Aux Écrevisses is great in terms of accessibility — a 5 minute walk from the parking lot will get you to the falls. At Cascade Aux Écrevisses you can swim in the lagoon below the falls and even stand under the falls for a refreshing natural massage.
Grenada’s Annandale Falls are about 15 minutes from the capital St. Georges. This waterfall is around 30ft high and a trip here can make for a fun natural excursion. The vibrant greenery and the opportunity to hike and explore several nature trails at this location is part of the appeal here as is the natural grotto that the waterfall pours into. The peaceful ambiance and raw beauty of this location will draw you in for an admission cost of just USD$2 per person.
Well, there you have it. The Caribbean’s best waterfalls. Of all of these options, one island that stands out above the rest in terms of the number of waterfalls you can find and the size of them as well is Jamaica. If this will be your first Caribbean waterfall experience, this island will be a great place to start. Not only will you be able to have amazing and varied waterfall experience here, you’ll also be able to stay in one of the most amazing all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica which can mean easy access to waterfalls and other attractions on this island.
Whichever island you choose, the Caribbean is an amazing place to explore and see tropical nature at its very best.