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Kwame Falls Jamaica
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kwame_falls_jamaica_ocean_view_villaKwame Falls Jamaica (Photo: Oceanview Villas)

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

I am sure you have heard of Dunn's River Falls by now, but let me introduce you to this hidden gem. Nestled within the verdant hills of St. Mary Parish in Jamaica, Kwame Falls offers an enchanting retreat for adventurers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience.

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Named after Kwame, a warrior who fought alongside Tacky in Jamaica's most successful pre-emancipation rebellion in 1760, this hidden waterfall is more than just a symbol of natural beauty but also has historical significance. Although less powerful than the close by Tacky Falls, Kwame Falls captivates locals and visitors alike with its serene ambience and picturesque surroundings.

Getting There

If you are travelling from Kingston, the journey to Kwame Falls takes you through a scenic route that includes Constant Spring, Stony Hill, and the picturesque Junction main road into St. Mary. The road is marked by lush greenery and the flowing Wag Water River. Keep an eye out for a sign directing you to Strawberry Fields Together, which marks the turnoff to Robin's Bay. From here, follow the road until you reach Bobby’s Ocean 21 Bar, the closest point accessible by vehicle.

While if you are travelling from Montego Bay, you will need to get to Ocho Rios before heading into St. Mary. The journey can be somewhat challenging, with potholes and dirt tracks to navigate, but the effort is rewarded by the unspoiled natural beauty that awaits.

The Hike

The adventure begins at Bobby’s Ocean 21 Bar, where hiring a local guide is highly recommended. The hike to Kwame Falls is a four-hour round trip that immerses you in the heart of Jamaica's lush landscape. Initially, the path is relatively straightforward, passing through a mix of dirt roads and narrow trails. As the foliage thickens, the trail becomes more challenging, but the rewards are plentiful.

Along the way, you’ll encounter several stream crossings, stunning views of the Caribbean Sea, and occasional glimpses of local wildlife, such as a lone donkey or vibrant bird species. The trail is marked by natural features like an archway of trees and a rocky beach, adding to the sense of discovery and adventure.

Navigating the Trail

For those attempting the hike without a guide, it's essential to be mindful of trail markers and forks. At one point, the trail splits towards a black sand beach – a stunning but misleading detour if you’re aiming for the falls. The correct path involves several ankle-deep river crossings and meanders through shaded and sunny areas, offering cool respite and panoramic views.

The trail's undulating terrain can be demanding, with tiresome uphill and downhill walking. Notably, the path can be muddy and slippery, especially after rain, so sturdy footwear is a must. The brick ruins from an old sugar mill add a historical touch to the journey, reminding hikers of the area's storied past.

The Falls

After about two hours of hiking, the sound of rushing water signals your proximity to Kwame Falls. The waterfall, though smaller than some others in Jamaica, cascades gracefully into a deep, refreshing pool surrounded by towering trees and vibrant foliage. The water, cool and inviting; offers a perfect spot for a rejuvenating swim after the hike.

The riverbed near the falls can be quite deep and the soil sticky, resembling clay, so caution is advised when entering the water. For non-swimmers, fallen bamboo can serve as makeshift floats, providing a safe and enjoyable way to experience the falls.

A Memorable Adventure

Kwame Falls is more than just a destination; it's a journey that offers a blend of physical challenge, historical intrigue, and natural beauty. Whether you choose to navigate the trail with a guide or venture on your own, the experience is bound to be memorable.

The hike's adventurous mix of scenic views, river crossings, and the ultimate reward of the waterfall itself makes it a must-visit for anyone seeking to explore Jamaica's hidden treasures.

For those planning to visit, it’s wise to carry plenty of water, wear appropriate hiking gear, and perhaps pack a light snack. Hiring a guide from the community not only enhances the experience, it also supports the local economy.

Adding Kwame Falls on your bucket list of places to explore while in Jamaica is easy, what may not be easy is planning your trip, especially if you are on a tight budget. My suggestion? Grab a copy of our eBook, Jamaica On A Budget, the ultimate guide to planning a cost effective and budget friendly trip to Jamaica with ease. And to top it, with our partnership with Stay22, you can book with us for some major discounts.

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References & Sources For Kwame Falls Jamaica

  1. J, J. (2020) Kwame Falls: Hidden waterfall in Jamaica forest, Simply Local life. Available at: https://simplylocal.life/kwame-falls-a-treasure-you-gotta-seek/ (Accessed: 29 May 2024).
  2. Knight, R. (2022) Kwame Falls, Saint Mary, Adventures from Elle. Available at: https://adventuresfromelle.com/2018/04/26/kwame-falls/ (Accessed: 29 May 2024).
  3. Scarlett, D. (2020) Images that will motivate you to explore Kwame Falls, Nature’s Sweet Escapes. Available at: https://www.naturessweetescapes.com/blog/kwame-falls-7emts (Accessed: 29 May 2024).
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