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The Rivers in Jamaica
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jamaican riversBuff Bay River, Portland Jamaica

Mention 'rivers in Jamaica' and I get quite excited - I love 'em! I grew up only walking distance from a small one in my community and so I took every opportunity to take that route when going out.

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I enjoyed the exciting sound of the rushing waters, but my real interest was in the fishing! [although I never caught a fish]

We have over 100 rivers here in Jamaica, although many are unexplored and not navigable. The height of the mountains causes them to run swiftly in deep beds, and their courses are sometimes broken by waterfalls.

The Black River is the largest (widest) river in Jamaica. It is 73 kilometers long, and for 28 kilometers from its mouth it is navigable for small vessels.

rivers in jamaica - martha brae rafting

Today, there is an increased interest in rafting and other watersport (see sports in Jamaica) activities with our rivers, and therefore, some of the once unexplored rivers are now used for these purposes.

For the most part though, the rivers in Jamaica are still used for irrigation and domestic purposes particularly by the rural folks.

The Rio Minho is the longest river in Jamaica. It rises close to the mainland's geographic centre, flowing generally south-southwest, reaching the Caribbean Sea at Carlisle Bay in the central south coast, to the west of the island's southern-most point, Portland Point. The town of May Pen in Clarendon lies on the banks of the it.

We also have some underground rivers in the limestone region of Jamaica, for example, the Hectors and Cave Rivers.

white river jamaicaThe White River In Ocho Rios, Jamaica

It is worth noting that the parish of St. Ann, because it is mainly of limestone formation, has no rivers in its interior. When swollen by exceptional rainfall the underground reservoirs sometimes rise to the surface as lakes.

It is said that the Moneague Lake (near Moneague in St. Ann) last rose in 1970 but disappeared in 1971.

Three (3) of the most popular rivers used for Rafting in Jamaica are:

  • The Great River
  • Rio Grande
  • Martha Brae River

Here now is a list of the 22 main rivers in Jamaica (sorted alphabetically) courtesy of the National Library:

RIVERKmPARISH
Black River 53.4St. Elizabeth
Buff Bay River22.2Portland
Cabaritta River39.7Westmoreland
Dean's River17.1Westmoreland
Great River 46St. James
Hector's River5.1 Portland
Hope River19.6St. Andrew
Lucea East River12.9Hanover
Lucea West River14Hanover
Martha Brae River32.5Trelawny
Milk River 36.4Clarendon
Montego River24.1 St. James
Morant River25.9 St. Thomas
Negril River15.3Westmoreland
Plantain Garden River34.9 St. Thomas
Rio Cobre50.9St. Catherine
Rio Grande34.3Portland
Rio Minho 92.5Clarendon
Rio Nueve24St. Mary
Wag Water River36.2St. Mary
White River27.4 St. Ann
Yallahs River36.9 St. Thomas

I guess my community river (Robin's River) was too small to make this list :-( , but I am good :-)

Here are a few more pictures as well.

Jamaica River- Black River Bamboo Jamaica River Rafting Men Jamaica River Rafting2

To learn even more about the rivers in Jamaica, I recommend you read Alan Fincham's Jamaica Underground Caves, Sinkhole and Rivers. You can find the book at Amazon at this link.

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Return to Beaches in Jamaica from Rivers in Jamaica
Return to My Island Jamaica from Jamaican Rivers

References For Rivers In Jamaica

  • "PHYSICAL FEATURES", http://www.discoverjamaica.com/gleaner/discover/geography/features.htm

  • "Geography", http://www.everytingjamaican.com/jamaica/geography/

Other Pages Related To Rivers In Jamaica

Any by the way, here also are more insightful pages about Jamaica, that will interest you:

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