The Riverside, as it is popularly called (some say 'over river'), is a secluded, undeveloped, fun attraction in Alligator Pond, Manchester.
On the face of it, it is simply an area where the Alligator Pond River meets the sea, but for locals and visitors alike, it is a fun, family friendly place where children and adults converge to take a swim and share memorable moments.
Of course, that is creating new economic opportunities for the ingenious in the community as well. There is already a small bar, right there on the beach as well as huts where local food is prepared fresh.
Watch The Video!
Click Here to see clips of my visit to the Riverside
Funny enough, we took the longer route and went to Little Ochi first - remember that I'm coming from Montego Bay.
(Little Ochie, by the way, is the hottest little seafood restaurant on that side of the island).
But going all the way to Little Ochi presented a fun opportunity for us to venture (from the east) through the rugged terrain to get to 'The River', passing several small homes and friendly locals on a dirt/sandy track to get there.
By the way, I also learned that we could have walked on the beach from Little Ochi to get there as well. A map with direction is below.
What We Saw?
Honestly, we met up with no less than 1000 people! Yeah it was a holiday, but I never expected to see that much persons, particularly because I learned is a relatively new attraction.
And all age groups were represented!
While men (mostly) were having drinks at the little bar, the ladies strolling in bath suit around the area, kids playing in the clean, black sea sand, while the youths 'splish splash' in the river - just above where it meets the sea.
And yes, there were at least two separate beach football matches going on! You know we adore football (soccer) here right? Yup.
Of course, you'll never find a place that this in Jamaica without food; there were at least two stalls 'cooking up a storm' - from fried fish and bammy to festival and fish tea!
Of course, you'd expect me to snap some photos right? And despite that fact that it was a bit overcast and late in the evening, I did!
I also included some video clips as well so I could share with you. Here you go... enjoy! Click the PLAY button to begin.
What You Didn't See
Yeah, it's just a pitty. You didn't see...
Our journey through the dirt track.
The kids jumping off the trees into the river from the west side.
The scores of buses that descended there on Heroe's Day.
The extravagant cookout that was happening by a group of visitors, and
The alligators! No, I am just kidding!
There are no alligators here. In fact no alligators in Jamaica at all! Crocodiles are in Jamaica, but no sighting here, at least not according to the people we met.
According to Wikipedia, The name Alligator Pond is derived from the shape of the mountain range, which when viewed from the beach, has bumps which suggest an alligator's back.
What We Didn't See
I learned from Meggie - one of the small business operators there, that they regularly have canoeing up the river and down.
Unfortunately that wasn't happening when we visited. It would have been fun to row up the river in one.
Directions To The Riverside, Alligator Pond
Below is an interactive map, courtesy of Google Maps, that will direct you to Little Ochi. From there you can we directed by locals the 'The River'.
Or, simply click here and here, to browse my library of over 500 questions and answers! Chances are someone already asked (and got an answer to) your question.
About The Author
A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' - since April 2007.
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