History of Reach Falls
Said to be discovered by runaway slaves from St. Thomas, Reach Falls is natures sanctuary, boasting 23 species of ferns, a variety of birds including the yellow and black billed parrot, marine life and beautiful natural pools that settle as the river flows downwards between each falls.
How to get there
Reach Falls is a hidden gem in the Montane Forrest of Portland in Jamaica. The area feels a very spiritual place tucked away in the hills of the John Crow Mountain range which hosts a great variety of flora and fauna. This is one of the more majestic destinations in Jamaica not common to other similar destinations on the island. It is quite long drive to get there though, about 100 miles from Montego Bay which takes about 4 hours. And despite being about 30 miles from Kingston, the winding narrow roads to get there means it is still a two and a half hour drive.
Be sure to leave out early so you can get there early. That way you can spend a few hours before having to make the trip back. This is also a good way to avoid the crowds. But don’t be surprised if you go there and get the place for yourself. It is not a popular destination among tourists because of its location and the only time a lot of locals visit is on public holidays.
There are a number of ways for you to get there. There are tours that you can book online that takes you elsewhere on the island as well and then back to your hotel. To travel at your pace we advise hiring a car and driving there from Kingston. If you are visiting from overseas then we advise hiring a local driver as well as they are more familiar with the local areas and roads.
Before you go
Reach falls is open from Wednesdays to Sundays from 8:30am to 4:30pm. You will need your camera, water shoes, swim wear and cash/credit card to pay entry fees. the entry fee is USD$5 for children 12 and under. Over 12 is USD$10.
Where to eat near Reach Falls
While Reach falls does have snack bar, the parish of Portland is a bit more rural than other places. That means while there are good places to eat, they are usually a good distance from each other. The closest spot by Reach Falls is the Portland Cliff Hanger restaurant. Depending on the direction you are coming from you can also get food at Bush Bar or Woody’s Low Bridge Place.
You are permitted to bring food to Reach Falls so feel free to buy all you need and take with you.
Features and Amenities
Again, one of the reasons we love this location is how much it brings you in touch with nature. And if you are an outdoors person then Reach Falls is definitely for you. Despite being taken over by the government, they have still managed to maintain the feeling of authenticity with not too much changes being made to the original setting.
The destinations consists of beautiful falls with settling pools of various depths. You can find areas to swim for the kids as well as deeper parts where you can even jump off the falls. Behind the main water fall you can also find a small cave. The water is crystal clear and you can see all the stones and small fishes swimming about with you. A tour guide is also available to show you around.
The facility is now equipped with clean bathrooms, changing rooms and gift shops. If you haven’t yet had river shoes then don’t worry about it as they sell those too. As mentioned before there is a small snack bar that sometimes sells Jerked Chicken as well.
More Photos of Reach Falls
To learn more about Portland Jamaica be sure to check out our Portland Travel Guide. There you will learn about other destinations in the parish. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments below!