Despite being right beside the bustling town of Ocho Rios, Turtle river Falls and Gardens is less known than some of the other waterfall destinations in Jamaica, which means less crowds. This is somewhat puzzling as the gardens having so much to offer. From multiple swimming areas to wildlife, scenic trails, tours and a very inexpensive entry fee of USD$20.
Some might hope that the location remains discreet so that you can go there and have the place to yourself.
How to get there
There are number of ways to travel all over Jamaica. If your staying at a hotel in Ocho Rios then you could literally walk or take a public taxi to Turtle River Falls which is very close by. If you want more freedom with time and flexibility then we suggest renting a vehicle.
If you are staying at a hotel not so close by, like in Montego Bay or Kingston, then find out to see if they offer tours to Turtle River Falls. If not then you should go ahead and rent a car or hire a private private driver who knows the island.
Turtle River Falls is 5 minutes from everywhere in Ocho Rios. And about an hour from Montego Bay or Kingston.
Before you go
Pack swim wear, a camera with extra batteries, cash/credit card and water shoes. You are allowed to bring food inside as food selection as the property is lacking. Turtle River Falls is open everyday from 9am-4pm.
Features and Amenities
When you get there, you will be greeted in the receptionist area by a tour guide. You will be taken to the front desk where you pay the entrance fee. The tour guide will then take you to explore 15 acres of tropical gardens. The word often used to describe the setting is enchanting. Turtle River is comprised of 14 small waterfalls all located on the property. At the base of each waterfalls, pools settle at different depths which over a variety of swimming location from 2ft all the way up to 6ft deep.There is also a swimming pool with a swim up bar and grill.
The tour guide will proceed to show you all the other beautiful aspects of the destination including a Koi Pond, Lily Pond and a 382,329 cubic feet sized Walk-In-Aviary where you can feed birds. As you walk through the gardens you will realize that it is a perfect habitat for spiders. Don’t worry, most of them live in the bushes and trees so they won’t harm you if you don’t get too close.
Finally there are well kept eating areas, changing rooms and bathrooms on the property.
The only thing we would say the property misses is more activities, music and food. But it is not a party venue. It is what it is and that is a relaxing quiet location.
It is also a great location to keep your wedding if you don’t want a beach side or traditional wedding.
What to eat Near Turtle River Falls
Luckily, despite being such a forested destination, the location is extremely close to the coast. This means you will have 5 minutes access to all of Ocho Rios’ fast food joints, street food and high end restaurants. A selection of hot spots include Scotchie’s Jerk Centre, Evita’s Italian restaurant, Mongoose Jamaican Restaurant and Juici Patties.