Dunns River Falls Facts: What You Need To Know Before Going There!

Oluniyi Akande
Nov 02, 2023 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Apr 12, 2022
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Dunns River falls is one of the most popular destinations in Jamaica.

Dunn’s River Falls is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Jamaica and the national treasure of the Caribbean country.

Dunn’s River Falls empties itself into the Caribbean Sea and its end is an attractive beach that has white sand. Dunn's River Falls is a natural waterfall that receives its water from subterranean springs.

While the unique look of the Dunn’s River Falls may make you assume it's man-made, it's actually the product of lime deposits in the water that builds up a rock in a staircase pattern as the water flows over it. Dunn's River Falls is also one of the world's few waterfalls that flow directly into the Caribbean Sea.

The falls descend like a wet stairway into the Caribbean, with small lagoons in between each step. The Dunn River Falls of Jamaica is one of the most beautiful spots for tourists, and a must see spot for anyone traveling in Jamaica. Continue reading to find out more Dunn River Falls facts!

The History Of Dunn's River Falls

Jamaica’s Dunn’s River Falls has quite an interesting history behind it; the Spanish used to call Dunn’s River Falls 'Las Chorreras' which translated to waterfalls or springs. The current name of the waterfall comes from the Dunn family which owned it in the 19th century.

The indigenous Arawak people are said to have occupied what is now the Saint Ann Parish region back in AD 600. The parish is believed to be the location of the earliest Arawak settlement on the island, and is also where the Dunn's River Falls are found.

The place where Christopher Columbus landed in 1494, currently known as Discovery Bay, is a little under 20 miles away from the location of Dunn's River Falls. During this period, the Spanish built their first colony which is known by the name New Sevilla, while neighboring St. Ann's Bay became the capital of Jamaica island.

The history of Jamaica's Dunn’s River Falls is intriguing. The waterfalls are claimed to be the site of the mythical Las Chorreras fight. The Las Chorreras fight took place near Dunn’s River Falls in 1657 between the forces of English and the Spanish Expeditionary Force from the Cuban region.

The conflict was over who would possess the island and ended in England's favor. Charles Pryce, who was also a British subject, was the first proprietor of the falls, then called Las Chorreras. It eventually formed part of the 276-acre Belmont Estate.

The Jamaican government acquired the Belmont site in 1972 to allow for the growth of leisure activities, lush gardens, and park facilities on the island. The Belmont property, which was originally held by John Davis, included Dunn’s River Falls.

The house on the estate was constructed in the eighteenth century. The Urban Development Corporation presently manages it the estate for the Jamaican government.

Dunn’s River Falls falls themselves are 600 ft (183 m) long. Visitors and tourists to the Dunn’s River Falls following a skilled guide can easily navigate through the difficulty of climbing, or there is an easy path up the falls on the boardwalk built beside it.

Dunns river falls is important for the tourism industry in Jamaica.

Climbing The Dunn's River Falls

Dunn’s River Falls is a must for any visit to Jamaica, a tourism hotspot! Your trip would not be complete without climbing the Dunn’s River Falls.

Climbing up the Dunn's River Falls and then relaxing in one of the several lagoons or pools located along the route of the river is the most popular pastime for visitors of the Dunn's Rivers Falls. People can even swim in the pools that are present.

Climbing Dunn's River Falls has been done by locals and visitors for so long that it's tempting to imagine the waterfall was designed to be climbed. Dunn's River Falls, is completely natural, with all of the structures, cracks, and natural pools of water generated by the current of the river.

Many visitors to Dunn’s River Falls do not know that the falls were featured in one of the James’s Bond films. The movie also included a lot of Jamaica’s popular Dunn’s River beach.

There is no particular age required to climb Dunn’s River Waterfall but is it recommended for children to be at least seven years old before climbing.

Elderly people with preexisting conditions should also take precautions before climbing Dunn’s River Waterfalls. While climbing Dunn’s River Falls, it is very important to take care of your safety as you negotiate climbing trails with rocks and flowing water that can be tricky to cross.

While you are going for the climb, it is important to bring things such as a towel, swimwear, sunscreen and an extra pair of clothes.

If you don't want to, or are unable, to climb the Dunn's River falls, there is a stairway constructed into the ground adjacent to the falls which can be used to view the falls and climb to the top.

There are a few locations along the way when the steps open up to a lagoon, these can be used by people who are tired of climbing and want to finish the rest the climb through stairs. Staircase makes the Dunn's River falls more kid-friendly, as the climb can be challenging for little children at times.

The Best Time To Visit Dunn's River Falls

The climb of Dunn’s River Falls is present in multiple different tourism bucket lists. It is very important to know the right time to climb the waterfalls.

Dunn's River Falls is located in Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica. Saint Ann Parish is located on the island's northern coast. Over one million tourists flock to the town to see the beautiful waterfall, river and beach.

The waterfall is almost 180 ft (55 m) tall and flows over natural terraces for 600 ft (182 m). Several pools and lagoons of water can be seen among the terraces.

Dunn's River Falls pours into the Caribbean Sea at the conclusion of its journey. Through the terraces and peaks, tourists watch the sunset and take in an the amazing view. There are multiple different hotels near the waterfall and beach where tourists can stay.

If you are looking to explore and visit the region of Dunn's River Falls, Wednesdays are best avoided. Wednesdays are the busiest days for cruise ships. Saturdays and Sundays are fantastic days to visit the Dunn’s River falls, but they are also popular days for local tourists.

It is recommended to climb and tackle the falls first thing in the morning in order to avoid the peak crowds at the Dunn's River Falls. The climb to Dunn's River Falls will take a person about 30 minutes to 1.5 hours to complete.

For this reason, it is recommended for tourists to get on with their climb to the top as soon as possible to avoid any kind of interruptions that might occur later in the day.

Tourism is at its peak in Jamaica during the start of winter, which is November to mid-December. This is very important to keep in mind before visiting Jamaica and Dunn’s River Falls in order to avoid huge crowds of people.

More than a million people visit Dunn’s River Falls every year. The waterfall is about 3 mi (4.8 km) away from Montego Bay.

The temperature of the water at the Dunn's River Falls is very stable throughout the year. The river water temperature is cool on wet days.

On bright sunny days, the water temperature at Dunn's River Falls is likely to be mild and pleasant rather than too cold. Do remember to pack your camera, swimming costume, towels, sunscreen, and other essentials for the trip.

Habitat And Biodiversity

The biodiversity is incredible in the country of Jamaica and the same goes for the region around the Dunn’s River Falls.

Jamaica has the fifth greatest amount of indigenous biodiversity of any island in the world and is the Caribbean's most biodiverse island. This is especially true near Dunn's River Falls.

Ferns are among the tropical vegetation that surrounds the area of Dunn's River Waterfalls, as well as crotons, palm trees, orchids and bamboo. Forests, mountains, and watersheds abound in the region. The watersheds around the park are among the least damaged in the country.

Over 3350 vascular plant species, 500 fern species, 115 butterfly species, and 254 bird species are found in Jamaica and more than 30 of these bird species are endemic to the island of Jamaica.

Threats And Conservation

There are many different threats to the Dunn’s River Waterfalls and to the Caribbean Island of Jamaica itself.

Deforestation, invasive species, development, population increase, habitat fragmentation, and climate change are all major threats to Jamaica's natural habitats, which include its popular tourist destinations such as Dunn's River Waterfalls.

All of these things contribute to habitat destruction and habitat loss on the island. These variables cause such significant changes in local flora and fauna ecosystems that they are unable to adjust to the changes and hence, they disappear from existence because of their inability to survive in these conditions.

In other cases, the plants and animals are being driven into ever-smaller habitats, where their chances of survival are dwindling. The IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species already includes five mammals, ten birds, five reptiles, and six amphibians from the island of Jamaica.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

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Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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