This Caribbean Destination Is A Paradise Of Hidden Swimming Holes, Caves, & Waterfalls

Colorful, full of local flavor, and ready to sweep you off your flip-flop-clad feet — welcome to Jamaica! Tucked away in the Caribbean — and a quick two-hour flight from Miami — this popular island shines for its vibrant culture and breathtaking landscapes. However, in between the hustle and bustle of Kingston, the sandy beaches of Montego Bay, and the laid-back atmosphere of Negril, there's a hidden gem bursting with charm and untouched natural beauty that's perfect for a thrilling day out when you visit Jamaica: Reach Falls.

Located on the eastern coast of the island — roughly 23 miles from the historic coastal town of Port Antonio — Reach Falls beckons travelers with its crystal-clear natural pools, lush jungle landscapes, and cascading waterfalls that travel down from the island's John Crow Mountains. Known as one of the most epic waterfalls in Jamaica, Reach Falls is the perfect getaway for travelers — from solo adventurers to couples and even fun-seeking families — looking to veer off the beaten path. Put simply, it's one of the best places to add to your itinerary when planning a Caribbean vacation.

Chasing waterfalls in Jamaica

Reach Falls offers a serene escape from Jamaica's typically buzzing streets and beaches — and, luckily, the falls have plenty to offer. First, there's the star of the show: the waterfall itself. Standing 33 feet tall, the cascade forms into a large emerald-green pool, a refreshing reward after your walk there. Plus, equipped with a series of picnic tables near the base, you can enjoy a quick snack — without getting too wet — before trekking on to explore the rest of the area.

From there, it's time to venture to the Rabbit Hole, an underground cave pool. Be warned that getting to the swimming hole isn't for the faint of heart: you'll have to jump into the cave to reach it and then swim through an underwater tunnel to exit it. If you'd rather take it a little easier, Reach Falls also has plenty of natural jacuzzis dotted around that don't require a literal jump into the unknown. One of the most popular spots? The heart-shaped jacuzzi with flowing waters that double as a massager.

As for wildlife, the walkthrough Reach Fall's thick and verdant landscape is an adventure of its own. Home to native trees and more than 23 species of ferns, it's a hub of biodiversity. Make sure you also keep your eyes peeled toward the sky for a glimpse at the black-billed and yellow-billed parrots — both of which are endemic to the island.

Other tips for visiting Reach Falls

The easiest way to visit Reach Falls is by linking up with a local tour company that can handle all the logistics for you. Considering that the falls are relatively out of the way, a tour guide will ensure you make the most of your experience and see everything the falls and their surrounding natural area offer. When planning your visit, keep in mind that Reach Falls is only open from Wednesday to Sunday, starting from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There's also a small admission fee to access the falls: $5 for children under 12 and $10 for visitors 12 and over.

As for what to bring along, pack your necessities — this includes your swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, an extra set of dry clothes, and even some mosquito repellent. Additionally, another good-to-have item is a pair of water-resistant shoes or sandals. The rocks can get very slippery when wet, so wear water shoes, which might save you from a potential spill and walking barefoot along the path. Lastly, although there are food and drink stands inside, it's always best to come prepared with snacks and water if the stands aren't open when you get there.