High-angle view of Blue Hole Waterfall in Jamaica.

©Photo Spirit/Shutterstock

Blue Hole

Top choice in Ocho Rios

High on the White River, Jamaica's heavenly Blue Hole is a vision and is an undisputed highlight in Ocho Rios. To reach this popular spot, make your way up a series of magical falls (one measuring 20ft high) and blue pools surrounded by forest, with ample opportunity to swim, dive and swing off ropes 15ft in the air and into the water. There is an entry fee to enter. The Blue Hole is open from 8am to  5pm. 

Guides accompany you through the cascades on a well-marked trail (with steps and ropes where necessary for safety).

The tiny cave climb under one of the falls is safe but isn't for claustrophobes. The guides are excellent and are attentive to both kids and more senior visitors who might be uncertain on some of the climbs. For those who arrive unprepared, vendors sell jelly shoes at the entrance. There are also refreshment stands. Remember, take nothing you aren't happy to get wet.

Safety at the Blue Hole 

While no official accounts of leptospirosis have been confirmed at the Blue Hole, they have been reported. The leptospirosis bacteria can occur in any body of water and is always a concern when doing water-based adventure activities. The bacteria can enter the body through the eyes and nose or via cuts or abrasions, or by swallowing contaminated water.

Life jackets are also available for those who want to enjoy the falls but aren't strong swimmers.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ocho Rios attractions

1. Spanish Bridge

1.29 MILES

You'll need a car to reach this delightful swimming spot on the White River, 5km beyond Blue Hole on a rough road, but it's worth the adventure. The stone…

2. Yaaman Adventure Park

3.26 MILES

Formerly the more sedately named Prospect Plantation, this beautiful old hilltop great house and 405-hectare property has rebranded as an active adventure…

3. Rio Nuevo Battle Site

3.54 MILES

On the bluff west of the Rio Nuevo river mouth is this little-visited site where, in 1658, the English forces fought their decisive battle against the…

4. Bamboo Beach Club

3.55 MILES

This clean yellow-sand beach is hustler-free and popular with tourists only, due to the high admission price. Locals still call it by its old name, Reggae…

5. Jamaica Beach

3.62 MILES

Between Tower Isle and Rio Nuevo is this boat-accessible spot renowned for its dive sites offshore. The offshore reef, known as the Rio Nuevo Wall,…

6. Mahogany Beach

4.24 MILES

The small and charming Mahogany Beach is particularly popular with locals; it comes to life on weekends with loud music, smells of jerk cooking and…

7. Turtle River Park

4.38 MILES

This park is a pleasant place for a gentle stroll, with well-tended flower beds and shrubs. There are, alas, no turtles in the small stream running…

8. Clock Tower

4.39 MILES

The center of Ocho Rios is marked by this old clock tower near the market and transportation center. The streets around here are lively at any time of day…