Climbing A Waterfall:
Yes you read the title right, climbing an actual waterfall. This excursion might be for some of the more adventurous types…
Dunn’s River Falls
- Waterfall near Ocho Rios, Jamaica
- Major tourist attraction which thousands of tourists visit every year
- 180 feet/55 meters tall & 600 feet/180 meters long
- Waterfall fed by spring water and empties into the ocean
- Water flows down a natural cascade or staircase with several lagoons in between
- Makes for excellent photos and an exciting day trip!
How to Climb A Waterfall
The short answer is that you climb it slowly. Each group has a guide who first instructs you on how you will tackle the climb. They then tell everyone to hold hands or link arms. Unless you know both people holding your hands, you are going to get to know someone else awful quickly. It is important that you choose these people carefully, as when you slip or have the potential to fall, these people will be your anchor. I know this of course, because I may have wiped out a couple times.
So What’s It Like?
Well before you think I am too much of a daredevil for this, let me tell you first that anyone of any skill level can do this. There were grandparents, parents and even children climbing the waterfall. At most points in the ascent the water was very shallow and did not come up past my knees. I felt that the risk taken was very minimal as the experienced guides know all of the slippery spots and are in constant communication with the group. The groups and chains are also kept to a reasonable number of 10 or so people to make sure they can watch everyone. I felt completely safe the entire time, and I promote this experience to everyone I know.
So after completing the falls, your guide then tells you to head back to the buses by going a certain route. About 30 seconds into the route, you get the sense that something isn’t right. You might try to turn around but they say you have to keep going straight.
You are led into what I can only describe as a shanty town where locals try to haggle memorabilia or gifts with you. They can be somewhat aggressive, as someone tried to tie a bracelet onto me and then make me pay for it. The tricky part is there are all kinds of twists and turns to this merchant set up, and only one of them leads out. They want you to stay long enough to see everything they are selling, when most likely you just want to get out of there as fast as possible. Not everyone likes this kind of ‘pressure shopping,’ but remain calm and assertive if you don’t wish to purchase something. Eventually you will be safely back on the bus. Some people might be entertained by this local style of advertising, so have fun with it if you wish. Smart marketing perhaps?
Waterfalls In Your Own Backyard
Although this adventure may not be applicable on the same scale in your own backyard, I imagine there are smaller waterfalls around that you can go enjoy. Canada and the United States are home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls ever.
A word of caution, whenever playing anywhere near a waterfall or water, ensure you have proper footwear as rocks are slippery, you never venture out alone as safety in numbers is always important and you have flotation devices, just-in-case.
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