The World Famous Dunn’s River Falls & Park is Jamaica’s marquee tourist attraction and a national treasure.
Globally, it is as well-known as reggae music and equally stimulating. A stone’s throw from Ocho Rios, one of Jamaica’s major resort centres, Dunn’s River Falls is unique.
At 960ft tall, it is a living and growing phenomenon that continuously renews itself from deposits of travertine rock; the result of calcium carbonate from the river, flowing over the falls.
The small dome-shaped cataracts found on the falls are usually associated with thermal spring activity found in limestone caves for which the area is known. This, combined with being climbable and its unencumbered flow to the sea, gives Dunn’s River Falls the distinction of being the only one of its kind in the Caribbean, if not the world.
Dunn’s River Falls has an interesting history because it is believed to be the site of the famous battle of “Las Chorreras”, fought in 1657 between the Spanish and the English for possession of the island. The Spaniards called the area “Las Chorreras”, meaning ‘the waterfalls’ or ‘springs’. The English won the battle, and under British rule “Las Chorreras” was first owned by Charles Pryce. It later became part of the 276 acre Belmont property, which was acquired by the Government of Jamaica in 1972, to provide for future development of recreational and park facilities.
This property was entrusted to the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) to be held on behalf of the people of Jamaica. It is managed by the St. Ann Development Company (SADCo), a regional subsidiary of the UDC.