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An Easy Jamaica Day Trip With Kids


Portland Parish is easily my favorite part of Jamaica. Away from the busy tourist areas of the North coast, Portie, as it’s affectionately known to Jamaicans, is always lush and tranquil. The unspoiled natural beauty takes your breath away. Often on a Sunday we pack up the boys, a 7YO and 1YO, and take a drive around Portie.

Here’s how I recommend you spend the day.

a day trip in Jamaica can lead to waterfallsFirst stop, Somerset Falls

Most hotels in Jamaica will offer scheduled trips to Somerset Falls, near Port Antonio. It’s not as busy as Dunn’s River Falls. It’s an  impressive experience and is doable even with small children and babies. The property has a large natural pool near the entrance, a kiddie “zoo” with parrots and small animals, and a restaurant.

Families can do what we do and follow the signs through a cool, thick canopy to a small set of falls. It’s a quick walk that’s rewarded with photo-ready cascading waterfalls and a shallow pool where kids can swim and climb on the rocks. The water is cold, be warned!

The first time we visited I thought these were the falls. Then I noticed a canoe coming toward us. What’s this about? I realized there was more to see and soon learned that as picturesque as this spot was, it wasn’t really the falls. So we set out the find those falls.

The real falls

Our awesome guide was very particular in how he placed us in the canoe, I guess to make sure we didn’t capsize (good thing). Once we were settled in we were off to discover the Hidden Falls.

the wet trip to the hidden falls in Jamaica take you into a caveAfter a short and wonderfully scenic ride in the canoe we rounded a bend and saw the cave. We glided in, looked up and there they were, the hidden Somerset Falls. Water appeared to be coming from the sky through an opening in the rocks. Magnificent! I just sat for a bit and took it all in.

Baby and I stayed in the boat, but the invincible 7-year-old couldn’t wait to go swim explore, and promptly did with his Dad.

Take the wet trip

Earlier on, the guide had asked if we wanted a wet or dry trip. Holding a one-year-old baby, I wasn’t quite sure. It turns out the wet trip takes you under Somerset Falls. We opted for it and it worked out fine. But consider yourself warned: Not all babies will relish this impromptu shower!

The day trip details

Somerset Falls is off of Route A4, between Annotto Bay and Port Antonio, in Hope Bay (about two hours from Kingston). The boat ride is included in the entrance fee.

boston jerk centre in JamaicaLeave time for lunch

After you’ve dried off, continue toward Port Antonio to Boston Beach and keep an eye out for the Boston Bay Jerk Centre, known for its “Boston Jerk” pork. Vendors cook that along with chicken, fish and sausage outside in authentic jerk pits and serve them up with rice and peas. Locals and tourists flock to it.

The jerk is spicy, of course. But your dip in the waterfalls and pools should keep you cooled down all the way back to your hotel.

Planning a trip? Look for hotels and packages on *Expedia.

Pin it for later!

Jamaica has lots to offer outside its beautiful beach resorts, like the gorgeous water falls and yummy jerked pork

Renee Lindo is a mom of two boys who lives in Canada but loves spending time in Jamaica.

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8 Comments

  1. January 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm — Reply

    This waterfall is beautiful and I love that it’s family friendly. What a great tour and pretty awesome to go underneath. We’ve been to Dunn’s River Falls and found it too crowded. It’s been awhile since we’ve visited Jamaica but I still dream of the delicious jerk chicken.

  2. January 20, 2017 at 7:36 am — Reply

    This is great! Looks like it’s also a perfect place for photographers! I love the photos from inside the cave. It’s great the boat ride is included in the ticket price and your baby is a brave one for taking on the wet ride!

  3. January 14, 2017 at 11:19 pm — Reply

    What a cool excursion (literally and figuratively)! I would definitely want to take the wet tour. I have only heard of Dunn River Falls, and these falls sound much more exciting and less crowded.

  4. January 14, 2017 at 9:50 pm — Reply

    This sounds like a great experience! I am in when there are waterfalls involved. I have wanted to go to Jamaica for a long time. Even though I am from the Caribbean, I have not been to a lot of islands. #wkendtravelinspiration

  5. January 14, 2017 at 6:41 pm — Reply

    Such beautiful waterfall! I hope to be able to spend more than just a day in Jamaica. It looks really beautiful. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  6. January 14, 2017 at 4:49 pm — Reply

    I love waterfalls, so I know I would enjoy this daytrip. I need to explore Jamaica more. I only spent a day there while I was on a cruise. I did climb Dunns River Falls which was a great experience. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  7. January 14, 2017 at 10:39 am — Reply

    How neat to see both falls and go underneath it! Definitely sounds like a trip worth taking. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  8. January 14, 2017 at 3:49 am — Reply

    What a beautiful waterfall! Hope to explore more of Jamaica one day as I was only there for 6 hours in Ocho Rios while on a cruise. #wkendtravelinspiration

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