Climb up Caribbean waterfalls and swim in their cool pools
In this Caribbean Waterfalls page you will discover there are plenty of adventures and activities in and around them, but bear in mind that you might have quite a hike to reach them. If you like serious hiking then you will discover some real gems of Caribbean waterfalls – you’ll need a guide though, usually worth every dollar. It is worth noting that waterfalls within easy reach of cruise ship terminals will get crowded. Excursions to waterfalls from Caribbean cruise ships are popular so, if you are not taking a cruise, choose a day when cruise ships are not in port, or a time during the day to avoid the Caribbean waterfalls tours organised by the cruise line.
Some of the best Caribbean waterfalls to explore
In Cuba take a dip in the swimming holes at Banos del San Juan in Havana where a series of cascades fall into natural pools over terraced rocks – Las Terrazas.
There are quite a few impressive waterfalls in Belize in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve where you’ll enjoy great views and be able to swim in a collection of natural pools. In the Reserve are Butterfly Falls, an impressive 80ft cascade, where – as you would expect – you’ll be accompanied by butterflies. The Five Sister Falls can be reached by taking a tram (hydro-powered) or via some steep steps – it’s a picturesque spot when you get there. Accessing the Big Rock Falls in the Reserve is not so easy… you’ll need a horse, mountain bike or off-road vehicle, and do a bit of climbing to get to the base. Well worth the journey as the falls are spectacular – 150ft high. You can also drive to the highest waterfall in Belize, and in Central America in fact, at 1600ft high – the spectacular Hidden Valley Falls – aptly named, as when viewed from the lookout station they virtually fall and disappear into the lush rainforest. In the Toledo area you can drive to the Rio Blanco National Park to see a series of cascades. There is a handy stone ledge too from where you can jump into a deep pool. Enjoy birdwatching while you there or a stroll alongside the river.
Costa Rica waterfalls
In Costa Rica you’ll find some amazing waterfalls In Costa Rica. Near the Arenal Volcano in the Alajuela Province, you can drive to the La Fortuna Waterfalls, around 230ft high, reached by tackling steps carved into the hill. You can take a tour to the Volio Waterfalls in the Limon Province of Costa Rica – there’s a bit of a hike to reach them though, but you can chill out in the big pool at the base of the falls when you get there. The highest waterfall, at 300ft, in Costa Rica is the Catarata Del Toro which cascades into a crater. There are walking trails through the rainforest and there is also a rappelling opportunity. The Nauyaca Waterfalls are located on the South Pacific side of Costa Rica, an area known for its adventure ecotourism. Just a short drive from Grenada’s capital city you will discover the Annandale Falls where you can swim in the pool at the base. Other waterfalls, but which need a bit of a hike to reach them, are Conford Falls, Mount Carmel and also the Seven Sisters Waterfalls. Taking a guide is recommended.
The Caribbean waterfalls in Dominica are many – the Trafalgar Falls on the fringe of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park are spectacular. Check out the Discover Dominica Authority video below to see all the waterfalls you can visit on the island.
… and don’t miss more Caribbean waterfalls information below the video…
Dominica waterfalls video & Victoria Falls
Waterfalls in the Dominican Republic
Around Jarabacoa, in the Cordillera Central Mountains, you’ll find three waterfalls – the spectacular Jimenoa Waterfalls (Salto Jimenoa Uno) are the most popular, they fall 196ft. You can swim in the pool at the base, but it’s pretty cold. You’ll need to hike the trail to Salto Jimenoa Dos which also has a pool, be prepared to cross suspension bridges. El Salto de Baiguate are harder to get to as they are located in a canyon.
There are six waterfalls in Guadeloupe, which includes a set of three falls located within 4 miles of Central Saint Claude in the Guadeloupe National Park – these are the Carbet Falls, or the Chutes du Garbet. The other falls are the Cascade aux Ecrevisses, Le Saut Acomat, and the Moreau Falls. The Chutes du Garbet are a popular tourist attraction and are located on La Soufriere lower slopes. The first waterfall drops over 410ft (need to hike a steep and long trail to reach), the second (easy to reach) plunges 360ft, and the third drops 66ft – it carries the most water but is not easy to access, you’ll need a guide and be fit to hike to this one.
Caribbean waterfalls in Jamaica
There are a number of waterfalls in Jamaica – Mahoe Falls (Ocho Rios), Somerset Falls and Reach Falls (Portland Parish), Tacky Falls (St Mary), Mayfield Falls (Hanover) – but the most popular are the Dunns River Falls in Ocho Rios and the YS Falls in St Elizabeth Parish. You will be able to climb the impressive shaded Dunn’s River Falls with the help of a guide, while at the YS Falls you can have fun on a ziplining course – one of the zip lines runs down right above the river.
Caribbean waterfalls in Martinique
There’s a very touristy waterfall – Saut de Gendarme – easy to visit and, at the other end of the scale, La Fontaine de Didier which takes two hours of hard hiking to reach. Starting point is near Fort-de-France – you’ll need a torch as there is a long tunnel to go through.
Puerto Rico Caribbean waterfalls
There is a beautiful waterfall in El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto Rico called the Mina Falls. You’ll need to hike (less than a mile) to reach this popular 35ft waterfall where you can chill out (literally!) in the pool at the base. The Gozalandia Waterfalls (privately owned, parking fee applicable) are popular, especially at weekends, although finding them is not easy. But it will be worth it when you get there so enjoy the fauna and flora. Once you get there you can opt for a muddy route down steps or take the cemented pathway.
The best waterfalls in St Lucia
With an abundance of rivers in St Lucia you will find several waterfalls, some off-the-beaten track and some very touristy. The waterfalls in the Diamond Botanical Gardens are worth visiting, walking through the botanical gardens to reach them is enjoyable. As the water in the waterfalls originates from Sulphur Springs (the nearly volcano, a tourist attraction) it is warm and flows down 50ft into a small shallow pool at its base (not for swimming). Other popular falls are the Toraille Waterfalls (in the Fond St Jacques rainforest) at around 50ft, where you can swim in the pool at the base. The Piton Waterfalls, found near Soufriere, drop around 30ft – again you can bathe in the warm water. Sault Falls is located on St Lucia’s each coast (Dennery) – it’s usually fairly quiet here. There’s also a rainforest ziplining tour available nearby if you want to get an additional adrenalin kick. The Latille Waterfall is located in lush gardens – the cascade falls around 20ft and there are a number of pools in which to bathe.
Caribbean waterfalls in Tobago
With a guide, visit the Argyle Waterfalls outside Roxborough on the island of Tobago. Make sure the guide is an official one before paying. The Argyle Waterfalls are the highest on the island – they cascade down from a height of 175ft – and are reached after a 20 minute walk from the car park. You can also go swimming in the deep pools at the base of the falls.
Other Caribbean waterfalls
Images on this Caribbean Waterfalls page are copyright of www.linda-jackson.co.uk, Discover Dominica Authority (video, Victoria Falls), The Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board