Island Gully Falls – The Blue Hole, Ocho Rios – Can’t Afford To Miss While In Jamaica!

Fast Facts:

Entrance Fee Adults: $15
Kids(12 or under): $10
CASH ONLY
Credit Card Accepted No
Handicapped Accessible No
Parking Available Yes
Changing Room Yes, but rustic
Lockers Available No
Food Available No
Hours Sunday – Thursday: 9am – 5pm
Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm

Recommendations:

  1. Island Gully Falls was formerly known as Blue Hole or Irie Blue Hole. Therefore, don’t think you ended up on wrong page if you searched for Blue Hole in Jamaica.
  2. Since it’s a water related activity, don’t forget to keep your swimming trunk and towel.
  3. Don’t forget to keep your GoPro or any other water proof camera.
  4. I highly recommend water shoes because pathways are not paved, and therefore, the sand may hurt.
  5. Keep cash for the entry fee and to tip your guide. Don’t forget to tip them well as they sweat a lot to make sure you have a great time there.
  6. Life jackets are available on site and included in entry. Make use of it if not very confident of swimming in several feet deep water.
  7. Since Blue Hole is just a few kilometers away from Dunn’s River Falls, you can hire a private taxi for a day and do both the excursions in a single day.
  8. I recommend hiring a guide, especially if it’s your first time at Blue Hole. Guides will ensure your safety as they know the area very well. Romaine, our guide, was very professional and he made sure we’d a great time at Blue Hole.
  9. Though you can choose from several tour companies to visit Island Gully Falls, we went to the falls by a private taxi. We’d booked Rocky’s Taxi and they charged us $200 for a day trip to Island Gully Falls and Dunn’s River Falls from our resort in Montego Bay.

Overview:

Blue Hole, also known as Irie Blue Hole or Island Gully Falls, is located on Thatch Hill Road nearby town of Ocho Rios in Jamaica. It’s located just 20 minutes (10 kms) away from town of Ocho Rios in Jamaica and around 2 hours (110 kms) drive from Montego Bay. As per TripAdvisor, it’s the top thing to do in Jamaica. Believe me, having been there, I can bet this would be one of the most exhilarating thing you would ever do in your life!

Getting there:

I think a private taxi is the best way to get here. There are a ton of options to choose from when it comes to taxi and tours services in Jamaica. We chose Rocky’s Taxi and Tour Services after going through all 5 star rating on their TripAdvisor page. The decision turned out to be great as they were highly dependable and responsive. We used Rocky’s taxi for our airport transfers and excursions at Blue Hole, Dunn’s River Falls, Martha Brae River, Luminous Lagoon and Negril. Wayne, our driver made sure that we had an awesome time, and we really had a blast! Thanks Rocky’s Taxi and Wayne!

Our time there:

We started from our resort in Montego Bay at 09:00 AM sharp. Wayne, our driver from Rocky’s Taxi and Tour Services was there even before 09:00 AM with a big van just for me and my wife. We were thrilled to see such a big vehicle for just 2 passengers. While driving to Blue Hole at Ocho Rios, Wayne told us about the history and culture of Jamaica. On our way, Wayne stopped at Columbus Park. Columbus Park is basically an open air museum with several relics from the Spanish colonial period. There was no entrance fee, but please tip your guide as they are not being paid any regular salary. We spent good 30 mins in the park looking around artifacts and clicking photographs. The pictures turned out great too!

 

Us at the Columbus Park..

Columbus Park

 

Columbus Park

 

After around 2 hrs drive from our resort in Montego Bay, we arrived at Blue Hole in Ocho Rios. Last few kilometers on the road were rough with a lot of bumps. As soon as we arrived there, we paid $10 entry fee and the person selling the tickets informed us that Romaine will be our guide. I think you can choose not to hire a guide but that’s not the wisest thing to do because the guide will ensure your safety and make sure you have a great time there. Romaine, our guide was very friendly. A soon as we met him, he took camera from our hands and took some great shots for us during our time there. He offered us life jackets which we gladly accepted.

Blue Hole is a very rustic and unspoiled series of waterfalls that you can jump from and swim behind. You climb up a bit and then start making your way down – jumping, diving, and falling into beautiful pools all the way down. We even entered a small cave that opens in a several feet deep water.

One of the several jumps at Blue Hole..

Blue Hole

 

Blue Hole

 

Romaine, our awesome tour guide at Blue Hole. He taught me this Jamaican handshake which stands for Love, Peace and Respect. Every time!

Blue Hole

 

Entrance of the cave!

Entrance of the cave!

 

Coming out of the cave. The cave opens in several feet deep water behind the falls.

Blue Hole

 

On your face, Tarzan! 😉

Blue Hole

 

My last jump at Blue Hole. This one was scary!

Blue Hole

Where did we stay in Jamaica:

We’d visited Jamaica for 5 nights and 6 days. Before getting there, I’d planned what all attractions we would cover during this trip. In a nutshell, these are the attractions we covered:

Doctor’s Cave Beach, Montego Bay

Blue Hole/Island Gully Falls, Ocho Rios

Dunn’s River Falls, Ocho Rios

Martha Brae River, Falmouth

Glistening Water Luminous Lagoon, Falmouth

Rick’s Cafe, Negril

Seven Mile Beach, Negril

From the list above, you can figure out that we’d planned to visit 4 different locations: Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Falmouth and Negril. We were flying in and out of Montego Bay airport. Since Ocho Rios and Falmouth is closer to Montego Bay as compared to Negril, we decided to stay in Montego Bay for first 3 nights. Out of these 3 days, we’d reserved one day to cover attractions in Montego Bay, and the other two days to cover attractions in Ocho Rios and Falmouth. Both Ocho Rios and Falmouth are located pretty close to Montego Bay and we’d used Rocky’s Taxi and Tour Services for the day trips there. On our forth day, we left for Negril and stayed 2 nights there.

For our 3 nights in Montego Bay, we’d stayed at El Greco Resort. Here are the reasons why we chose El Greco Resort over any other hotel in the area:

  1. We were looking for a hotel/resort with a kitchen. El Greco Resort provided just that.
  2. El Greco Resort turned out to be a good bargain. We paid $366.60 for 3 nights including taxes.
  3. El Greco Resort provided sumptuous breakfast which is included in the price.
  4. El Greco Resort is located right opposite to Doctor’s Cave Beach which is a paid beach. However, if you’re staying at El Greco Resort you get free daily passes for the beach.

Since El Greco Resort is so reasonably priced, don’t expect luxury.

For our 2 nights stay in Negril, we chose Catcha Falling Star. Here are the reasons why we chose Catcha Falling Star over any other hotel in Negril:

  1. Catcha Falling Star has a perfect 5 star rating on TripAdvisor.
  2. Catcha Falling Star is reasonably priced considering its location, reviews and service. We paid $350 (tax not included) for 2 nights in Gemini room.
  3. Catcha Falling Star is literally located right next to Ricks Cafe, one of the best places to visit in Negril.

Verdict:

I highly recommend visiting Blue Hole in Ocho Rios on your next trip to Jamaica for its breathtaking beauty, rustic appeal, super friendly guides and adventurous cliff jumps. This was one of the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done in my life.

About the Author

devesh.s.sharma@gmail.com

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