I'll be on the Triumph 7/10/04, Western. I've heard lots of nice things about Dunns River Falls. My family and I definately want to go there and climb it, but there is not one set excursion to just climb the falls. They include: swim with dolphins and climb falls, horseback ride and climb falls, party boat and climb falls, etc. What would you recommend doing?
Also, do you know the approximate time each of these take?
I climbed the falls when I was 17 years old, and again when I was 28 years old. Let me tell you...the first time was pretty cool, being an invinsible teen. But the 2nd time was pure hell. I had an older gentle men behind me the had had heart surgery and a bad eye. I literally had to drag him up the falls because it is a good ways before there is a point to get out early. The people that run the tours on the falls, make you line up boy-girl-boy-girl...and you have to hold that persons hands the whole way up. In case they slip, you are saving them. This means that you don't have your own hands free to save yourself, you are relying on the one in front and behind you!
The rocks were very slippery and you can't go at your own pace. There are islanders that try to get you to rent these rubber shoes for the climb, but some people that were with us were cussing the shoes, casue they kept slipping off their feet. If you go wear old tennis shoes, that will stay on your feet.
The falls are definately pretty, but save yourself the skinned up shins and don't climb them, but do go see them.
Well , I climbed them when I was 35 and LOVED it, and I had no problems. My hubby and I wore water shoes( 5 $ at Walmart) and thought the whole thing was a hoot. If you are not fit thenit is not a good choice, I believe anyone in decent shape could do it, and even a child as young as 8 (depending on child) .In fact our sons could have handled it even younger since they are such monkeys anyways.
We just took a taxi there, way cheaper than a ship excursion. If you are docking in Ochio Rios it was only a short drive away, ( I can't remeber exactly ) say may be 10 minutes or so.
I would definatley do it as we considered it the only thing we loved about Jamaica, we found the vendors in town to aggresive , so walking around there was a bust.
There is a stair case that runs along the falls that has little vantage points to stop and watch ( or take photos) so if you have someone who is not going to dothe climb they can still enjoy the beauty.
I climbed it 2 years ago with some of my family. I was 20 years old, but I had aunts and uncles 35-39 years old that climbed it and they had the time of their lives!! It was one of the best parts of our trip. We all just rented water shoes/boots. And I think we did the Dunns River Falls & 4x4 Jeep Safari tour. Didn't seem like it was 5 and a half hours.. but maybe it was. I can't remember. Anyway, if you go to this website... (you may have to copy the link and paste it into your address bar) it tells you the duration of each tour and about how much it costs, and other info as well.
It was a blast, I had my knee replaced about 6 months prior and did not have a problem going up the falls, we took a cab and just went in on our own well over 1/2 the price over what the ship charges. Of course the rocks will be a bit slippery, hence the water is running over them, you can stay in the conga line if you want or make your own trail up. Either way, it is a fun experience and highly recommended
My family climbed the Falls ourselves in 2002. You can do it without booking any tour. The taxi round trip was $22 and the driver waited while we climbed. Pay the park entrance fee, follow the walkway to the bottom and then climb up the falls. There will be lots of tourists in front of you; just watch where they go and then follow. Bring a water camera to take pictures. Also bring old pair of sneakers to wear while you climb, then just throw them away.
We did the party boat with the river falls, and while I could have def done without the party boat, the waterfalls are not to be missed! We even bought the videotape they made of us going up the falls to bring home as proof that we actually made it all the way up! The ship rents good quality climbing water shoes the day before the excursion for like 6$ a pair (the ones they rent you if you wait til you get to the boat are worthless). If you just want to do the falls without the additional expense of an added excursion (like the jeep, dolphins, etc) just pick the cheapest party boat excursion- Carnival will tell you, and I would recommend also, if you're getting off the ship to do an excursion in Jamaica, you really should consider sticking with the carnival ones for safety reasons. I wouldn't recommend taking a cab to the falls and doing it on your own (or following behind some other group) because the path the guides take you up the falls is the safest- and while it may seem silly to make a human chain to climb them, it really is the safest way to go- whenever I got separated from the person in front, I found it really difficult to climb, and Im a 23 year old female in good shape!
So if you DO decide to go, buy either a water camera or disposable camera for the guides to carry up the falls to take pics of you as you go (they'll try and sell em for 20$ on the party boats) as well as a waterproof bag containing change of clothes if you prefer, and beach towels if you plan on laying out on the beach before returning to the ship (after you climb, you're given about an hour and a half before the party boat drives you back to the ship).
Carson, We took a cab, but we also paid a guide at the falls to take us up with a group. It is CHEAPER than a ship excursion,and just as SAFE. We believe that of course the cruise lines will encourage you to take their trips, they want the money .
Our group of cruisers climbed the falls last Sept. We had a ball. With some inexpensive water shoes(which I use at the beach as well) it was not too difficult. I did see several people fall down, but most of them had "wandered off the beaten path"
If you are traveling from Montego Bay a trip to Dunn's River will be all you have time to do. It was almost 2 hours each way, and our driver drove like a maniac to get us there and back on time. We all actually thought the drive to and from was more of an adventure than the falls!