My wife and I just got back from our first trip to Jamaica. We typically prefer smaller attractions to big tourist sites, and were looking for an alternative to Dunn's River falls. We found the Irie Blue Hole and Peat Taylor online, and it looked perfect. We booked through email from the resort, and added on the White River tubing to make it a bit more of an excursion.
PJ and Allister picked us up in a newer air-conditioned van at our resort which was 45 minutes outside of Ocho Rios where the tour sites were. During the drive to/from, they shared some info about Jamaica, answered our "dumb tourist" questions, and serenaded us with some Bob Marley. The drive from the city to the Irie Blue Hole took us through village-type areas, on a narrow road through some really hilly areas. I think it would be a challenge to find in a rental car, it was a lot nicer being driven there by someone who knew the way. Same for the drive to the rafting site, it seemed like it was in the middle of a village, no way we would have found it on our own.
The Irie Blue Hole was exactly what we were hoping to find. We arrived and were introduced to Omar, who would be our guide there. We were literally the only people there until just before we were leaving. They started off by showing us where they do large cliff dives from, but I got the impression that wasn't one that they encouraged tourists to try. Then we went down to the first waterfall and climbed through a passage in the rock to swim underneath it. After that we climbed up the waterfall and walked in the stream feeding it, and kept climbing through several waterfalls, swimming in the pools as we went. Omar took lots of pictures with our camera as well. The natural beauty of this area blew us away. On our way back down, we jumped off some of the falls into the pools, and had a great time. Back at the bottom, they took us to a lower section with a large pool. Here there was a cliff dive that they encouraged you to take, I'm horrible at estimating but it might have been 20 ft. They had set up a rope swing from the waterfall feeding that pool that was a lot of fun. Here they encouraged us to just swim around in the pool and take as many swings as we wanted. They made us feel like we could stay all day swimming in that area.
They are also doing some work on the attraction to add a change room and dining area. We will definitely come back if we are in Jamaica again. Definitely ask for Omar if you go.
The river tubing was a nice relaxing ride down the river, our guide Raphael was very friendly and never made us feel pressured to buy anything at the mid-way stop. The scenery was nice, and there were some mild rapids at the beginning. The tubes had a wooden bottom so you weren't sitting in water, and were very sturdy, we were never even close to tipping over. I'd estimate it was about 30 minutes on the river, 15 before and after the stop.
Putting the two trips together was a nice combination, and the Irie Blue Hole was definitely the highlight. We left our resort before 9:30 and were back around 2:00. This included a quick stop for some duty-free shopping in Ocho Rios, and while we would have preferred a less touristy shopping experience, we found the rum & coffee we were looking for. They offered to take us to a local Jerk chicken place, and it seemed like they would have happily stayed out with us all day.
We had water shoes and a waterproof camera, and I'd highly recommend both, as well as tip money for guides at each place as well at the tour operators. The attached photo was from our camera, I blacked out the next group of people who had just arrived as we were leaving.
Our overall experience was amazing, and I'd definitely recommend them and this tour to anyone, Keep up the good work guys!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.