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“Go there. You won't regret it.”

Turtle River Falls and Gardens
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Ocho Rios Sightseeing Garden Tour
Attraction details
Monterey, California, United States
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Go there. You won't regret it.”
Reviewed March 27, 2013

None of the excursions offered by the cruise line really interested me, but all the positive online reviews of Turtle River Falls persuaded me to try it. So two friends and I started to walk directly there from the port at Ocho Rios. A very nice uniformed man (tourist authority, I think he was) met us on a corner a block or so inland, and suggested we take a taxi, and found us a driver immediately who would take us for $5 apiece (each way). Since the taxi drivers at the dock were quoting a price of $50, we figured this was a bargain. He drove us up the hill, though the gates, and at the entrance building said he'd find someone to help us. Soon a young woman invited us into her sparse office, where she collected our $20 each and asked me to sign in on a sheet giving my name, how I got to the island, and where I heard about the facility.

Then our guide Jordan met us and took us up the trails beside the falls. We were followed by a photographer whose name I cannot remember (the optional photo CD at the end was $20). At one point we put on our water shoes and waded to a bench in the midst of the falls, and had our picture taken there. One friend and I are avid photographers, and Jordan let us take as much time as we needed. A couple of times along the way, he stepped off the trail to open a valve and let air out of the water pipes, and he told us in addition to being a guide, he's also the plumber!

After the falls, we went by the koi pond, where Jordan whistled and all the fish came over. Then it was the aviary, where the birds found my friend's wide-brimmed hat to be a convenient two-level condominium for feeding purposes. My other friend thought the bird feeding alone was worth the price of admission. After a quick hand-wash outside the aviary, we meandered back to the entrance building, where we waited for the photographer to burn our CD. Our taxi driver arrived to pick us up, and we went back to port.

Originally, we were told the tour would take about 45 minutes, but I asked the driver to come back in about an hour and a half instead, and we used up every minute of that and then some, and could have stayed longer. But we were getting hungry, and our driver was waiting, so we went off to Margaritaville for lunch.

Also, we bought bottles of water in one of the many shops at the port and took those with us. There isn't really a concession of any sort at the Falls and Gardens, so if you want to eat or drink, bring it along with you.

The facilities themselves are a little rustic around the edges, but the restrooms were clean and in perfect working order, the people were wonderfully friendly, and the natural beauty of the tropical rain forest and the falls (and the koi and the birds!) are unmatched.

After we left our ship back in Fort Lauderdale, we met up with some people who were waiting to board the next cruise on the same ship, and we told them about Turtle River Falls. I hope they find their way there!

Visited March 2013
7 Thank CrankyBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 reviews from our community

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English first
Springville, Utah, United States
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Excellent Day trip for our family of four”
Reviewed March 13, 2013

This place came highly recommended on trip advisor and so on our last cruise in February we decided to give it a go. We didn't want to fight the crowds at Dunns River falls and we have two kids (ages 6 & 4) and thought this place would be better.

We were blown away by the sheer beauty of the place. Simply gorgeous. This is a little slice of heaven that nobody knows about. Even the taxi drivers didn't know what we were talking about when we asked them to take us from the cruise terminal in Ocho Rios to Turtle River Falls & Gardens. Just tell them Enchanted Gardens and they will know what you are talking about. Also don't let the taxi driver charge you more than $10 each to get there. It literally is five minutes at the most from the cruise terminal. You could even walk there if you wanted to. We got hoodwinked and definitely paid like $50 for our family of 4. The taxi van drivers in Ocho Rios really take you for a fool. Don't let that happen.

Anyway, back to the falls. My family really had a great time. My senior parents also came and were able to climb around the grounds fairly well. You start at the bottom and climb up to the upper falls. We enjoyed taking our time playing in the water and in the falls. Your guide lets you climb around and basically soak in the environment to the finest. Our guide Jordan was a great dude, but I felt bad as we all played in the water as he just sat there and kindly watched. As we climbed along the 14 falls it seemed they got more and more beautiful. I really felt we were in the Garden of Eden or something.

The best part of the whole excursion was that we were the only guests on the whole property. Literally. My wife and loved the solitude after being on a cruise ship for the week. We also felt this placed deserved more publicity because it is a rare gem in the Caribbean. We've been to waterfalls in Grenada, St. Lucia, Belize, St. Kitts, and this place blew them all away and it isn't even close.

After the falls we fed the Koi in the large koi pond and then went to the bird sanctuary where we had fun feeding the parrots and birds. My kids really loved that part. After the birds my kids swam in the swimming pool they have on the property and we found a relaxing spot on the edge of the pool area that was next to the river/falls. Very soothing and relaxing place. Like I said before we were the only one there that day and it was like we owned the place. Even if there had been other people there the atmosphere is so relaxing and beautiful. I would definitely go back. A great place to spend the day, very friendly and helpful staff.

The only drawbacks we experience was spiders. There were a lot on the property. Once when playing around on the falls I went a bit off the main falls area and ran into a spider web. I got a bite on the arm. I guess that's what you get for playing around in the jungle. Oh well. You've been warned ;) Other than that, this place was one of the real highlights of our Caribbean Cruise.

Visited February 2013
12 Thank RastaDave25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Jamaica's Best Kept Secret!!”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

This is by far Jamaica's best kept secret on the island! It is about 1.5 hrs from Montego Bay in St. Ann's Bay area of Ocho Rios. The roads to and from were beautifully paved and the drive was so scenic!

Once there, we met with our guide and we were the only ones there! The entry cost $20 per person and was worth it. He explained all of the different waterfalls and fauna at every level and their histories. It resembled Dunn's River Falls without all the people! It was abit humid because of the eight different water falls, but absolutely lovely.

After we had heard and seen all the falls, it was time to visit some wonderful free flying birds in the Aviary. There were gorgeous tropical birds including conures, cockateils, parrot & even a friendly chicken. The guide gave us a handful of seeds which attracted the birds to land on our arms and heads. We love birds and enjoyed having made new feathered Jamaican friends thoroughly!

I would recommend this to everyone who loves waterfalls, tropical birds, and feeding a wonderfully large school of pond goldfish. We had such a wonderful experience we would definitely do it again. I would recommend this attraction!!

Visited March 2012
5 Thank Marcy49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Inwood, IA
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best keep secret in Jamaica!”
Reviewed February 1, 2013

We were advised by Marva Shaw of Know Jamaica to come here. Wow it is truly beautiful! Waterfalls, flowers, foliage, Koi, Birds to feed. You can't go wrong with coming to see Turtle River Falls and Gardens!

Visited January 2013
3 Thank Marty N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
143 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“A hidden gem with some bonuses!”
Reviewed January 15, 2013

We've been to Jamaica three times (as young marrieds, as parents, and now with grandkids) and we had never heard of this place. Our outstanding guide, Paul Williams, suggested it because the children are 4 and 6 and Dunns River is higher falls and more crowded. What a find! The highlight of this year's Jamaica trip. 1.5 hours from Montego Bay it's very beautiful with adults and children loving the trip up the falls. Fantastic photo opportunities by yourself if you don't go in and just observe; or the Turtle River Falls guide will happily use your camera. Lovely gardens, good commentary on the vegetation and history of the former resort. Snacks only available.

Now for the really great part: At the end of the falls climb you will go into a bird aviary that will delight you. As soon as have the food your guide gives you in your hand (or atop your head) many beautiful birds will alight on your head, hands, arms, shoulders. Much to the absolute delight of kids and adults. Chickens, peacocks, parrots, parrakeets, so many, so colorful. It can be overwhelming but you will love it unless you're truly squeamish about anything live sitting on your head. Big bonus #2: No crowds, no lines, no vendors at all here!
$10 admission gets you into the falls and aviary. Bonus #3 -- Paul Wiliams our guide. A truly fine gentleman, knowledgeable, great relaxed style, terrific driver, patient, great with families.
Paul can be reached for his service at paul6y5we@yahoo.com. He will quote transportation and admission fees, just tell him where and when you want to go and where to meet you. He will also suggest some attractions and restaurants based on your interests.

One final thought -- Please be kind and tip generously in Jamaica. This country has experienced a lot, economically and politically through the years. The people are friendly, happy, eager to please and very accommodating. If you are accustomed to tipping service personnel, please do so in Jamaica. They are very appreciative and we have never been asked or expected to tip there.

Visited January 2013
6 Thank dar019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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