If you’ve never been to Konoko Falls in Ocho Rios, then you’re definitely missing out. It was the first attraction on my list of places to explore during a recent trek I made to the parish.
Boy oh boy was I impressed. So blown away that I’m now considering this to be my #1 place to visit for family excursions in Ochi. There’s something to enjoy for everyone.
Attraction Rating Guide
|Family Friendly:||(5 / 5)|
|Price Friendly:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Kids Friendly:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Staff Friendly:||(5 / 5)|
|Activity Friendly:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Wheel Chair Accessible:||( 1 / 5)|
The Quick History of Konoko
Formally called Coyaba Gardens and Museum, the attraction has been around for a while. The name Konoko came about when the historic site was re-branded back in 2015. These new renovations added a “fresh new look” to the property as well as improved tours.
The name “Konoko” itself means rainforest and is a word belonging to the Arawaks (the original inhabitants of Jamaica). Some of the artifacts of the museum on the property are reminiscent of our history.
But enough about that for now, let’s talk about the tour and why I love it so much!
The Konoko Tour and Experience
Upon arriving, you’ll be greeted by a staff member who will welcome you to the property and take you to the main office where you pay your entry fee.
After this, you’re assigned one of the fantastic tour guides whose duty it is to show you around. The first part of the tour is a trek through the “rainforest.” You’ll be introduced to many of the plants and trees native to the island as well as a few which were imported.
Plant lovers (especially tourists from European countries) will love this. Some Jamaicans, on the other hand often opt to skip this part.
Personally, I recommend it. There’s always a fact or two you can learn. You’ll also come across the natural flowing, purified spring river which adds that extra touch of awesome to the experience. Pure beauty!
Feeding the Birds
At the budgie feeding station, you get the chance to enter into a big bird cage with over 50 (my rough estimate) parakeets. This is a unique experience for the kids and also the adults. With arms outstretched, the keeper will fill your hands with bird feed, and they’ll come flying in to have a snack.
Feed bags cost $100 Jamaican, and I assume you can get a few if there’s more than one person. Don’t be scared to give it a shot (it’s not uncommon for girls to freak out). They’re gentle and won’t bite you (trust me).
After the feeding station, you’ll come upon the museum filled with artifacts from the past to present day. There are slavery traps for example that date back to the 18th century which was used to capture escaping slaves.
There’s also other artifacts such as a cassava grinder and information on people like Marcus Garvey and reggae music icon Bob Marley.
Aviary and Mini Zoo
Another draw to this attraction is the aviary and mini-zoo which provides you with the opportunity to take a few picture perfect moments.
Be sure to let the guide know you’re interested in taking pictures with the resident parrot and Iguana. Both looked so chill in the day and happily gave me the opportunity to take photos.
Exploring the Falls
After doing all this, you may think the adventure is over, but there’s yet one thing left to be done – climb the falls! For this, you need a guide (it’s mandatory). You start at the bottom, and he/she directs you step by step to the top.
Throughout your journey of climbing, you’ll come across many areas where you can get a few photos in (ask your guide to help with that).
There’s even a little “mini-cave” you can swim into and disappear. Be sure also to get your back massaged by the flowing water. It’s super relaxing! You’ll also experience the “brainwash” (an area where you relax under the falls while the water beats down on your head).
So you may wonder, just how challenging is the falls? Well, compared to Dunn’s River, the more popular attraction, it’s not that difficult. We completed it with ease and with an expert guide directing you every step of the way, kids can join in as well.
When you reach the top of the waterfall, take as many pictures as you’d like. Afterward, get out and walk up to the Yassi Lookout Point. You’ll see one of the most stunning views of the Caribbean Sea (another perfect spot for photos).
How to Get Here
Whether you’re coming from the beautiful fern gully or from the resort town of Ocho Rios, Konoko Falls is relatively easy to find. It’s roughly an 5 – 10-minute drive. There’s a clear sign on the main road suggesting where you should turn.
There are signs which should point you in the right direction from there, but if you’re lost, a local person can help point you in the right direction.
The Other Things To Love About Konoko Falls
There’s so much to love here (hope I covered it all). From the friendly, helpful staff to all the things you can do. If you get hungry, there’s the Konoko Bar and Grill which serves up delicious Jamaican Cusine. I recommend you give the Jamaican Jerk Chicken a shot. It’s not the best quality as you’ll probably get from a place like Scotchies – but it’s still good!
The grounds you’ll come to find are well kept too! The bathroom and changing areas are super clean.
Before you go, stop by the gift shop on the property. Here you can grab a few souvenirs to remember the occasion.
Konoko Falls is the perfect place for a family outing. You’ll love it here!