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Mayfield Falls, Glenbrook, Westemoreland


Hidden in the mountains... walk up the river, relax, swim,dive in cool clean spring water
(Please be patient with download as this page contains many large images. I figure if you are really interested, you'll wait to see the wonderful photos here, as they make up for my poor writing skills.)

Located in the Dolphin Head Mountains in Glenbrook (Southwest of Montego Bay), Mayfield Falls offers mini-waterfalls and numerous pools, for swimming, diving, "jacuzzi" type massages, and more. It is very much a wet and active tour.

This amazing group of mini-waterfalls is called the Washing Machine. One has to walk along the edge of the river, hugging the face of the rocks, ducking under and behind one of the waterfalls, before emerging in the middle where you can step on a rock in the heart of a "power cycle" of the Washing Machine. Doing this was very rewarding, a great feeling of accomplishment.

waterfalls called the washing machine

It was May 2003, and time for another trip off the beaten track. Last year sometime, somewhere I can't remember, I first read about Mayfield Falls. How can someone who has lived in Jamaica for so long be so ignorant about the island... please, it's just that there is so much to see and do in Jamaica that one cannot hope to know it all or do it all.

I checked with my Jamaican friends and no one had even heard of Mayfield Falls, let alone been there. So I had no personal recommendations. I checked out the web and found the official web site (, and decided that this was something I must "discover". So with a little bit of convincing, I roped in my friends, Eas and Damayanthi (Sri Lankans temporarily residing in Jamaica) to join me in this adventure.

We drove out of Silver Sands fairly early in the morning and passed through Montego Bay about an hour later, continuing our journey West , leaving St. James and following the North Coast highway into Hanover. It's not sign-posted, but there is a turn off to the interior by Kew Bridge. If you get to Lucea, a few miles away, you've gone too far.

The road narrows and winds Southward, going up into the mountains, passing through beautiful and largely undeveloped countryside.

Along the country road, Eas and I could not help but notice the form that this tree (above left) had taken and considered that a bikini top may be appropriate. At the top of a hill (above right), the road divides. Follow the left fork which descends into a picturesque valley.

village cross roads


It was an overcast and rainy day, but the Dolphin Head Mountains still showed their beauty every now and then when the mist lifted.

From Silver Sands to Mayfield Falls took us approxinately two and a half hours. It was an interesting journey with lots of Jamaican sights to enjoy. We parked at the top of a hill and walked down a steep path to the entrance (photo below) to Mayfield Falls, which describes itself as an ecotourism attraction. We were struck by the sheer beauty of this site with tall bamboo and trees, thatched buildings and very lush green fields all around.

mountains enroute to mayfield falls


entrance to Mayfield Falls

We understand that one can stay the night in the big building (in the centre of photo above).

section of the grounds

more of the grounds

These photos show sections of the grounds at Mayfield Falls. There is a dining room and bar as well as thatched huts and spacious lawns for picnics.

After we explored the grounds, we ordered our lunch, which would be prepared while we were on the tour with our friendly and knowledgeable guide, Patrick. We were offered rental shoes as this is a requirement- the river rocks can be sharp and slippery in places. But we all had our running shoes which were fine. After changing and securing our clothes and other valuables in lockers, provided, we set off with Patrick.

Well, the adventure began immediately as the tour started with the crossing of what we called the "Indiana Jones Bridge" - long bamboo poles tied together with rope and suspended over the river (here I am on it in photo below).

bamboo bridge

If you are doing the tour, I can assure you that the shoes and swimsuit that I am wearing in the above photo were perfectly suitable. You do not need a shirt. It is very much a wet and active tour.

in the river under the bridge

Above, Eas and Damayanthi strike a pose in the river under the "Indiana Jones Bridge" which is at the beginning of the river walk. The river is narrow and sheltered by tall trees as the above photo shows. If one were to be drawn into a comparison with Dunn's River Falls, I would say that Mayfield Falls is not as grand and spectacular as the former, but it is more varied and interesting, goes on for an hour's walk, and there are no crowds. We all felt it was more to our liking than Dunn's River Falls.

jacuzzi pool

rushing waters

Patrick kept the tour interesting, pointing out many of the natural features of the river as we walked up its winding path. There are places where you can sit and be massaged by very powerful rushing water (see photo above left where that bent leg is necessary to prop oneself so the river does not push you away). The "jacuzzi" is quite amazing (see photo above right).

rushing water

Eas and Damayanthi appear to be being swept away by the river, and that's not far from the truth at this spot.

mini waterfalls

Above, we pose for Patrick to take a photo of us at one of the deeper pools. There are places where you can swim in place as the current forces you back, places where you can go behind the falls, a deep pool where you can dive or jump from the river bank from a height of just a few feet to about twenty feet, and a spot where you can dive under water and swim through a tunnel in the rock to come out on the other side. The climax is the Washing Machine, shown in the first photo on this page.

the dining area

writing up the trip

We returned to the base by following a path down the bank of the river. Patrick showed us many interesting plants and trees and explained their uses. We changed back into dry clothes feeling refreshed and invigorated. The river water is cold enough that when you get out of it, your skin feels warm. While waiting for our lunch, I took the opportunity to write up my report on this adventure.

inside the dining room at the bar

Inside the dining area, there is a bar. Even while we were having our lunch, Patrick proved himself to be helpful. When we were ready to leave, the rain started to come down bucket-a-drop. Patrick hurriedly came to our rescue with umbrellas and escorted us back to our vehicle.

What a great day out we had! And on the way back to Silver Sands, we stopped off in Montego Bay at the big Super Plus Supermarket to shop for some hard-to-find groceries. Later that night, Eas and Damayanthi joined me for dinner and we could not stop talking about the beauty of Mayfield Falls, the pleasure of doing the tour, and our friendly guide, Patrick.