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Water is a central feature of Jamaica and there's more to it than the azure Caribbean Sea. Jamaica is home to many rivers, springs and water falls and early inhabitants of the island named the country "Xaymaca" meaning land of wood and water.
River rafting is a popular way to enjoy the abundance and splendour of the inland waterways and the natural beauty of the island. Rafts are constructed of wood or bamboo. The rafts are designed with two seats where visitors can sit and enjoy a guided tour. Below are a few of the popular rivers in and around Jamaica.
The Great River (Montego Bay)
The Great River, as the name suggests, is one of Jamaica's major rivers and forms the boundary of the parish of St James with Westmoreland and Hanover. The rafting here takes place a short distance west of Montego Bay and offers the excitement of gentle cascades flowing through a lush rain forest valley. Traditional bamboo rafting is available here as are more adventurous offerings including tubing and kayaking.
Martha Brae (Montego Bay/Falmouth)
Nestled in the picturesque hills of Trelawny Parish, the Martha Brae is located east of Montego Bay near Falmouth. The raft ride is operated over a three mile stretch of river and lasts approximately one hour. Rafting on this river is a very popular activityŚmany operators are on hand to take you for a glide downstream.
White River (Ocho Rios)
The White River is located seven miles outside of the busy town of Ocho Rios. On reaching this destination you will be overtaken by a sudden feeling of peace and tranquility. The area is filled with natural sounds of plants and animals. Enjoy the melodious calls of the exotic birds and the deep murmur of the river as you glide along.
Rio Grande (Port Antonio)
This is where the idea of river rafting was born. River rafting was originally used to transport bananas when reaped from plantations on the inland it was then transported to the harbour at Port Antonio via the river. Errol Flynn was responsible for romanticizing the idea of rafting as he challenged his guests to a rafting challenge under the moon light on the Rio Grande.
Rio Grande Tours offer rafting trips, the trip usually starts at the Grants or Berrydale and ends at Rafters Rest on the Coast. The rider usually lasts around two to three hours depending on where you start, the speed of the river and strength of your boat man.
What ever your choice is, Jamaica has many beautiful rivers all of which display the authentic natural environment that makes Jamaica unique and magical.