The Experience of a Lifetime

I promise, this is my last post about Jamaica. But I had to devote a full post to the experience we had on Tuesday, Feb. 8, because it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

Climbing Jamaica’s Dunns River Falls &
participating in a dolphin touch excursion!

Approaching our final leg of the falls!

When my mom told us we would be climbing Dunns River Falls, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I thought it would be pretty badass, but I had no idea what I was getting into.

The task we undertook was climbing 900+ feet of intense rocks, even more intense water pressure and noise, and a whole lot of laughter. We started out on the beach where we got our “orientation” of sorts. Key components of the climb:

  1. Hold hands with your friends/family/strangers. Forming a human chain and helping one another is key.

    Getting well-acquainted with our new friends/family members. I got to hold hands with Kim and my new "little sister" Megan.

  2. Listen to Trevor (our guide) when he tells you where to (and where NOT to) step. He knows those rocks the way most of us probably know the layout of our houses, right down to precisely which rocks are too slippery to use and where a hole might be. Oh, and he does it all barefoot and at a speed three times our own.
  3. Smile for Donovan (our videographer).
  4. When Donovan asks, “How ya feelin’?!” you are required to respond with “HOT HOT HOT!” while fist pumping.
  5. When Donovan says, “PARTY GROUP!” you are required to return his call with “YEAH YEAH!” while fist pumping.

    Getting our instruction in fist-pumping and "YEAH YEAH"ing.

  6. You will be required to say “Yeah mon!” on command, with an accompanying “hang ten” sort of hand motion.
  7. “You fall down, we will laugh. Your suit falls down, I will zoom in.” – Donovan
  8. And you should probably tie your bikini tops a liiiiiiiitle bit tighter, just be safe.
  9. You will get very, very wet.
  10. You will feel like you conquered something amazing.

As my sister said at the end of the day, “I don’t think I would have picked this as a tour to do, but I am so glad we did it!”

When you begin the climb, you really still have no clue what you’re getting into. All you

Yup, after this, you're allllllll set.

notice at first is how freaking cold the water is. And I mean REALLY cold. That’s about where we lost Cody, my two-year-old nephew. We passed him up to my mom, who was unable to climb the falls due to her ongoing foot injury. Luckily that meant she could take all these photos for us. If the first dip down into the water didn’t get you acclimated though, you were certainly ready for the rest of it after the first venture underneath the falls. And ohhh, if only we knew what we were in for after that.

Yeah…because then…then there was this:

Now a LOT of water pressure...

And this:

Not at all intimidating...

And this:

The line for the, but really.

And finally, this:

When we got to this pool, we thought that was it, but no...Trevor took us all the way up that last bit.

And you know what? We survived. We loved it. And I think we would all do it again.



With our amazing guide, Trevor, after we emerged wet, exhilarated and victorious!

I don’t know that I can properly put into words how awesome this experience was. Feeling that insane rush of water pressure, hearing the sounds of the falls and the wildlife around it. Getting a “natural massage” from the waterfalls. Hiding out in a cave, seeing how the rocks have been carved by the power of this water. Amazing. I’ve been to Niagara Falls before, but I think I will venture to say that this was a cooler experience for me. It was more hands-on, more powerful to feel a part of something so strong and knowing that you survived it. After such a rush of exhilaration, endurance and excitement, it was then time to go play with dolphins for a little while!

Our dolphin friend, Mitch, put on quite the show for us. He kissed us, danced, sang, swam back up, belly up and sidways, made sure I got a little taste of the cove water, and did more than a couple flips and jumps for us. My nephew was a little bit intimidated by Mitch, which was unfortunate since dolphins were ALL he’d been talking about. But I guess if I weighed 30 pounds and was put next to a huge fish weighing 400 pounds, I’d be a little scared too.

I, however, had a little bit of a love affair with Mitch. I think it was love at first sight, and I’ll never forget my first dolphin kiss. 🙂


True love.

His breath was a little fishy 😉

I am so thankful that my mother thought to plan this day trip for us. It was my favorite day of the vacation because while relaxing by the pool and at the bar was great, this was definitely a taste of what makes Jamaica really shine.

PS – Check out the new menu at the top for The Travel Logs – all my travel posts by location!


3 thoughts on “The Experience of a Lifetime

  1. You are welcome! I enjoyed the pleasure on the faces of my family almost as much as you enjoyed the experiences. My heart swells when I hear the joy from each of you…

  2. Pingback: The Single Girl’s Checklist #44: Zip it! | What's shakin' in the real world

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