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A visit to Jamaica is not complete without a day trip to Blue Hole, White River, St. Mary!

White River runs from way up in the hills of St. Mary and gives us the gifts of a few small waterfalls, river rapids and a myriad of pools deep enough to swim in and jump rope into!

All good hotels on the north coast offer a Blue Hole Jamaica tour and you can also access it on your own. Follow me as I do them both. 

Blue Hole Jamaica Tour
Photo credit: Simply Local Life

Blue Hole, Ocho Rios?

You’ll often hear this spot referred to as the Jamaica Blue Hole in Ocho Rios as the attraction is a short trip from the tourist hub by car, however, Blue Hole is actually located in the parish of St. Mary.

Blue Hole Ocho Rios Jamaica
A very brown Blue Hole

While I’ve been to Blue Hole previously, it wasn’t a very successful trip as it rained heavily on the morning of our trip and left the Blue Hole attraction rather brown.

Keep this in mind if you plan to visit. I suggest going early in the morning before any rain as it rains often over Jamaica’s hilly interior.

Blue Hole St Mary Jamaica
Hiking up to Blue Hole

Two Types of Blue Hole Tours

Blue Hole in Jamaica

There are two main ways to enjoy Blue Hole. You can go through an established tour such as Chukka Caribbean who have set up an awesome attraction alongside a section of the river with a gorgeous green clearing.

The spot is perfect for large families, reunions, corporate outings and other bigger gatherings but of course can also be enjoyed in smaller groups. 

I have done this tour before and it is well worth the investment. They offer tubing down White River with tour guides to help you navigate the mostly tame river rapids.

They also offer ATV rides on their expansive property in the White River Valley and ziplining across the land. 

Related: Common Questions Visitors Always Ask About Jamaica Answered

Blue Hole Local Tours

You can also choose to go further up the river where local tour guides have set up more informal businesses. 

They are still well trained guides as these guides are typically from licensed tour companies doing their side hustle and working on their off-time. 

They still offer safety vests, river tubing and will help you to navigate the hike along Blue Hole. Luckily I think the most gorgeous part of Blue Hole is along this unregulated section so locals can enjoy it much cheaper than going through an established tour company. 

blue hole st ann jamaica

On this occasion, we pulled up to Blue Hole, the open and informal attraction. We were approached by locals offering to take us on the tour and I obliged the first one that approached us.

I knew this would come back to bite me in the ass, if only just a little. Never go with the first person, or at least, try to negotiate and get all the details about exactly what you’re getting into.

I won’t discredit the young man too much as he took us through about four different spots in the river where we could either jump in, slide through a rapid or swing from a rope.

It was so much fun! Even munchkin who can be a huge scaredy cat ended up jumping in the water with her dad a few times.

My only complaint was that the guide did not take us up to the main waterfall area, the most picturesque part of the tour, even though I asked him to repeatedly.

There’s always next time!

Notice how munchkin was ready to go and daddy ended up being the scared one. Ha. I flopped in the water off the rope a couple times myself, it can be much harder than it looks. (That’s my story…!)

Related: Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios Jamaica

Looking up White River on the way to Blue Hole
Looking up White River on the way to Blue Hole