The Rio Grande is a massive river in eastern Jamaica that curves through the lush rainforests of the island. The river is fed by tropical rainwater, much of which flows down to the river from the top of the Blue Mountains. Journeying down the river provides views various shades of green dotting the mountainside and springing up from the Rio Grande river valley. You’ll see a variety of flora and fauna, including banana groves.
Locals still use the river to transport food – especially bananas – and supplies via bamboo rafts. Visitors can also experience this way of life on a raft excursion along the Rio Grande. The bamboo rafts are thin and narrow, but surprisingly buoyant. You’ll board the raft and sit on the back of it. Up front, a skilled raft captain will stand at the bow of the raft and guide you down the Rio Grande with powerful strides from a long paddle.
If you’re interested in visiting the Rio Grande, first make your way to Port Antonia, the seaside capital city of the Portland Parish area of Jamaica. From there, you can drive to the river or take an excursion that will transport you to the river for a raft ride.