High above the sun-drenched beaches and bustling fray of Ocho Rios, the lush Konoko Falls and Park are filled with innumerable species of tropical flora and birds, and streams that tumble into gentle waterfalls. The excellent on-site museum traces the history and culture of Jamaica’s original inhabitants, the Tainos and Arawaks.
At this park, formerly called Coyaba River Garden and Museum, enjoy a brief respite from busy Ocho Rios as you walk quiet trails past streams, casades, and pools filled with carp, turtles, and crayfish. For a stupendous panoramic view, climb to the summit, which sits about 420 feet (128 meters) above the coastline. Festooned with tropical plants, gurgling fountains, and hummingbird feeders, the garden’s museum is housed in a colonial mansion and features an extensive collection of artifacts and artworks from the Tainos, Arawaks, and Spanish colonists.
You can visit Konoko Falls and Park as part of a half-day tour highlighting the best attractions of Ocho Rios, including a shopping excursion to the town’s eclectic markets and shopping arcades, a drive through the lush forests of Fern Gully, a relaxing moment at Turtle Beach, and a jungle hike and swim at nearby Dunns River Falls.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Konoko Falls and Park is ideal for nature lovers and those looking for a deeper understanding of Jamaican cultural history.
- Remember to bring sun protection and water. If you would like to refresh yourself in the gentle cascades, bring swimwear and a towel, too.
- A wheelchair-friendly wooden walkway connects Ysassi’s Lookout Point, named after the last Spanish Governor of Jamaica, and the park’s cascade, Mahoe Falls.
- There’s an on-site boutique selling locally made crafts, a shaded courtyard café offering tasty lunches and locally grown coffee, and Columbus Cafe and Arawak Jerk Pit serving up delicious local specialties.
How to Get There
Konoko Falls and Park is on Milford Road, a 5-minute drive west of Ocho Rios. Catch a taxi to the park (easy to arrange through your hotel); if you are driving, there is plentiful parking.
When to Get There
The garden and the museum are open daily from 8am to 5pm year-round. Each season showcases a different array of blooming plants and trees. On Thursdays from 5:30pm to 12am there is a Moonshine Festival comprising a Jamaican buffet accompanied by African drumming and dancing to reggae music.
Locals Call It Coyaba
Konoko Falls and Park used to be called Coyaba River Garden and Museum, so if you ask a taxi driver to take you to Konoko, don’t be surprised if they are confused at first. Coyaba is a word the Arawak people used to convey heaven or paradise, and konoko meant rain forest or wooded area—either way, both words perfectly describe the place and the special experience awaiting you.