Mayfield Falls

near Negril / Glenbrook, Hanover Parish, Jamaica

Rating: 0.5     Difficulty: 2
Mayfield Falls
Mayfield Falls was one of those waterfalls where we really had to manage our expectations. I think part of the confusion resulted from Google image searches where pictures of YS Falls were mislabeled as this one. I could totally see how the misleading literature could've easily set us up for disappointment.

Anyways what I meant by managing expectations is that this was really more of a waterfall to play in or experience as opposed to sightsee. After all, the falls consisted of a series of very small cascades (apparently there were 21 total) mostly spaced out so it wasn't possible to photograph the whole thing as one collective waterfall. Thus, really felt like it was a collection of individual rapids and mini-cascades.

The tallest of these falls was probably the barely 3m tall Washing Machine, which was the uppermost of the cascades we got to climb. This waterfall also allowed us to get into its base for a shower or even get behind its curtain of water. It was probably the only waterfall of the Mayfield Falls series that was worth photographing on its own.

A group of folks had climbed beyond this waterfall and were headed to the next one Had we treated this waterfall like a lite version of Dunn's River Falls at the outset, then we would've known that the swimming, the wading, the scrambling, and the climbing of the cascades without the crush of tourists were really its main appeal. It was in this light that we thought this ended up being a pretty fun waterfall.

Even though the Washing Machine was one waterfall we got to play in, get behind, and get massaged by the jets of water, there was another small waterfall with a little alcove behind it that I got to do the same thing except I got to stick my hands out. Even the guide used his body to "turn off" the waterfall to make it easier for me to get behind it! This particular waterfall was a little further downstream of the Washing Machine.

Aside from this, there was really nothing more to this waterfall though the mountain scenery on the rugged road to get up here was pretty scenic.

Finally, one thing I do have to mention was that there were competing landowners offering Mayfield Falls tours. One proclaimed itself to be the Original Mayfield Falls (i.e. the "real mccoy." The other was just Mayfield Falls.

Both landowners provided access to the same waterfalls. The difference was that we had to get wet to see most of the falls from the "original" side. However, on the competing tour, there were stairs leading down at several points along the rivercourse from the opposite side of the river. Perhaps for people who just want to take photos and not risk getting the camera destroyed without waterproofing gear, that the competing tour would have been better suited for that. On the other hand, one can argue that most of these falls wasn't worth photographing anyways.

Directions: Since we hired a driver, we can't give specific directions on how to get to Mayfield Falls from say the Sandals Resort in Negril. However, we can say that it involves going on a rough road (i.e. full of potholes and high-clearance unsealed sections) while narrow and winding. It took us nearly 90 minutes to get from Negril to the falls on the south approach heading north through massive sugar cane fields from turnoffs near Savanna-La-Mar.

I believe there are also approaches from the north via Moskito Cove though we didn't go this way so we can't say much about it. However, our driver told us that that approach was no shorter than the one we took.

The admission price during our December 2011 visit was about $15 USD per person not including transportation.

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The series of cascades comprising part of Mayfield Falls
The rugged road we took to get hereThe rugged road we took to get here

The signpost for the fallsThe signpost for the falls (on the "original" side)

Descending to the main complex from the car parkDescending to the main complex from the car park

Getting closer to the entranceGetting closer to the entrance

Looking back at the bamboo bridge we crossed to start the tourLooking back at the bamboo bridge we crossed to start the tour

Walking alongside the streamWalking alongside the stream

Standing behind one of the smaller falls while reaching through itStanding behind one of the smaller falls while reaching through it

A stream crossing en route to the Washing MachineA stream crossing en route to the Washing Machine

Getting closerGetting closer

Our guide standing beneath the Washing MachineOur guide standing beneath the Washing Machine

Other tourists making their way up the riverOther tourists making their way up the river

We spotted this toad near the fallsWe spotted this toad near the falls

The first waterfall you climb upThe first waterfall you climb up

We saw this pretty blue heron near the first waterfallWe saw this pretty blue heron near the first waterfall

Back in the main complexBack in the main complex

Pretty mountain scenery on the road to Mayfield FallsPretty mountain scenery on the road to Mayfield Falls

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That's me moving my arms through the waterfall from behind it. You can do this on one of the smaller cascades several paces downstream from the so-called Washing Machine

Our guide walking into the Washing Machine

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For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.

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