Mahoe Falls

Ocho Rios, St Ann Parish, Jamaica

About Mahoe Falls

Hiking Distance: almost roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2011-12-26
Date last visited: 2011-12-26

Waterfall Latitude: 18.3974
Waterfall Longitude: -77.10551

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Mahoe Falls was the first waterfall that Julie and I saw in Jamaica.

Its name (pronounced “ma-HO”) was said to be derived from mahogany, which we did see a few during our visit here.

Mahoe_Falls_074_12262011 - Mahoe Falls
Mahoe Falls

It made for a pleasant introduction to the waterfalls in Jamaica as it was a typical “play” waterfall where we were able to swim in some of its pools.

However, we weren’t sure if we could climb portions of the falls as some parts looked a bit too steep to climb.

Speaking of which, Mahoe Falls was of the sloping variety where the underlying limestone (calcium-carbonate) gave the falls its rounded and Jabba-the-Hut-like quality.

Even though we didn’t swim in the falls, we did spend a good bit of time viewing it from as many vantage points as possible.

Mahoe_Falls_018_12262011 - View over Ocho Rios from the Coyaba Gardens
View over Ocho Rios from the Coyaba Gardens

There were also a couple of vantage points to get pretty panoramas of Ocho Rios and the Caribbean Sea beyond.

One thing we noticed was that there was a fence blocking access to the lower tiers of the falls.

The paid admission part of the Mahoe Falls only comprised most of the uppermost tiers of the waterfall.

However, the lower tiers could not be accessed from these grounds.

Mahoe_Falls_026_12262011 - The uppermost tier of Mahoe Falls as seen within the Coyaba Gardens complex
The uppermost tier of Mahoe Falls as seen within the Coyaba Gardens complex

Fortunately for us, our local guide that we hired lived just up the hill from the Coyaba River Gardens (where this falls is located; pronounced “CUY-ah-bah”) so he had no qualms about taking us to the base of the falls.

It turned out that in order to get down there, we had to leave the paid admission premises, then drive the local roads down to what appeared to be a private residence.

At the time, the guide said that no one lived at this residence so it became a locals-only hangout.

There was even a sign and bin encouraging locals to pitch in and donate money to keep the falls clean.

Mahoe_Falls_039_12262011 - Looking across one of the middle tiers of Mahoe Falls towards the steps on the other side for a bit of context
Looking across one of the middle tiers of Mahoe Falls towards the steps on the other side for a bit of context

Still, the view of the Mahoe Falls from down here was probably the most satisfying (see the photo at the top of this page) as we could see all the waterfall’s tiers.

It also seemed like there was an opportunity to do some more dipping in its waters in a quieter setting.

We even managed to startle a pair of local ladies in one of the pools a few tiers above us who might have been bathing in the nude.


Mahoe Falls resides within the former Coyaba Gardens and Museum near Ocho Rios in the St Ann Parish, Jamaica. It is privately owned so the owner of the premesis may change by the time you read this. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try to visit their Facebook page or this directory listing.

Mahoe_Falls_001_12262011 - The entrance to the Coyaba River Gardens
Mahoe_Falls_003_12262011 - A manicured garden area just before entering the waterfall area at the Coyaba River Gardens
Mahoe_Falls_004_12262011 - Looking down at the walkway and uppermost tier of the Mahoe Falls
Mahoe_Falls_013_12262011 - Descending through a lush area just above the Mahoe Falls within the Coyaba Gardens complex
Mahoe_Falls_016_12262011 - The walkway to reach the pool beneath the uppermost tier of Mahoe Falls within the Coyaba Gardens
Mahoe_Falls_024_12262011 - Angled view of the upper tiers of Mahoe Falls from the walkway on the left side in the previous photo
Mahoe_Falls_037_12262011 - Profile view of the middle sections of the Mahoe Falls from the left side
Mahoe_Falls_064_12262011 - Profile view of the middle sections of the Mahoe Falls from the right side
Mahoe_Falls_058_12262011 - Julie and our guide standing at the same spot on the opposite side (right side) of one of the tiers of the Mahoe Falls within the Coyaba Gardens
Mahoe_Falls_069_12262011 - The namesake mahogany trees seen in the Coyaba Gardens
Mahoe_Falls_070_12262011 - Passing by one of the lower tiers of the Mahoe Falls as we had left the Coyaba Gardens and went to the bottom of the waterfall
Mahoe_Falls_078_12262011 - Full view of the bottom of the Mahoe Falls from outside the Coyaba Gardens complex

Since we hired a driver and guide, we can’t give specific directions on how to get to Mahoe Falls from say the Sandals Resort in Ocho Rios.

However, we can say that it is adjacent to the Coyaba River Gardens, but admission to this waterfall is separate from that of the gardens.

Since we were on limited time, we only opted to do the waterfall and not the gardens (so we can’t really say anything about the gardens themselves).

The drive easily took less than 15 minutes from the Sandals in Ocho Rios. Ocho Rios was about 100km east of Montego Bay (Mo Bay).

Admission price at the time of our visit in late 2011 was $10 USD per person not including transportation costs.

Find A Place To Stay

Left to right sweep starting from the source of the falls and ending downstream with a zoom-in towards its hidden base

Right to left sweep following the flow of the water as seen from the walkway to the Ocho Rios overlook

Fixated on the upper tier of the falls

Left to right sweep following the flow of water as seen from the opposite side of the stream

Bottom up view of the falls from its base, which is apparently a spot visited mostly by locals

Looking right across one of the tiers of the waterfall from right beside it

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Tagged with: ocho rios, st ann, saint ann, jamaica, waterfall, caribbean, mahogany, coyaba river, gardens

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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