Mayfield Falls

Negril / Glenbrook, Hanover Parish / Westmoreland Parish, Jamaica

About Mayfield Falls


Hiking Distance: 2km round trip; river scrambling
Suggested Time: 1-1.5 hours

Date first visited: 2011-12-31
Date last visited: 2011-12-31

Waterfall Latitude: 18.35636
Waterfall Longitude: -78.07989

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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.

Mayfield_Falls_035_12312011 - The Washing Machine at Mayfield Falls
The Washing Machine at Mayfield Falls

I could totally see how the misleading literature could’ve easily set us up for disappointment.

Managing Expectations at Mayfield Falls

Anyways what I meant by managing expectations is that Mayfield Falls 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.

Mayfield_Falls_053_12312011 - People doing the Mayfield Falls River Walk
People doing the Mayfield Falls River Walk

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.

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.

Mayfield_Falls_020_12312011 - One of the Mayfield Falls waterfalls where you can go behind it and stick your hand out like this guide was able to do
One of the Mayfield Falls waterfalls where you can go behind it and stick your hand out like this guide was able to do

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.

Competition at Mayfield Falls

Mayfield_Falls_005_12312011 - Signage proclaiming the Original Mayfield Falls, which was where we ended up accessing the river walk
Signage proclaiming the Original Mayfield Falls, which was where we ended up accessing the river walk

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”) while 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.

Mayfield_Falls_011_12312011 - Apparently a distinguishing feature of the 'Original Mayfield Falls' area was this bamboo bridge leading across the Mayfield River and right onto their property
Apparently a distinguishing feature of the ‘Original Mayfield Falls’ area was this bamboo bridge leading across the Mayfield River and right onto their property

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.

Authorities

Mayfield Falls resides in Glenbrook Westmoreland in the Westmoreland Parish (almost by the border with the Hanover Parish). I am under the impression that the Mayfield River is not owned, but its access does require going through private property. For information or inquiries about the area, I haven’t seen an official website of any of the operators nor an overarching government authority. Therefore, you may want to try the Jamaican Tourism Board.

Mayfield_Falls_006_12312011 - Arriving at the entrance area for the 'Original Mayfield Falls'
Mayfield_Falls_007_12312011 - Descending to the main complex of the 'Original Mayfield Falls' from the car park
Mayfield_Falls_009_12312011 - Descending closer to the entrance of the 'Original Mayfield Falls'
Mayfield_Falls_013_12312011 - Julie going past a goat and some farm while following our guide through the 'Original Mayfield Falls' to the Mayfield River
Mayfield_Falls_014_12312011 - Descending towards the Mayfield River at the 'Original Mayfield Falls'
Mayfield_Falls_019_12312011 - Walking alongside the stream, which I believe is the Mayfield River
Mayfield_Falls_025_12312011 - A stream crossing en route to the Washing Machine part of the Mayfield Falls
Mayfield_Falls_026_12312011 - Getting closer to the Washing Machine part of the Mayfield Falls
Mayfield_Falls_028_12312011 - Looking towards the context of the Washing Machine part of the Mayfield Falls
Mayfield_Falls_032_12312011 - Our guide standing beneath the Washing Machine which provided us with a sense of the scale of this waterfall
Mayfield_Falls_036_12312011 - Looking down from the trail at other tourists making their way up the Mayfield River
Mayfield_Falls_039_12312011 - We spotted this toad near the Mayfield Falls
Mayfield_Falls_050_12312011 - This was the first waterfall of the Mayfield Falls ensemble that you climb up
Mayfield_Falls_052_12312011 - Another look at people who have made it past the first waterfall obstacle as part of the Mayfield Falls River Walk
Mayfield_Falls_061_12312011 - We saw this pretty blue heron near the first waterfall of the Mayfield Falls ensemble
Mayfield_Falls_067_12312011 - Julie making her way back up to the 'Original Mayfield Falls' facility passing by this bamboo tree
Mayfield_Falls_068_12312011 - Back in the main complex of the 'Original Mayfield Falls'
Mayfield_Falls_072_12312011 - Back on the road between Mayfield Falls and Negril, but this time, our driver took a different (albeit longer) route given that he wasn't pleased with how rough the road was on the way up
Mayfield_Falls_075_12312011 - Pretty mountain scenery on the road to or from Mayfield Falls

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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.

Mayfield_Falls_003_12312011 - Getting up to Mayfield Falls from Negril via Sav-la-Mar required traversing this bumpy mountain road
Getting up to Mayfield Falls from Negril via Sav-la-Mar required traversing this bumpy mountain road

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 (or Sav-La-Mar for short).

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.

Finally for some additional context, Negril was about 81km west of Montego Bay (Mo Bay).

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


Progressively zooming out from one of the first few small cascades you climb over before reaching the full contextual view of both the first two steps

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Tagged with: negril, hanover, glenbrook, real mccoy, jamaica, waterfall, caribbean, swim, swimming, river walk, washing machine



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