Fri | Oct 20, 2017

Nature's paradise at Konoko Falls

Published:Monday | October 24, 2016 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Konoko Waterfalls in Ocho Rios.

Down the meandering steps to the cascading waterfalls, with tranquil waters rippling below, Konoko Falls and Gardens is nature at its best. Located in the hills overlooking the bustling town of Ocho Rios, St Ann, this paradise brings your inner being to life.

The crystal-clear waters of several of the streams, with added pathways and man-made bridges, take you through a unique and beautiful garden that boasts an abundance of Jamaica's rich flora, many of which are indigenous to Jamaica and other Caribbean islands.

These plants include torch ginger, honeycomb ginger, lobster claw heliconias, bird of paradise, and many more.

The affable tour guide, Nordia Stewart, explained that a natural spring that travels some 15 miles underground resurfaces in the gardens, meandering through the property and then making its captivating descent over the intertwining rocks and into a stream at the foot of the falls.

With many cosy nooks to relax and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere, the property also houses a mini zoo, with a variety of birds endemic to Jamaica, including the Jamaican barn owl, peacocks and yellow-billed parakeets. These are also iguanas, the Jamaican boa and American crocodile with which visitors are allowed to interact.

 

RICH HISTORY

 

If you are not familiar with Jamaica's rich history, the museum's current exhibit offers a look into our turbulent past, especially the Tainos. Rare artifacts, maps and pictures illustrate scripted summaries of all major periods, as well as local history.

Tashj Haughton, operations manager at the property, said visitors are enthralled with the uniqueness and individual attention that they receive when they tour the attraction.

"Not only are they captivated by the rich natural oasis that is here but it is a therapeutic getaway with individualised and personal attention that they do not get anywhere else. We ensure that our visitors are comfortable during their visit here," Haughton said.

The property is also perfect for weddings, birthday parties, corporate fun days and anniversaries. All bookings are done by reservation only and attract an event fee.

Konoko Falls also boasts the Yassi Lookout Point for a breathtaking and panoramic view of the town of Ocho Rios.

Columbus CafÈ offers mouth-watering Jamaican-themed dishes, including their signature jerked pork and chicken menu.

Konoko is an Arawak word meaning 'rainforest' or 'wooded area'. The 12-acre property is managed by the Guardsman Group.

Entry fee for Jamaicans is $1,500 for adults and $1,000 for children. The property is opened daily, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com