Travel Tips & Features

River Rafting On the Martha Brae River

Written by Staff Writer

Martha Brae River, near Montego Bay, offers an excursion for those looking to commune with nature; outdoor activities for all ages; and some exciting folklore to entertain those who visit. The river is located in Falmouth, Trelawney, and offers two main attractions—the thrill of bamboo rafting and the stunning Luminous Lagoon of Glistening Waters.

The river is home to a rare phosphorescent microbe that lives in the shallow warm place where salt and freshwater meet. Visitors will discover the Luminous Lagoon, where the river meets the Caribbean Sea. The constant flow of the river moves the microbes and causes them to glow. The water’s movement, along with the activity from boat tours and swimmers, enhances this effect. Luminous Lagoon has been named the best place on earth to view this rare occurrence, among only four other locations that host this phenomenon.

Daytime rafting along the river is popular and inexpensive. For approximately $30US, a couple and small child can enjoy a four and a half-hour trip in a raft, including refreshments. The daylight hours allow rafters to enjoy gorgeous natural scenery and wildlife, both of which Jamaica is famous for at this location.

An evening rafting trip can be a special experience as well. Begin your evening with dinner at the well-known Glistening Waters restaurant and marina, featuring delicious Jamaican seafood dishes. After dinner, the sunset cruises begin along the river. Plan to pay around $15 US per person, and you will depart from the restaurant for the Luminous Lagoon.

The best part of the trip is often when the boat stops so riders can enjoy swimming in the shallow areas of the lagoon. At its deepest, the river is about eight feet, but is closer to five feet deep in most locations. Swimmers can relax and bathe in the warm, tropical environment and se the water glow around them. Imagine the tale that surrounds the river, which says a local witch-woman was tortured by Spanish Conquistadors about the location of a gold mine. She finally agreed to take them there, but she disappeared and used her powers to redirect the course of the river, which filled the cave and killed her torturers. Spooky, beautiful and naturally enjoyable, the Martha Brae River is a relaxing yet adventure-filled spot you’ll want to enjoy.

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Staff Writer