General Travel

Roaring River and Blue Hole – A Hidden Gem

Not to be confused with the Roaring River that is a tributary to the Dunns River in St. Anns, this Roaring River and Blue Hole are located just a few miles Northeast of Savanna La Mar in the little village of Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury was one of the 24 estates owned by Peter Beckford, a horse trader who arrived in 1660 and broke his neck some 50 years later when he intervened in a riot in the Jamaica House of Assembly.

There are two sources of the Roaring River. Once source of water gushes from and old aqueduct while the other is a Blue Hole where the upwelling of water flows down to meet the other source in a confluence at a 300-year-old Cottonwood tree. Part of the subterranean flow of this river passes through Karst limestone caverns snaking through a rock formation across the river from that tree. A footpath ascends up this rock outcropping to a locked iron gate at the top of the path. Residents of the area have the key and provide guided tours for $10.00 US per person.

The cathedral-like caverns are quite large with a small amount of electrical light place conveniently out of sight providing a wonderful ambiance. Smaller pools and caverns branch off along the way requiring a small bit of stooping to avoid the overhanging formations. Be sure to bring a bathing suit and a towel, as the water is very clean and loaded with healing minerals. Dr. Scott, a Massage Therapist and Healer can be hired as a guide if you ask for him.

During the Winter Months, a Mento-like band plays songs in the caverns for your entertainment. The percussion is provided by striking pieces of bamboo with a stick and by cleverly playing a set of stalactites like a xylophone. A tip for their services is requested after the music is played. All along the passages, the guide points out, with his flashlight, shapes and textures in the walls and on the ceiling that through suggestion become recognizable animals and people. About a mile or so up a poorly maintained road is the Blue Hole that has been encircled by a private enterprise that charges a pricey admission. Rustic cabins are available to rent and I-tal food meals can be prepared. For all you people who desire to see a stellar attraction that has yet to be totally commercialized, Roaring River is the spot for you!

Tour Guide/Massage Therapist, Dr. Scott Call him at 876-365-6173 for a Special Tour and Massage! Need help in planning your adventure travel while in Jamaica? Feel free to email me at the following address: [email protected] See other articles written by Bill Evans at:

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Bill Evans