Jamaica River Rafting
Top 4 Bamboo Rafting Spots On The Island
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Jamaica River Rafting | White River, St. Ann
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Jamaica river rafting is an opportunity to swap maddening rush for tranquility, where for a little while you can tune in to the music of mother nature. Yes, there is a time for everything, and river rafting in Jamaica allows you to feast your eyes on the diverse flora and fauna which surrounds our rivers. (See video below)
Here is a relaxing journey, a great escape if you will: imagine yourself floating majestically down a river on what was merely an ingenious way to transport bananas from the inland of Portland to the coast, but is now one of Jamaica’s most popular activities for tourists and locals alike.
Jamaica River Rafting – Where Should I Go?
Most rafts can hold a maximum of 3 people so, there is no need to worry about being overcrowded.
It is the perfect place for some well deserved ‘me time’ or to spend some quality time with those closest to us, whether that is a partner, parent, child, sibling or dear friend. Here are 4 awe-inspiring spots for Jamaica river rafting.
Martha Brae River – Martha Brae, Trelawny
I’m pretty sure you already know this as it is one of the most popular rafting spots in Jamaica, especially if you are staying in western Jamaica. This spot is located just 10 minutes away from the cruise port town of Falmouth in Trelawny. Fun fact, the little village of Martha Brae was actually the first capital of Trelawny. I guess you could say it is now the capital of river rafting in Jamaica.
This once vibrant town is now fairly quiet with rafting on the Martha Brae as its main attraction. Here you can ‘float on’ along the 3-mile river, which is only 4ft in depth for most of the year, only getting up to 12ft during the rainy season. The rafting experience lasts about 90 minutes, which is the perfect time to relax whether you are alone or with your choice of pleasant company.
The raft is captained by knowledgeable rafters who will safely take you down the river while educating you on the history of Martha Brae and the lush vegetation which lies along the periphery of the river.
Not only can you enjoy the 6 acres of lawn which are just perfect for picnics, but there is also a bar, souvenir shop and swimming pool on the property. You can also take a stroll through Ms Martha’s Herb Garden to see various Jamaican plants and herbs known for their medicinal properties and flavour.
Bamboo Reggae Rafting in Lethe – Lethe, Hanover
Lethe is a small community in Hanover, Jamaica. What Hanover lacks in size it definitely makes up for in beauty and Chukka Tours has definitely found something beautiful in its Expedition location located in the area.
The community sits on the banks of the Great River, which is the perfect location for a rafting trip along the calm, peaceful water of the river. I wondered where the reggae part of the name came from until I found out that the tour promises an experience immersed in the culture through Reggae music and I must say it doesn’t disappoint.
Right in the centre of the little community, you will find the rafting location. Your expert raft captain will guide you on the 30-foot bamboo raft along the water all the while teaching you about the history of the land, the history and culture of Jamaica and the beautiful community of Lethe.
Your tour guide and raft captain is also an expert masseuse. Included in the package is the limestone foot rub with the rocks found along the banks, this is one of the most anticipated parts of the trip and It does not disappoint. Also included in your “limo on the river experience” as Chukka calls it, is a bottle of prosecco with 2 flutes or 4 bottles of cold red stripe and coconut with bamboo straws.
If you forget to bring snacks on your trip up the river don’t worry. This is Jamaica, you can always count on there being a shop around even in the river! Some individuals attach their wares to rafts and sell along the river. The entrepreneurial spirit of Jamaicans never ceases to amaze me.
Rafting On The Rio Grande – Port Antonio, Portland
For this next river rafting spot spot we travel to the east all the way to Portland where rafting all began on The Rio Grande. It is the most popular attraction in Port Antonio.
On any given day of the week, a skilled raft captain will be there to take you on your Jamaica river rafting excursion. Portland’s unspoilt, naturally beautiful vegetation is legendary and what better way to experience this than on a raft. The spellbinding 2-3 hour trip is perfect for some good alone time or to enjoy the company of whoever you are travelling with.
Each raft is allowed to carry 2 adults and a small child at once.
White River Rafting – Ocho Rios, St. Ann
There is plenty to do in St. Ann and rafting along the White River is one of them! This is a fun way to spend a day of your vacation! Its location close to the road makes it very convenient to find. However, within seconds you’ll be transported to a whole new world. The trip takes you up the river on the raft captained by an experienced rafter. About a mile up you can also do tubing, cliff jumping and swinging.
You’ll then head down the river for a little dip in the nearby beach before being taken back to the starting point. Here you can purchase souvenirs and grab a scrumptious meal at one of the nearby restaurants.
We had a quick little visit at the White River Rafting sometime ago, it is a short video but it gives you a little glimpse of what to expect at the river.
Jamaica river rafting is the highlight of the trip for many visitors. It is a relaxing yet enjoyable way to spend a day out of your trip to experience another dimension: Jamaica, Land of Wood and Water.
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Watch Video! LIVE Rafting From White River In Jamaica
I was passing by and decided to make a little stop in White River, take a look!
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References & Sources For Jamaica River Rafting
- Bamboo Rafting at Lethe Village, https://chukka.com/destinations/jamaica/montego-bay/lethe-estate/,
- RAFTING ON THE MARTHA BRAE, https://jamaicarafting.tourchimps.com/
- Rafting on the Rio Grande, https://www.visitjamaica.com/listing/rafting-on-the-rio-grande/2633/
- Rafting In Jamaica WITH Pics & Video From White River, Ocho Rios,https://www.my-island-jamaica.com/rafting_in_jamaica.html
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Bamboo Rafting on the Rio Grande River in Portland
The verdict is in bamboo rafting on the Rio Grande River in Portland is guilty as charge. If leisure and tranquility is your desire, then rafting on the Rio Grande is all you require. It was back in 1946 when Hollywood movie star Errol Flynn’s yacht washed up ashore in Portland Jamaica during bad weather at sea. Flynn was so excited about his discovery of the Rio Grande and surrounding areas that he purchased many acres of land. Soon after, Flynn was hosting parties and inviting his Hollywood pals to come and enjoy and experience bamboo rafting.
Entering the Parish of Portland.
Port Antonio for Wealthy Americans
Before Flynn’s developed the love for bamboo rafting, the primary purpose of the raft was to pickup and carry bananas along the river bank to the shipping port in Port Antonio. In fact, during the 1880s, the area was known for exporting bananas overseas. Port Antonio was also advertised as a destination for wealthy Americans. The tourist travelers travelled on banana boats to get to Port Antonio. Banana boats were popular as a tourist vessel. They were ideal for tourism because they were fast in speed to reach their destination quickly before the banana ripens.
Rio Grande, Portland
Fast forward to 60 years later, Flynn’s love for the area and his parties with his Hollywood friends helped to spread the word and popularize river rafting. Portland became even more popular when Hollywood started making movies on that side of the island. Portland is on the northeastern coast of Jamaica and about sixty miles from Kingston. In 1723, Portland became a parish. The shipping port in the parish was given the name Port Antonio. Port Antonio became the capital of Portland which is where the Rio Grande River is located.
Bamboo Rafting on the Rio Grande
Bamboo Rafting in Port Antonio
Treating yourself to bamboo rafting none scientifically satisfy the mind and soul. As the raft move slowly along the river route you can hear the whispers of the water and the birds singing in chorus. All while enjoying the backdrop of a magnificent scenery and greenery. Imagine, our experience were the birth of a new found love, relaxing beneath a beautiful blue sky and creating an abundant of memories causing your cup to rennet over.
AJE Max Rafting on the Rio Grande
So it was a terrific Tuesday in Jamaica. The sun was shining with an ever so slight breeze, simply another gorgeous day. While some people may be thinking this is the perfect day for the beach and it was, team AJE (AJamaica Experience) was thinking let do something adventurous. Something we believe our visitors to our site would enjoy knowing and if can double in historic information, even better. The decision was made to go bamboo rafting in Portland.
Adventurious Trip on a Trail in Port Antonio.
AJE Adventurious Trip
We know the key to making the most of an adventurous trip is to plan properly and start early. Therefore, we threw some stuff in the car and started our journey to Port Antonio. Jamaica happens to be a country that’s filled with rich history so how do you choose your adventure. Well, AJE does it one Parish at a time. We left Ocho Rios St. Ann and pass through the Parish of St. Mary before reaching Portland. The forecast predicted a picture perfect day, so we were ready for the adventure on the water.
River Captain Everett Johnson with Max AJE.
We reached out to Raft Captain, Everett Johnson. Captain Johnson is filled with experience, he’s been rafting for over 27 years and been captain for over 10 years. He knows the history of the river and all the twist and turns of the three hours trip or 8 miles river ride. As we headed downstream, the captain shared with us the history of the Rio Grande Bamboo River Rafting. He talked about how the river water comes down from the Blue Mountain as it heads downstream towards the Caribbean Sea. Everett points out where the river varies in depth from shallow to deep. At times, we stepped off the raft into some shallow water making the trip uniquely more interesting. These types of adventurous trips are therapeutic in nature as they feed the five senses.
The scenery and laid back present of this trip is okay for families as children are hyper in nature and may want more. However, this is the perfect trip for a couple. The captain shared stories of many romantic lovers who can be seen on a full-moon night enjoying the water romancing. Then there are other couples who get married by the river side and have their wedding reception right there on the river bank. We can clearly see why, water is known for its calming and meditating presence, so starting a relationship on those premises can only strengthen ones love.
This is not to say two Brethrens or Sisthrens can’t enjoy a great ride on the river while blessing up the place. Nor am I saying a working team like AJE exploring the site can’t go together. However, let’s just say, I’m going back for my romantic river ride. This way, as I pass through Lover’s Lane, I can look up in the sky and get some twinkle in my eyes, “I’m just saying, lol”. The Captain also mention that this is the deepest part of the river at about 35 feet, so even more reasons to cuddle, “I’m just saying, lol”.
AJamaica Experience Team rafting with Max, Ann and Drew.
Rio Grande River Bank
The Journey Downstream
The river takes you pass a few cows, goats and a few other animals along the river bank. Some animals can be seen eating grass while others were just goofing off, okay playing around. Then there are breadfruits and coconut trees along with few other fruits trees. They have no worry in the world; they just stay planted and blowing in the wind (it’s a tree, really). When you travel this journey you will experience time passes by at a snail’s pace, it’s like watching grass grow. This is when stress and nature collides, resulting in RELIEF (Remember, Exhale, Life is Extraordinary & Fruitful) causing one to prioritize what’s really important in life.
Food and Red Stripe Beer on the River
Travelling along the river, you will have the opportunity to buy cold drinks, Red Stripe Beer, and an assortment of food kind Jamaican style. Vendors setup shops /stalls on the banks to serve each customer. So as you enjoy the scenery, take advantage of the total experience. There are other attractions in Portland which includes Blue Mountain Bicycle Tour , Frenchman Cove Beach, Reach Falls and the Blue Lagoon . Again, as we say, let’s make this an AJE adventurous experience.
Where Does the Rio Grande River Start?
The Rio Grande stretches for nearly 1900 miles from the Colorado Rockies all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, it forms the border between Mexico and Southwestern Texas.
It’s one of the longest rivers in North America, truly deserving of the name “Rio Grande,” which is Spanish for “big river.” In Mexico, it is also referred to as the Rio Bravo (meaning “furious river”) or Rio Grande del Norte.
Where Does the Rio Grande River Start?
The Rio Grande begins its 1,896-mile journey high up in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.
The Rio Grande begins high up in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, in the wilderness of the Rio Grande National Forest. Even more specifically, it starts as several small streams on the eastern side of Canby Mountain, 12,000 feet above sea level.
Canby Mountain is a part of the Continental Divide—the line which separates rivers flowing to the Pacific Ocean from those flowing to the Atlantic. Rain and snowmelt on the northern and western sides of Canby Mountain flow west into the Colorado River, while water on the eastern and southern sides of the mountain drains into the Rio Grande toward the Gulf of Mexico.
How Long is the Rio Grande River?
The Rio Grande is about 1,896 miles (3,051 kilometers) long. This makes it the 4th largest river in the United States—longer than the Colorado River (1,450 miles) but shorter than the Yukon River (1,936 miles).
Globally, the Rio Grande is ranked as the 28th longest river worldwide—a little bit longer than the Lower Tunguska River in Russia (1,857 miles) and just a tiny bit shorter than the St. Lawerence-Niagara river system between Eastern Canada and the US (1,900 miles).
Approximately 1,255 miles of the Rio Grande’s 1,896-mile length forms the US-Mexico border between Texas and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas.
Where Does the Rio Grande Leave Colorado?
The Rio Grande flows southward out of the San Luis Valley and into New Mexico.
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From its humble beginnings as a tiny stream, the Rio Grande grows rapidly as it flows south through the mountains. After passing through the San Juan Mountains eastward, it enters the San Luis Valley.
The San Luis Valley is the northernmost basin of the Rio Grande rift, a geological formation where the Earth’s crust has pulled apart. This tectonic rift began spreading apart over 30 million years ago, and it still today continues to widen very slowly.
The Rio Grande flows southward out of the San Luis Valley and into New Mexico.
Where in New Mexico Does the Rio Grande Flow?
Near the border of Colorado and New Mexico, the Rio Grande runs through the Rio Grande Gorge. This gorge was carved over millions of years by the river’s powerful current and is now designated as the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. In the 1970s, Apollo astronauts trained for their moon missions here on the rim of this gorge.
The Rio Grande river continues its journey south through the middle of New Mexico. It then flows through the Española Basin and Albuquerque Basin—two more basins of the Rio Grande rift. These areas include the cities of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Las Cruces.
Just south of Las Cruces, the Rio Grande leaves New Mexico to become the border between Texas and Mexico.
Why is the Rio Grande the Border Between the United States and Mexico?
In the early 1800s, the land we now call Texas belonged to Mexico until 1836 when Texas declared its independence. Mexico and Texas had very different ideas about where their shared border should be. Mexico said it was the Nueces River—farther north—while Texas claimed it was the Rio Grande.
In 1845, the United States annexed Texas as a state, adding to the disagreement over where the border should be. This dispute set the stage for the Mexican-American War in 1846. After two years of fighting, the United States won, and Mexico was forced to sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.
In this treaty, Mexico agreed to sell nearly half its territory to the US, and the border between the US and Mexico was officially set at the Rio Grande.
How is the Rio Grande Maintained Between the United States and Mexico?
The International Boundary and Water Commission is responsible for maintaining the Rio Grande River.
Setting the border at the Rio Grande made sense at the time since it was the widest and deepest river in the area and serves as a natural barrier between the two countries.
But the Rio Grande, like any river, is always changing. Over the years, the river has shifted its course, sometimes changing quite dramatically from how it was in the 1800s. Also, flooding, erosion, and drought can create confusion for landowners in the area.
To address this confusion around the Rio Grande, the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) was created in 1889. This organization is responsible for maintaining the river as the official border, and they work to resolve any water-related disputes between the US and Mexico.
Where Does the Rio Grande End?
The Rio Grande ends its journey at the Gulf of Mexico, at Boca Chica Beach. On the United States side, this area is designated as the Boca Chica State Park and Boca Chica Wildlife Refuge, where beaches and dunes provide a great destination for birdwatching, fishing, and swimming.
In that same area, immediately north of the mouth of the Rio Grande, is SpaceX’s Starbase spaceport. So while Boca Chica Beach is typically accessible to visitors, there are times when the area is closed off due to SpaceX launches.
Is the Rio Grande Navigable by Boat?
The Rio Grande is not deep enough to accommodate large cargo ships or other ocean-going vessels. However, in most areas, you can canoe, kayak, or raft down the river. Because of the changing water levels, it’s best to check with local authorities or experienced guides before planning a trip. You may also need a permit, depending on the stretch of river you’re planning to canoe.
As you float down the Rio Grande, you’ll see the marvelous sights created by millions of years of erosion in the volcanic basalt rock that forms the river’s canyon walls, as well as the diverse plant and animal life that call this area home.
What Type of Habitat is the Rio Grande River Area?
The Rio Grande flows through a diverse range of habitats.
The great length of the Rio Grand traverses many different types of habitats. At its headwaters in the high elevations of Colorado, the Rio Grande flows through a mountainous forest region. Then, after passing through the agricultural grazing land of the San Luis Valley, it reaches the Rio Grande Gorge—a deep, impressive canyon.
Then through the arid desert cities of Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and El Paso, the Rio Grande irrigates the nearby farmlands.
By the time it reaches the Gulf of Mexico, the Rio Grande enters a more tropical wetland environment.
What Animals Live in and Along the Rio Grande?
The Rio Grande passes through a diverse set of ecosystems, including mountains, forests, agricultural lands, and arid lands, as well as warm and tropical areas. This variety of habitat is reflected in the wide range of plant and animal life that lives in and around the river.
The mountainous terrain of Colorado’s upper Rio Grande provides a habitat for bighorn sheep, elk, lynx, cougars, mule deer, pronghorn, black bears, golden eagles, and more.
In the southern plains area, snakes, ocelots, jackrabbits, javelinas, horned lizards, Texas tortoises, and many other species call the Rio Grande home.
The river itself is home to a number of fish, including minnows, trout, carp, catfish, bullheads, sunfish, bass, and so much more.
And, of course, the Rio Grande is vitally important to the human population in the area. An estimated 12-13 million people live along the Rio Grande—in Mexico and the US—and rely on the river for drinking water, irrigation, transportation, and recreation. For any nature enthusiast, the Rio Grande is an amazing river that offers a wealth of opportunities for outdoor adventure, wildlife spectating, and educational exploration.
Rio Grande river flows through Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park
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