Image Caption: Martha Brae River Rafting, courtesy of Visit Jamaica website
Martha Brae River Rafting
Imagine lounging for approximately one hour on a 30-foot bamboo raft as it glides effortlessly along a 3-mile stretch of river, whose soft ripples and soothing sounds make for an idyllic setting. The towering trees lining the river banks bear hanging tropical fruits and host frolicking wildlife while exotic bird calls and overhead drilling by woodpeckers are likely the only sounds that may interrupt the water’s purr as you enjoy the Martha Brae River Rafting experience.
Expertly guided by a trained raft captain, this sublime aquatic experience is ideal whether you're looking for a unique romantic excursion or just a relaxed family outing. Raft captains typically focus on pushing their wooden oars against the river bed below, creating a serene atmosphere free of disturbance, unless you choose to engage them in conversation. Once prompted, they will graciously share the legend of the Martha Brae River and point out distinctly native natural elements. Feel free to ask them to pause for a quick swim in the mostly shallow river. Each raft typically accommodates two adults, and possibly also up to two very small children.
Located a few miles inland from the historic town of Falmouth, the Martha Brae River has been home to Jamaica’s top rafting attraction for decades. It can be found in the island’s Cockpit Country, Jamaica's largest remaining contiguous rainforest, with its river head shooting from a small hamlet called Windsor deep inside this local area. The river is located near well-known places like the former parish capital of Rock, the Fisherman’s Inn property reminiscent of British pub hotels, and natural night-time wonder, the Luminous Lagoon. In the country’s early days, Martha Brae connected estates to Falmouth, the current capital of Trelawny Parish. Then, bamboo rafts were used to transport major crops such as sugar and banana to the harbor for export.
River rafting in its present form was popularized in the 1950s by movie star Errol Flynn and since then, Martha Brae River rafting has hosted numerous famous figures including: Queen Elizabeth II, Spike Lee, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, and home-bred Olympic champion and sprint record-holder, Usain Bolt. Martha Brae Rafting Village, the name coined for the embarkation area at the entrance to the bamboo raft experience, stretches 6 acres spanning green manicured lawns on a horseshoe-shaped islet. In addition to the river attraction, guests can enjoy a venue which boasts a holistic garden, scenic picnic grounds, full-service bar, swimming area, and of course gift shops for convenient souvenir shopping.
The Martha Brae River Rafting experience, operated by River Raft Limited, is located 30 minutes by car from Montego Bay with river raft experiences lasting anywhere from 60 - 90 minutes and they are open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 9am. Visit them at @jamaicarafting on Instagram and @RaftingOnTheMarthaBrae on Facebook.
Jamaica has successfully controlled local COVID-19 infection rates while maintaining a level of critical tourism activity via its “resilient corridors” system, implemented in conjunction with a program of COVID-19 protocols. The system limits visitors to the destination to hotels, resorts and tourism sites within the regions. Martha Brae River Rafting is one of five (5) signature Jamaican experiences, available within the resilient corridors, that showcase Jamaica’s beautiful natural environment, diverse outdoor activities and distinct culture.
- Keeping you safe at Martha Brae River Rafting during COVID-19
- Face masks required for travelers in public areas
- Face masks required for guides in public areas
- Face masks provided for travelers
- Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
- Social distancing enforced throughout experience
- Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
- Gear/equipment sanitized between use
- Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
- Guides required to regularly wash hands
- Regular temperature checks for staff
- Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
- Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons