Beauty roars: Take a trip through the scenic Roaring River

A section of the scenic Roaring River community.

It is said that not many places in Jamaica can be compared to the beauty and tranquillity of Roaring River in Westmoreland. In fact, some would have you believe that the Garden of Eden was a replica of Roaring River. Take that, Portland! Wink-wink.

The central Westmoreland watershed community spreads from the mountains and stretches all the way to Georges Plain. It is one of the most alluring natural places of interest in Jamaica.

Writer Claudia Gardner enjoying the beauty of Roaring River.

It is just a few minutes from Savanna-la-Mar and only about 30 minutes from Negril.

The Rastafari influence is strong in Roaring River where the saying goes, “Ital is vital.” That is perhaps why, in order to experience the wonders of the community, there is no better way than via a RastaSafari adventure tour, whether driving one of their ARVs or being chauffeured by one of the guides.

Marvin Clayton, leads tours with ARVs like this one for the RastaSafari community excursion.

RastaSafari offers eco, adventure, community and wellness tourism. The tour begins at Janice Williams’ shop, where Blue Mountain coffee beans are roasted and sold.

A small footbridge leads from the lawn at Janice’s spot to a footpath, which takes you up to the starting point for the one-of-kind ARV ride. 

The three-hour tour spans lush green forests, crystal-clear streams, springs, rivulets and natural pools, which are perfect for even non-swimmers. The tour leads through old cane fields on the plains, where outstanding views of the pristine green mountain peaks dubbed Jack, Jill and Bill, can be seen.  These three are among the source of the springs, which supply potable water to almost every citizen in Westmoreland.

The famous three mountain peaks dubbed Jack, Jill and Bill are used as landmarks by fishermen in Savanna-la-Mar.

There are many fruits to sample during the tour. These include guineps, mangoes, plums and rose apples. No Rasta tour would be complete without the herb, and so of course, one of the highlights is a walk-through of a small ganja farm.

After weaving your way around through mainly unspoiled, virgin territory, the tour climaxes with a Rastafarian vegan comprising in-season fruits, rice and beans, breadfruit, avocado, vege-chunks, ackee, coconut bean stew and natural juices.

River bathing is a common occurrence in Roaring River and swimming is one of the major activities guests enjoy.

If you have an interest in birds and bird-watching, then this is the place for it. Birds are everywhere, many of which are endemic species. These include the Streamer-tailed Hummingbird, woodpeckers the West Indian Whistling Duck and the grassquit. Even the endemic Jamaican slider turtle still makes Roaring River its home.

It is a place where you can live even if you own nothing.

—Article written by Claudia Gardner