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An hour outside of Negril, up thin, winding, unpaved (and death defying) roads lies “Mayfield Falls and Mineral Springs”. Pristine, and untouched, nestled in the heart of a small town abundant with sugar cane and avocado, the falls were the most beautiful and unspoiled that we have seen, yet. If you are brave enough to face the turbulent drive through the thin mountain roads, your efforts will be rewarded.
Taking cues from the locals, we blew our horn as we banked each curve up the mountain to forewarn pedestrians, and goats alike, before a local on a moped guided us to the final destination. Upon arrival at the receiving area we were greeted by a lovely woman, in bright colors, who explained the prices and offered to have our lunch ready for us when we returned from our adventure on the falls. She offered water shoe rental- which is a must do, because of the rocky terrain, and we were assigned a tour guide, Dave, for a private tour, as there were very few visitors that day.
The scenery was captivating, as we walked down toward the falls from the receiving area. To the left, a gaping ravine, lush with vegetation, to the right, large twisted trees, adorned with birds and other wildlife. As we trekked through the trail, and across bamboo bridges and fallen trees, we could hear the rushing sounds of the waterfalls below. Dave explained the town’s history and gave us a lesson on local flora and the fauna, on the way down.
After a short hike we arrived at the raging rapids, with small rippling cascades and falls around every corner. Dave knew the water and surrounding area remarkably, instructing us with every step to keep us safe, while giving us enough space for it to be a romantic experience. He even held our phones in a waterproof case, and captured photos and videos for us.
We visited several smaller falls, and one larger one, which created whirlpool, providing us with a natural massage. Dave helped us get a great video from underneath the falls. We were led further downstream, where the muddy bank was rich in minerals. The mud was an excellent exfoliant, so we stayed there awhile bathing each other in it, while Dave gave us some space. Our skin felt so radiant after, we decided to purchase some to take home. Dave said the purchase helped the local schools with broadband, so double win!
Afterward we went back to the rendezvous point for the most delicious jerk chicken, ever. We made it just before the torrential downpour which was beautiful to watch from the summit. Finally, Dave arranged for us to follow a tour bus back down the mountain for safety.
From the moment we arrived we felt like family, more than tourists. While the falls there are not as big as the one’s at Dunn’s River, they are equally as beautiful, and far more untouched, for a more unadulterated experience. We would absolutely recommend than anyone visiting the Negril area take a day trip up the mountain to Westmoreland to check out Mayfield Falls.
TIPS: If you drive, be very careful on your way up and down the mountain, otherwise, some resorts in Negril can help you arrange a tour bus to visit. Bring or be prepared to rent water shoes, and absolutely take advantage of the delicious foods available there. You will work up an appetite! Bring cash for tips – the staff are great.
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