Nestled right on the border of St. Ann and Trelawny on Jamaica’s North Coast, lies the scenic tiny seaside village of Rio Bueno.
Running alongside this village is the Rio Bueno River. This river winds its way down, through various lush green plantations and tropical rainforests, to the Rio Bueno Harbor, which is the deepest harbor on the island.
The long winding river forms an ideal conduit for river rafting and tubing, which has become notorious as a uniquely entertaining way to enjoy this scenic tropical river.
The Rio Bueno is located just about at the midpoint between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. Coming from either, it’s about a 45-minute drive.
The River water ranges in temperature from sun-warmed to moderately cool, which is ideal for swimming. It’s very deep in certain areas, but due to the gradual, gentle slope, the rapids are never more than lightly churning.
Once, you get to the drop-off point for rafting or tubing, the adventure begins.
There’s a rope bridge you have to cross to get to the other side of the river. It’s easy to lose your balance so hold on tight to the rope. Or, have some fun and be that person in the group that shakes the bridge and watch everyone scream in terror.
Once you’re across the bridge, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of a beautiful rainforest. There’s something magical about the trail that is covered in lush greenery, with the fresh smell and sound of the river running in the background.
Once you get to the starting point, have a seat and get a natural massage.
As mentioned before, the river doesn’t get extremely rapid, but it’s just enough for you to get excited and get your heart pumping.
At the midpoint of the river, you can pause and swing from ropes and plunge into the invigorating river water. Shortly after passing the iconic Old Colonial Bridge you will be picked up by a speedboat and towed into the Caribbean Sea at the shores of lovely Bengal Beach.
What should you carry?
Cameras (preferably waterproof)
Aquatic Footwear (Optional)
Leave everything except your cash and a waterproof camera in the car.
Set aside at least 2-3 hours for this activity. Meandering down the river will take at least one hour and once you get to the midpoint you’ll want to stop for a few and enjoy the ambiance. Once you get to Bengal Beach you will also most certainly want to linger a bit.
Facilities and amenities such as Washroom/Change-room, Emergency Services, Lifeguard etc. are all available at the midpoint of the river tour. The facilities are rustic but definitely not dilapidated.
On Bengal Beach, you’ll not only be greeted by the awe-inspiring scenery, but also by the wafting aroma of Jamaica’s finest pan-grilled cuisine. On the menu are spicy jerk chicken, fried chicken, and curry chicken, with a choice of rice and peas, slaw or a macaroni salad. The backdrop of the beach and surroundings really compliments the meal. You are lulled into a relaxed state by the combination of good food, warm sun, and a lovely tropical sea breeze.
The Rio Bueno River Tubing experience is an undeniably family-oriented experience and has something for everyone. Pregnant Women or those with physical disabilities, however, are definitely not recommended for this can be a moderately physically challenging experience.
The Rio Bueno River Tubing Tour is a once in a lifetime experience. Make sure to have your camera at the ready as photo opportunities are whizzing by you at all times. The beautiful tropical river and the incredible Caribbean Sea are the main features here with the exotic flora and fauna accentuating as a backdrop. If you love fresh water, the ocean and the heartwarming sun this is the vacation memory that you’ve been seeking.