Martha Brae River Rafting Jamaica Trip Report

Martha Brae River Rafting is just outside of Falmouth and is about an easy 15-20 minute drive from Mais Oui Villa in Discovery Bay. We stopped by in July 2015.

There is an herb garden as well as a flower garden. The lobster claws (heliconias) and red ginger lilies were blooming and were magnificent. That is the advantage of having the perfect setting for these types of plants to grow.

Martha Brae River Rafting - Beautiful garden as well

Martha Brae River Rafting – Beautiful garden as well            (c) DLooney. All rights reserved.

There isn’t a very wide variety of flowers there but that is fine considering that this is not really a garden tour.The experience of gliding down a 3-mile stretch of the Martha Brae River on a 30 ft long, hand-made bamboo raft, guided by a “captain” with a long bamboo pole, surrounded by nature, is the attraction.

As you can see from the photo below, this is not white water rafting by any means. If you are looking for an attraction to get your adrenalin going, this isn’t it. Try the Bengal/Rio Bueno River Rafting instead. The Martha Brae experience is a gentle glide down a “usually” lazy river. Think of Katherine Hepburn in the movie “The African Queen”. If there has been recent and heavy rainfall, the river can be very quick, fast flowing.

Martha Brae River Rafting Jamaica

Martha Brae River Rafting Jamaica                    (c) DLooney. All rights reserved.


Martha Brae river Rafting Jamaica - Securing the rafts for the night

Martha Brae River Rafting Jamaica – Securing the rafts for the night         (c) DLooney. All rights reserved.


Just so you know …

  • People often comment on how beautiful the ride is but they are turned off by the pushy sales people, including sometimes the raft captains, who try to sell them unwanted souvenirs. Note that this experience is not universal. Here is the situation. There are about 80-90 captains who are on a rotation system. As a result, it could be a few days between trips for them. This translates to reduced income which in turn means that they depend on tips and the sale of their craft items to supplement their living.
  • This is not white water rafting. It is more of a gentle glide down a lazy river. The younger set may consider it boring. Couples will most likely find it romantic. Younger kids will find the experience intriguing and may even enjoy trying to help the captain a little.
  • The ride is about an hour to an hour and a half or so, depending on the flow of the river. If it has been raining, the river might be fast and also the water will be brown and not the beautiful blue-green color for which it is known.
  • You won’t get wet unless you want to. There is a Tarzan swing that you can try so wear a swimsuit under your clothes if you want to go in the river.
  • Bring insect repellant.
  • The bamboo rafts take two people at a time. A small child could probably be allowed if the adults are not too large.
  • There are riverside shops along the way. You can ask the captain at the beginning of the ride not to stop, unless of course you want to.
  • Some captains are better than others in telling the history of how the river got its name and in describing the local flora and sights along the way.
  • Generally, the captains either expect a tip or for you to buy their wares. You want the best experience for yourself in the process. Read the reviews on-line before you go and see if any captains are mentioned favorably by name. Ask for them when you go and tell them you expect a good experience with them based on what you read online. This will help them to feel respected. In turn, they will give you even better service and expect you to give them a nice tip.
  • If you want to, you may ask the captain to have a go at piloting the raft. If doing so won’t upset the balance of the raft, you might get your wish!
  • There is a pool as well as picnic area. I’m not sure why you would leave the villa’s grounds to use their pool and grounds … but you could, if you wanted to. It’s all about choices.


The Martha Brae River Rafting Experience is just a short drive from Mais Oui. This trip is can easily be combined with many other excursions especially since it is relatively short. This is not expected to take even half day. You could stop by Swamp Safari to check out the crocodiles. This is an interesting educational opportunity for kids to learn about the life cycle of crocodiles in a fun and interesting manner. They can even hold a baby crocodile, under adult supervision of course. You could venture further afield towards Montego Bay with a stop at Greenwood Great House, if you like history. They have several old musical instruments that are still working. You’re not that far from Scotchies so you could go have some of the best jerk anything ever. Again, the options all depend on your interests. we can help you with that! Contact us now to book your Mais Oui Villa vacation.

Think and dream Jamaica!

Til next time,

Sherry & Darrell

Considering a visit to Jamaica? Contact us today for more information about, Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families and groups.

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About the Author Sherry

Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tenis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!

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