Imagine chasing waterfalls and enjoying some delicious food without venturing too far out of Kingston, Jamaica. Pretty Close 876 allows you to do just that and more. This hidden gem provides a unique, rustic, family-friendly riverside dining experience just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Kingston, nestled in Gordon Town, St. Andrew. I had the pleasure of indulging in some ital food at this location earlier this year and while this article is long overdue keep reading to learn about my experience. There is no greater feeling than when a trip makes it out of the group chat. Planning group trips can be challenging, so it is a rewarding feeling when the trip goes off without a hitch. For this trip though, I didn't do much in the planning aspect my only requirement was to show up, cover my expenses and have a good time and I understood that assignment.
Pretty Close 876 truly lives up to its name, as it's close enough to the city to escape the commotion and frenzy, yet far enough away to feel like a peaceful retreat. I was surprised at just how close it was located. After getting to Gordon Town Square, marked by the statue of the late Louise Bennet-Coverley otherwise known as Miss Lou, you take the right which leads to Enfield Road. One thing this trip taught me is that Google Maps may not be as unreliable as I initially thought. Of course, it wouldn't be wise to follow it blindly but it can be trusted in some instances.
This was a bigger trip than usual so a minibus was chartered by the organizer to take us to and from our destination. Since none of us knew the area we decided to use Google for directions, we would have made it to our destination just by using Google, however, we ended up at the wrong place because the driver assumed we were heading to Penfield Falls, another hidden gem in the area and disregarded the directions from Google. After realising the mistake we got some directions from some locals and called the owner to confirm further. The additional directions helped us to find the location with ease. The parking area is about a minute's walk from the entrance. So we hopped off the bus and headed to our destination.
Pretty Close 876
When we arrived we were greeted by the owner 'Ramo' who was already meal-prepping in the rustic, wood-fire kitchen located on the property. He then introduced us to our tour guide for the day. I was in awe at how tranquil it was. The lush green trees and the glistening water flowing gently through the property made it all the more relaxing. I couldn't wait to dip my feet in the water. There was a charmingly crafted changing room, constructed with bamboo and equipped with a mirror on the property. We wasted no time making use of this facility as we were eager to make the hike to the falls which we glimpsed through photos and videos on Instagram.
There are four hidden waterfalls on the property; Orchid Falls, Governor Falls, Fern Fever Falls and Lion Falls (the biggest of the lot). On our trip, we only conquered two of the four. Governor Falls is an 8-minute hike while Orchid Falls is a 10-minute hike. After getting changed we headed to the first hidden fall, Orchid Falls. The hike to Orchid Falls was pretty easy. At some points, we had to climb over rocks, but it wasn't challenging. Upon arrival, we took some pictures and then enjoyed the cool, clear water. It wasn't deep so we could go up to the cascade.
While we were enjoying the water our guide informed us how to get to Lion Falls and a few of us decided to attempt it. This was a whole adventure. Lion Falls is located above Orchid Falls. The trek to Lion Falls is not for the faint of heart. Getting there required us to climb a steep slope with the aid of a rope that had thick knots in it. We then had to climb down a giant rock, once more with the help of another rope. We went pretty close to Lion Falls but the final leg of the journey proved too difficult. This required a vertical climb up another rock which was next to a mini waterfall.
After our failed attempt at getting to Lion Falls, we went back down and made our way to Governor Falls. The pool at Governor Falls was deeper than at Orchid Falls but not too deep so we were still able to enjoy it. Sadly we didn't make the trek to Fern Fever Falls which was located above Governor Falls.
Once we finished exploring the falls we back to get changed and have a bite. The lunch menu included pressed green plantains, fried ripe plantains, fried breadfruit, ackee and saltfish, steamed callaloo, fried fish and festivals. This was served in a dried calabash gourd bowl. We also used wooden forks to eat. The delicious meal was then washed down with fresh coconut water from jelly coconuts chilled in the river. Dining by the river was an enchanting experience. The sound of the flowing water was welcoming and helped to set the mood for a relaxing meal. We were able to savour our delectable meal while surrounded by the natural beauty and the fresh, clean air of Pretty Close 876.
Pretty Close 876 is the ideal spot for those moments when you want a peaceful escape from the city, but don't want to drive for hours. You can savour an authentic Jamaican meal while enjoying nature's symphony. Though it was short, I truly enjoyed my visit and I fully intend to go back and try to conquer the two waterfalls missed out on. For reservations, you may visit their website or check them out on Instagram @prettyclose876. It's also important to consider the weather when you plan your visit as the road to Gordon Town is sometimes prone to landslides in bad weather.
Things to bring with you
- Sunscreen: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
- Swimwear: You'll need it to explore the waterfalls.
- Water shoes or Crocs: Protect your feet during the hike to the falls.
- Insect repellent: Ward off mosquitoes and other insects.
- Camera or phone: Capture breathtaking scenery and memories.
- Waterproof phone case: Protects your phone from water damage
Have you ever enjoyed a meal by the river? Tell me in the comments below.
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