Situated high in the exotic and dense forests of the island of Jamaica is the Martha Brae River, formerly known as the Matibereion River. It’s here where guests can step back into the past and into a legend. Visitors can journey back to when sugar from the island was transported by bamboo rafts of thirty feet in length to the sea.

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Legend has it that an Arawak witch altered the river’s course in order to drown herself and a group of Spaniards who tried to force her into leading them to gold. Misunderstandings of translations resulted in the river being renamed as the Martha Brae. Local captains at the rafters’ village with the same name now transport visitors aboard tradition bamboo rafters along the sun-dappled, peaceful river underneath arching trees. Guests can listen to the legend of the Arawak women and possibly spot some local wildlife during the journey.

Martha Brae Rafting Village is a one-of-a-kind Jamaican experience. The rafting experience on Martha Brae is the number one rafting experience on the island of Jamaica. The area is situated inland around three miles away from Falmouth, approximately twenty miles from Jamaica’s Montego Bay, and around forty miles away from the resort center of Ocho Rios.

“Rafter’s Village,” which is the name for the area from which the rafting experience embarks, spans across six beautiful acres of landscaped lawns located on a natural island in the shape of a horseshoe. The village provides a fully-appointed facility for recreation, including modern bathrooms, a swimming pool, souvenir shops, a full-service bar, and picnic areas. Before guests embark on their rafting tour from the Martha Brae Rafting Village, visitors can take a walk through the Miss Martha’s Herb Garden, a display of herbs found on the island of Jamaica that are famous for their healing and medicinal properties.

The Martha Brae Rafting Village in Jamaica was established around forty years ago, and boasts a group of eight-five experienced and licensed raft captains. Bamboo rafts measuring approximately thirty feet in length are boarded by visitors from the rafting village’s concrete pier. The rafting experience is operated along a stretch of three miles of the stunning Martha Brae River, and last around one hour in duration. Once aboard the raft, visitors can learn all about “The Legend of Martha Brae,” and go for an exciting swim if they choose.

The Martha Brae River gets its name from a woman of the Arawak Indians. According to the local legend, men from Spain in search of gold forced the Arawak woman to show them the location of a local gold mine. Instead of telling the Spaniards the location of the mine, the woman used magic to alter the river’s course, drowning both herself and the Spanish men. It’s said that her ghost still protects the local gold mine’s entrance.

The Martha Brae Rafting Village has hosted quite a number of famous people over the years. Such celebrities include Queen Elizabeth II, champion of the 100-meter dash Usain Bolt, Johnny Cash, Kenny Rodgers, and Spike Lee. Other famous visitors of the rafting experience include Chuck Norris, Jane Seymour, former NBA player Patrick Ewing, Dionne Warwick, and heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

Rafters Village, Martha Brae, Falmouth, Jamaica, Phone: 876-952-0889

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