You do not have to climb the falls. They have a wooden staircast along the falls with plenty of picture opportunites along the way up. The stairs have a rail all the way up and a few spots with benches to sit. It is worth ot to go only if you have never seen the falls
It's pretty there. Amber and I climbed the falls and it was really fun. Amber is not physically fit at all and she made it without much problem. I saw tons of people who were not climbing the falls standing on the various decks overlooking the river and even some people who were splashing in the several plateaus where the water pools. Is it worth the bus ride? That depends on how close you are staying to the falls. We stay in CSS and it is a very quick ride there. If you are in Negril, I would think twice if you are not climbing the falls.
No cost once you get there, but there's a vendors market. Some say they are aggressive, but go with a good attitude. There are a few vendors waiting for you as you walk in the marked and they'll want to take you to their station. We had to catch our bus so we walked through the market without stopping and only had to say a few polite "no thanks" as we walked by. If you have time to shop, I say why not take charge and tell one of them to show you some good deals and avoid being hassled by the rest?
We have hiked the Falls twice. The first time my husband and I had our own guide who was very helpful and it seemed easy. (I was a bunch younger then.) A few years ago went on the bus from TI and it was a long line of people. I kept falling down and ended up with lots of bruises. Said that was the end of that kind of adventure.
I know the resort takes you there but do you have to pay at the falls once you get there?
Absolutely. Its a tourist attraction, duh! At the end of the journey they ask for tips for the guides for safely guiding you up the falls. I did it once. Was a fun experience. Would I do it again? No need. I agree with an earlier poster. You are bombarded by having to go through a gauntlet of sales huts selling all their wares. Some get very pushy.
My wife and I have done DRF's twice. It was so fun and beautiful the first time that we went back with our kids on another trip. This time I felt like we would have been safer going up the falls if the guides had not forced us all to join hands in a line about 50 people long. It sort of took the fun out of it a bit. The real dealbreaker for me this time was the village of vendors on the way out. Our guides were friendly and fun and earned and deserved their tips. The vendors was another story though. Between our two visits to DRF the vendors became much more aggressive, a lot more demanding, and a lot more unfriendly. When my daughter got about 5 feet from us a guy ran up and latched braclet on her wrist without saying a word and then demanded that we pay for it because she was wearing it. Needless to say... we did not buy it and never will under conditions like that, but when we were firm about not buying it he said we were not buying it because we 'hated Jamaicans'. We have been near Jamaica 25-30 times since the late 1980's and have never had such an unpleasant vendor experience as we had that day.
I would never tell anyone not to go to DRF if they have never been there because it is beautiful and interesting but I will always warn people to brace themselves for what could be an unpleasant trip through the gauntlet of vendors to get back to the parking lot. Go, have fun, n just don't be surprised at the end.
We did it once and it was cool. I agree with iscubanow47, did it once and dont need to do it again. A word of advise, stay to the right when you are done with the falls. It leads to the parking lot without going through the vendors.... If thats not your thing. Hope that helps.
My boyfriend and I returned from Couples Tower last week, and I made sure he came with me to DRFs while we were ther eand I would definitely do it again. I wouldn't need to buy anything or pay anything but I would definitely take a waterproof camera so that I could get pics of he and I in the falls. The video's cool and all, but not really great for posting or sharing. Definitely invest in a waterproof camera. It's well worth it. Also, take your own watershoes. You can hike it in runners but you'll get soaked so watershoes make more sense. You can buy them there but I'm not really sure if they're new or not. Billy and I were glad that we had our own.