YS Falls comprises seven waterfalls on the YS River, located in St. Elizabeth Parish on the lush south coast of Jamaica. Often overshadowed by Dunn’s River Falls, YS is worth a visit for its more secluded location and the promise of a less-crowded experience of Jamaica’s natural beauty.
YS Estate is a working cattle farm where you can catch a glimpse of Jamaican countryside farm life as you make you way to YS Falls, which are on the property. Tours involve a jitney tractor ride to YS Falls; along the way you’ll encounter natural swimming pools adjacent to the cascading falls, as well as the surrounding tropical jungle, which provides opportunities for ziplining. There are wooden walkways along the riverbank for those who would rather walk than zipline, and the property provides other activities such as river tubing down the small rapids and a turn on a rope swing.
Tours depart frequently for YS Falls and the south coast of Jamaica from Falmouth, Montego Bay, and Negril. Many tours combine a YS Falls visit with other nearby highlights such as a Black River safari or sightseeing cruise, and a visit to the famous Appleton Rum Estate.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Be sure to bring a bathing suit and water shoes, must-haves for safely exploring the falls and for swimming in the natural pools.
- Some pools are deep enough to require decent swimming ability, but some are shallow enough for children to wade in.
- A kiosk at the falls sells light snacks and hot dogs.
How to Get There
YS Falls is located 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Montego Bay and 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Negril. Most visitors arrive at YS Falls on guided tour with transportation included from Negril, Montego Bay, or Ocho Rios.
When to Get There
YS Falls and the YS Estate are open from 9:30am to 3:30pm Tuesday through Sunday; they are closed on Mondays, and on local and public holidays. Getting there first thing in the morning means less crowds. Jamaica’s rainy season is in October through November; visiting during that time may mean slippery rocks and strong currents.
Stud and Cattle Farm at YS Estate
In addition to hosting the spectacular falls, YS Estate is home to a stud farm breeding thoroughbred horses for racing on Jamaica’s only racetrack. The farm also raises Jamaica Red Poll Cattle, a pedigreed herd farmed for beef. Animal-loving visitors can view and learn about both herds on a YS Estate visit.