The Black River is one of the longest rivers in Jamaica, flowing west for 33 miles (53 kilometers) until emptying into the Caribbean Sea near Negril. Travelers explore the river and its energetic YS Falls on inflatable tubes, canoes, or kayaks surrounded by lush green jungle and mangroves.
Adventure travelers visit the Black River and its natural swamp environment, which boasts the greatest biodiversity in the Caribbean, by tube, canoe, or kayak. Upriver at the YS Falls, one of the largest and prettiest waterfalls in Jamaica, water rushes over three levels of rocks landing in pools perfect for a refreshing dip.
A range of operators is available at the mouth of the river to set up a river tour or a crocodile safari to spot one of the hundreds of these large creatures who inhabit the mangroves.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Black River is suitable for solo travelers, couples, families with children, and nature lovers of all kinds.
- Most boats can only travel a few miles upstream due to a low bridge obstructing the way, but some boats are able to pass under the bridge for deeper exploration. Ask your captain before you set off.
- The river gets its name from its dark peat riverbed; the water is clear and clean and only appears black.
- Remember sun protection and swimwear.
How to Get There
The Black River is easily accessible from Negril by both taxi and rental car. Ask your hotel about the best transport to the mouth of the river where the tour operators are stationed.
When to Get There
Any time during the year is a good time to enjoy the river; however, there are some things to take into consideration when planning: July and August are the hottest months, and the rainiest months are typically May, June, September, and October.
The Historical Town of Black River
Don’t miss the seaport town of Black River, one of the island’s oldest. Declared a Protected National Heritage District, the town has lavish wooden and stone houses of Victorian, Georgian, British colonial, and Jamaican vernacular architectural styles that flourished during the island’s lucrative logwood trade and rum and pimento booms. The Invercauld Great House, now a hotel, is just one of the fantastic buildings on High Street.