Of the many incredible things to do in Jamaica, chasing waterfalls definitely should definitely be in your top 3. Dunn’s River Falls, Mayfield Falls, Konoko Falls and Reach Falls are among the best waterfalls on island, but YS Falls stands out among them all for its reputation of being one of the “most well kept attractions in Jamaica” and “a tranquil and serene place that has it all”.
Photos and videos of YS Falls sell the experience effortlessly but nothing beats being there and witnessing the magic first hand. Located on Jamaica’s South Coast near the Black River in St. Elizabeth Parish, YS Falls is relatively easy to access from areas along that coast, as well as Negril. The lure of YS is the multitude of waterfalls to be found there; seven in all. In addition to the waterfalls, visitors can also explore a tropical garden and plunge into pristine natural pools.
Hours after arriving at YS Falls, you’ll still hardly be ready to leave, but fortunately there’s much to explore at this Jamaican attraction. Read on for everything you need to know about YS Falls!
Insider tip: Planning on staying in the Negril area while in Jamaica? The luxurious couples only all-inclusive resort Sandals Negril is located right on Seven Mile Beach and great for a mix of romance and adventure as you can easily book a day trip to YS Falls via the resort!
You won’t find any place in Jamaica with a shorter name than YS, and believe it or not, this area was initially a cane farm with a factory (in the 1800s) before it was recognized as such a stunning visitor attraction. It was then known as YS Estate, and served as a supplier of logwood which in many instances would be bound for Europe.
The ownership of the Estate around which the falls are located was transferred many times to different owners. The great grand uncle of the current owners of the falls is said to have purchased the property in London, where it was being held in the Encumbered Estates Court — he wanted a property with a river running through it, and bought the estate before laying eyes on it. After that point, the property continued with the production and export of logwood and cane, until those markets dried up. Cattle was also raised on the estate (particularly Jamaica Red Poll cattle), and later, thoroughbred horses.
Today, YS Falls is enjoyed as a major tourist attraction in Jamaica, boasting several beautiful waterfalls and lots of other natural attributes loved by visitors the world over.
If you want to get the most out of any experience, the first thing you’ll need to do is be open to what comes with it. At YS, this can include a tractor and jitney ride, which will in about 10 minutes take you up to the falls. The scenery along the way (mountains, fields, horses and the like) will be memorable to say the least, much like the laughter you won’t be able to resist along the way. The drop off point will be the gift shop, at which point you can plan what you’d like to do first on the estate.
As with many of the popular tourist attractions in Jamaica, there’s a gift shop on property at YS Falls. Inside the gift shop you’ll find lots of local craft including handcrafted art pieces, clothing, and other souvenirs. One of the best things about the gift shop is the way it blends in effortlessly with the natural surroundings; it includes charming and expansive verandahs from which you can spot lots of colorful birds taking turns at the bird feeder. You can also grab a bite while you’re there; hot dogs, hot beverages and other refreshments are available.
The main attraction at YS Falls is of course the waterfalls, and there are a whopping seven waterfalls at this location. The falls are located just off the Black River, and in the vicinity, you’ll find several picnic tables set up in scenic locations where you can enjoy afternoon lunch once you’re done cooling off in the natural pools. As a plus, there’s also a ‘Tarzan swing’ which visitors love that can be used to make the biggest splash into the pool!
Insider tip: Climbing the falls is an amazing option that can be done safely with a guide, though if you prefer to take it easy, you can just walk up the stairs on the side to get to the top!
Not only can you enjoy easily accessible waterfalls at YS Falls via carefully implemented pathways and steps, you’ll also be able to spend some time soaking in natural pools beneath the bluest skies imaginable. The natural pools are filled with water from the waterfalls which cascade beautifully into these nature made pools. There are guides and lifeguards in the pool area who will be able to guide you to the best pools to swim in. Most of the natural pools are comfortable and child friendly as they are relatively shallow (around 4 feet), which means you’ll be able to swim worry-free.
The River Pool is located directly at the base of the falls. The base of this and other natural pools is composed of smooth river pebbles, and there’s also lifeguards keeping watch. The waters are crystal clear, so you’ll be able to see right through to the bottom on most days. There are also usually lounge chairs near the pool where you can relax before or after getting in.
A short distance away from the falls, you’ll find the Garden Pool. In the garden pool area, you can spend some time in the cabanas, and you can expect similar physical attributes to this and other natural pools at YS. Skip from one pool to the other until you’re completely refreshed!
Who can turn down some fun filled ziplining in the Caribbean? This is an especially good activity to get into at YS Falls as it’ll grant you some amazing views of the falls from an aerial perspective. From 40 feet up, you’ll be able to look down on the expansive jungle below as you dangle (safety!) above the picture perfect falls. You can also take a canopy tour from the top of the falls, to the base.
The gardens at YS are perfect for unwinding and letting the realization sink in that you really are in the Caribbean — that whimsical place you’ve always wanted to visit! So quaint and beautiful is the garden at this location that you’ll feel like you’re pressing the reset button as you remind yourself inwardly to take in every last drop of this awe-inspiring experience.
Insider tip: Grab some snacks before heading to the garden, and eat in the midst of the calming tropical flora. Picnic tables are available in this area.
River tubing is a must in Jamaica, and YS Falls is one of the places where you can do this. If you want to ensure you’ll be able to go river tubing at YS, you may need to make reservations in advance as this can book up quickly. Speak with your tour operator to make arrangements in advance.
Feeling for some delicious Jamaican delights? The on property restaurant at YS Falls has you covered. You can stop by to grab something to eat before or after you go for a leisurely swim in the natural pool!
Feeling thirsty? The onsite bar at YS Falls is close at hand so visitors can stay hydrated and in good spirits throughout their visit. You’ll definitely want to drink lots of water in these sunny temps!
Younger kids are not left out of the mix at YS Falls. They can spend some time with parents or caregivers at the YS Falls playground which will definitely help keep kids happy and occupied in between dips in the pool.
YS Falls has convenient packing if you do decide to drive there on your own. Once you park, the tractor or jitney will take you up to the falls, and later, back to the parking lot when you’re ready to leave.
You can expect to find lifeguards on duty at YS falls, though it is a requirement that anyone who gets into the water knows how to swim. For small children and those unable to swim, there is a special natural pool that is filled via an under and above ground spring that’ll be perfect for some YS water play and relaxation.
There are convenient changing rooms at YS Falls as well as restrooms you’ll be able to make use of during your time there. The bathrooms can be found near the ticket office.
Adult: $20.00 USD
Child (3-15 years old): $12.00 USD (Ja.$1,500.00)
Jamaican Residents with valid ID (Drivers License, Voter ID or Work permit):
Adult: $1,500.00 JMD
Child(3-15 years old): $1,000.00 JMD
Tip: If you’re going to YS Falls with a group exceeding 10 people, you’ll need to make a reservation. The maximum group size for visits to YS Falls is 15 people.
YS Falls are open regularly with the exception of Monday every week. The falls are also closed for holidays like Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. Aside from that, you’ll be able to visit the falls during their opening hours of 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Admission stops daily at 3 pm. Mid-December until April is one of the most popular times to visit Jamaica overall, and that is something worth keeping in mind when planning your visit to YS Falls. Read more about the Best Time to Visit Jamaica to help plan your trip.
Good to know: The opening days and times of YS Falls are subject to change, so it’s a good idea to call to get all the details you need ahead of a visit.
The best way to get to YS Falls is by arranging a tour to get there. Going as part of a tour takes away the hassle of having to plan to get there and finding the location on your own. If you’re planning to take a taxi, make sure the car has a red number plate.
If you’re planning a trip to Jamaica and want to ensure you’re close enough to YS Falls to make visits there more convenient, there are a few all-inclusive resorts located nearby that’ll be perfect for your next vacation. These include:
Located on a 40-minute drive from YS Falls.
Sandals South Coast is truly something special boasting the largest swimming pool in all of Jamaica, 9 gourmet restaurants including the guest favorite Café de Paris (a French inspired pastry shop) and opportunities for guests to be at one with nature with early morning garden tours right on property. There’s a ton of other amazing things you’ll love about this resort, including how easy it’ll be for you to book excursions while there. One such tour you’ll be able to book through Island Routes is the YS Falls Experience which will let you experience the best of YS Falls firsthand!
Located on a 1 hour and 45-minute drive from YS Falls.
All-inclusive and luxury focused, Sandals Negril could be the perfect escape for you and your love on your upcoming Jamaica trip. Sandals Negril is located on Seven Mile Beach and includes access to 7 restaurants on property, 5 bars including swim-up bars, and a host of other quality Sandals inclusions including butler service depending on your room category. At Sandals Negril, you’ll be able to book an Island Routes tour to YS falls like the YS Falls and Treetop Zipline Highlight from Negril or the YS Falls Experience.
Insider tip: Whether you’re staying at Sandals Negril or Sandals South Coast, you’ll be able to book tours during your stay at the resort tour desk, or via the call center. All tours include transportation to the site, and back to the resort.
YS Falls is located in the South Coast of Jamaica in the “breadbasket” parish of St. Elizabeth. The hours and contact details for the Estate are listed below:
Hours: 9:30am – 3:30pm
Closed: Mondays & Local Public Holidays.
Phone: (876) 997-6360
Jamaica has many outstanding attractions but not all offer such a wide variety of things to do all in one place like YS Falls. At YS Falls you’ll be able to have a day that’s as busy or laid back as you would like as you indulge in an experience that is authentically Jamaican!