YS Falls, Jamaica

We enjoyed a fun visit and a hike up the falls at Dunn’s River in Jamaica during a stop there years ago and when we heard there was a set of falls equally or even more beautiful than Dunn’s River and a LOT less crowded, we decided we really wanted to see them! Actually, there were 3 things on our list of things we really wanted to see in that area and were able to find a tour operator that could personalize a day of exploring for us. Carlton, of Turner Taxis and Tours, was an excellent, knowledgeable and fun guide that made our day of touring one that we won’t forget.

We left our resort at about 8a.m. that day to tour the SW side of Jamaica. First stop of the day was YS Falls. The journey to YS from Negril was about 2.5 hours and may be a little shorter most times, but there was a bit of road construction that slowed us up down around the Sandals Whitehouse Resort (remote and on a gorgeous quiet beach by the way!)

We passed by fields and fields of sugar cane, many fresh fruit and vegetable stands with offerings of ackee, breadfruit and peanuts and as we got closer to the coast again, fresh fish stands. We passed the Peter Tosh Memorial, which we wish we would have made time to visit, then on to Black River (where they have alligator tours???) and up into the hills towards the falls.

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Apparently no one really knows the exact origin of the name YS, but most think it was either a combination of the first letters of the original founders surnames (John Yates and Richard Scott) or was taken from the Gaelic word “wyess”, which means winding.

Upon arrival, we paid an entry fee of $15 per adult (the credit card machine was down, so we paid with cash) and caught a 10 minute ride on the tractor up to the falls.

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The number of visitors at one time are apparently limited to minimize the impact on the area, but it also created a serene and peaceful experience.

YS consists of seven falls and there are areas to climb or just sit and enjoy. If you don’t want to get wet, there are wooden stairs next to the falls that will take you to the top. The water was flowing fast and hard the day we visited, and the water was a churned up and a bit murky, but from what we hear, the pools are quite clear.

In one pool there are two rope swings – one that glides out over the pool,

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and one for the more adventurous!

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In addition to the swings, you can also take a zipline down the falls! Unfortunately it wasn’t running at the time we were there but it looked like it would have been a blast! You can see the line over the falls in the picture below.

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At the bottom of the falls there is a freshwater pool to swim in and numerous places to sit, relax and enjoy the scenery.

Near the pool there are changing rooms and a small gift shop with lockers and tube rental.

Beautiful, relaxing and refreshing. We think YS Falls are well worth a visit while if you find yourself on the south or southwest side of Jamaica.

Find out more on their website: YS Falls

Find YS Falls on our Jamaica Map

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  1. Tracy Harden says:

    We haven’t been to either Dunn’s River or YS Falls, but we went to Mayfield Falls 4 years ago. Set back in the jungle, also on the SW part of the island. Very low key, not as big falls as you picture here. but very fun and excellent guides that will take lots of pics for you. You can also order lunch that will be prepared from scratch while you are exploring the falls and ready when you return. Local craftsmen selling gifts and trinkets as well.