Waterfalls, Natural Pools & Gorgeous Gardens — Your Jamaica YS Falls Family Adventure Awaits!

Image credit: Stefano Manocchio/Shutterstock.com

Stunning waterfalls definitely belong in the top five things Jamaica is known for. No matter where you choose to stay for a vacation on this island, chances are you’ll be near one of its incredible waterfalls. Among the many waterfalls to choose from, the ones on the south coast such as YS Falls, stand out as some of the most outstanding.

YS Falls Negril Jamaica

Image credit: Stefano Manocchio/Shutterstock.com

YS Falls is located near the Black River in St. Elizabeth Parish and it is made up of seven fascinating waterfalls. When you visit, you’ll immediately be captivated by the serene natural beauty of this space. In addition to mesmerizing cascades and natural pools, there is so much to do at YS Falls including ziplining, which offers amazing views along the way. Families in particular will love a visit to this attraction as it also provides a chance for kids to enjoy a tractor ride, a playground, and so much more. Hands down, YS Falls is an excellent destination for all ages.

If you’re planning to visit YS Falls during your time in Jamaica, here’s everything you need to know:

Things to do and see at YS Falls

Enjoy the natural sights of the seven waterfalls

The allure of Caribbean waterfalls lies in their powerful rush and captivating beauty. YS Falls is a rare gem with not one, but seven waterfalls nestled in one place. This is a rarity, even for Jamaica, which has so many wonderful waterfalls around this island. The waterfalls at YS Falls are tiered waterfalls and they all flow down into various natural pools.

The drop of the tiered waterfalls at YS Falls measures around 120 feet from the bottom. It is possible to climb the falls as part of your visit to this attraction. If you want to do this, it is best to go with a guide, as the falls can be quite slippery. If you plan on climbing the falls, you may also need water shoes or some other type of sturdy waterproof shoes. Climbing the falls is optional though. There are other ways to get to the top of the waterfalls to enjoy the amazing views. You can do so by using the steps on the side of the falls, which tends to be a preferred option for guests with children.

Splash in the natural pools

Waterfalls are one thing, but waterfalls with their own natural pools really take things to another level. At the YS Falls’ natural pools, you can spend as much time as you’d like cooling off from the sun and soaking in the gentle rays. The best time to enjoy the natural pools is probably after you’ve done the wet or dry climb at this location, but you can dip in and cool off at any point during your visit to YS Falls.

If you plan on getting into the natural pools of YS Falls, it’ll be good to know that there are guides and lifeguards in the pool area. You can ask them for guidance if you’re unsure about which natural pool to get into. Most of the natural pools at YS Falls are child-friendly as they are relatively shallow. The majority of the pools are around 4 feet deep, but you can still ask if you’re unsure.

The River Pool

Two of the most popular natural pools at YS Falls are the River Pool and the Garden Pool. The River Pool is situated at the base of the falls. It features smooth river pebbles on its bottom, which are gentle on your feet. However, if you prefer, you can still choose to wear water shoes for added comfort. The water in the River Pool is remarkably clear, allowing you to see the smooth stones from the top. This clarity provides reassurance to parents, as they can ensure the safety of their children from any potentially sharp rocks.

The Garden Pool

The Garden Pool is located not far from the base of the falls. This pool has a setup that resembles a traditional swimming pool more than the other natural pools. The surrounding area is enhanced with cabanas and spread-out lounge chairs nestled amidst the grass and trees, providing pleasant shaded spots to relax even on the sunniest of days.

In addition to dipping into the natural pools at YS Falls, it can be fun to enjoy a bite while taking in the scenic views. You can find picnic tables near the pools where you can relax, sit back, and savor your snacks or meals.

Good to know: For the ultimate relaxation while enjoying the natural pools, definitely make use of the lounge chairs. These are particularly suitable for parents with older kids who can splash around independently. From the lounge chairs, parents can still keep a close eye on their children.

Canopy zipline tour

Other than the waterfalls and natural pools, one of the standout features of YS Falls is the thrilling zipline adventure it offers. The zipline course allows visitors to enjoy an aerial view of the falls from a height of about 40 feet. The scenery during this experience is truly spectacular, providing an up-close encounter with the lush, tropical jungle as you soar through the treetops. Many visitors choose to use the zipline as a means to reach the base of the falls after completing the waterfall climb. Additionally, canopy tours are available from the top of the falls to the base.

Before embarking on this exhilarating experience, a safety briefing is provided. During this briefing, the guides demonstrate the techniques and prepare you for what to expect during the zipline adventure. Whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned zipliner, it’s reassuring to know that a guide will be present with you throughout the experience, ensuring your safety and enjoyment.

River tubing

River tubing is a dynamic island activity that your kids won’t be able to resist. You can do this as a stand-alone, or combine it with some zip-lining during your visit to YS Falls. During the river tubing activity, you’ll get to relax in a huge tube as you flow with the currents down a river. A guide usually comes along for the adventure, and this definitely can be one of the most memorable things you do in Jamaica.

Good to know: If you plan on river tubing while at YS Falls, you may need to book this ahead of your visit. This is a popular activity and it tends to get booked quickly. Make arrangements with your tour operator or resort tour desk as early as possible.

Explore the park and gardens

A perhaps less talked about feature at YS Falls is the park and gardens. However, this doesn’t diminish the beauty of this space, which boasts enchanting Ginger Lily walkways, pockets of flowering trees, and meticulously maintained gardens. The gardens at YS Falls are expansive, providing a serene and tranquil atmosphere where visitors can unwind and relax. It’s the perfect setting to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.

Within the park and gardens, you’ll find picnic tables where you can take a break, enjoy some refreshments, or simply cool off for a moment. This area is ideal if you’re seeking a bit of sunshine and downtime in nature, especially if you’re visiting with children. Once everyone is refreshed and rejuvenated, you can return to the park for more fun-filled activities.

Playground for younger kids

If you’ll be visiting YS Falls with younger kids, fear not! They have something of their own that they can enjoy while at this location. This is none other than a designated playground made just for little ones. This feature places YS Falls high on the list of family-friendly attractions in Jamaica. The playground at this waterfall location can be a welcome break from the splashing around and a good change of pace for everyone.

Tractor and jitney ride

Before you enjoy the waterfalls and natural pools at YS Falls, one of the first items on your agenda can be a tractor and jitney ride. You can actually make your way to the falls with this tractor and jitney ride, which will certainly be fun for the kids. This ride lasts around 10 minutes and it will take you from the entrance of YS Falls to the area where you can access the falls. Along the way, you’ll get to admire the stunning scenery, which includes mountains, open fields, and majestic horses. You and the kids certainly will have a lot to talk about along the way as anticipation builds for the main event!

Getting to YS Falls in Jamaica

It won’t be hard to access YS Falls from some of the most popular areas in Jamaica, such as Negril. From some of the most popular Negril resorts like Beaches Negril, it will take around 1 hour and 45 minutes by car to get to this waterfall. You’ll easily be able to get a car rental for this adventure if you book in advance. There is on-site parking at YS Falls, which makes driving yourself convenient if that’s your preferred option.

Tours to YS Falls are also possible from Negril and other parts of Jamaica. This is a hassle-free way to explore this attraction as you won’t have to think about maps or anything else other than booking your tour on time. There are a variety of tour operators that you can choose from for a visit to YS Falls. Most tour companies include pick up and drop off from your hotel or resort as part of your package.

Some of the best YS Falls tours available in Jamaica include the Island Routes YS Falls Experience, which is a stand-alone waterfall experience. You can also book your canopy zipline tickets combined with the Private YS Falls & Treetop Zipline Highlight tour. If you want to visit YS Falls as part of a combination tour that includes another popular attraction, you can try the YS Falls & Appleton Estate Rum Tour. All of these options can be wonderful ways to have a waterfall experience at YS Falls in Jamaica.

Other things to know before visiting YS Falls

Pricing is an important consideration before heading to YS Falls. If you want to enjoy the falls only while at this waterfall, you’ll just need to pay USD$20 per adult and USD$12 per child aged 3-15 for entry. Of course, the rates are subject to change and should be verified before you head out. If you will be going with a tour company, chances are your entrance fee will be included in the overall tour package. This is something you’ll need to find out about in advance as it can vary based on the type of tour and the tour company that you choose. When it comes to admissions, there are separate prices for Jamaican nationals -- residents with valid ID pay around $1,500.00 JMD, or $1,000.00 JMD for children.

YS Falls is open on most days during the week, except Monday. On holidays including Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day, the falls are usually closed. Opening hours are pretty standard here — 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Admission stops daily at 3 pm. It can be a great option to visit the falls in the morning as you’ll have more time to enjoy all of the attractions.

Food, drinks & other conveniences at YS Falls

When visiting YS Falls, you have the option to bring your own food or make use of the convenient onsite bar and restaurant. The restaurant at this location is known for serving delicious local cuisine, such as Jerk Chicken, allowing you to savor authentic Jamaican flavors during your visit Additionally, there is a small café section located inside the gift shop on the property. The café offers items like hot dogs, hot beverages, and other refreshments for a quick bite.

The gift shop at YS Falls seems to have a tropical and nature-based theme, creating a peaceful atmosphere. It features large verandas from which you can observe various bird species flocking to the bird feeder, which can be a thrilling sight for children. Visiting the gift shop is an excellent option if you want to purchase local crafts, including handmade art pieces, clothing, and other souvenirs, allowing you to take a piece of Jamaica’s beauty and culture home with you.

Also useful to know, there are changing rooms and restrooms within this part of the falls. This is a good place to change in or out of your swimwear during this adventure if you plan on getting into the natural pools. Keep in mind that there are lifeguards and local guides at YS Falls, which is a safety measure. The guides and lifeguards help keep everyone safe while enjoying the water and can also show you the best spots at this attraction.

Expert tip: If you love YS Falls and want more time in the water in Jamaica, you can visit some of this island’s amazing beaches like Seven Mile Beach in Negril, as well as the Negril water park which is always a good time!

Things to bring to YS Falls

When heading to YS Falls in Jamaica for a day trip, there are a few things you won’t want to leave behind. This list includes swimwear, water shoes, towels, sunscreen, change of clothing, food, snacks (if you don’t plan on purchasing any), and water. While you can get water on-site, it is always a good idea to bring your own especially when heading out with children during the day in Jamaica. Be sure to bring lots of sunscreen as reapplications are usually needed with kids going in and out of the water.

Expert tip: Can’t get enough of waterfalls? Why not waterfall hop to some of the best waterfalls in Jamaica? You can start with YS Falls and make your way to other locations like the popular Dunn's River Falls Jamaica, Reach Falls Jamaica, Mayfield Falls, Konoko Falls Jamaica, and Turtle River Falls. The Ocho Rios Blue Hole also offers the opportunity to dip into a huge natural pool and enjoy the magic of the outdoors in Jamaica.

YS Falls: Perfect for a family adventure in Jamaica

There is no short supply of things to do in Jamaica if you want a fun day out with your family. YS Falls is certainly one of the best options for places to go on this island, especially if you have children. Bring along your swimsuits and get set for a day that includes lots of splashing around in refreshing natural pools and exploring the expansive grounds and gardens of YS Falls!

For the most memorable YS Falls experience, it's a good idea to make an informed decision on where to stay. Families with children will love the Jamaica all-inclusive resorts as these tend to make a vacation a lot more hassle-free. Beaches Resorts has lots of quality inclusions families will rave about, from Kids Camps and waterparks to day and night entertainment, unlimited land and water sports, and gourmet dining at multiple restaurants. With a trip like this plus exciting attractions like YS Falls, this can truly be one of your most memorable vacations yet!

Expert tip: Planning all-inclusive family vacations or group vacations, in general, can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re heading to Jamaica, read up on the best Jamaica resorts and some of the incredible things to do in Jamaica with kids so that everyone stays in good spirits!

Kylie Morrow

About Kylie Morrow

Writing for 13 years, Kylie discovered that experiences tell the best stories. As a Caribbean mother who wrote for newspapers, magazines, and blogs, she believes inspiration is even found in our kids!