YS Falls

Top choice waterfall in South Coast & Central Highlands

Image by narvikk Getty Images

This series of eight cascades, hemmed in by limestone cliffs and surrounded by lush jungle, are among the most beautiful in Jamaica. The cascades fall 36m from top to bottom, separated by cool pools perfect for swimming. Lifeguards assist you with the rope swing above one of the pools and a stone staircase follows the cascades to the main waterfall. There are no lockers, so watch your stuff.

Get here by tour or drive the 5.5km road from Middle Quarters.

The waters of YS (why-ess) take their name from the original landowners, ranchers John Yates and Richard Scott.

The more adventurous can fly, screeching, over the falls along a canopy zip line for US$50/35 per adult/under-12. A tractor-drawn jitney takes all visitors to the cascades, where you’ll find picnic grounds, changing rooms, a tree house and a shallow pool fed with river water.

Almost every tour operator in Jamaica (and many hotels) offers trips to YS Falls, but if you want to get here ahead of the crowds, drive yourself (or charter your own taxi) and arrive right when the grounds open.

The YS Falls entrance is just north of the junction of the B6 toward Maggotty. From the A2 (a much smoother road if you’re driving), the turnoff is 1.5km east of Middle Quarters; from here you’ll head 5.5km north to the falls. Public transport is not a reliable way of reaching the falls.