Welcome to Black River
The capital of St Elizabeth, Black River is a busy little place that was the most prosperous port in Jamaica in the late 19th century. The namesake river is a slow-moving slick of moldering tannins patrolled by crocodiles and boats full of curious tourists. Most visitors opt to stay in nearby Treasure Beach, but Black River makes a good jumping-off point for visiting attractions like YS Falls and the Appleton Rum Estate, and there's a charm to its historic core that's well worth exploring. The town’s Georgian buildings attest to its 19th-century prosperity, when Black River exported sugarcane and local logwood from which Prussian blue dye was extracted for textiles.
Locals proudly point out the Waterloo Guest House, which in 1893 became the first house in Jamaica to have electricity installed. The racetrack and spa that attracted the wealthy have sadly not survived the passage of time.