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Falling for YS Falls

My YS Falls adventure begins as soon as I board the tractor-drawn jitney that would take me from the main entrance of YS Estate, a 2,000-acre, privately owned stud farm, to the falls.

Falling for YS Falls

Falling for YS Falls

It’s a leisurely 10-minute ride through lush vegetation that stretches as far as the eye can see. Pass logwood or bloodwood trees, which the estate used to export to Europe back when dyes couldn’t be made without it, poinciana and ackee trees among others, grazing Jamaica Red Poll cattle with an egret or two waiting patiently to catch its next meal, and horses roaming freely in the distance.

About halfway into the ride, part of the YS River, from which the falls derive, comes into view, its sound hardly noticeable over the put-put-put of the jitney. The water is clear and looks refreshing on this day that is being baked slowly by the sun.

Falling for YS Falls

Wading Pool

As we come to a stop, I take in the view: a wading pool ringed by ginger lilies and lounge chairs is to my left, a gift shop and cafe on my right, and dead ahead, the bottom of the falls — the rest disappearing into the verdant foliage. A huge logwood tree with a platform catch my eye and as I look up, someone lets out a big woohoo as they take off flying 50 feet above the canopy of trees.

Falling for YS Falls

One of the seven falls

Falling for YS Falls

The Falls

At approximately 120 meters, YS Falls has seven waterfalls that form several natural pools that invite you to take a dip or, for the more adventurous, a jump.

Falling for YS Falls

The Falls

Falling for YS Falls

Jumping in

There have been changes to the grounds since the last time I visited YS. Walkways now lead from the base of the falls to the top, a zip line canopy tour has been added and there’s tubing for the less adventurous. Several guides are on hand at each pool and accompany tubers and zip liners. Only swimmers are allowed to enter the water.

For the little ones, there are play areas far away from the water, and a few benches placed strategically around the grounds entice you to sit and enjoy nature’s bounty. Or grab a seat on the porch of the gift shop and watch as bird feeders call colorful hummingbirds to take a sip.

YS Estate is also a working stud farm that has produced several thoroughbred champions for Caymanas Park, the local racetrack.

Respect for the Environment

The Browne family, who own the estate and the falls, which are nestled in the foothills of the Cockpit Country, has taken great care in maintaining the natural environment. According to their site, when the falls opened in 1992, Simon Browne wanted to limit the number of visitors to 25 a day but that had to be revised as interest grew. Still, he’s said to monitor the numbers. (Groups are limited to 25.) In keeping with their drive to be environmentally aware, all toilets are eco-friendly.

My friend who joined me for the visit announced that she was in love with YS Falls, that because of the lushness of the surroundings, she preferred it to Dunn’s River Falls. True, YS feels more in harmony with the environment than Dunn’s River though I believe each has its own charm.

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Before you go:

YS Falls is located 50 miles from Montego Bay and Negril. Tours can be arranged through your hotel or guest house.
Admission: Adults $15/Children $7.50
Canopy Tour: Adults $42/Children $20
Tubing: $6 (20 minutes)
Hours: Tuesday to Sundays 9:30 – 4:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and local holidays
Telephone: 876-997-6360

This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website.


  1. oh wow, this area looks so much like some springs I love to visit here in Florida–even the string to swing into the water! =) good memories (and great shots by the way)
    Nomadic Translator recently posted..Travel bucket list ideas: Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, New ZealandMy Profile

  2. Andrew Graeme Gould

    A delightful series of photos from this beautiful location!
    Andrew Graeme Gould recently posted..New York, USA: Rainy day street shotMy Profile

  3. I would definitely visit this place if I make it to Jamaica. Your pictures are great and those falls look very appealing. I’d be happy to spend hours lounging away – and I bet the bird-life is decent too.
    Leigh recently posted..Highlights of a Trip to Yoho National ParkMy Profile

  4. What a beautiful spot to head to on a hot and humid day!! I wouldn’t be doing any jumping but I certainly would enjoy relaxing there for an afternoon!
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  5. I love waterfalls! These are so beautiful. I would really enjoy spending time here and bet the sound is amazing.
    Debbie Beardsley recently posted..The World of Violins in MittenwaldMy Profile

  6. Beautiful! Oh how I’d love to take a dip in there! And the jitney is cute 🙂
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  7. Cathy Sweeney

    Beautiful place. I can see why anyone would “fall” for them. Love the title, by the way. Nice that the owners are conscious of the environment, too.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Capital Ideas for a Washington D.C. VisitMy Profile

  8. Looks like great place!
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  9. It is, Dick. It sure is.

  10. I had read or heard somewhere that the name is a corruption of a Scottish (I think) word but I haven’t been able to find any references to it.
    I’m glad that they are particularly because of their location.

  11. Especially on a hot day, it’s so cooling to take a dip. Yes, the jitney’s a nice touch.

  12. What a beautiful place! There are definitely less people here from what I remember at Dunns. I love how they limit groups and they’re so Eco-friendly. Great pictures.
    Mary recently posted..Touring Torcello Island, ItalyMy Profile

  13. That’s a beautiful area. Jamaica is so full of beauty spots.

  14. like, like, like
    Narelle recently posted..from little things big things growMy Profile

  15. Yes, the south coast is especially beautiful and lush. The north coast has better beaches.

  16. Definitely, Mary, a lot less people. It’s not as easily accessible or as well known as Dunn’s River.

  17. The sound is definitely amazing, Debbie. Just makes you want to jump in.

  18. It is a lovely place to relax whether by the pool or sitting on a bench under a tree.

  19. Thanks, Leigh. It is a beautiful place to lounge and listen to the birds. What I also like about it is that it isn’t overrun by people.

  20. Thanks, Andrew! Glad you like them. It really is a lovely spot.

  21. Thanks, Maria. So have you ever jumped into the water? Hahaha, I’m sure you have!

  22. of course I have–you know me well! 😉
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  23. Jackie Smith

    Loved the tour you took us on this week. Felt like I was right there with you – we could have used some of that cool water in Arizona where we hovered at 100+ degrees all week. Great information as well. Thanks Marcia.
    Jackie Smith recently posted..TPThursday: A Sonoran SpringMy Profile

  24. Hahahaha, I guess I do!

  25. Looks fun and beautiful! I agree with Leigh, that the bird life (and flowers) must be great!

  26. It looks like a great place to relax. I wonder why waterfalls are always so fascinating.
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..Quirky Attraction: Ocean Beach Pier Cafe in San DiegoMy Profile

  27. These falls are beautiful! I love waterfalls where you can actually get in the water and swim; they’re so much more fun. 🙂

  28. YS Falls looks beautiful. I also love the ginger lilies.
    Laurel recently posted..Cucina Povera: Peasant Cuisine is Back in StyleMy Profile

  29. Oh this is a stunning place! Just like a dream! I can’t help watching the photos again and again!
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  30. Did you go zip-lining?
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  31. I think I’ll do that the next time. Spent most of the time walking the grounds, taking photos.

  32. I’m glad you like them, Naxysch. It is a beautiful place.

  33. It sure is, Laurel, and the ginger lilies add pop of color.

  34. You’re so right, Christy. There are so many that we can only look at from a distance.

  35. Good question, Scott. It’s almost mesmerizing to just watch the water tumbling down the falls.

  36. It definitely is, Jenna. And yes, birds and flowers are quite plentiful there.

  37. Glad you like the tour, Jackie. 100+ degrees? We’ll gladly send you some cool water!

  38. Glad, glad, glad.

  39. I’ve never seen photos of these waterfalls before… so pretty!
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  40. It definitely is, Michael!