Jungle doesn’t get any better than this: YS Falls on Jamaica’s south coast, a series of seven cascades, tumble down a rain forest mountainside into natural swimming holes. Located about 50 miles from Montego Bay’s cruise terminal, YS Falls is a wilder, more remote version of the island’s more celebrated natural wonder, Dunn’s River Falls.
A number of Montego Bay outfitters offer half- and full-day visits to YS Falls. Or you can hire a taxi or rent your own vehicle and navigate the scenic highway that snakes through the mountains to the south coast.
The cascades are on the upper reaches of the YS River, which winds through a working ranch where thoroughbred racehorses and Red Poll cattle are raised. After checking in at the roadside visitor center, guests hop onto a jitney wagon pulled by a tractor for a 10-minute ride to the falls through the ranch’s lush pasturelands.
You can chill out and enjoy the scenery or work up a sweat doing various adrenaline-pumping activities, including whitewater river tubing, taking your turn at the Tarzan-style rope swing, and hopping on a new canopy ride that zips you from the top to the bottom of the falls in a matter of seconds. The grounds around the falls are also great for bird watching.
In addition to changing rooms and eco-friendly toilets, amenities include a restaurant serving typical Jamaican dishes, lifeguards on duty, a bar dispensing Appleton rum and Red Stripe beer, and a gift shop with locally made handicrafts. Highway B6, St. Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica; 876.997.6360; ysfalls.com.