How to Spend 24 Hours in Black River, Jamaica

Y.S. Falls, Jamaica
Y.S. Falls, Jamaica | © Sherry Talbot / Shutterstock
Culture Trip

Established in the late 17th century, the historic town of Black River is the capital of the Jamaican parish of St Elizabeth. Named after the river that flows through it, Black River was an important sea trading post, with a busy port that now serves mostly fishermen and tourists. Despite not being on the main tourist trail, Black River has much of interest and is well worth a visit—here’s how to spend 24 hours in this historic town.

Visit YS Falls

Opened in 1992, YS falls is a beautiful natural attraction with seven waterfalls and natural pools for swimming. Sun loungers and picnic benches are arranged in the well kept tropical gardens—perfect for relaxing after a refreshing swim. For a bit more excitement, there is also a canopy top zip-line.

Address and Phone Number:

YS Falls, Saint Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica, +1 876 997 6360

Y.S. Falls, Jamaica

Spend Time at Treasure Beach

Treasure beach is a six mile stretch of coast that encompasses beaches, little coves, and rocky outcrops. Rustic and charming, this “hidden” corner of Jamaica has some great little beaches. An absolute must is the Pelican Bar—built on stilts a mile offshore in the Caribbean sea, it is reached by local boat and serves seafood and a range of local drinks.


Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, Jamaica

Visit the Appleton Rum Estate

The Appleton Estate produces one of the best rums in the world and has a very well-organized visitor center. Located on the Black River, upstream of the town and just a 30 kilometer drive away, the estate has been producing rum since at least 1749, and possibly much earlier. One of the few rum estates in the world to have a terroir, this shows real craftsmanship.

Address and Phone Number:

Appleton Rum Estate, St Elizabeth, Jamaica, +1 876 963 9215

Appleton Estate, Jamaica

Take a Crocodile Safari Boat Trip

The Black River forms the lower morass—a collection of small sea estuaries, swamps, and marshes that collectively form the largest swamp in the Caribbean. Wildlife river tours can be arranged in the town at the wharf, which travel upstream for three miles. It is almost guaranteed that you will see multiple crocodiles and other interesting wildlife during the tour.

Address and Phone Number:

Black River Safari, St Elizabeth, Jamaica, +1 876 965 2513


Walk the Old Town Center

Black River is of historic significance—one of the island’s oldest towns, it was the first to receive electricity and the first to have automobiles. There are many fine examples of Georgian and Victorian era architecture to view. Highlights include: Farquharson Wharf, where slaves were originally brought into Jamaica; the old courthouse; Magdala house; and the Parish Church. A stay at the historic Waterloo Guest House is an absolute must for anyone interested in local history. The best way to see Black River is on a guided walking tour organized by local experts.


Black River Town, St Elizabeth, Jamaica

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