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Family-Friendly Activities in Negril and the South Coast


black river cruise ys falls, jamaica
Black River safari cruise YS Falls

Several half and half-day tours from Negril include a stop at Y.S. Falls, far less crowded than Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios. At the top, swimmers enjoy clear waters under a canopy of fern. Kids enjoy the jitney (an open-air trolley towed behind a tractor) ride to the falls as well as a swim.

Nearby in the community of Black River, enjoy the Black River Safari Cruise, included on many of the same day tours. This cruise takes travelers up the Black River, home to crocodiles. Once hunted, these crocodiles are now protected but still remain wary. These reptiles can live as long as 100 years, so long that some have become known by local residents. The cruise is a little long for very young children but schoolage children enjoy spotting the crocs which are seen on just about every excursion.

You'll also find many guided tours from Negril to Mayfield Falls and Mineral Springs. These are located about an hour's drive from Negril up in the hills; legend has it that a mermaid once lived in these mineral waters. Tours take visitors for a hike up to the falls; a bar and grill at the site serves a Jamaican lunch.

From their western headquarters in Hanover (they've also got tours that leave from near Ocho Rios for travelers on the east end), Chukka Caribbean Adventures offers several good activities. For families with kids age six and over, the Chukka Jeep Safari take a four-hour drive in a 4x4 Land Rover to look at historic sites then swim in spring waters. The ride is bouncy so it's not available for pregnant women. Chukka also offers horseback rides for ages six and up; the ride is available for beginning riders and takes riders through the countryside before (on horseback) you go into the sea for an exciting ride in the waves.

Another option for families who would like to experience a horseback ride is an excursion to Rhodes Hall Plantation, located east of Negril. The plantation dates back to the 1700s and it still operates as a working farm, located just about five miles from Negril.

Or would you rather zip through the trees? Chukka Caribbean offers a canopy tour on the Great River; kids ages 10 and up can participate. The canopy tour takes about three hours; participants wear a harness and zip along nine traverses.

Back to Jamaica with Kids


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