Beach vacations are loved for many reasons; relax and unwind, campfires at night, walks, cocktails, a romantic dinner on the beach with a beautiful sunset and enjoy the view. And did you know that everything is also possible in Jamaica? You will find small bays, long beaches, rugged rocks, shells and crabs, the most beautiful sunsets, parties and snorkeling opportunities. We have listed the most special Jamaica beaches for you here with palm trees, glass-bottom boats and waterfalls. Treat yourself to a beach vacation to Jamaica and also discover the gems of this Caribbean island.
Beach and Jamaica are one. The tropical sun, the palm trees and the most delicious drinks are within reach. Snorkeling, diving and making trips with the glass bottom boat are mainly done in tourist places such as Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril. However, most beaches in Ocho Rios and Montego Bay are only accessible to hotel guests or when you pay an entrance fee. They are therefore not included in this blog, because here we want to get acquainted with the more special beaches of Jamaica. We start our beach discovery trip in Negril and go around the island counterclockwise.
Negril and its vast beaches
Negril is at the top when it comes to beach and party. The eleven kilometre-long beach has almost full-length hotels and bars with Margarita Ville as the most famous party bar. Yet it is not terribly busy. Negril is actually a small village in the western corner of the island. On the beach, for example, you will not see high ugly hotels or a luxury boulevard and the shop that there are consists of small local boutiques with mainly clothing, jewellery and carvings.
Because Negril attracts many tourists, there are also many beach vendors. Some can sometimes do their best too much. The advice, when you are not in the mood to buy, is to say calmly and clearly that you are completely satisfied, so you do not need anything.
A long morning walk on ‘7-mile beach-Negril’ to the east, brings you to a small beach where Doctor Love welcomes you and conjures up cool beer from his tree bar; the well-known Red Stripe. It is well worth the walk because it is an idyllic beach and there is a relaxed atmosphere.
In the morning you see a lot of joggers on the beach, in the afternoon especially those who enjoy sunbathing and swimming. You should not miss the beautiful sunset, in all the colours of the rainbow around six in the early evening; it’s the time for a nice drink, photos and chat. In the evening you can dine at different places on the beach. A table for 2 surrounded by torches, how romantic can you have it? Later in the evening, there is live music and you can walk from bar to bar on the beach. Here and there a ‘bonfire’ and further dancing and singing along on reggae and dancehall tunes.
There is a reef off the coast of Negril. There are several places on the beach where you can find information about a boat trip to the reef and snorkelling or diving opportunities. In the area of Negril, there are also small local bays that are really worth a visit, they have a unique atmosphere and it is nice and quiet. Find a local tour guide to take you and bring your snorkel gear!
This beach can easily be combined with a visit to the Mausoleum of Peter Tosch in Belmont. You also have a fantastic accommodation option with a Rasta family who have a cottage on their land with their own kitchen, WiFi and 2-3 rooms with verandas; Natural Cottages by Doctor Bush. Bluefields Bay is located in Bluefields Beach Park and is a long, narrow beach with a nice view.
There are a few trees for shade where you can hang your hammock. In the park, you can change clothes and use the toilet. Along the beach, you will find a few stalls with snacks and drinks. This is the place to enjoy a ‘local beach’ in peace and quiet with the typical ‘local feel’ without being very busy or noisy.
No jet skis, para-sailing or glitzy nightlife, but a friendly community with a few small bays; Fort Charles Bay, Billy’s Bay, Frenchman’s Bay, Calabash Bay and Great Pedro Bay.
Fort Charles Bay is about 16 km long and closest to Black River if you want to make a trip to the river full of crocodiles. Billy’s Bay is a fishing beach par excellence. Frenchman’s Bay is best known for its bars and restaurants.
Calabash Bay with its 600 m long beach has bars and restaurants and stalls on the beach. The most trendy hotel/restaurant Jack Sprat is located here and has recently been expanded with a backpackers hostel. Welcoming Vibes in Calabash Bay is the place for your overnight stay if you want to support the community and stay ecologically, it also looks fantastic with handmade furniture made of wood. Moreover, you have a great view from the upper rooms.
Great Pedro Bay is a little more remote from the rest to the east. If you really are looking for no other distraction than nature and Rasta Viking, you can rent rooms from him. Treasure beach is not that big and so you can easily walk from one bay to the other.
The most remote part of Jamaica in the bush, with waterfalls and caves, old slave paths to the villages and a ‘Blue hole’ with mineral water, on the most fantastic expansive quiet beach of Manchester. This is Gut River. Little Ochi, Rockey Point, Manatees, Care Valley and Milk River Mineral Spa & Hotel in the nearby area to explore. Not to mention the hotel on top of the hill with amazing views over the entire area: Rustic Guesthouse. They have karaoke on Fridays! Make no mistake there is a lot of singing talent among locals. Gut River, where the river meets the ocean, has been sold and recently small cabins have been placed so that you can spend the night there and if you bring your own tent you can also camp there. Rasta Gully and Country Cook Out can provide dinner and a campfire if you wish. There is no store, no electricity and reception for your cell phone are also difficult. In addition, you can enjoy pure nature, palm trees, the beach and the mystical river with its Blue Hole for swimming.
Beach at Kingston; Hellshire Beach and Bob Marley Beach
Go to Hellshire Beach on a Sunday to immerse yourself in the real Jamaican beach scene. Here families come to chill and relax, children play in the water, couples are embraced intimately in the sea, restaurants sell delicious fish, and dance hall dance lovers improvise on the beach. In short, a lively beach in Portmore – Kingston. East of Kingston in the direction of the airport is the so-called Bob Marley beach or Bull Bay. You get there by driving a dirt road at a height of 9 miles until you reach a beautiful bay. It is a quiet local beach with a bar where you can also buy something to eat, such as fish. In strong winds, the waves are powerful and not suitable for children, but it is an ideal place near Kingston for the Sunday afternoon to leave the city behind.
Bull Bay is the largest Rastafarian community on 13 Marcus Garvey Way, Zion Hill with around 300 residents. You can hear the singing during the ceremony and the Nyabinghi drum at set times. The unknown, hidden Cane River Falls at the height of Bull Bay is the place where Bob Marley often came, they say to wash his hair.
Long Bay, Boston Bay and Winnifred Bay
From the far east, past Manchioneal with its spectacular Reach Falls, you will come to a long beach called Long Bay. The beach is deserted, the waves are strong. At the beach is a cozy, local restaurant-bar, where you can eat and relax in your beach chair and enjoy the panoramic view of your drink. The small village has a library, with wifi access. If you want to stay the night there is the Hotel Sea Dream, on the beach or a B&B in the village just in front of the library and the shop on the other side of the road. A little further on is Boston Bay and the favourite Jerk Center with its annual Jerk festival, the best place for Jerk Food. Boston Bay is a cozy, small, round bay with beautiful blue water, a picture like a postcard, where surfing is possible. Boston Bay has a backpackers, hippie-like atmosphere. If you are in Portland, you should definitely not miss this bay.
Winnifred Bay is a family beach with a local atmosphere, fully equipped. People come here to chill out and for the children, it is safe to swim. It looks completely perfect with beautiful white beach, trees, bars, food stalls and arts and crafts. The bay is larger than Boston Bay, so you have a wider view. You can get there by car but it is more convenient to descend to the beach via a walking path.