At the western tip of Jamaica lies Negril, a popular tourist area known for its seven-mile stretch of white sand beach, grotto-lined cliffs and magnificent blaze of orange and purple sunsets at the end of every day. Ideal for adventure-seekers and beach-goers alike, Negril is an off-the-beaten-path oasis for those looking for an authentic Jamaican experience.
On the northern end, visitors can kick back on Negril’s world famous Seven Mile Beach to enjoy the calm, turquoise waters, check out the many craft markets and open-air, thatched-roof beach bars, or partake in a variety of water sports offered by local vendors. On the southern point, known as West End, visitors are able to access the spectacular offshore reefs perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling, as well as roadside food markets and jerk pits exuding the distinct flavors of Jamaican cuisine.
“Negril’s diversity is designed to satisfy all tastes and styles,” said Paul Pennicook, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “As the Capital of Casual, Negril provides a variety of accommodations, from large all-inclusive resorts to boutique, family-owned hotels. The area offers a menu of bucket list activities for those wanting to explore some of Jamaica’s little known places, as well as spots for sunbathers seeking rest and relaxation.”
SITES TO SEE
Rick’s Café: Voted by Travel Channel as one of the best bars in the Caribbean, the legendary Rick’s Café is a cliff-side hot spot where visitors can take a plunge into the clear Caribbean waters or partake in Jamaican libations while watching the sunset from the best vantage point on the island.
Negril Lighthouse: Built in 1894, Negril’s Lighthouse illuminates the westernmost point of Jamaica. Visitors can climb its 103 steps for unparalleled views of the Caribbean Sea and breathtaking sunsets. It has been solar powered since 1985.
Mayfield Falls: Caves, 44 mineral pools and 21 natural Jacuzzis make up Mayfield Falls, located in the heart of Westmoreland. Visitors can walk along one of the longest river in Jamaica, and see a plethora of exotic plants, birds, butterflies and other native wildlife.
THINGS TO DO
Rhodes Hall Plantation: Located just eight miles east of Negril on a private beach, Rhodes Hall Plantation is a magnificent, 500-acre historical Jamaican property. Visitors can tour the plantation on horseback, explore the Crocodile & Mangrove Reserve and end with a swim in the Caribbean Sea.
Scuba Diving / Snorkeling: Negril is a diver’s paradise, offering an unparalleled underwater adventure with remarkable coral reefs, exotic marine life and calm, clear waters. Certified instructors, such as Dream Team Divers, offer Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) certification as well as diving and snorkeling tours.
Seven Mile Beach: Sheltered by one of the Caribbean’s reefs, Negril’s world renowned Seven Mile Beach has been voted many times as one of the best beaches in the world for its breathtaking sunsets and clear turquoise waters. The beach is free to access any time, where visitors can enjoy beach parties, live music and laid-back island vibes.
PLACES TO DINE
Murphy’s West End Restaurant: This family-run jerk hut is a brightly painted wooden shack located on West End Road. Visitors can enjoy a Red Stripe and swing in hammocks at this roadside restaurant, while the chef serves up authentic jerk chicken and fresh seafood marinated in a special spice blend. Murphy’s also provides tours of the property, showing diners the exotic fruit trees and the drum grill in the back yard.
Cosmo’s Seafood Restaurant & Bar: Located on Seven Mile Beach, Cosmo’s offers an unparalleled atmosphere for a casual beach dining experience. This thatched-roof restaurant specializes in fresh, locally caught fish dishes such as Escovitched fish with festival or steamed fish with bammy. Visitors can dine inside or on outdoor tables with their feet in the sand.
Pushcart Restaurant & Rum Bar: Located on West End Road, Pushcart offers the full spectrum of the island’s traditional fare, evoking the Jamaican street food experience in a lively, colorful, and music-filled “outdoor kitchen” atmosphere. The restaurant also features an excellent rum bar featuring the Caribbean’s finest rums, nightly live entertainment and phenomenal sunset views.
PLACES TO STAY
Rockhouse: Rockhouse is a casually chic boutique hotel perched upon the scenic cliffs of Negril, overlooking the serene waters of the Caribbean Sea. The property sits on eight acres of lush, tropical gardens and features world-class dining, spa and wellness programs that celebrate and incorporate the abundant culture and resources of Jamaica. Rates start at $95 per room.
Idle Awhile and Hide Awhile Resorts: This boutique hotel is great for travelers looking for an intimate, authentic tropical escape. Within these idyllic surroundings on the beach or the cliffs, sister resorts Idle Awhile and Hide Awhile exude a carefree and enchanting environment for singles, couples and families alike. Rates start at $160 per person, based on double occupancy.
Azul Sensatori Jamaica: Jamaica’s very first Azul Sensatori Hotel is located on Seven Mile Beach. The hotel features the renowned Karisma Gourmet Inclusive® Experience and offers four fine-dining options. It has 136 ocean view rooms which are split into an adults-only section and a multigenerational section, catering to both couples and families. Rates start at $293 per person, based on double occupancy.
The Caves: Part of Island Outpost properties, The Caves is an oceanfront sanctuary with 12 exclusive cliff-side accommodations. Situated on the limestone cliffs, the resort features a Private Dining Cave, The Blackwell Rum Bar, and a Seaview Aveda Amenity Spa. All-inclusive rates start at $480 per person, based on double occupancy.
HOW TO GET THERE
Visitors can choose to fly into Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport serviced by Air Canada, American Airlines, Caribbean Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, Sunwing, Transat, United Airlines and US Airways. From Montego Bay, visitors can take a 70-minute transfer to Negril with an approved transportation provider such as Paradise Travels, Jamaica Union of Travellers Association (JUTA) or Jamaica Co-operative Automobile Limousine Tours (JACAL). Some hotels offer airport transfers.
For further information on travel to Jamaica, please visit www.visitjamaica.com.