Negril Beach

Starfish Rating of 5

Claim to Fame

The height of hedonism is had at Negril Beach; topless sunbathing has been in effect here since the 1960s, and since then it has been a draw for sun worshippers.

(click image to enlarge)
image courtesy of Abeeeer
  • Where is it?on the western tip of the island of Jamaica in the Caribbean Sea, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Cuba and 125 miles (201 kilometers) west of Haiti
  • Coordinates: latitude» 18.3062°
    longitude» -78.3384°
  • Water Type: saltwater
  • Climate: tropical
  • Development: developed areas; resort area
  • Length of Beach: 4m/6.5km
  • Type: white sand
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Negril has been the subject of dreamers and artists for decades, thanks to its stunning beauty; located on the protected side of high black cliffs, crested with lush green vegetation, and with a white beach and cobalt blue water, it is by comparison underdeveloped by Jamaican resort standards.

Because of the location of Negril Beach (which, due to its length, actually comprises a string of smaller beaches with individual monikers) at the western tip of Jamaica, sunsets here are spectacular, adding to the sheer romance of the place.

The key thing here is sunbathing and swimming, a lazy lifestyle, indeed, but there are things to do on the beach and in the immediate vicinity. A visit to the local town, Savanna-la-Mar is a pleasurable outing and enables tourists to connect on a deeper level with the locals; Savanna-la-Mar is a Jamaican town, not a resort-style village.

At Negril Beach, besides swimming, you can participate in all manner of water sports, snorkel around the coral reef just offshore, visit the Negril Marine Park, or climb up to spend some time at the Negril Lighthouse on the cliffs. While you’re up there, you might want to try cliff jumping as one method of getting back down!

Negril Beach offers great variety in accommodations and restaurants; the north end is populated with large resorts, most of them all-inclusive, and the southern portion is dotted with smaller inns, many of those family-owned, that offer more flexibility and lower rates in general. Vendors and beach shops line Negril Beach, most of those at the southern end where tourists are not on an all-inclusive package and are therefore more inclined to have money to spend on snacks, trinkets and other mementos.

Negril Beach has been immortalized in song by the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley and Bob Seeger. But the visual memory is powerful; Negril Beach is unforgettable.

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