You haven’t experienced all the joys of Jamaica until you visit at least one of its beaches. After all, the stunning shorelines surrounding the island offer the three well-known “s-word” attractions that most people visit the country for. If you’re puzzled, those s-words are sand, sea, and sun; hope you weren’t thinking about something else.
Seriously, though, Jamaica has some of the finest beaches to be found on any island located in the Caribbean, maybe even the world, and I’m not just saying that because it’s where I come from. If you plan to soak up some sun while visiting, here are a few of the top beaches I would recommend that you check out before leaving.
Seven Mile Beach
As you can probably imagine, this is literally a 7-mile stretch of beach. It runs along the northwestern end of the island and makes up much of the famous tourist town of Negril. The expanse and beauty of this beach is intertwined with a number of hotels. You can find some of the best all-inclusive resorts on this beach, but there are also small, cozy inns and guest houses.
It’s really up to you, where you want to stay and whether you want to just chill next to where you’re staying or explore the extent of the seven miles. If you are on the risqué side of nature, you can even indulge in a little skinny dipping, but this is only recommended at places like the Hedonism II Resort.
The Seven Mile Beach also provides access to a variety of restaurants and shops, plus you can partake in different types of water sports to your heart’s content. One other thing; maybe you’ve seen the pictures of the array of colors as the sun sinks below the horizon in Negril. Well, it’s even more beautiful when you see it for yourself, so this beach is a must-go if you like watching the sunset.
Aqua Sol Beach and Park
If you’re staying in Montego Bay, the Aqua Sol Beach and Theme Park is an excellent choice for relaxation. You will find it on the popular Hip Strip, which is home to a number of hotels, gift shops, and bars. Shower stalls, changing rooms, and other amenities are available.
After enjoying the atmosphere, you can indulge in some music and good vibes inside the entertainment centre located on the beach. This is one of the reasons why so many people flock to the Aqua Sol; it allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds in one place.
Doctor’s Cave Beach Club
This beach is one of the best found along the Hip Strip in Montego Bay. The bathing club (as it’s otherwise called) is open to the public at a small cost and provides a great atmosphere for swimmers and non-swimmers alike. The waters here are fed by a spring that merges with the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, making it clear and cool.
Like most of the beaches discussed in this article, there are changing areas and shower stalls, as well as eating areas, in addition to what is offered at the hotel.
This is one of my favourite beaches in Jamaica and you will see why if you happen to stop by. To begin with, the water is among the clearest you will find at any beach. On top of that, it is quite picturesque, with the crystal waters and beautiful sand being framed by green foliage on each side. That’s probably one reason why it was chosen as a setting for two Hollywood movies.
Frenchman’s Cove also provides a getaway from the hustle and bustle, as it is located in the quiet town of Port Antonio in Portland. I myself have been there several times and each time I felt like I was in a little paradise that I didn’t want to soon leave. If you visit, you can also check out the Blue Lagoon Beach, not too far away, which is another honourable mention.
Dunn’s River Beach
Maybe you’ve heard of Dunn’s River Falls. Well, if you are lazy like me and want to just enjoy the sea breeze and sand, instead of bothering with the experience of climbing one of the most recognized waterfalls in the world, it is entirely possible.
Says no one, by the way; but the Dunn’s River Beach is an idyllic swimming spot that springs from the mouth of where the river’s waters meets the blue Caribbean Sea. The combination of the cold water flowing down from the hills and the warmth of the sea is quite attractive and therapeutic. Of course, if you prefer, you can stretch out on the sand and just bask in the sun.
James Bond Beach
Named after Ian Flemings’ famous James Bond series, which he wrote while staying in Jamaica, this is another popular spot to let your hair down. Like Frenchman’s Cove, it has also appeared in movies, providing the setting for a scene in Dr. No, one of the James Bond movies.
It can be found in Oracabessa, St. Mary, which is not too far from Ocho Rios. You can enjoy a range of activities at this beach, including swimming and kayaking. You can also go out in a glass-bottomed boat, allowing you to view sea creatures in the clear waters. James Bond Beach is also home to a number of events yearly, so you could get caught up in a musical performance or other form of entertainment if you visit at the right time.
The south coast is not without its fair share of fabulous beach spots. Treasure Beach in St. Elizabeth is one of the best south coast beaches to get a tan, especially if you prefer somewhere that is not as crowded as most of the beaches on the north coast. If you are a seafood lover, you will also enjoy it here as it is a fishing community. You can even watch your dinner being caught if you’re lucky.
One of the allures of Treasure Beach is that it is very much unlike those found in the more commercial tourist towns, such as Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, and Negril. It offers you the chance to mingle with the local community and enjoy much of Jamaica in its natural state. But don’t take my word for it. You have to visit to see and experience what I mean to really appreciate it.
Another popular south coach beach is Hellshire, which is in the community of the same name near Portmore, St. Catherine. While it is not the most beautiful of Jamaica’s many beaches and lacks changing areas, Hellshire still packs a powerful punch when it comes on to fun and food. In addition to swimming and lazing under the intense Caribbean sun, there are a number of activities to partake in, including horseback riding along the beach.
There are also several vendors offering craft items, as well as a number of restaurants where you can satisfy your appetite for seafood done in a variety of ways. Fry fish and festival (a fried pastry) or bammy (a type of fried or steamed cake made from cassava) is my favourite. In fact, the fried fish in Hellshire is arguably the best you will find anywhere on the island. One other thing you might like about Hellshire is the fact that there are usually nightly entertainment activities, which you can enjoy until you’re ready to leave.
There are many other beach spots in Jamaica that you will like, including the Lime Cay – an island on its own, Font Hill Park on the south coast, and the Cardiff Hall Beach, a secluded getaway in St. Ann. Whichever you choose, you’ll be sure to have a whale of a time while you’re at it.