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Top 10 world-class beaches in Jamaica

by Victoria

Jamaica is the Caribbean island nation defined by reggae music, unmistakable Blue Mountain coffee, and of course, precious beaches. With more than 900 km of coastline, from Jamaican smooth sandy beaches, like the famous Negril Beach, one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches, to secluded coves and surrounded by cliffs.

1. Negril beach

One of the most popular beaches in Jamaica is Negril Beach, also known as Seven Mile Beach. The white sandy beaches are located on the west coast, stretching for about five miles even though “seven mile” is its nickname. Due to the popularity of Negril Beach, it is often crowded with sunbathing, swimming, and water sports enthusiasts. 

It is easy to find kayaks and rental junks to head out into the water during the day. Many resorts in Negril, like Catcha Falling Star, are all-inclusive, with premium amenities and luxurious accommodation with plunge pools and suites. Your Jamaican beach experience is not complete without enjoying a seafront lunch of jerky chicken on your salon chair from a local vendor. 

2. Doctor’s Cave Beach

If golden sands are your style, Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay is a must-see place. The quiet beach has a perfect year round climate of 26℃. There is a ban on radio for vendors at Doctor’s Cave beach, so the atmosphere is quiet, only with the sound of the waves crashing instead of reggae music. It’s the pure beach vibe that every traveler loves. The beaches are clean, and the facilities are modern, with changing areas and equipment available for rent, like lounge chairs and umbrellas. 

The beach is famous for its water sports but most activities like kayaking and snorkelling are booked by tours. While the beach is quiet enough for a nap on a chair, it is a great beach to enjoy a glass-bottomed boat ride to explore the rich marine life and coral in the area. Montego Bay has many resorts with villas overlooking the sea, like the ones at Round Hill Hotel & Villas, which place the ocean right outside your windows.

3. Frenchman’s Cove

There’s a reason that the Frenchman’s Cove in Jamaica has appeared in movies like Club Paradise and others because it’s a tropical paradise. The lagoon-style beach is located in Port Antonio and used to be a secluded beach haven for Hollywood elites. What makes Frenchman’s Cove so attractive is the quiet stream converging into the turquoise ocean. Pristine sand beach feels strange next to lagoon temperature, water in the bath. It is a quieter beach scene than other locations in Jamaica, which makes it popular with those who know about it. This eclectic Geejam resort features palms surrounded suites and villas and plenty of windows to give you the beach, even when you’re in your room.

4. Bloody Bay

While Bloody Bay’s name is not appealing, the destination itself is a nice getaway from the more populated cities. Bloody Bay is divided into private seaside resort areas, like Sunset at the Palms, where guests can go from their luxury tree houses directly to a tranquil beach with protection. 

Renting kayaks and water sports equipment conveniently located near the water surface. The soft white sand on the beach leads to shallow swimming areas where you can float on a raft or just walk on the sand in the water. Some sunset and snorkeling excursions are from Bloody Bay, so you don’t have to go far to plan a full program of activity.

5. Ocho Rios Bay Beach

Since Ocho Rios is a tourist port, you can often find tourists flocking to Ocho Rios Bay Beach just to dip their toes into calm water. Its crystal clear water and shallow areas for swimming make it a beautiful beach to visit. It is small, but a few eateries and shops are nearby.

There are plenty of excursions available, like kayaking to see marine life and scuba diving that can be booked from the beach vendors associated with resorts like Moon Palace Jamaica. The beach is clean, with very little sea debris falling ashore. There are plenty of shells to find, especially in the morning.

6. Hellshire Beach

Famous Hellshire Beach near the capital Kingston is a favorite place for locals and tourists. Beaches have black sand in areas and are outlined by the distant Blue Mountains and clear blue Jamaica.

This is an active beach scene known for its festivals, as well as outdoor concerts. Most of the better hotels, like The Courtleigh Hotel and Suites and The Spanish Court Hotel, are about 16 km from the beach, but commuting is easy in the capital. Ask your resort to pack you a beach lunch to take with you and dine by the ocean during your day on the sand.

7. Treasure Beach 

The southern rock of Treasure Beach is preferred by those looking to escape the crowds. The 9-kilometer long beach is a quiet haven with both a sandy coastline and rocky terrain. Sand is a blend of light and shadow, adding depth to a stunning view. 

The beaches have a series of coves that are perfect for exploring and watching fishermen in their boats in the distance. Comfortable Treasure Beach, with small local vendors standing by selling jerk chicken and other local dishes. Beachfront accommodation options, like Jakes Hotel, Villas & Spa and Katamah Beachfront Guesthouse, are vibrant and eclectic, adding to the tropical mood of your trip.

8. Winnifred Beach

The calm water at Winnifred beach and the easily accessible coral reefs for snorkelling are just two of the reasons tourists love it. Located near Port Antonio, it is one of the most popular beaches in the country. The sand is surrounded by trees, so there’s plenty of shade, and you’ll find unique excursions available, like horseback riding tours along the shoreline. Since this is a public beach, you will share it with many locals, especially on weekends. There are hotels, like the Tropical Lagoon Resort, within walking distance of the beach.

9. Boston Bay Beach

The east coast of Jamaica can see huge waves, which is one of the reasons surfers and those looking for a great view come to Boston Bay Beach. It is located near Port Antonio and is believed to be the origin of Jamaican’s famous jerk dish.

The beach is popular for surfing and windsurfing, and if you’ve ever wanted to try either, you can book courses. Aside from the stunning beaches, there are stunning resorts, like The Trident Hotel and Hotel Mockingbird Hill, to accommodate all your needs.

10. Dunn’s River Falls Beach

One of the most stunning and exotic beach scenes in Jamaica is Dunn’s treasure trove of River Falls beaches. As its name suggests, there are spectacular falls to explore off the beach area. Dunn River Falls Beach is located near all the sights of Ocho Rios and has a 180 meter high waterfall. 

People love to walk through the different levels of the falls, but the beach area is the perfect place to spend the day and snorkel. The scenery is unlike anything else you’ll experience in Jamaica. Regional resorts, such as Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa, cater to the waterfall’s spectacle and can assist tours. For an extra tour, you can book a day trip on a boat around the area or a tour of the falls.

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