Best beaches to visit in Jamaica
With breathtaking stretches of white-sand shores overlooking the glimmering waters of the Caribbean Sea, it’s no wonder Jamaica is a favourite beach destination for travellers in search of sun and sand. From the mountainous coastline of Montego Bay to the sparkling shores of Negril and the secluded coves of Ocho Rios, we rounded up some of the island’s best beaches to visit on your getaway to this tropical oasis.
Seven Mile Beach in Negril is consistently ranked as one of the top beaches in the world – and with its white-sand shores, turquoise waters and world-class resorts lining the coast, it’s easy to see why. Stroll along the endless stretch of beach and cool off in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea before grabbing some jerk chicken from one of the beachside eateries. There are numerous water sports you can try along the coast as well including snorkelling, kayaking, catamaran rides and, if you’re feeling adventurous, parasailing.
Where to stay: After soaking up the sun on the shores of Seven Mile Beach, head back to the lavish Royalton Negril Resort and Spa. This All-In Luxury® property is nestled in its own private cove and offers world-class service like unlimited reservation-free dining and All-In Connectivity™. Planning a grown-ups-only getaway? Stay at the adults only Hideaway at Royalton Negril, a resort-within-a-resort for guests aged 18+ with exclusive facilities and amenities.
Surrounded by the lush foothills of the Blue Mountains in the town of Port Antonio, just outside of Ocho Rios, is a secluded beach known as Frenchman’s Cove. This postcard-worthy coastline is hidden within a small cove overlooking the serene waters of the Caribbean Sea, with its calm waters making it a popular spot for families. The beach’s natural beauty has been showcased in several Hollywood films including Knight and Day starring Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise and the 1950s classic Treasure Island. Take an Instagram-worthy photo on the rope swing, lounge under a shady palm tree or grab a bite to eat from the quaint beachside restaurant.
Where to stay: Vacation like a VIP when you stay at the newly-renovated Riu Ocho Rios, the recipient of numerous AAA Three Diamond awards. This beachfront resort is home to modernized facilities including a jerk barbeque hut by the beach, sparkling pools with swim-up bars and a new on-site water park. At the end of the day, head back to your room or suite, some of which offer beautiful ocean views.
One beach you won’t want to miss is Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay, a sprawling stretch of glistening white-sand shores. Doctor’s Cave has a fascinating history, as it first rose to fame in the 1920s when English doctor Sir Herbert Barker claimed the beach’s crystal-clear waters had healing and restorative powers! While his theory has never been proven, the beach is certainly an ideal spot for rest and relaxation. Located in Montego Bay’s Hip Strip along Gloucester Avenue, Doctor’s Cave is easily accessible to both tourists and locals, with a small admission fee and umbrellas and loungers available to rent.
Where to stay: Royalton White Sands Montego Bay is located just a short drive along the coast from Doctor’s Cave Beach and is home to its own pristine stretch of sand, which includes a private island! Enjoy fun in the sun with the whole family at this luxury resort, whether you want to test out the slides at the on-site water park or treat yourself to a pampering treatment at The Royal Spa.
If you want to explore the deep blue on your tropical getaway, you’ll love Bloody Bay Beach in Negril. The waters surrounding Bloody Bay are ideal for divers and snorkellers, with calm waters offering excellent visibility. The area surrounding Negril is designated as the Negril Marine Park, which is overseen by the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society to protect the coast’s natural beauty, making it a perfect spot to discover the underwater world. Explore the colourful coral reefs and swim alongside exotic marine life on a snorkelling tour or visit one of the PADI-certified dive shops along the shore.
Where to stay: Stay right on the shores of Bloody Bay Beach at Riu Palace Tropical Bay! The beachfront resort offers a variety of complimentary water sports including snorkelling, kayaking, catamaran rides and scuba diving lessons in the pool. Back on land, kids will have a blast at the new RiuLand children’s area with a pool and a playground while adults can grab a drink from the swim-up bar.