Planning a Trip to Negril, Jamaica

Negril lies on the western coast of Jamaica, a mere 90 minutes drive away from Montego Bay and just three hours west of popular Caribbean cruise port Ocho Rios. This laid-back resort town is known as the “capital of casual” for its informal island atmosphere. Everyone who visits Negril do so to relax on the miles and miles of uninterrupted white-sand beaches, partake in exhilarating and eco-friendly adventures amidst a stunning combination of landscapes, and learn about the intriguing culture of Jamaica. This once sleepy fishing village now offers a number of resorts that suit any budget and accommodates all sorts of tourists. Here are some Negril Jamaica travel tips to help you plan your itinerary.

Negril Jamaica Travel Tips

What to Do?

Beach Related Activities

Beaches are the primary draw for visiting Negril. The popular Seven Mile Beach tops the list of most tourists for its fine sand, clear blue waters, and idyllic island atmosphere. Along the beach, you’ll find many resorts, restaurants, and businesses offering rentals for all sorts of water sports like paddle boarding, jet skiing, and diving. For a quieter beach spot, head east about 15 minutes towards Half Moon Beach. This unique location features a private white sandy beach perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

Negril Jamaica Travel Tips: Seven Mile Beach
Seven Mile Beach

Adventure and Eco-tourism

Negril is also popular for its soaring seaside cliffs that thrill seekers climb and use as a base for cliff diving. Perhaps the most popular location to watch and join these brave (or perhaps crazy) souls is Rick’s Café, located at the edge of West End Road. The café is also a popular spot to watch the sunset. For those who prefer to keep their adventures in-land, consider exploring the Royal Palm Reserve. Located within the 300-acre Negril Great Morass, it features over a hundred indigenous plant and animal species that includes the towering Royal Palm and the Jamaican crocodile. There’s also a museum that chronicles the history of the property as well as the information on preservation efforts. Taxis do not venture up the hills of the reserve so look to hire a car for the day.

Negril Jamaica Travel Tips: Rick's Cafe
Rick’s Cafe by Jennifer Hott-Greenway via

Cultural Attractions

The Negril Lighthouse has been guarding the seashores of Negril for over 100 years. The French built this concrete structure to serve as a beacon for passing ships. It’s Negril’s most famous landmark and one of the region’s tallest. Climb the 103 steps and get unobstructed views of Negril and the Caribbean. The park surrounding the lighthouse is also a great place to catch the sunset.

Reggae is synonymous to Jamaican culture as jazz is to the South so fans of the musical genre will probably want to pay their respects and visit the tomb of the late musician Winston Hubert McIntosh, aka Peter Tosh, who was tragically murdered in his home in 1987. He was considered a pioneer reggae musician and in 2012 was awarded the Order of Merit for his contributions to musical arts.

Negril Jamaica Travel Tips: Negril Lighthouse
Negril Lighthouse

Where to Stay?

Family-Friendly Resorts

The fine sandy beaches and unlimited number of water-related activities are the main draw for families visiting Negril and its growing popularity as a kid-friendly destination led to a development of resorts catering for families. One of the best examples of this is the Azul Sensatori Hotel By Karisma – All Inclusive. In addition to its beachside location, the hotel also features amenities like an arcade room and a water park. Another great place for families is the Negril Tree House Resort. This budget-friendly resort offers large one and two-bedroom suites equipped with kitchenettes, balconies, and ocean views.

Negril Jamaica Travel Tips: Negril Tree House
Negril Tree House

Couples Retreat

Negril’s laid-back atmosphere and beautiful island sceneries provide enough to be desired particularly for couples looking to rekindle the sparks of romance. Naturally, where you stay on your holidays matter a great deal for that sort of vacation and hotels like the The Caves Hotel, Catcha Falling Star, and Idle Awhile Resort understand exactly how to serve to that concept. Lavishly decorated rooms that feature four-poster beds, award-winning spas, and superb locations to watch the sunset are just a few of its perks. Luxury though has its price so expect to pay an average of $350 per room per night.

Negril Jamaica Travel Tips: Bathroom in Clandestino Villa at The Caves Hotel
The Caves Hotel

Affordable Hotels for Singles

The price range of hotels in Negril goes from basic budget to ultra luxurious, but unlike most resort towns in the Caribbean, staying at a cheaper hotel doesn’t necessarily mean giving up on a great location or sacrificing certain amenities. This is a particularly attractive benefit for a single traveler on a budget. The Travellers Beach Resort is a beachfront property that offers room rates as low as $42 per night. The two-star Country Country provides rooms with balconies and gives its guests access to a private beach that’s literally outside of the hotel’s doorstep starting at $134 a night.

Negril Jamaica Travel Tips: Sunset
Negril Sunset

Visit Jamaica has additional information that offers more Negril Jamaica travel tips. It has a comprehensive listing of places to stay, activities to do, and restaurants to try out. There’s also information on planning events such as weddings and conferences.

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About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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