Negril, at Jamaica’s western tip, extends from Bloody Bay in Hanover to Negril Lighthouse in Westmoreland. It offers a carefree, laid back ambiance, great watersports, and a wide range of accommodations, from modest Jamaican homes to luxurious All-Inclusive resorts.
Rediscover the delicious truths of youth, when you could touch the sky and taste the sun and hold the sea in the palm of your hand. Escape to hideaway villas, and intimate resorts – carved into the very edge of the cliffs overlooking the sea. Watch young girls with skin the color of cinnamon and sunshine walk endless beaches in bikinis the size of butterflies. Feast on fresh lobster, old rum and unlimited romance. Come to resorts for lovers only, where people count stars instead of money. Window-shop in marketplaces where there are no windows. And sail to new horizons on the other side of the sun.
Rumor has it that Adam and Eve actually left Eden for a better way of life in Negril. Unspoiled, untamed, uninhibited, Negril is a luscious mixture of innocence and seductiveness. Curving seven miles along Jamaica’s west coast, it features a white sand beach that seems to go on beyond any reasonable expectations – that leads to a dramatic headland called West End, whose cliffs are carved with ancient caves and secluded rock-bound tidal pools of translucent water.
People come here from all over the world to get away from the world. To get the perfect tan. Or make the perfect scuba dive. Or find a perfect beach, where even wearing sunglasses can be considered overdressing. Or to find the Caribbean’s most spectacular sunsets, which show up here every day about the same time.
There are resorts devoted to couples only that feature All-Inclusive vacations at a single price. There are small inns, villas and cottage resorts, too. But not a single high-rise in sight. Nor will there be any time soon. Because no structure in Negril can rise higher than the highest palm tree, except for the Negril Lighthouse which towers 100 feet above sea level.
Popular dive sites are a Sand Club Reef, Commando Training Dive, Coral Gardens, The Arch, and Kingfish Point. The Negril cliffs, particularly around the lighthouse and Rick’s Cafe, are also popular for swimming and snorkeling, with a network of caves and grotto’s for romantic rendezvous. Picnic excursions to Booby Cay for snorkeling, swimming and sunning are among the more popular pastimes. The islet was a location site for the movie ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea” and is named for the seabirds that nest there.
Most hotels also offer entertainment at night, with disco and reggae concerts in demand. There’s something about the waters of Negril that seems to wash away worries. And the only reason anyone sells aspirin here is because they sell rum punch!
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Annancy Park: Located opposite Ponciana Beach resort. Enjoy family fun with miniature golf, go karts, nature trails, fishing and boating.
Biking: Bicycles are available free or for rental at many resort properties and at bike rental companies. (Some bike rental operators also rent motorcycles and motorscooters.)
Booby Cay: Half-day tour and picnic to the island of Booby Cay. Snorkeling equipment and picnic lunch (spicy local dishes) supplied.
Craft Market: Located near the town center. Open early and closes late. Excellent selection of jewelry, woodcarving and souvenirs.
Day and Sunset Cruise: Day trips include snorkeling, diving, swimming, visiting offshore islands and partying. Sunset cruises take you along the coast to see the sunsets.
Deep Sea Fishing: Charters for half or full days through hotels or directly through operators.
Horseback Riding: A number of stables offer trail riding and riding tours with guides. Check with your hotel.
Negril Hills Golf Club: 18 holes, 6,333 yards, par 72. Located high above the white sand beaches. Clubhouse, bar, restaurant, pro shop, tennis.
Negril Lighthouse: Located just south of the cliffs, this 160-year-old light tower used to use kerosene lamps to guide ships. Today it’s powered by solar energy. One of the few historical sites in the area, it is open for tours by special request.
Reggae Concerts: One of Negril’s big attractions, concerts take place weekly and they usually draw top-name artists like Ziggy Marley, Third World and other performers on the rise in the music world. Come early, stay late. Contact your hotel or the Chamber of Commerce for performance details.
Scuba Diving: Beginning at Negril’s 7-mile beach, there’s a good variety of diving after a 10 to 20 minute boat ride. Diving depth ranges from 20 to 90 feet, with an average of around 60 feet. The terrain includes reef, tunnels and over-hangs, caves and plane wrecks, and drift diving. There’s a wide variety of marine life, such as kingfigh, nurse sharks, moray eels
and stingrays. Some favorite dive sites: The Throne Room. King Fish Reef, San Club Reef and Coral Gardens.
Y.S. Fall & South Coast: Miles of beaches, charming fishing villages & one of Jamaicas finest waterfalls.