While many all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica offer exclusive beachfront zones for guests, many of the island's best beaches are accessible to all visitors, including the world-renowned Seven Mile Beach and the lively Dunn's River Falls Beach, home to a spectacular stair-like waterfall. Other beaches retain the island's local culture and feel, including Hellshire Beach, known for its excellent seafood huts, and Winnifred Beach.
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Negril Beach, also commonly referred to as Seven Mile Beach, is one of Jamaica's most famous resort areas, located within Westmoreland and Hanover Parishes approximately a 75-minute drive from Montego Bay. The iconic beach is one of the most beautiful beachfront stretches in the Caribbean, home to a plethora of all-inclusive resorts, five-star luxury hotels, and romantic getaway spots. Serene turquoise waters and powder-soft white sand await beachgoers, who can enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities including snorkeling and scuba diving. Kayaks and jet skis are available for rental, while Catamaran cruises and glass-bottom boats may be chartered for guided exploration. A wide variety of restaurants and bars are accessible from the beachfront, serving up delicious fresh seafood entrees and Jamaican rum beverages.
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2.Doctor's Cave Beach
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Doctor's Cave Beach has been named as Montego Bay's top beach by JamaicaHotelReview.com, located along the region's hip Gloucester Avenue business strip. The beach is named in honor of Dr. Alexander James McCatty, who donated his beachfront property to create a bathing club in 1906. The club was popularized internationally after its endorsement by British osteopath Sir Herbert Baker in the 1920s, who claimed that the club's waters had restorative properties. Today, the beach club is operated as a public beach facility, open to the public daily for a general admission fee. Beach umbrellas and chairs are available for rental, with a variety of amenities available to the public, including the casual Sand Restaurant and Bar. Bathing club members can also access a member's-only lounge and spa facilities, including saunas and steam baths.
Doctor's Cave Bathing Club White Sands Beach PO Montego Bay, Jamaica, Phone: 876-952-2566
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3.Frenchman's Cove Beach
Frenchman's Cove Beach is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, located on the 45-acre private Frenchman's Cove Resort estate. The resort, which was considered to be the world's first all-inclusive resort hotel at the time of its construction, attracted some of the world's most prestigious celebrities throughout the mid-2oth century, including Queen Elizabeth, Richard Burton, and Elizabeth Taylor, and was showcased in a number of feature films, including 1990's Lord of the Flies adaptation. Though the resort's status on the island has fallen within recent years, its beach is still considered a rival to famed Seven Mile Beach, showcasing dense vegetation and low cliffs around a pristine blue lagoon. For a nominal entrance fee, visitors can inner tube on nearby river waters or have dining service delivered directly to beach lounge chairs from the resort's restaurant.
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Bloody Bay is a lovely clothing-optional beach located along the northern edge of the Negril Beach Hotel Zone, approximately three miles southwest of Orange Bay. The popular beach is purported to have been named after a high-casualty land claim pirate battle and has become a prime resort spot throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, though it remains open as a public beach. Excellent snorkeling conditions await beachgoers, with a shallow coral reef located just offshore for underwater marine life viewing. Beautiful white and golden sands are flanked by palm trees and littered with colorful shells, making for great beachcombing opportunities. A number of restaurants are located nearby along the shoreline, though visitors are welcome to bring carryout or picnic lunches directly onto the waterfront.
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5.Ocho Rios Bay Beach
Ocho Rios Bay Beach, also known as Turtle Beach, is a gorgeous white sand beach located adjacent to Sunset Jamaica Grande and the Ocho Rios cruise pier. The beach is open to the public daily during the morning and afternoon hours for a nominal admission fee, offering excellent opportunities for snorkeling amidst vibrant tropical marine life off the beach's coastline. Parasailing is also popular at the beach, which boasts gorgeous white sands and crystal-clear water conditions. A charming waterfall is located at the point where Rio Ocho joins with the sea, making for great photo opportunities. Visitors should note that sea urchins populate the beach's waters and are advised to wear protective foot covering if swimming. Amenities include watersport rentals, a concession stand, and several beach bars.
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Hellshire Beach, colloquially referred to as Hellshire, is one of Jamaica's most beloved local-favorite beaches, located along the island's southern coastline approximately a 20-minute drive from Kingston. The informal beachfront is home to beautiful white sands and is a great spot for swimming, with ample free parking available for tourists and locals alike. It is best known for its excellent fried fish and seafood huts and stands, which sell a wide variety of daily catches prepared over dutch ovens on the spot to customers' specifications. Raw oysters are also sold, along with delicious escovitch sauce, which is prepared from bonnet peppers, sliced carrots, onions, and hot vinegar. Visitors should note that the beach can become very crowded on weekends and should bring cash, as many seafood huts do not accept credit cards.
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Treasure Beach is a popular tourist beach and resort area located at the site of a quaint fishing village along Jamaica's southeastern coastline. The beachfront, which was developed as a tourist zone in the 1990s, is a favorite destination on the island for sports enthusiasts, home to the 17-acre Breds Treasure Beach Sports Park and Academy, which draws top international sports icons such as Venus and Serena Williams to teach public sporting camps throughout the year. Beautiful resorts include the boho-style Jake's resort, the luxury Lashings Villas complex, and the romantic budget cottages of 77 West. Private beachfront access is offered at many of the beach's resorts, allowing guests to take advantage of the region's clear azure waters and snorkel along its barrier reef. Luxury dining options offer a wide range of Jamaican and international cuisine options, including private beachfront chef service offered by several resorts.
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Winnifred Beach is Jamaica's last remaining free-access public beach in Port Antonio, recently protected from commercial development by citizen activism and preservation measures by the Government of Jamaica. The quaint local beach is accessible from Port Antonio's main road near the Mikuzi Guest House, offering up a true taste of Jamaica's local culture and charm for visitors. Almond trees line the beach's beautiful sands, with ample opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and other beachfront activities. A wide variety of local vendors sell concessions and goods at the beach, ranging from fresh seafood to household wares. Parking donations are strongly recommended to fund beach preservation efforts and continued campaigning to ensure the beach's future.
Winnifred Beach Rd Fairy Hill, Portland, Jamaica
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9.Fort Clarence Beach
Fort Clarence Beach is a popular family-friendly spot in St. Catherine, located along the Hellshire Bay at the site of the former Fort Clarence, which played a critical role in island defense under British rule in the 18th century. The relaxing beach, which is open to the public daily for a nominal admission fee, offers pristine white sands and large sand dune formations, with ample native vegetation growing along its coastline. Visitors can swim in the beach's clear blue waters or enjoy beach volleyball and football along its shoreline. Snack shops are offered for visitors, with upscale seafood restaurants located nearby such as Exquisite Restaurant and Lounge. Other nearby attractions include horseback riding at Hillshire Beach and 18th-century historic attractions in Spanish Town.
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10.Boston Bay Beach
Boston Bay Beach is one of Jamaica's prime surfing spots, located approximately nine miles from the city of Port Antonio within the coastal community of Boston Beach. The beachfront community dates back to the 1870s with the establishment of the Boston Fruit Company, which became the leading figure in the Caribbean banana trade and merged with Del Monte Corporations in the late 20th century. Fine cream-colored sands are blanked by large bluffs, with excellent high-energy wave conditions offered throughout the year. Swimming is also popular when water conditions are calmer, with ample beachfront space for sunbathing and relaxation. The beachfront community is also considered to be the birthplace of Jamaican jerk, known throughout the island for its delicious jerk pork and chicken stands.
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11.Dunn's River Falls Beach
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Dunn's River Falls Beach is a picturesque beach in Ocho Rios that is located within walking distance of the world-renowned Dunn's River Falls, a stair-like waterfall that is one of Jamaica's top tourist attractions and one of the few travertine waterfalls in the world to empty directly into the ocean. The beautiful beachfront stretches for approximately 700 feet in length, with additional waterfront and trenches created by a nearby freshwater stream. Swimming and beach sports are popular at the beachfront, with lush gardens and children's water play areas offered at the beach park's Central Gardens play area. Visitors can walk directly into the falls with assistance from tour guides, with land stairs located alongside the falls for photography and scenic views. A craft market is also offered, along with a wide variety of concession options.
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Silver Sands is a charming public-private beach located approximately 45 minutes to the east of Montego Bay, adjacent to the Silver Sands Resort and the gated residential community of Duncans. The beachfront is one of Jamaica's most spectacularly beautiful beaches, boasting fine silver-white sands and crystal-clear azure waters. Wave conditions make the beach one of Jamaica's best spots for surfing, with ample beachfront space available for relaxation and sunbathing. Native plant life such as palm trees, poinsettias, and bougainvillea line the beachfront, making for picturesque scenery. Visitors can dine at the Terrace Bar and Beach Grill or enjoy use of the resort's tennis courts. Five championship-level golf courses are also located within an easy half-hour drive of the beach.
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13.Mammee Bay Beach
Mammee Bay Beach is a stunning public-private beachfront located approximately 15 minutes from the tourist town of Ocho Rios, near the Riu Ocho Rios resort. The beach offers beautiful views of the nearby Ocho Rios coastline and is home to calm waters thanks to a barrier reef located close to its shoreline. Snorkeling, windsurfing, and other watersports are popular at the beach, with guided snorkeling tours available through several resorts in the region. Delicious meals are served up at the beachfront Bamboo Blu Restaurant, including fresh-caught seafood and Jamaican-style cocktails. Though no vendors are allowed along the beach's shoreline, floating vendors often sell a variety of goods within the beach's waters.
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14.Calabash Bay Beach
Calabash Bay Beach is a lovely free-admission public beach near St. Elizabeth, located near the resort communities of Blunters and Pedro Pen. The 1,300-foot beach is home to soft dark brown sands which slope gently toward the shoreline, with rocky outcroppings framing the beachfront along both ends. Calm waters make for excellent swimming conditions, though visitors should note that no lifeguard is staffed on duty at the beach. Sunbathing and beachstrolling are also popular beachfront activities. Several hotels and resorts within the region offer restaurants and bars for visitors to dine at, serving up a variety of cuisine options. Visitors should note that there is no designated parking at the beach and should plan accordingly.
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14 Best Jamaica Beaches
- Negril Beach, Photo: enad Basic/stock.adobe.com
- Doctor's Cave Beach, Photo: Chee-Onn Leong/stock.adobe.com
- Frenchman's Cove Beach, Photo: chatchawan/stock.adobe.com
- Bloody Bay, Photo: onepony/stock.adobe.com
- Ocho Rios Bay Beach, Photo: mikolajn/stock.adobe.com
- Hellshire Beach, Photo: ICW/stock.adobe.com
- Treasure Beach, Photo: Duncan Noakes/stock.adobe.com
- Winnifred Beach, Photo: lieblingsbuerger/stock.adobe.com
- Fort Clarence Beach, Photo: Peera/stock.adobe.com
- Boston Bay Beach, Photo: Oleandra9/stock.adobe.com
- Dunn's River Falls Beach, Photo: Chee-Onn Leong/stock.adobe.com
- Silver Sands, Photo: kieferpix/stock.adobe.com
- Mammee Bay Beach, Photo: suparat1983/stock.adobe.com
- Calabash Bay Beach, Photo: happystock/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: JLV Image Works/stock.adobe.com