Beaches in Jamaica

11 Top Rated Beaches in Jamaica

Jamaica is the Caribbean island defined by reggae music, jerk chicken, unmistakable Blue Mountain coffee and of course, jewel-jeweled beaches. With over 900 kilometers of coastline, Jamaican beaches extend from long sandy stretches, such as the popular Negril Beach, one of the Caribbean’s best beaches, to the more secluded and hidden coves surrounded by cliffs and often cliff divers.

Set sail on a sunset cruise, try your windsurfing skills, seek out a snorkeling adventure or simply do nothing at all on the soft, white sands. No matter what type of beach experience you enjoy, there’s a reason why Jamaica is known for its beautiful sun-and-beach experiences. Honeymooners, vacationers, solo travelers and adventurers enjoy Jamaican beaches as much for the African culture as for the tropical breezes. Find the best stretch of sand for you with this list of the top-rated beaches in Jamaica:

Read also: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Jamaica

1 Negril Beach

Negril Beach

One of the most popular beaches in Jamaica is Negril Beach, also called Seven Mile Beach. The famous long, white sandy beach is located on the west coast and stretches for approximately five miles, despite its nickname of “seven miles”. Due to the popularity of Negril Beach, it is often busy with sun worshipers, swimmers and water sports enthusiasts. It’s easy to find kayak and sailboat rentals to get out on the water for the day. Many Negril resorts, such as Catcha Falling Star, are all-inclusive, with luxurious amenities and luxury accommodations with plunge pools and suites. Your Jamaican beach experience isn’t complete without enjoying an oceanfront lunch of roasted chicken on your couch from a local vendor. Also check out the rest of the attractions and things to do in Negril.

2 Doctor’s Cave Beach

Doctor's Cave Beach
Doctor’s Cave Beach

If golden sand is your style, Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay is a must visit. The quiet beach has a nearly perfect year-round climate of 80 degrees. There is a ban on radios and vendors at Doctor’s Cave Beach, so the atmosphere is tranquil, with only the sound of crashing waves rather than reggae music. It is this purist beach vibe that holidaymakers enjoy. The beach is clean and facilities are modern, with changing facilities and equipment available for hire such as sun loungers and parasols. The beach is popular with water sports enthusiasts, but most activities, such as kayaking and snorkeling, are booked as guided tours. While the beach is quiet enough to take a nap in a chair, it is a great beach to enjoy a glass bottom boat ride to explore the area’s rich marine life and coral. Montego Bay has numerous resorts with sea view villas, such as those at the Round Hill Hotel & Villas that put the ocean right outside your window.

3 Frenchman’s Cove

Frenchman's Cove
Frenchman’s Cove

There’s a reason Frenchman’s Cove in Jamaica is in movies like Club Paradise and other movies because it is a tropical paradise. The lagoon style beach is located in Port Antonio and used to be a secluded beach retreat for the Hollywood elite. What makes Frenchman’s Cove so attractive is the quiet stream that meets the turquoise ocean. The pristine sandy beach feels exotic next to the calm lagoon of water and water lagoon. It’s a quieter beach scene than other locations in Jamaica, which is exactly why it’s popular with people in the know. The eclectic Geejam resort has suites and villas surrounded by palms and plenty of windows to bring the beach to you even when you’re in your room.

4 Bloody Bay

Bloody Bay | Photo copyright: Anietra Hamper
Bloody Bay | Photo copyright: Anietra Hamper

Although Bloody Bay’s name isn’t all that appealing, the destination itself is a nice getaway from the more populated Jamaican beaches. Bloody Bay is segmented into private areas of beachfront resorts such as Sunset at the Palms, where guests can go straight from their luxury treehouse accommodation to a quiet and protected beach. Rentals for kayaks and water sports equipment are conveniently located close to the water. The soft, white sand on the beach leads to shallow swimming areas where you can float on a raft or simply walk on the sandy bottom in the water. Several sunset cruises and snorkeling excursions depart from Bloody Bay, so you don’t have to travel far to plan a full agenda of activities.

5 Ocho Rios Bay Beach

Ocho Rios Bay Beach
Ocho Rios Bay Beach

Since Ocho Rios is a cruise port, you can often find tourists making their way to Ocho Rios Bay Beach to dip their toes in the calm Jamaican waters. The clear, blue water and shallow areas for swimming make it a fun beach to visit. It’s small, but a few eateries and shops are nearby. There are many excursions available, such as kayaking to view marine life and snorkeling, which can be booked from the beach vendors affiliated with resorts such as the Moon Palace Jamaica. The beach is clean, with very little marine debris on shore. There are many shells to be found, especially in the morning.

6 Hellshire Beach

Hellshire Beach
Hellshire Beach

Popular Hellshire Beach near the capital of Kingston is a favorite among locals and holidaymakers. The beach has black sand in areas and is outlined by the Blue mountains in the distance and crystal clear, blue Jamaican water. It is an active beach scene that is popular for its festivals, as well as outdoor concerts. Most of the better hotels, such as The Courtleigh Hotel and Suites and The Spanish Court Hotel, are about 10 miles from the beach, but transport is easy in the capital. Ask your resort to bring you a beach lunch and dine by the ocean during your day in the sand.

7 Treasure Beach

Treasure Beach Alfred Moya / photo modified
Treasure Beach Alfred Moya / photo modified

The south shore of Treasure Beach is preferred by those looking to get away from the crowds. The nine-kilometre stretch of beach is a tranquil retreat with both sandy beaches and sections of rocky terrain. The sand is a mix of light and dark, which adds depth to the beautiful views. The beach has a number of coves that are perfect for exploring and seeing the fishermen in their boats in the distance. Treasure Beach is laid-back, with small local vendors on stands selling jerk chicken and other local dishes. Many of the accommodations near the beach, such as Jakes Hotel, Villas & Spa and Katamah Beachfront Guesthouse, are vibrant and eclectic, adding to the tropical vibe of your trip.

8 Winnifred Beach

Winnifred Beach
Winnifred Beach

The calm waters of Winnifred Beach and the easily accessible coral reefs for snorkeling are just two reasons why visitors 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 like horseback riding along the coast. Since this is a public beach, you will share it with many locals, especially on weekends. There are hotels, such as the Tropical Lagoon Resort, located within walking distance of the beach.

9 Fort Clarence Beach

Fort Clarence Beach Ericson Smith / photo modified
Fort Clarence Beach Ericson Smith / photo modified

Fort Clarence Beach is located near the capital of Kingston, but unlike other beaches in the area, it attracts fewer crowds. It is a nice beach for families given the calm swimming water and fewer tourists. The white sand and blue water make this a perfect relaxing beach, with great spots for a picnic. Sun loungers are available and there is plenty of room for beach volleyball and sand castle building. There are many hotels in Kingston, but if you’re looking for suites, the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel and The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel are comfortable options with nice retreats after a long day in the sun.

10 Boston Bay Beach

Boston Bay Beach
Boston Bay Beach

Jamaica’s east coast can see big waves, which is one of the reasons surfers and those looking for great views head to Boston Bay Beach. It is located near Port Antonio and is credited with the origin of the famous Jamaican jerk food. In addition to incredible blue water and perfect surf, you’ll find some of the best local food stalls for lunch. The beach is popular for surfing and windsurfing. If you ever want to try it, you can book lessons. In addition to the beautiful beach, there are also beautiful resorts, such as The Trident Hotel and Hotel Mockingbird Hill, that will meet all your needs.

11 Dunn’s River Falls Beach

Dunn's River Falls Beach
Dunn’s River Falls Beach

One of the most stunning and exotic beach scenes in Jamaica is the treasure of Dunn’s River Falls Beach. As the name suggests, there are spectacular waterfalls to explore next to the beach. Located near all of Ocho Rios’ attractions, Dunn River Falls Beach features a 600-foot waterfall. People enjoy walking through the different levels of the falls, but the beach area is ideal for spending the day and snorkeling. The scenery is unlike anything you will experience in Jamaica. The area resorts, such as Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa, capitalize on the spectacle of the falls and can assist you with tours. For an additional excursion, you can book a day trip on a boat around the area or a guided tour of the waterfalls.

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