When one thinks of going to the beach in Jamaica, St. Andrew is perhaps the last parish that comes to mind. Some go as far as to ask if this parish even has a beach to begin with, and I’m always happy to educate and say yes, SEVERAL! 🙂 All 14 of Jamaica’s parishes are washed by the Caribbean Sea so it’s a little weird that people assume St. Andrew doesn’t have any beaches just because it’s a largely urban parish and commercial centre. Three years ago I took a trip to the Carib and Wickie Wackie beaches which I wrote about here, and now I’m back with another lesser-known St. Andrew beach.
Bob Marley Beach is found in Bull Bay, St. Andrew and is so-called because it was one of Bob Marley’s stomping grounds. In fact, this suburban town has a large Rastafarian community and you can check out this other Bull Bay gem, Cane River Falls, which was another of Bob’s stomping grounds. This beach has more stones or gravel than sand, and the sand is black sand. Jamaicans have a bias for fine white sand over gravelly black sand beaches but this beach is such a beauty.
Related: Bob Marley Museum, Saint Andrew.
I missed this turn several times and kept going up and down the road like a lunatic, until we finally got it right. Thus, here are the directions so you don’t make the same mistake (hopefully). Coming from Kingston, you’ll take the Sir Florizel Glasspole Highway heading in the direction of Bull Bay and St. Thomas. However, you’re not going as far as St. Thomas but very close. As soon as you pass the Bull Bay Police Station (on the right), start looking out for the next right turn which will lead to Bob Marley Beach. The right turn to the beach is located directly across the road from the Bull Bay Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A sign is painted on the wall next to the turnoff but you likely won’t notice it from the main road. Since you only see it after turning, I guess it’s just there to reassure you that you’re on the correct road and maybe to keep out outsiders, ha. It really wasn’t an easy find.
After making the turn, you’re going to pass several houses and a bridge that will let you wonder if you’re actually in the right place. The road is very deplorable too so drive cautiously and be persistent. Your efforts will be rewarded with a beach you’ll likely have to yourself, well, if you go on a weekday like I did. The drive from the turnoff could easily have been 1 minute but took 5 because of the state of the road. The beach is FREEEEE 🙂 but there are no amenities like bathrooms and changing rooms.
Bob Marley Beach
Just take a look, isn’t Bob Marley Beach beautiful?
There isn’t much to do here but it’s a nice little drive out that I enjoyed very much. The wind was strong but cool and refreshing and the water seems very clear even though I didn’t do more than wet my toes. I hadn’t brought or worn any clothes to swim in. There are lots of boats which give the impression that Bob Marley Beach is more a utilitarian fisherman type of beach than recreational, but that’s fine. There are shops and a cookshop on the beach too but things were pretty dead on the day I went.
Based on the state of the roads and the area, we decided to leave before sundown and caught sunset instead from the Palisadoes Strip which leads to and from the Norman Manley International Airport. Palisadoes strip and the boardwalk is a popular area for walkers and joggers, but I’ll admit it’s a spot I usually only speed past en route to the airport or the historic community of Port Royal. This is the first time I’ve ever parked, put down the windows, bought a coconut and just admired the view, and I’m glad I did. It’s always great to take a moment to enjoy the simple things in life– cool breeze, coconut water and jelly straight from the fruit and the company of friends. Come early to catch a good spot where you can watch the whole sunset from start to finish.
Related: Rockfort Mineral Bath, Kingston.
Have you heard of the Bob Marley Beach before? Is it a spot you’ve visited or would like to check out? Let’s chat. I rate it a humble three stars, ☆☆☆.
‘Til next time, safe & happy travels. ✌🏽