Negril, Westmoreland

Negril is a resort town in the westernmost end of Jamaica, home to luxurious powdery-soft white-sand beaches and craggy picturesque cliffs. Negril’s Seven Miles Beach has been rated as one of the top ten beaches in the world by several travel magazines for years. Similar to my Dunn’s River Falls post from last April, I may potentially get my Jamaican card revoked by revealing that this was my first time visiting Negril but that’s okay. There’s a first time for everything and I throroughly enjoyed this daytrip. Not even a flat tire on the way back after falling into one of Jamaica’s infamous potholes could ruin the mood. It was also my first time going parasailing, an experience I’m excited to share with you, my readers.

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Bluefields Beach, Westmoreland

Ahh.. finally I got around to visiting Jamaica’s most western parish. Bluefields Beach in Bluefields, Westmoreland is an easy-to-find stop along the main road which links the St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland parishes. A decent sized beach, Bluefields is a victim of the beach erosion which seems to be plaguing many of our public beaches. There are also no watersports available at this one either, but it’s worth a quick pick-me-upper for someone craving some waves and salty air in this side of the island,  or in transit to other south or west coast destinations.

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Puerto Seco Beach, Saint Ann

Puerto Seco is a white sand beach located along Jamaica’s north coast in the historic town of Discovery Bay, St. Ann. Christopher Columbus is believed to have first landed in Jamaica on this beach with his three ships Santa Maria, Pinta and Niña in 1494. For this same reason, a park named after him lies just five minutes’ drive away. Recently leased and refurbished by the Guardsman Group security company, Puerto Seco is one of Jamaica’s most iconic beaches and was renovated to highlight that historic charm.

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Dead End Beach, Saint James

Jamaicans are unpretentious when it comes to place names so it’s no surprise that this beach gets its name from being located at the end of a dead end street in Montego Bay, St. James parish. When I started this blog back in December 2016, I said I’d make it my point of duty to highlight free beaches across Jamaica since I resent the privatization of our best pieces of coastline and the need to pay for enjoying the natural resources of sun, sand and sea. My two beach posts in 2018, namely Frenchman’s Cove and James Bond Beach, strayed from that commitment but here I am, back in 2019 with the free beach link!

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Frenchman’s Cove, Portland

Indisputably one of the best beaches in Jamaica, Frenchman’s Cove in Port Antonio is an estuary which gives one the opportunity of swimming in fresh and salt water at the same beach. The beach receives its name from a fiery battle between the British and French near the Cove centuries ago after which the defeated French soldiers sought refuge there.

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Dunn’s River Falls, Saint Ann

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is a state-run tourist attraction featuring a natural cascade which flows out to the Caribbean Sea along Jamaica’s north coast. It has been minimally modified with cement to create footholds, making it safer and easier for tourists to climb but that’s about it. If the tiers seem too perfect to believe they’re natural, that’s because Jamaica’s limestone richness and our abundant rivers create magic when they meet, carving out thousands of caves and dozens of perfectly tiered cascades throughout the whole island which are a sight to behold. They didn’t name Jamaica from the Arawakan word meaning ‘land of wood and water’ for nothing. April 2018 was my first visit to Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, Saint Ann.

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James Bond Beach, Saint Mary

I’ve never read nor watched a James Bond book or movie but living in Jamaica, the character is familiar because of locations like this beach immortalizing his name. James Bond Beach is found along Jamaica’s northeastern coast in the quaint scenic town of Oracabessa, St. Mary. This beach is part of the late Ian Flemming’s estate, writer of 007. He lived nearby in Goldeneye, now an exclusive luxury resort, so James Bond Beach was one of his frequented swimming spots. The beach keeps its affiliation to Flemming and his series rather low-key but for true fans, swimming where your idol once did should be thrilling enough.

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Salem Beach, Saint Ann

Salem Beach near Runaway Bay is perhaps not much of a swimming beach but is worth a visit if you’re dining at the moderately expensive restaurant which has made it popular– Sharkies Seafood. Sharkies is located on Salem Beach and what they lack in speed, they make up in deliciousness by producing seafood that’s comparable to all the great seafood eateries in and around the corporate area with which I’m familiar. Besides, if you time your visit near to sunset, the setting is glorious. With that, let’s talk about:

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Little Dunn’s River, Saint Ann

Little Dunn’s River in Ocho Rios is the last remaining span of free north coast between Portland & St. Ann’s Bay in Jamaica. Attempts have been made in the past by the government to shut it down, citing that the property was a safety hazard to patrons but really with the motive of handing over the property to private developers. In 2013, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) posted guards at the site, erected a fence with a locked gate, placed no trespassing signs on the property and mounted no parking signs on the adjacent strip of road on which patrons would park.

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Cardiff Hall Beach, Saint Ann

I can’t help but ruin the surprise at the start. I’ve finally found a free Jamaican beach which I rate full stars! I had the opportunity of spending time in Saint Ann as part of my medical training and with what free time I had, my colleagues & I went beach-hopping on a budget like true A.f.E. style. What better place to go beach hopping than on the north coast! I couldn’t let my time in St. Ann pass without doing so even if I prefer rivers to beaches. On one overcast afternoon we sought out Cardiff Hall Public Beach in Runaway Bay, also called Flavour’s Beach because of a restaurant on the property by the same name. Here’s how that went:

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