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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Gut River, Manchester

When you grow up learning in school that the parish of Manchester has no rivers or beaches, this one means a lot. Relatively unknown even to my friends born and raised in this parish, Gut River runs mostly underground then emerges for a short 200m journey to the Caribbean Sea. It is found along a narrow remote coastal road and is one of the many places in Jamaica where fresh water can be enjoyed alongside saltwater. Gut River is said to get its name from the German word ‘gut’, meaning good.

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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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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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Lyssons Beach, Saint Thomas

Lyssons Beach is one of Jamaica’s better public beaches, a prime jewel in Saint Thomas near its capital Morant Bay. This white strip of coastline has two sections but the best part of it is that they’re both free! One is managed by the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA), a government arm charged with maintaining Jamaica’s shoreline. The other is owned and operated by the University of the West Indies (UWI) for its students. My experience is based on the UWI portion but the coastline and views are the same.

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Bull Bay Beaches, Saint Andrew

I figured it was time I feature a stereotypical Jamaican chill spot having written about waterfalls, museums, a botanical garden, mountain and mineral spring. You guessed correctly: a BEACH! 🌴 In keeping with A.f.Elle budget-friendly style, I chose an unpopular one: the Wickie Wackie beach in Bull Bay.

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