Five Best Beaches in Jamaica
Jamaica's best beaches have the clearest blue water.
When only a Jamaican beach will do
Living in the north can be an exhausting experience. It is the rat race of all rat races. There is the rush to the subway train, then the rush to get off the subway train because of 'mechanical problems'. Then there is the long wait for another train, and the icy blast as winter meets my face upon exiting the subway.
It always happens; in the middle of one of these rat races, I look wistfully out the window at the high rise, concrete and glass jungle that is New York City, and just think back to my days in the Caribbean. Most times, my thoughts go directly to Jamaica. And when I think of Jamaica, the first thing I think of are the beautiful, extraordinary beaches on the island. Now quick confession, I am a certified beach junkie: I am yet to find a beach that I do not like. But Jamaica's beaches are different. In Jamaica, the beach is more than a beach. It has a life of its own, a place where the island's culture is entertwined with the physical beach. It's the warm white sand; the passionate conversations conducted in the fast patois of the Jamaican people, indistinguishable from the equally fast paced reggae in the background. It's the spicy food that is ever present, even on the beach. In one word its magic: beautiful beaches, injected with a culture that leaves you with a high.
That being said, let me focus on the what I consider to be some of the best beaches in Jamaica. Those that combine natural beauty and great atmosphere.
Dunns River Falls and Beach
Dunns River Falls, located in Ocho Rios is a must for any one who truly loves nature. Dunns River is more than just a beach. This is a beach that is world renowned (and was actually featured in the James Bond movie Dr. No) for the waterfall that cascades down to into the ocean. Now, I don't mean a small, cute man made waterfall like many resort areas have. Instead, the waterfalls at Dunns River is a whopping six hundred feet high feat of nature that flows over limestone steps naturally formed over the centuries by the the powerful water gushing down the rocks.
A hike through the waterfalls takes you through relaxing cool plunge pools, natural steps cut into the rocks, and perfect spots with just the right waterflow to make a perfect backdrop to photos. Now imagine that, climbing a beautiful waterfall that cascades down into the sea, what could be more perfect than that. All this and we haven't even gone into the actual beach. After hiking the waterfall, the next stop is the beach.
The beach is a brown sanded stretch with natural shade in some areas, and warm, inviting waters that are shallow enough to be great for kids. This beach also has an extensive area where great Jamaican food and crafts can be bought. Popular with local Jamaicans, there is always intoxicating reggae music, and great, passionate conversation, for Jamaicans are passionate about everything from their food to international affairs. One interesting fact about this beach is that it is the only one of its kind in the Caribbean, and only one of a few natural waterfalls that flow into the ocean in the world. For its sheer beauty and uniqueness, Dunns River is number one on my list. If your vacation plans include a family, you may like the suggestions in my article on best things to do with kids in Jamaica.
This beach is consistently ranked among the top ten by destination experts. With its seven mile stretch of white sand, glistening azure waters,superb watersports and amazing sunsets, this is truly a beach for everyone--from the romantic to the freespirit. Negril is where the freespirit can hop from thatch bar to thatch bar and just enjoy the 'no problem man' vibe of Jamaica.This is also the beach where the adventurous can scuba dive or indulge their most extreme need for speed, water speed that is and, for the romantic, Negril offers the most beautiful sunsets world renowned for their fiery shades of red and pink. But, what makes Negril truly special is the beach culture that prevails.
In Negril, its all about the beach and nothing else. In fact, the beach never closes..So what if its midnight and every other beach is closed? Put on your dancing shoes for night time is when Negril really shines. Under the clear, starry Caribbean sky, Negril comes alive with live reggae music, and steel bands at nights. If you have never danced to live music, sand between your toes, the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, a Jamaican Red Stripe beer in hand, then you've never experienced perfect bliss. Negril may just be the place to start. For its great atmosphere, and inimitable entertainment while maintaining its relaxing vibe, Negril rates second on my list.
Breathtaking sunset in Negril, Jamaica
I thought long and hard about including this treasure on my list: not for any sordid reasons, other than treasure beach is one of those places that those who know like to keep to themselves. Located on the south coast of Jamaica, this is a wide expanse of beach that isn't surrounded by many hotels or anything commercial. The result is a clean beach so quiet that it isn't unusual to see dolphins swimming close to the shore. In fact, this is the only beach in Jamaica that I have fallen asleep on, and woken up to see a pod of Dolphins just going slowly by.
Because the beach is located in a rural part of Jamaica, expect to get a rare glimpse of Jamaican culture. Some parts of the beach arepopular with local fishermen, while other parts are frequented by a few local musicians who come to their little quiet piece of paradise to write music or just to reflect.
For the true beach lover who loves a secluded beach and unobstructed views of the ocean, this beach is a must. For these reasons, Treasure beach ranks third on my list.
Doctors Cave Beach
Doctor's Cave beach is Jamaica's oldest established beach, and one of its prettiest. With none of the frills of the other beaches mentioned before, Doctors Cave is the beach for the beach bum. Beautiful, with the clearest, most exquisite shade of turquoise water imaginable, this is the beach to go to for a pure beach experience. With its calm, warm waters and the most perfect waves,this is the beach for swimming, and just sunbathing under the Caribbean sun.
Located in Montego Bay, the hub of Jamaica's tourist activities, Doctors Cave beach boasts white sands and the calmest waters of all the beaches on this list. Another bonus to Doctors Cave beach is the snorkeling on the reef, where beautiful tropical sea life is sure to please the snorkeler. Doctors Cave beach also features two huge water trampolines that are sure to be a hit with children. Another great feature right on the beach, is a restaurant that serves delicious foods, and drinks right to you on the beach.
For its purity and clear waters, Doctors Cave ranks fourth on my list.
Walter Fletcher Beach
Although not quite as pretty as the other beaches on on this list, Walter Fletcher beach makes my list for its family atmosphere which is enhanced greatly by the Aquasol Theme Park that is a part of the beach. Walter Fletcher Beach does feature warm, clear water and a nice shore. The one drawback is that it is always crowded because of its popularity with families and kids. If you have kids, don't let that stop you, as the kids will have a blast enjoying the many activities on this beach.
The Aquasol Theme Park, located right on the beach is jam packed with all things kid. Glass bottom boats, water skis, wave runners, parasailing and even live entertainment at times make this the go to beach for families.To add to the atmosphere, there is even a disco right on the beach. Walter Fletcher beach is all about atmosphere, and if you love the beach experience to be filled with excitement and an almost party like vibe, then a visit to this beach is a must. Another great thing about this beach is that the snorkeling is allowed.
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