It’s adored as a tropical paradise. The year-round forecast? Sunny and 80 degrees. Sign us up, mon.
- If vacationing in Negril, fly into Montego Bay, then take a private transport to Negril. The transport may be purchased online, included in your vacation package. It’s worth the money for the privacy and ease of transport.
- Staff at the airport are quite efficient at moving vacationites through the lines and assisting with questions. You’ll feel like you’re on vacation the moment you land.
- Anticipate a 1 hour, 15 minute drive to Negril from the airport. Hold tight. Private drivers are friendly, but aggressive on the narrow roads. Embrace the armrest as well as the surrounding culture.
- There are miles of sandy beaches and turquoise waters. It’s breathtaking.
- Not all beaches in Jamaica are created equally, but Negril is reputed as having among the top ten beaches in the world.
- Sunsets, too, are described as some of the best anywhere. We concur.
What To Do
- At our resort (Riu-Negril), entertainment was both continuous and electric from their resort staff. From silly contests to pool foam parties to music, dancing and more, you won’t be bored. It’s a party-time vacation in Negril!
- If seeking solace and privacy, there are multiple areas on the resort for guests—or, grab a beach chair and snooze in the sun.
- Excursions are plentiful. Although fairly costly (expect this), they’ll offer a Jamaican experience you’d not have if just staying at the resort. From booze cruises with dancing and music, to swimming into the infamous cave where Pirates of the Caribbean was shot, to visiting Rick’s Café and jumping from cliffs to truly eating a cheeseburger in paradise, Jimmy Buffet-style, to snubadiving, great snorkeling and so, so much more—it’s all available. As with most things in life, it’s what you make of it!
- If spa day treatments are your thing, there are plenty of option within the resorts.
- This is the home of Bob Marley, so expect great reggae music—live on the beach and at the resort as well.
- You’ll see locals walking the beach singing reggae while strumming their guitars.
- The atmosphere truly is a relaxed “No worries, mon” attitude and it’s contagious.
- I do. It’s common to see wedding nuptials exchanged on the beach; it’s a beautiful place to tie the proverbial knot.
- Resort staff is big on personality. From singing bartenders to personable staff who feel like friends by the week’s end, the crew is energized and engaged with guests.
- Resort staff loves to dance, laugh and joke with one another, as well as with guests. Their overall goal? Fun.
- The entertainment team will try to engage you in their contests and dancing. Expect this. Their attitude is of happiness—and they want everyone to have a great time. If not your thing? Just say no thanks. Sometimes twice.
Food + Drink
- If jerk chicken is your thing? You’re in luck; in some locations, it’s cooked fresh daily on the beach.
- Swim-up bars are the norm, all-inclusive resorts are common, Red Stripe is the beer of choice, mixed drinks continually flow, and the legal drinking age in Jamaica is 18.
- Our resort (Riu-Negril) was NOT a fancy high-rise with elevators. Rather, it was laid out more like a campus with individual buildings that, while they were a bit dated (and you’ll likely be climbing stairs with your luggage), the rooms themselves were clean and relatively modern.
- The main building and grounds? Gorgeous.
- Maid service was attentive and included small touches like swan- or heart-shaped towels on the bed and booze in the room.
Keepin’ It Real
If You Go
- Watch for beachcombers. While they are not allowed on resort property, they will walk the beach. If you’ve just arrived, they’ll know it. A simple ‘no’ will turn them away. If they’re deemed to be bothersome to resort guests, it can mean trouble for them. And yes, they’re trying to sell what’s illegal in most states in the U.S.
- Expect things to get a little risqué at times. The culture in Jamaica is truly ‘life’s a party’—and that includes what could be considered by some as risqué behavior. If your bikini or britches easily get in a bunch, you might choose another destination—or just chill out like the rest of ‘em.
- Do NOT go off the resort alone. Period. No exceptions.
- There are safes within each room; resort management strongly encourages use of these daily for your valuables. Remember, passports are extremely valuable in foreign countries. And, while it’s easy to forget this, Jamaica is another country.
- If fine dining is a necessity on your vacation, Jamaica is not the place for you. Food buffets are plentiful—just know they won’t be plentiful with fine dining. Having this expectation will make it all the more palatable.