If a picturesque, movie-like beach vacation is what you’re after, Negril fits the bill perfectly. This town is one of the most highly sought-after vacation spots in Jamaica and the Caribbean as a whole.
Like any popular resort area, there are so many choices to make when it comes to Negril. This post will take you on a short but in-depth trip through Negril, looking at what the town is like, where to stay, what to do, and where to eat.
What is Negril Like?
Once a remote fishing village, Negril rebuilt itself as a tourist town and quickly became one of the top resort areas in Jamaica. Though it has a local population of only about 7,000, Negril welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.
Being a true resort town, Negril is very tourist-centric. Depending on what kind of traveler you are, this could be a positive or a negative. It makes the town a great spot for first-time travelers, as well as people who want a classic and luxurious tropical vacation.
Negril is home to Jamaica’s best beaches, making it a good choice for beach lovers. The town is also noted for its intimate and romantic vibe compared to other tourist areas in Jamaica. It’s a fantastic spot for weddings and honeymoons!
Things To Do in Negril
Swim and sunbathe at Seven Mile Beach
Visiting Negril and not stepping foot on Seven Mile Beach would not only be misguided but also almost impossible. This expansive stretch is home to the most popular resorts and restaurants in town!
Seven Mile Beach is actually only four miles long but you’d hardly even notice the missing distance as you stroll down the white sands. This beach is commonly regarded as the best on the whole island.
Jamaica’s waters are very calm, making Seven Mile Beach not only great for lounging and sunbathing but for swimming and water sports as well.
Jump from the heights of the Negril Cliffs
Negril has a fascinating duality when it comes to its landscape. Just south of the smooth and tranquil Seven Mile Beach are the Negril Cliffs, a dramatic outcropping of rock in Negril’s West End.
Cliff jumping is equal parts exhilarating and refreshing, so it’s no surprise that many visitors take a stab at diving from the Negril Cliffs during their stay.
The Negril Cliffs are also home to one of Negril’s most popular bars: Rick’s Cafe. If cliff jumping isn’t your thing, you can opt for sipping on rum while watching the thrill-seekers go for it.
Relax and snorkel at Bloody Bay
It’s not only the southern end of Seven Mile Beach that has a pleasant surprise waiting for visitors. North of the beach is Bloody Bay, another beach that is less frequented but just as highly rated.
You’ll find many resorts and restaurants dotted along the shore here. Snorkeling and scuba diving are especially popular at Bloody Bay, given the calm sea and amazingly preserved coral reefs.
The exceedingly clear water also means you may be able to see some marine animals from a distance!
Be healed by nature at Barney’s Flower & Hummingbird Garden
Tree huggers, plant nerds, and even the average traveler will enjoy a trip to Barney’s Flower & Hummingbird Garden.
Jamaica is home to some seriously unique and vibrant plant life that you can see and learn about here. You can also watch and feed the island’s rare hummingbirds as they roam free around the grounds without any nets or cages.
During a tour, you get to relax with refreshments as you soak in the positive energy of all the wildlife. Everyone’s soul could do with a bit of time spent appreciating nature!
Top Resorts in Negril
This adults-only, couples-only resort is one of the best choices of accommodation for lovebirds. The romantic yet lively atmosphere here is hard to match.
Sandals Negril sits right on Seven Mile Beach. There are plenty of things to do to satisfy the active couple, including land sports, scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking.
The environmentally conscious traveler can rest easy at Sandals Negril, as the resort has been awarded for its respect for and treatment of nature
Hideaway at Royalton Negril
If a classic resort experience is what you’re after, Hideaway at Royalton Negril is one of the best choices. The suites at Hideaway at Royalton Negril are noted to be especially luxurious, incorporating aromatherapy.
This resort is close to many attractions and restaurants and houses just as many in-house amenities. The Royal Spa is the crown jewel of the resort and massages are also offered poolside.
For the indulgent traveler, Hideaway at Royalton Negril’s VIP Diamond Club offers an even more upgraded experience.
Sunset at the Palms
Sunset at the Palms is a unique yet popular choice among visitors to Negril. With an emphasis on nature, Sunset at the Palms has a down-to-earth charm while still being a luxurious resort.
Sunset at the Palms’ most distinct offering is its “treehouse-style” rooms. They are located on ten acres of beautiful, Architectural Digest-approved landscaping.
With its lush greenery and its adults-only policy, Sunset at the Palms has a very intimate atmosphere. A wedding or honeymoon here would be amazing!
Beaches Negril is open to any kind of traveler but the resort is most popular with families. This is for good reason — the Beaches brand of resorts is renowned for how family-friendly it is.
Located on Seven Mile Beach, the best beach on Negril is right at the fingertips of guests at Beaches Negril. The water fun extends to the resort itself too, with its water theme park that kids love.
For parents looking to get a moment of relaxation to themselves, the resort offers a Kid Camp & Nursery. There’s also an exclusive teen hangout that teens and parents alike will appreciate.
Top Restaurants in Negril
The in-house restaurant of the Rockhouse Hotel, Rockhouse Restaurant is one of the most popular fine dining establishments in Negril.
This eatery specializes in seafood caught fresh from the Caribbean Sea, which is cooked and infused with contemporary Jamaican and Caribbean flavors.
You can stop by here for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. Whichever time of day you choose, you’ll be welcomed by a stunning view of the sea from the Negril Cliffs.
Best in the West
For jerk, barbecue, and grilled dishes in Negril, it truly is Best in the West.
You can’t go on a vacation to Jamaica and not try jerk chicken or pork. There’s hardly a better place to get the experience than Best in the West, noted for its amazing jerk.
Traditional Jamaican dishes such as oxtail are also served, which you won’t want to miss out on trying. As expected of any restaurant in Negril, Best in the West’s seafood menu doesn’t disappoint either.
There’s been a lot of talk about seafood and meat so far but vegetarians and vegans planning a trip to Negril need not worry. Most restaurants cater to the diet and quite a few even specialize in it. The best of them is Just Natural.
Though it was a hidden gem for quite a while, this restaurant’s popularity has rightfully exploded in recent years. Just Natural specializes in healthy, locally-sourced, and preservative-free vegetarian and vegan fare.
Ivan’s Bar & Restaurant
As the in-house eatery of Catcha Falling Star Hotel, the doors of Ivan’s Bar & Restaurant open to outside visitors after 5 PM. There’s usually a flood of them, so be sure to make a reservation!
Ivan’s Bar & Restaurant is especially popular with couples. The restaurant accommodates weddings and rehearsals. It also offers a special “Night of 100 Candles”, where a couple can enjoy champagne and a 5-course meal in a private, outdoor dining area.
The menu at Ivan’s Bar & Restaurant includes Jamaican, Caribbean, and American selections.