Things to do in Negril

JAMAICA
Things to do in Negril

Jamaica's most famous beach, parties and hustle

Duration: at least one week

Budget: $ 75 per day

Stay: Bak A Yaad Hostel and Cottages or The Judy Guesthouse

Negril’s 7 Miles beach is, without a doubt, Jamaica’s most well-known beach. Once home to mostly Hippie ex-pats, Negril has been booming and attracting mostly all-inclusive visitors for decades.

Similar to Montego Bay, Negril can be divided into roughly two areas:

The 7 Mile Beach with all its hotels, restaurants, and bars and the Westend. The Westend is much more chill, almost bohemian, and contrary to this, the 7 Mile beach sits on cliffs.

My stay in a pretty local neighborhood allowed me to make friends and explore while avoiding the hustle. Little by little, I started to get the vibes that must have attracted visitors for so long. Negril’s location makes it a perfect starting point for adventures in the surrounding areas, such as the Marijuana fields in Orange Hills and the mineral blue whole.

My recommendation for backpackers: Come to Negril and give it a go if you have more time and happen to travel in a low season. If you have little time on the island, I’d skip it and visit more authentic places.

Sometimes selling by the beach can feel intense. If you feel aggravated, please watch the video below to understand the sellers better.

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Is Negril's 7 Mile Beach the best beach in Jamaica?

If you ask me: no way! Even though Negril’s Seven Mile Beach is one of Jamaica’s most well-known and popular beaches and has earned a worldwide reputation for its stunning beauty and crystal clear waters, it didn’t win my heart.

First, After walking the beach, I can only confirm that the world-famous Seven Mile beach is only about 5 miles long.

The calm water is a stunning color, shimmers in all shades of turquoise, and is perfect for swimming. 

The beach itself is seamed by restaurants, bars, and hotels. So if you are up for mingling with other visitors, Negril’s Seven Mile Beach won’t disappoint!

Also, there are tons of things to do! Negril’s Seven Mile Beach offers plenty of water activities!

Try Rasta Ade Restaurant for some fantastic Rasta food and good vibes.

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Explore Negril's bohemian West End

Contary to the 7 Mile beach, the Westend is towering on Cliffs.

Here, towering cliffs plunge into the ocean, providing stunning vistas and an adventurous spirit to those who want to explore them. In addition, Negril is home to some of the best eco-hotels in Jamaica.

If you’re into jumping off cliffs, swimming in crystal-clear blues waters, joining the party, or cooling down by a nearby waterfall while enjoying a touristic infrastructure, Negril’s Westend is the place for you!

Numerous small bars and restaurants make up for a lively evening atmosphere. Negril’s West End is also home to the world-famous Rick’s Cafe, where you can either admire cliffjumpers or even jump yourself.

Because it seemed like one of the most touristy things to do, I avoided going to Rick’s Cafe on my first days but ended up enjoying the vibes when I finally ended up going.

Rick's Cafe - party and cliff-jumping

In the vibrant West end of Negril, Rick’s Cafe is a world-famous hotspot known for its stunning views and exciting cliff-jumping opportunities. So whether you are a thrill-seeker looking for an adrenaline rush or want to take in the breathtaking scenery, Rick’s Cafe is the place to go. And even though it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Negril, you’ll still find a fun and festive atmosphere with great music and friendly vibes. So, if you’re visiting Negril and looking for unique things to do, be sure to check out Rick’s Cafe at the West End! Because it seemed like one of the most touristy things to do, I avoided going to Rick’s Cafe on my first days but ended up enjoying the vibes when I finally went!

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Relax at Half-moon Beach

Half Moon Beach is one of the best-kept secrets in the Negril area. This tranquil private beach is located 10 minutes north of Negril and offers you a chance to get away from it all and relax in beautiful surroundings.

You can visit Half Moon Beach on a day trip, stop for a meal, rent a cabin, or camp on the property. Plenty of activities keep you busy, or you can relax and soak up the atmosphere. Half Moon Beach is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a relaxed and peaceful place to stay in Negril. There is also a restaurant to feed you! It’s best to visit Half-moon beach by taxi.

Visit the Marijuana farms in Orange Hill

If you’re looking to explore the world of marijuana cultivation, look no further than Orange Hill, a small town nestled in the hills of Jamaica. You’ll find sprawling fields filled with rows upon rows of lush, green plants – a true mecca for cannabis connoisseurs and Rastafarian pilgrims alike.

Marijuana farms are a big part of the Jamaican economy, even though most revenues leave the country through foreign firms.

If you make some trustworthy friends in Negril, they’ll likely be able to take you to Orange Hill, home to some of the most extensive Marijuana fields in the country.

In addition, you’ll be able to learn an interesting thing or two about the herb. Just be sure to follow your friends’ lead and not wander off on your own – Marijuana farms can be dangerous places for tourists who don’t know what you are doing. After all, the Marijuana farms in Orange Hill are illegal!

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Chill out at Long Bay Beach Park

At the north end of Seven Mile Beach, Long Bay Beach Park is a hidden gem that offers a quiet and serene beach experience.

With miles of sugary sand, shady picnic areas, and calm, shallow swimming waters, this beach is perfect for relaxing your visit to Negril.

And best of all, it is far less crowded than other beaches in the area so that you can enjoy your time here in peace and tranquility.

So if you’re looking for a picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of typical tourist spots in Negril, be sure to check out Long Bay Beach Park!

Cool off at Mayfield's waterfalls

Mayfield’s waterfalls is a true local gem and relatively crowd-free. It offers breathtaking views of nature at its finest. The entrance fee is only around $20, and on-site, you’ll find a restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat and water shoes that will come in handy as the stones can be slippery.

Mayfield boasts not one but two stunning waterfalls that cascade into pristine natural pools, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind.

In addition, this unique location is home to an array of diverse flora and fauna, including 52 types of ferns, exotic flowers and plants, birds, butterflies, and even wildlife.

To protect the delicate environment of Mayfield’s waterfalls, visitors are asked to refrain from using sunscreen while they are there; however, don’t worry – there is plenty of shade available, so you can still enjoy all that this picturesque spot has to offer without any negative impact on the landscape. It’s about an hour’s drive from Negril.

Unfortunately, the roads leading to the entrance are pretty bad.

Blue Hole Mineral Spring

The Blue Hole is another hidden gem located just a short drive from the beach town of Negril, Jamaica.

As its name suggests, it is much more than just an unremarkable hole in the ground–it is a natural spring that serves as a portal to paradise.

The brilliant blue sparkling water is calling out to all adventurous enough to take the plunge and jump twenty-two feet into its depths. If you would prefer not to participate in this risky activity, you can still enjoy the Blue Hole by taking the stairs down into its grotto and marveling at this hidden treasure of nature.

As its name suggests, it is much more than just an unremarkable hole in the ground–it is a natural spring that serves as a portal to paradise.

The brilliant blue water sparkling is calling out to all those who are adventurous enough to take the plunge and jump twenty-two feet down into its depths. If you would prefer not to participate in this risky activity, you can still enjoy the Blue Hole by taking the stairs down into its grotto and marveling at this hidden treasure of nature.

Practical travel tips for Negril & Jamaica

Which language is spoken in Jamaica?

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The official language is English, but you'll also hear Jamaican Patois spoken throughout the country. It's a colorful and vibrant mix of English, West African languages, and Spanish influences. Don't be afraid to interact with locals and try out some basic phrases in Patois - they'll appreciate the effort and you may even learn a thing or two.

What is the offical currency in Jamaica?

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The Jamaican dollar is the official currency and is accepted everywhere on the island. However, US dollars are widely accepted as well, so it's always a good idea to have some cash in both currencies. You can easily exchange your money at banks or ATMs throughout the city. Just be aware that the exchange rate may vary, so it's best to check before making a transaction. Also, don't forget to tip - it's customary in Jamaica and greatly appreciated by service industry workers. So make sure you have some small bills on hand for tipping at restaurants, bars, and hotels.

What is the best time to visit Negril?

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There is little change in temperature all year around. However, the official Hurricane season lasts from June to December, causing more rain. As for me: I loved traveling in shoulder season as the prices were low and there were very few other visitors at the sights.

Is Negril safe for travelers?

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As a female traveler, I felt safe. However, you'll be fine with the hustlers if you are friendly and walk with a purpose. I found the hustle in Negril to be the hardest and roughest in Jamaica. It makes it somewhat harder to move freely, and you'll have to groove in. Avoid the beach area between the market and 7 Mile beach when there are no or few people around. Also, take a taxi when you need to get back from the West End to 7-mile Beach by night.

Public Transport in Negril, Jamaica

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Route Taxis are the way to move around Jamaica. Official route taxis have a red license plate. In MoBay, you'll see the route they are catering to written on the doors. Route taxis are the cheapest and most flexible way to move around. Just be careful to enter/exit on the route. Otherwise, you'll be charged as a charter taxi. In Kingston, the Route Taxis are not as obvious, but they drive the most prominent streets and honk to let you know they are available.

Public Bus: The stop for buses to leave from downtown. I couldn't find a schedule. They seem to go more frequently than the Knutsford.
Knutsford: Leaving from from the downtown station, Jamaica's luxury bus connects more significant destinations. Be aware that the time stated refers to calculated driving time and not the actual time to reach a destination. Adding to the driving time are stops and bus switches which are not apparent when buying the ticket. Due to Covid, there are fewer buses than usual, so buying the ticket online is better.

Can I drink tap water in Jamaica?

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Even though Jamaica is considered a third-world country, it provides the best water quality in the region. You are, therefore, safe to drink tap water. This is especially true in the cities. However, if it makes you feel uneasy, bring a water purifier.

Is there a weed dispensary in Negril?

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Marijuana is not entirely legal in Jamaica. Yet, it is decriminalized. Meaning it's almost impossible to get in trouble for. Quality and price vary greatly. Get a prescription card (cost $10) from a legal pharmacy to make it legal. In Negril, Hedo Weedo would be the place to go.

What's the biggest challenge for the conscious traveler?

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Tourism leakage: Jamaica is a tropical paradise that's adored by tourists worldwide, but it has a problem that's hidden from sight - tourism leakage. This phenomenon refers to the loss of revenue that occurs when international hotel chains capture a large chunk of tourist dollars, leaving very little money behind to benefit the local economy. If you're among the millions of visitors who flock to Jamaica every year, there's a simple way to help mitigate the effects of tourism leakage: support Jamaican-owned hotels, shops, and restaurants. By doing so, you can put your money where your heart is - and give the people of Jamaica a chance to thrive. So don't be shy about seeking out local businesses on your next vacation. Your decision to keep tourism dollars within Jamaica could make a world of difference.

Beach access

While Jamaica is known for its beautiful beaches, there have been some issues with access to these public spaces. In recent years, many resorts and private properties have restricted access to certain parts of the beach, making it incredibly difficult for locals to maintain their life and right to the sea. Support public beaches and say no to all-inclusive tourism!

Trash

Make sure to bring a foldable food container and cutlery with you! The amount of waste caused by food sold on the street is incredible.

Sunscreen

Make sure to protect Jamaica's marine life and bring reef-friendly sunscreen!

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