Belmont

JAMAICA
Belmont Itinerary

A sleepy beach town coming alive on the weekend

Duration: at least one week

Budget: $ 75 per day

Stay:  Natural Mystic Cottages

I left Negril seeking a more peaceful and authentic experience further South. Belmont seemed like the perfect option! About midway to Treasure Beach, Belmont comes alive on the weekends and is quiet during the week. Belmont is stretched along the Highway and consists of charming restaurants, bars, and Berry selling the best pudding in town. 

There are smaller stretches of beach right in Belmont, which you’ll likely only have to share with the local fishermen. Even though Belmont might not be the place to be for adventures, it offers quite some action away from town.

Feel the weekend party vibes

Belmont was the sleepiest town on my journey (at least during the week), but it seemed to be THE place on the weekends. Locals and tourists are coming in to have a good time by the water and continue the party in one of the beach bars.

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Enjoy Belmont's beach

Belmont’s beach stretches are small, but you’ll likely have them all to yourself. The waters shimmer in all shades of turquoise and are beautiful to look at. If you get up early enough, you can watch the fishermen come in and buy the day’s catch!

Bluefields Beach Park

A 15-minute car ride along the Black River to Savanna-la-mar main road will lead to an admittedly small but about 400 long stretches of white sand and stunning turquoise waters. I went during the week and had the beach entirely to myself. You’ll find street food, music, and a lively vibe on the weekends.

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Peter Tosh Mausoleum

Belmont is also home to the last remains of Peter Tosh, a founding member of the Wailers. Unfortunately, the mausoleum was closed at the time of my visit, but I still got to take a sneak peek. The grave is painted in Rasta Colors and continues to be a political statement to “legalize it.” You’ll see the paintings of a Rastaman with a huge joint, huge marijuana leaves, and a red-eyed Lion of Zion on Tosh’s actual tomb. Usually, tours tell the story of Bob Marley’s former band member.

Practical travel tips for Belmont & 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 Belmont?

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The climate stays pleasant all year round. It might rain a bit more during hurricane season from June to September, but you still won't get bored on rainy days!

Kingston is home to many festival and events, so if you want to check them out, plan your dates accordingly.

Is Belmont safe for travelers?

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It’s a tiny village, extra quiet during the week. I always felt very safe. The only “danger” I sensed was the traffic! Cars and motos go crazy on the road, and there is no pathway for walkers. So pay extra attention after dark!

Party & Nightlife

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Belmont and its 2-3 over-the water-bars seem to be the place to be on the weekends. Bluefields beach park is also a popular hang-out spot for locals on the weekend!

How to get to Belmont from Negril

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Belmont is about 2,5 hours ride from Negril by Route Taxi. I always got extra lucky with the transfer as I got to hop on an almost complete taxi in Savanna a Mar. A cab costs you around $120.

You’ll be leaving by Rote Taxi as well as there are now buses.

How to get money in Belmont

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There is no ATM in Belmont, so better stack up before going. If you run out, it will take 45 minutes by bus to Black Rivers or 30 minutes up to Savanna a Mar.

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.

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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As you see, there are plenty of things to experience in Jamaica. To come fully prepared, check out my packing list for Jamaica, which includes everything from eco-friendly toiletries to sustainable fashion and even the coolest travel gadgets!

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