Gambia’s South | Gambia’s best beaches

Gambia’s South | Gambia’s best beaches

Best beaches

in the Gambia
Beach Itinerary

Gambia's relaxed beaches

Duration: at least one week

Stay: Bees Mouth

Gambia’s only 42-km long coastline offers the perfect beach spot for everyone. If you are looking for a party, Kololi is the place to be, but if you seek more tranquility and serenity, check out Gambia’s South. We found many deserted beaches, many of them with spectacular sunsets. Be careful, though! The currents are strong!

You might have already realized that we never warmed up to Kololi, no matter how many times we returned. After the initial days in Kololi, we were ready to escape the local bumsters and headed toward the South. Gambia’s coastline is only 42 km long, yet we experienced quite a difference. Instead of all-inclusive, sex-tourism hotel enclaves, we found inspiring eco-lodges and vast, quiet beaches. Some of the best beaches in the Gambia are located in the South!

Bijol Island

For a more adventurous beach experience, take a boat trip to Bijol Island. Located at the mouth of the Gambia River, this pristine island is a haven for nature enthusiasts. The untouched beaches, lush mangroves, and abundant birdlife make it a perfect destination for birdwatching and eco-tourism. It’s a remote escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

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Granada, Nicaragua: market

Cape Point Beach

Cape Point Beach is a hidden gem nestled at the tip of the Cape Point Peninsula. This secluded beach is known for its tranquility and unspoiled beauty. Surrounded by lush greenery and offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Point Beach is an ideal spot for those seeking a peaceful escape. The rocky outcrops add an element of natural beauty, making it a great place for photography.

Brufut's Paradise Beach

Starting in Brufut, the so-called Paradise beach should be your first stop on your way south. While you’ll still find some All-inclusives, there is an increasing number of Boutique Lodges along the vast beach.
As you travel further south, you’ll find more tranquility and individual tourism with amazing Eco-lodges. The beaches around Gunjur are stunning and often deserted. Sadly, a Chinese factory started its operation two years ago, and you’ll encounter dead fish, which left somewhat of a bitter aftertaste.

Best Beaches Gambia
Granada, Nicaragua: market

The beaches in Kartong

Kartong marks the last village before the border with Senegal and is a perfect stop to get to know people and village life. The beaches are quiet and ideal for relaxing. Kartong Village is an exciting and developing tourist destination located on the southern tip of The Gambia. This small coastal town has a population that consists primarily of Mandinka people, followed by Jola tribespeople and other minority groups such as Karoninkya & Balanta, who live together in harmony despite their differences! 
Kartong’s economy relies heavily upon fishing, but more travelers discover this peaceful location for relaxation or adventure trips to the Gambia. 

By the way: Gambia’s South offers some fantastic surf breaks! Until now, it’s a well-kept secret, so you will likely enjoy the breaks all by yourself!

Tanji Beach

Tanji Beach is famous for its vibrant fishing community and colorful fishing boats that line the shore. It’s a fascinating place to observe the local fishing culture of The Gambia. The stunning contrast of the bright boats against the deep blue waters creates a visually striking scene. Don’t forget to visit the Tanji Fish Market nearby, where you can witness the hustle and bustle of fish trading.

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Practical travel tips for Gambia’s beaches

How to get to Gambia's beaches?

P

Minivans run along the route and are by far the cheapest option. However, there are two significant downsides to going by minivan. First, the minivans have no schedule. Secondly, they stop along the main road, which is quite the walk with luggage to the accommodations along the street.

The. much more commfortable option is going by taxi. This way you can also stop along the way.

When is the best time to visit Gambia's beaches?

P

The best time to travel to The Gambia is during the dry season, which runs from November to June. This is when the weather is most pleasant, and there is less risk of contracting malaria.

Is the Gambia safe for travelers?

P

We have always felt very safe and didn’t experience any issues.

Can I drink tap water on the Gambia?

P

Bring your water filter or UV bottle! The Gambia’s tap water is not safe to drink. The water does not go through the same purification process as in the EU, and diarrhea can occur in people who have not yet built up immunity to bacteria or other impurities in the water.

What's the biggest challenge for the conscious traveler?

P

Trash: Plastic pollution is incredible! Bring collapsable food containers, cutlery, and your self-cleaning bottle!

Sex tourism: Sex tourism is a force in the Gambia and is incredibly challenging to witness.

Sunscreen: Protect The Gambia’s waters and wear reef-safe sunscreen.

tanzania travel Zanzibar beaches

Packing List West Africa

When packing for a trip to The Gambia, remember that the weather is hot and humid year-round. However, the Gambia is also a predominantly Muslim country, so it’s essential to dress accordingly when away from beaches.

Check out our packing list to prepare for all Tanzania has to offer. You’ll find anything from clothing to travel gadgets and eco-friendly toiletries.

 

Traveling the Gambia?

Discover other African destinations

Places to visit in the Gambia

The smiling coast of Africa

Serekunda | Gambia’s secret capital

Serekunda | Gambia’s secret capital

Serekunda is home to about 400.000 people, and it seems to burst at all seams. Serekunda is Gambia’s biggest city and has long become the economic hub. It’s not exactly pretty or relaxing, but it’s worth visiting to get a glimpse into a busy, authentic Gambian city. Serekunda is also home to Gambia’s biggest market. Serekunda offered us an authentic glimpse into urban West African culture and life!

read more
Kololi Gambias sex-tourism capital

Kololi Gambias sex-tourism capital

Kololi is only a 20-minute ride from Banjul’s airport, and as most flights arrive at night, many visitors opt for the convenience of the mid-sized town. As a result, you won’t only find a good selection of accommodations but tons of restaurants, bars, and clubs.

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Montego Bay | more than an all-inclusive hotspot

Montego Bay | more than an all-inclusive hotspot

THINGS TO DO IN MONTEGO BAY

JAMAICA
Montego BAY Itinerary

Crystal clear waters, all-inklusives & Jamaican city life

Duration: at least 5 days

Budget: $ 75 per day

Stay:  Cloud 9 Suite or Five Gabels

I was a little weary of Montego as it seems such a popular all-inclusive spot. However, the city quickly grew on me and
I found Montego to be the perfect starting point for my Jamaica itinerary.

Its touristic infrastructure lets you settle in quite quickly while downtown gives you glimpses into real Jamaican city life. As the island is relatively small, one can set out to do anything from MoBay.

Let’s divide Montego Bay into roughly two areas: Gloucester Avenue, aka the “Hip Strip,” lined by beaches, bars and restaurants. The “Hip Strip” is Montego’s main tourist area, and you can feel an American vibe.

The rest of Montego Bay and downtown feel a lot more real and offer an authentic feeling to those who venture out.

To experience the best of both worlds, I can only urge you to venture beyond the Hip Strip and get to know Mobay from an Airbnb in a more local neighborhood.
I loved my stay with Cerri and Jah B in Mount Salem.

As a touristic hub, Montego Bay welcomes most visitors to Jamaica. While tourism can significantly boost the local economy, it also imposes severe challenges on the local community. As such, it is vital to be aware of the implications and support small, locally-owned businesses as much as possible.

Beaches in Montego Bay

Harmony Beach Park

Coming from downtown, Harmony Beach is the first beach you’ll pass. It’s a free public beach that was just recently opened in 2021.

To my surprise, it’s a pretty large, very well-maintained park area with a beautiful sand beach. Even though Harmony Beach Park is free, you have pleasant amenities such as Lockers, Showers, and changing rooms. You’ll also find a booths that sell drinks and food.

Harmony Beach Park is almost empty during the week and becomes lively on the weekends. It is closed on Mondays for maintenance.

 

Harmony Beach Montego Bay
Doctors Cove

Doctor’s Cove

This stunning beach’s supposedly healing waters have attracted visitors since its opening in 1906. Today, it’s Mobay’s most famous beach offering visitors all kinds of amenities.

You’ll find the entrance next to Starbucks. The Entrance fee is $6. The beach area feels almost like you have entered a hotel complex. You have all the amenities: showers, changing rooms, bathrooms, a restaurant, and a bar onsite. 

The color of the water and the views of incoming and departing flights are unique.
Doctor’s Cove Beach is also the perfect spot to spend your last day before heading to the airport, as it’s close by.

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One Man Beach/ St James Hospital Beach

You’ll find a very quiet Bay with a beach located right behind the former St. James hospital. The water is super calm, and because it is so quiet, you can almost always find shade under an almond tree. The beach is seamed by a stone pier which is home to numerous colorful fish. Bring your snorkel mask to see them. 

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Dead End Beach/ Buccaneer beach

Dead End Beach is the famous beach where airplanes land right over your head, as the airport is right beside the beach! This relatively small stretch of beach located north of Gloucester Avenue is also known as Buccaneer Beach. It’s a free public beach with no facilities other than a small beach bar.

I love going there to “hold a vibe” for sunset as many Jamaicans do as well.

HipStrip

Montego's Gloucester ave, aka. "Hip Strip"

Mobay’s Hips Strip is the main party street in Montego Bay, with many bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. It is the center of tourism. It’s also where you’ll find Jamaica’s largest duty-free shopping area. 

While the hipstrip is not my favorite area to get food, the sunset views from one of the many Beach Lounges are beautiful. The lounge behind Island Strains Herb House is my favorite place to spend sunsets in MoBay!

Magarthiaville, the world-famous Usain Bolt Track record and restaurant, and Pier1 are other popular choices. 

Downtown Montego Bay

Downtown Mobay isn’t exactly pretty,  and pretty gritty on first sight. However, it is definitely worth exploring as it is Jamaica’s second largest city!

Chruch Street is Mobay’s “most picturesque” street. You’ll find Mobay’s Townhouse, Gregorian-style structures, and some pretty churches there.

downtown Montego Bay
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Sam Sharpe Square

The square was named after Jamaican National hero Samuel Sharp. Samuel Sharp led the Christmas rebellion in 1831. In the afternoon hours, you’ll find tasty street food around, and it’s a good spot for hanging out and observing the crazy hustle of the city. Close by, you’ll also find the National heroes’ Monument.

sam harp square downtown montego bay

Montego Bay Cultural Center

You’ll find Montego’s Cultural Center southwest of Sam’ Sharpe Square. Home to a history museum, a small art gallery, and MoBay’s cultural events.

The museum is especially interesting as it tells the story of Montego Bay from the Time of the Arawaks to the present day.

Greenwood

Greenwood Great House

This 18th century plantation was once awarded to Hersey Barrett, a British officer, after he was stranded in Jamaica following a failed raid on Hispaniola.
The former plantation is one of the few that survived the Christmas Rebellion unscathed. Today, the Greenwood Great House houses an antique museum, which also displays many historical musical instruments. The guided tour costs $20 and there is also a pub, which I find insensitive to the past.

Rose Hall Great House

This 18th-century plantation was once owned by Annie Palmer, the so-called “White Witch of Rose Hall”.
Today, it is a museum where you can learn about Annie Palmer’s dark past and Jamaica’s history.

In addition to the museum, the huge estate is also home to a golf club and a wedding and event location. Given its historical background, I find ungraceful.

Cinnamon Hills

Another Great House that is said to be haunted, is also located on the grounds and can be visited as part of a tour. Music legend Johnny Cash once lived on the estate. The tour lasts around 45 minutes and costs $25.

The property is located around 20 minutes outside of Montego Bay.

Montego 1
Montego

Green Grotto Caves

This 1.5 km-long cave system is famous for being the filming location for the James Bond movie Live and Let Die, but it also has a rich history.

The caves were a hiding place for enslaved people fleeing the plantation owners.

Today, the caves are open for tourists and offer a moving glimpse into Jamaican history. You can explore the cave system on their own or take a guided tour, and there is also a small museum on site.

Jamaican Food Tours

I love getting to know a country by its food! 

The culinary adventure starts with you meeting with your guide and exploring Montego. On the way, you will get to try Jamaica’s most traditional dishes while learning more about the food culture and the country itself. 

Ackee in Jamaica

Walk with the hooligans

Are you looking for something unusual to do and love dogs? You will love the special tour Montego Bay Animal Haven has put together!

This tour allows you to explore the hills with a huge pack of rescued dogs! 

The walk starts at the shelter and leads you through Jamaica’s lush green hills towards a small river. It’s a beautiful hike, and seeing how the dogs are enjoying it is wonderful!

Hike Hours: 9 am – 10 am
Visiting Hours: 9 am – 12 noon
Costs: $65 excluding transport

Take in Jamaica's lush side: Animal Farm & Nature Reserve

Things to do in Montego Bay go beyond the busy nightlife typically associated with this paradise island.

Animal Farm and Nature Reserve is just a 30-minute drive away, but it gives you a completely different experience! From birdwatching across the fields to floating down the roaring Great River on a raft, there are plenty of ways to explore the area.

The Animal Farm and Nature Reserve also offers solar-powered eco-cottages with stunning views!

 

 

Hummingbird in Jamaica

Visit Rocklands Bird Sanctuary

Visiting Rocklands Bird Sanctuary is absolutely mind-blowing and heartwarming.

As you visit, you get handed a feeder, and after five minutes, the birds will start coming by. They are super human-friendly and will even sit on your finger.

The story behind Rocklands Bird Sanctuary is also truly Beautiful.

Way back in the early 1900s, the original “bird trainer” decided to make a home in these remote Jamaican hills.

Every day, she would embark on these serene strolls through the hills, taking in the beauty and sharing some of her food with these extraordinary feathered creatures.

After about five years of these daily adventures, it seems the birds became quite attached to her. They began to follow her all the way back to her home, and, well, her house soon turned into their absolute favorite hangout spot!

The Bird Sanctuary is located just 20 minutes outside Montego Bay. The ride is bumpy. The tour takes one hour and costs $20.

Visit a dispensary

Exploring a dispensary can be an exciting experience, especially for cannabis enthusiasts or those intrigued to delve into the world of “the herb.” Montego Bay boasts a variety of dispensaries tailored to diverse preferences. Personally, I am drawn to the diverse strains offered by Starbuds, coupled with their relaxed and hassle-free shopping atmosphere. Conveniently situated adjacent to the Usain Bolt track records, it’s easily accessible and hard to miss. Consider stopping by before heading to Dead End Beach for a breathtaking sunset view.

me at starrbuds in Montego bay

Practical travel tips for Montego Bay & Jamaica

Which language is spoken in Jamaica?

P

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?

P

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 Montego Bay?

P

Montego Bay is really an all-year-round destination. As anywhere in the region, hurricane season starts in June and lasts till November.

Is Montego Bay safe for travelers?

P

As a female traveler, I felt safe. Obviously, there are some hustlers you'll be fine with as long as you are friendly and walk with a purpose.
Montego's SoZo's
Zones of Special Operations were established about 10 years ago around Jamaica's cities after crime escalated. You'll notice the military around as soon as you enter a ZoSo. Salem is such a SoZo in MoBay. Be aware, but don't let it scare you. Flankers, Canterbury, and the area around the dump up beach are best avoided at night, though.

Public Transport in Montego Bay, Jamaica

P

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 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.

Public Bus: The bus stop is downtown. I couldn't find a schedule. They seem to go more frequently than the Knutsford.
Knutsford: Leaving Moby Airport, 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, and it is better to buy the ticket online.

Airport

Arriving at MoBay Sangster International is quite picturesque as the airport is located right by the beach. The airport is also only 10 minutes from the HipStrip, 15 to downtown, and 20 minutes up Mount Salem. Sangster International Airport is also small making it extra comfortable to move around.

Can I drink tap water in Jamaica?

P

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?

P

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!

tanzania travel Zanzibar beaches

Packing List Jamaica

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!

Backpacking Jamaica?

Jamaica Itinerary

Places to visit in Jamaica

I’ll be going back to Jamaica for the fourth time this April. I promise you: no matter how many times you’ll return, you’ll always discover something new in Jamaica!

The best beaches around Kingston

The best beaches around Kingston

Beaches around Kingston

JAMAICA
Kingston's best beaches

Jamaica's most underrated beaches

Duration: at least one week

Budget: $ 75 per day

Stay:  Belleh23 or Raggamuffin

Before coming to Kingston, I didn’t expect any great beaches. During my first visit, I didn’t even attempt to hang out by the beaches as the city offered way too many things to do, and I also didn’t expect the beaches around Kingston to be so fun, beautiful, and full of vibes. Admittedly, Kingston has become one of my favorite places of all time, but it can get intense at times, and the beaches around Kingston offer the perfect getaway from the city buzz.

view of Bob Marley beach

Things to know when visiting Kingston’s beaches

The beaches surrounding Jamaica’s capital are all so different, making it hard to decide on my favorite. But before going into more detail, let me tell you:

1) The beaches around Kingston are pretty beautiful

2) Each beach has a very distinct vibe. Depending on if you are seeking quietness or good vibes, you’ll find a perfect spot

3) Transportation can be somewhat of a hassle (as anywhere in Jamaica) regarding time and money.

Port Royal - Kingston 1, where it began

Port Royal, which is sometimes referred to as the “wickedest place on earth,” is one of the first settlements in Jamaica and, despite its beaches, offers so much more to its visitors.

I visited Port Royal twice and was so amazed by the history, the vibes, and the beach that I promised to come back and stay for some days.

Little background info on Port Royal, Jamaica:

The natural harbor of Port Royal on the southeast coast of Jamaica was once known as the largest city in the New World, rivaling Boston. However, port Royal quickly became infamous for being home to pirates, prostitutes, and English migrants.

However, the booming city was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami waves. Two-thirds of the town disappeared into the ocean, over 200 people were killed, and major forts were destroyed. The story of Port Royal became somewhat of a cautionary tale. Today, most of the city still lies underwater, and since the 1950s, it has been possible to dive and explore the site. If you want to read more on the history of Port Royal, check out Atlas Obscura!

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Things to do in Port Royal

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1. Giddy House

What a rare sight, somewhat comparable to the leaning tower of Pisa.

2. Visit Fort Charles

Fort Charles is the only fort that has not been destroyed by the 1692 earthquake and can be visited for a fee. Inside you’ll find a small museum.

3. Dine at Gloria’s

There are two Gloria’s in Port Royal, offering fantastic seafood choices. This one is somewhat of a laid-back hotspot of the who-is-who in Jamaica. I thought it was a great place to watch people after coming back from a Lime Caye Trip or on the weekends.

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4. Enjoy Port Royal’s beach

Port Royal’s beach is vast with light grey sand. Right by Goria’s, the beach is well-taken care of and clean. There would be the possibility to take a long way by the beach, but sadly the beach get’s pretty dirty and is covered in plastics. However, it’s still lovely to spread your towel by the restaurant, enjoy the water and take in a beautiful sunset!

Kingston Beach scaled e1646675106739.jpg

Lime Caye - a slice of paradise

Not that I wanted to get away from Kingston all too often, but Lime Caye is one of my favorite getaways! During the week, the islet is super quiet, and most likely, you’ll have it all to yourself. It’s a very cool spot for snorkeling and discovering the underwater world. There is only one beach for swimming which is super cool because you can see the city in the backdrop while dipping in turquoise waters! I loved the view! We brought some food and drinks and spent the day in pure bliss! So, if you need to get away from everything: head to Lime Caye during the week and feel like Robinson Cruz! On the weekends, it’s a different story! Lime Caye becomes the place to be to hold the vibes, barbeque, or party. Like any Kingston beach, I loved the serenity and the weekend vibes. If you can, I highly recommend staying some days in Rort Royal (including the weekend) to check out the different vibes!

How to get to Lime Caye:

Take a taxi to Port Royal. From there you’ll have to take a boat, which costs  JA 6500. It’s a small boat and you will have to ask the local fishermen.

Bob Marley Beach

Kingston‘s Bob Marley Beach is full of vibes and good music on the weekends and deserted during the week. The turquoise waters and the grey sand make for a perfect spot to enjoy the sun. A Rastaman rents little Bamboo huts ($500 JA for 2 hours) for shade. I loved the weekend vibes with good seafood, music, and Kingstonian company.

The sunsets at Bob Marley Beach are beautiful, too.

How to get to Bob Marley Beach: It’s quite a ride by bus and even by taxi. It will take 30-40 minutes, depending on your location in Kingston and traffic on that day. If you plan to get away by taxi (especially during the week), it’s best to arrange a taxi beforehand. I had the experience that cab drivers don’t like going out to Bull Bay.

Important information: Bob Marley Beach is under current threat of development. Many Jamaicans keep fighting to keep beaches open to the public. Please visit Bob Marley Beach for yourself and support the cause!

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Bull Bay beaches - Kingston's surf hub

Wickie Wackie beach is a vast, long beach with a pretty cool bar at the entry. However, the beach was completely empty during the week when I visited. Wickie Wackie beach is a cool place during the weekend but not my favorite spot when seeking serenity on a regular day. There is no infrastructure, and nobody is around during the week.

Jamnesia surf school is located about a 20-minute walk from Wickie Wackie beach. You’ll find small, essential restaurants and supermarkets close by. The beach itself is lovely to hang out and enjoy the water. It’s not the perfect spot for swimming (like most surf beaches), but you’ll find shade under a tree and a friendly dog pack to keep you company.

Beaches in Portmore

Portmore’s beaches are only about an hour’s drive from Kingston. Though erosion has taken away big stretches of sandy beaches, Portmore’s beaches are worth visiting. 

Hellshire Beach

Hellshire Beach, Jamaica, is still one of the best beaches around Kingston, despite years of erosion diminishing the original shoreline. What remains are a few meters of beautiful golden sand with turquoise waters and an undeniable atmosphere filled with good vibes that make you want to linger for hours.

Moreover, Hellshire is absolutely renowned for its mouthwatering food stalls – fish is cooked fresh as soon as it’s caught and can be paired perfectly with a classic Red Stripe beer!

Anymoneyonestop restaurant is one of my favorites.

Screetchies is a famous hotspot for Kingston’s Who is Who on the weekend. It has a school view over the city, too.

Not only did they just rebuild their outside lounge area, but they also had the best food! Love their fish, and Lorena was super happy for a vegetable option.

Given all this, Hellshire may have lost some of its sand over time but never lost any of its charming spirit. There is a really good vibe and party on Sundays!

Pro Tip: If you get there by inDrive, try to agree on a pick-up time later, as it might be hard to get a ride back.

The beach is free on the weekend and costs $100 JA to enter on the weekend. 

Hellshire Beach is good for:

+ Good Vibes

+ Delicious seafood

+Incredible massages by healinghandsja

+ The water is calm and often super beautiful, with very little seaweed

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Sugerman Beach

Sugarman Beach is right behind Hellshire Beach. The Bay is bigger than the one by Hellshire Beach. However, I never found the bar to be open, so the area was tranquil. There is lots of seaweed, and it looks like the beach has not been taken care of in a while. Better walk up to Hellshire. 

Oceans Beach

Oceans Beach is located right next to Waves Beach. It is a much more casual spot. The beach costs $100 JA to enter, but the beach chairs are free. I absolutely love the fish and the vibes. Unfortunately, there is no bathroom. 

me eating fish at oceans beach in Hellshire

Waves beach

Waves Beach Restaurant and Bar is located right between Oceans and Broadwalk Beach Bar. It’s a more upscale option with more comfortable seating options. It’s free to enter, but a beach chair is between $300 and $500 per person. They also have a bathroom. They do have a basic bathroom on site as well. 

Fort Clearance Beach

Fort Clearance is the largest and most expensive beach facility on this strip. You can use the lounge chairs, changing rooms and bathrooms for $1000 JA per day. The facilities are not always open, but you can always walk over to Waves Beach or Oceans Beach

Broadwalk Beach

Boardwalk Beach is the last beach on the strip. It often has a very chill vibe, comfortable beach chairs, as well as a bar and restaurant.  It is open Thurs-Saturdays 8.30 am- 6.30 pm.

Practical travel tips for Kingston & Jamaica

Which language is spoken in Jamaica?

P

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?

P

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 Kingston?

P

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 Kingston safe for travelers?

P

Downtown Kingston is not the place to just stroll around without knowing anybody. Uptown Kingston is much safer and easier to move around. Generally speaking, Kingston is not the place for walking anywhere after dark, and its best to move around with a driver you know.

Public Transport in Kingston, Jamaica

P

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.

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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Packing List Jamaica

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!

Traveling Jamaica?

Jamaica Itinerary

Places to visit in Jamaica

No matter how often you return to Jamaica, you will never get bored!