Jamaica is home to some of the Caribbean’s finest beaches. Whether you’re seeking a secluded spot where seashells outnumber humans, or lively beaches that offer all-you-can-drink rum (say what?) check this out first!
A delightfully small cove, cradled by cliffs between Port Antonio and Long Bay, Boston Bay Beach is home to golden sand and aquamarine water. This is the spot for any jerk lover (and we’re not talking about your ex’s new partner).
Best known as the birthplace of jerk chicken, Boston Bay is peppered with jerk stalls, where the mouthwatering fragrances of barbequed chicken and spice are carried on the salty ocean breeze.
You’ll be sure to work up a hunger by swimming or surfing – Boston Beach (as it’s often referred to) is also known for its small waves that are great for beginning surfers.
As its name suggests, this stunning beach is exactly that, an extended stretch of coastline. If your dating profile claims to enjoy “walks on endless beaches,” Seven Mile is for you. Stroll along the silky white sand and serene water that is as clear and blue as the cloudless sky.
Home to many luxury resorts, you can happily spend day upon day here. If you’re pressed for time, take a dip in the ocean and grab a flavourful bite and fruity libation from rustic beach huts to upscale restaurants.
As its name suggests, this beach is exactly that– oh wait, that was the Seven Mile Beach opener, our apologies. Don’t let the name deter you – Bloody Bay is laid back and peaceful. It’s also exquisitely–dare we say, bloody– beautiful. Its gory title dates from 19th-century whaling activities, and its fabled pirate history fits the bill, too.
White rum-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs are ideal for scuba and snorkelling. Pale sand, pink shells and palm trees make picture-perfect time onshore dreamily relaxing. If you’re into beaches that don’t suit their name, kinda like this one, visit Hellshire Beach, close to the Jamaican capital of Kingston and another one of Jamaica’s best beaches.
Remember that time when you wanted to travel to the Blue Lagoon, and you ended up in a frozen landscape? (Excuse the travel nerd joke, there’s that other one in Iceland. And if that actually ever did happen, the mishap wouldn’t happen if you booked with Flight Centre!)
Shameless corporate promotion aside, Jamaica’s Blue Lagoon, also known as the Blue Hole, is more bank than beach, but its sheer beauty is worth a mention – and definitely worth a visit. The lagoon’s plunging depth of 60 metres (200 feet) creates its stunning colour, which mystically changes hues of blue with the sun.
Featured in Hollywood films, including one of the same name, the soothing, warm Caribbean Sea feeds the lagoon, as do refreshingly cold streams of fresh water from underground sources.
Speaking of ‘underground sources’, according to our Jamaica insiders, if you’re looking for a beach that’s less touristy, hit up local favourite, Winnifred Beach. The late, great Anthony Bourdain featured this rustic spot on his show Parts Unknown, where he noshed on authentic Jamaican dishes.
Lively, yet laid-back, the beach is dotted with vendor huts. There are plenty of trees for sitting in the shade and while the beach isn’t manicured like others on the list, meaning slightly rocky underfoot and seaweed-strewn, it makes up in rustic character. Entrance is free, but we always put a few bills in the donation box at the entrance to preserve this local gem.
Here’s a charming and attractive beach that will leave you stirred, not shaken! Goldeneye sands, vodka-clear water and a scenic mountain backdrop set the stage for a thrilling view. Small in scale, you may not spy James Bond Beach right away; which is probably one of the reasons why Ian Fleming chose to write novels here in seclusion.
Of course, it’s more developed than it was in his day and nearby you’ll find Bond-inspired bars, with a touch of kitsch. We like it best because it’s uncrowded and so very pretty.
We go from an Englishman to a Frenchman – Frenchman’s Cove, that is! A playground of celebrities that goes as far back as Liz Taylor & Richard Burton, it’s also a highly-rated spot on travel review websites, backed by our own finicky Flighties.
Why are we oooh la la’ing over this cute beach? For starters, its unique natural feature of a freshwater river meeting turquoise ocean. Even when it’s populated with visitors from the area’s high-end resorts, you get a sense of a secluded retreat in this picturesque cove. One perceived drawback is the entrance price of $10 USD, but on the plus side, it helps keep it more private and pristine.
As the Jamaicans say, bless! You’ve been in suspense waiting for the all-you-can-drink rum part? On certain Sundays, Cornwall Beach offers a bottomless mug that you can fill to your heart’s content (your liver’s-not so much).
A quiet seaside escape, beach dwellers pay about a $5 USD entrance fee, which covers lounge chair use, snorkelling gear and on-site facilities. And yes, Cornwall boasts the white sand and clear water you expect on a Jamaica beach vacation, and the hip and irie vibes are pretty sweet, too.
The Better Beach Jamaica holidays collection features beautiful, private and outstanding beaches. If you’re looking to venture off your resort, you may want to consider visiting these beaches, selected because we think they are among the best of the best.