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Best Tourist-Friendly and Off-the-Beaten-Path Beaches in Jamaica



If your perfect vacation day includes soaking up the sun, playing in the sand, or swimming in the ocean, then our Jamaica guide is just what you need. Our 10Best list highlights the best places to soak up the sun, with Treasure Beach being a top choice for an authentic beach experience and Doctor's Cave Beach being a favorite of our editors and readers for its convenience and amenities.

For a mixture of soft sand and beautiful wildlife, the Fonthill Beach Park has its own sprawling nature preserve, making it an easy choice for a full day outdoors. Those who want their own island in the sun can check out Lime Cay, just outside of Kingston, for isolated areas away from the crowds (read: nude beach).

Negril's world-famous Seven Mile Beach is dotted with restaurants, small inns and hotels, and lively beach bars and that heat up during spring break each year. For cruisers visiting Falmouth or Ocho Rios, there are several options nearby the cruise ports that make an easy day trip for those on a time crunch.

Turn off the laptop, pack your beach attire, and get ready for a relaxing day of taking in rays on some of Jamaica's best beaches.


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Cornwall Beach draws large crowds because of its central location near major hotels and restaurants. But don't let the crowds keep you away--this is an excellent destination for spending your day dining in the sun, playing on the beach, or swimming in the cool blue sea. White sands make the beach somewhat scenic, but don't expect too much in the way of privacy or panoramic views. Instead, enjoy some windsurfing or volleyball with friends. It is located just down the street from Doctor's Cove and features showers, snorkel gear, lockers, towels, a bar, restaurant, and gift shop - everything you need for the day!

Recommended for Beaches because: A convenient location and plenty of amenities makes this a great place to spend a day at the beach.

Amber's expert tip: On special occasions, they host beach parties. Contact them directly to find out when the next event is.

Read more about Cornwall Beach →




This small, private beach with a stunning, vibrant river feeding into it sets the stage for a perfect day. A cafe serves up cocktails and local dishes - served right to the beach (although expect tourist prices). The water here is cooler here than usually expected, but the beach is incredibly clean and postcard worthy. The Frenchman's Cove Resort is a convenient place to stay beachfront for those who would like to linger in the area, as is GeeJam hotel - just a short taxi ride away. This part of Jamaica is one of those areas that will have you canceling other travel plans.

Recommended for Beaches because: For those Facebook photos that make your friends jealous, look no further than Frenchman's Cove Beach

Amber's expert tip: The entrance fee is around $8. Some beach chairs are extra.

Read more about Frenchman's Cove Beach →




A small but pleasant beach in St. Elizabeth features golden sand and turquoise waters. Covered picnic areas, volleyball nets, and storage lockers make this a great picnic beach. As an added incentive to visit, the Fonthill Wildlife Sanctuary is a nature reserve on the property. The winding lagoons are home to several hundred American crocodile. It's just 15 minutes to the Black River, home to eco adventures an safari-style rafting. The well-marked signs outside of the beach make it very difficult to miss - it will even tell visitors when they've passed it! The beach is extremely quiet (read: no pushy vendors or crowds).

Recommended for Beaches because: Thanks to the peaceful beach and impressive nature preserve, this definitely makes the Jamaica "to do" list.

Amber's expert tip: Plan on spending a full day here.

Read more about Fonthill Beach Park →


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Hidden by a marsh area, Red Stripe Beach is a new attraction for cruise passengers. After the new port opened in Falmouth to accommodate larger ships, Red Stripe Beach opened to offer cruise passengers an easy choice for some soft sand. Lifeguards are on duty and a cafe, snack shop, and gift shop are on location, so sure to bring cash for beverages and souvenirs. The beach is kept meticulously clean, and twigs and seaweed are constantly cleared so water and sand is picture perfect. Chairs and flotation devices are available for rental. The beach is less than 10 minutes away from the cruise port and is part of the excursion options.

Recommended for Beaches because: Close to the port, this new beach is a quick and easy option for cruisers.

Amber's expert tip: It's a small beach, so get there early to get a good spot!

Read more about Red Stripe Beach →




Located in Trelawny Parish, the birthplace of Olympic sprinter, Usain Bolt, Burwood Beach is a popular public beach with sugar sand and striking water. Local vendors catch and cook up fresh fish, and the attitude is as low key as it gets. However, time has taken its toll on the beach and while plans are in store for added cafes, shops, and facilities, it may not materialize. Until then, the beach remains a beautiful stretch of sand shared by many other sun soakers without much in the way of creature comforts. It is located about five miles from the town of Falmouth.

Recommended for Beaches because: A local favorite public beach, this beach has no frills: just natural beauty.

Amber's expert tip: Restrooms are available at other local businesses; not at the beach.

Read more about Burwood Beach →


Seven Mile Beach
Photo courtesy of Visit Jamaica

Post card perfect, the fishing village of Negril boasts the world-famous, 7-Mile Beach, which erupts with parties during Spring Break. Each March, college students flock to the beach to soak in some sun, drink rum punch, and dance the night away. Hotels and restaurants line the sand and jet skis, speed boats, and glass-bottom boats are on hand for a day on the water. Every where you turn you'll find tranquil, turquoise vistas and beach bars that are just steps away. The sound of Bob Marley's peaceful music lingers in the air and after the sun sets, beach parties go late into the night.

Recommended for Beaches because: This world famous, soft-sand beach offers a little of everything.

Amber's expert tip: If you visit during the summer months, you'll have the entire place to yourself.

Read more about Seven Mile Beach →




This small, uninhabited island off the coast of Kingston (Port Royal) is as quiet as can be during the week and is ideal for nude sunbathing. (There is almost no foot traffic at that time.)On Sundays, the locals bring limes, food, beer, and good vibes. The island - and small islands surrounding is - is ideal for snorkeling, but bring your own mask and fins. There are no facilities on Lime Cay, so come prepared with plenty of water. The airport is nearby, so expect to see low flying aircraft from time to time. The island is just 15 minutes by boat from Port Royal.

Recommended for Beaches because: This is the perfect small island in the sun with a beautiful beach to match.

Amber's expert tip: You can pay a local fisherman to get you to the island.

Read more about Lime Cay →




Praised as being one of the most beautiful beaches in Jamaica, this Port Antonio treasure is under-the-radar. As one of the longest beaches in the area, there are plenty of spots in the sand. Strong currents and larger waves make this a surfing hot spot, and fishing boats (canoes) are often beached or anchored on the shore. The area is home to numerous mom-and-pop restaurants, jerk stands, quaint beach houses, and local artists. The beach attracts a number of backpackers and bohemians, and guest houses continue to spring up. The friendly, time-doesn't-matter vibe and sublime setting make this a hidden gem.

Recommended for Beaches because: A sleepy beach in a sleepy town makes this a romantic destination or surfing hot spot.

Amber's expert tip: Be weary of the strong undertow.

Read more about Long Bay Beach →




You can't find a better beach destination in Montego Bay than Doctor's Cave Beach, and since everyone knows it, you may as well join the daily celebration on the sand. And there is plenty to celebrate. The beach is five miles long and is bordered by the city's best hotels and restaurants. Named after a local doctor who donated the land and a now-closed coastal cave, Doctor's Cave Beach helped establish Montego Bay as a resort town. It's best to go early (they open at 8:30am) to pick up a spot and rent a chair and umbrella. Admission is $6.

Recommended for Beaches because: With restaurants surrounding it, a gift shop at the beach, and plenty of soft sand, this is the place to go in MoBay.

Amber's expert tip: Bring your own snorkel gear (they also rent it). There is a nice reef between the floats.

Read more about Doctor's Cave Beach →


Treasure Beach
Photo courtesy of Visit Jamaica


The sleepy fishing town of Treasure Beach is refreshingly off the tourist trail. Hiking, biking, fishing, and sun bathing on a quiet beach replace nightlife, paragliding, and jet ski rentals at this southwestern coastal town. The easy-going community strives to keep it low key, and the beach itself reflects this attitude. A clean and well-groomed beach also has vendors offering kayaks and snorkel gear. Fisherman often offer their catch of the day on the beach, and many locals can help arrange a boat trip or snorkeling tour. There are also a handful of restaurants and bars located along the long, soft sand beach.

Recommended for Beaches because: Away from the tourism hubs, this beach is what laid-back Jamaica is all about.

Amber's expert tip: Don't expect all the frills or an all-inclusive resort vibe in this area. It's as calm as it gets!

Read more about Treasure Beach →


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Meet Amber Nolan

Originally from upstate New York, this restless traveler has a knack for befriending interesting characters. You can usually find her just about anywhere that has a hammock. Amber's favorite...  More About Amber

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