Jamaica is a renowned vacation destination for travelers from around the world. This tropical paradise is the third-largest Caribbean island and is the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean sea.
Jamaica is a diverse and visually stunning country that generated more than $3 billion in tourism revenue in 2020. One of the many tourist attractions the island offers is proximity to many famous beach fronts and seaside vistas.
The 15 Best Beaches in Jamaica in 2023
We’re travel junkies, and we also have a soft spot for the Caribbean. As such we’ve rounded up the 15 best Jamaican beaches to help you plan some fun in the sun on your next Caribbean vacation.
1. Treasure Beach
Treasure Beach, located on the south coast of Jamaica, features sandy and rocky shores to explore and enjoy. Here, you will find a literal treasure trove of bays, coves, dark and white sand beaches, and fishing enclaves.
Beyond the unforgettable natural beauty of Treasure Beach is a vibrant culture that’s waiting to be experienced. Check out Calabash Bay and Starve Gut Bay, where you can find brightly painted canoes and watch firsthand as locals bring in their daily catch.
Whether you want to hike, swim, bike, snorkel, or just lay back and relax in the sun, Treasure Beach is one of the best Jamaican beaches to explore when you visit the island.
2. Seven Mile Beach
Also known as Negril Beach, Seven Mile Beach stretches across two Jamaican parishes and boasts several breathtaking beaches where locals and tourists can find a bit of tropical paradise.
Centuries ago, this beach was a familiar stomping ground for pirates. Today, you will find a tranquil seven-mile stretch of silky sand where you can scuba dive, snorkel, enjoy water sports, or simply sunbathe in peace.
Just keep in mind that some beachgoers do sunbathe and swim in the nude.
More often than not, Seven Mile Beach will have a good crowd of visitors that come from far and wide to see towering cliffs, swaying palm trees, colorful coral reefs, and even a picturesque lighthouse.
3. Frenchman’s Cove Beach
Frenchman’s Cove is on the eastern coast of Portland, Jamaica. It lies between the Caribbean Sea and green cliffs brimming with plants and native wildlife.
The sand here is the color of champagne, and the waters are stunningly clear and pristine. This is well-known as a luxurious celebrity getaway, and its scenery has featured in several Hollywood films.
The beach is spacious and peaceful, with breathtaking views that you will never forget. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or a fun trip for the whole family, Frenchman’s Cove offers the perfect setting for a dream vacation.
4. Doctor’s Cave Beach
Doctor’s Cave is one of the most popular beaches in Montego Bay, one of the prettiest parts of the island nation. To enter Doctor’s Cave, visitors will need to pay a $6 per day fee. The rate is reduced to $3 a day for children.
The beach is open daily from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, and you can rent chairs, umbrellas, and inflatable floaties for an additional cost. Lifeguards are posted all around the beach for your safety.
In addition, there are lots of beach bars and changing rooms for your enjoyment and convenience. Keep in mind that Doctor’s Cave Beach usually has rather large crowds of tourists, and the prices can get a little steep.
On the other hand, you can find all sorts of water sports to enjoy, like kayaking, snorkeling, and riding water scooters.
If you do take to the water, you’ll have the chance to feast your eyes on a thriving coral reef teeming with exotic sea creatures like butterflyfish, blue tangs, stingrays, and grunts.
5. Bloody Bay Beach
There are several theories as to how Bloody Bay got its evocative name. Some suggest that it owes its moniker to 19th Century whalers based in the area. Others claim that the beach was the site of a brutal battle during pirate rule.
Today, tons of tourists and locals mill about Bloody Bay beach, enjoying their vacations, fishing, giving tours, and soaking up the sun.
Bloody Bay is a diver paradise surrounded by calm, clear sea and brilliantly colored coral reefs. Aquatic adventures on Bloody Bay include guided scuba excursions, snorkeling, catamaran cruises, and equipment rentals.
You can also wander through caves, take a canoe trip, and watch tropical breezes blow through the palm trees. You might even catch a glimpse of a crocodile or an exotic bird.
6. Burwood Beach
Burwood Beach is a part of Trelawny Parish, the birthplace of Olympian Usain Bolt. The sugar sands of the public beach are located five miles from the town of Falmouth.
You will find lots of local vendors along the seaside and the freshest seafood you will have ever tasted in your life. The low-key atmosphere will help you relax and forget the struggles of everyday life with ease.
The beach is 426 feet long with fine-grain, white sands and lush seagrass beds close to the shoreline. Many seaside tree species dot the landscape, like Sea Grape, Seaside Mahoe, and West Indian Almond trees.
Burwood Beach visitors often play beach sports like football and volleyball, not to mention swimming and wading in the crystal clear water.
7. Ocho Rios Bay Beach
Ocho Rios Bay Beach, also known as Turtle Beach, is located in Ocho Rios and is perfect for families, parties, and weddings. The white sand beach is 1,500 feet long and boasts a mesmerizing view of the Caribbean Sea.
Ocho Rios Bay has picnic facilities and a snack shop available for when you’re feeling hungry. You can participate in watersports activities and revel in the warm, shallow water or relax in the silky soft sand.
Watch from the shoreline as majestic first-class cruise liners make their way into the harbor. The beach is a great spot for a family vacation with its championship golf course and a larger-than-life waterpark.
This spot has been frequently hailed as one of the finest beaches in Jamaica. That is no surprise considering Ocho Rios is surrounded by 22 acres of tropical gardens, several swimming pools, and numerous gourmet restaurants.
8. Winifred Beach
Winifred Beach is known for its shimmering seas, white sands, and friendly locals. It is more secluded than many tourist hubs in Portland Parish. Winifred Beach is smaller compared to other Jamaican beaches.
But you don’t have to pay an admission fee to get access to the beautiful scenery and surf. If you enjoy your time at the beach, feel free to leave a small donation out of gratitude.
At Winifred, you can rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle and snake through the wilderness that opens up to the pretty little beach with a miraculous view of the Caribbean.
Due to its small size, the number of visitors can make it feel a bit crowded, but it’s a lot calmer during the weekdays.
Locals like to play cricket on the beach but you can also play soccer in the seagrass. Alternatively, you could catch a boat ride to Monkey Island where you can spot wild sea turtles basking in the sun and swimming in the waves.
9. Puerto Seco Beach
Puerto Seco is located in Discovery Bay, in the exact spot where Christopher Columbus landed when he made it to Jamaica. The beach has lots of amenities, including a pool-side cabana, a full bar, a pool, butler services, spa service, and free WiFi.
If you want to have a bit more active fun in the sun, visit Puerto Seco’s floating water park which features rock-climbing, water slides, and giant trampolines.
You can also take a paddleboard tour, ride in a glass-bottomed boat, parasail, or snorkel. If you’d rather stay on land, there is lots of fun to be taking a tranquil nature walk or seeing the beach’s mini zoo.
10. Cornwall Beach
Cornwall Beach is on the west side of Montego Bay and it was once a public beach but it has been heavily renovated and modernized in recent years. Locals don’t spend too much time there, but it is a beloved tourist destination.
This cozy beach provides a quiet atmosphere that’s perfect for families. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city, you will love the leisurely atmosphere and the gentle blue waves.
The waters of Cornwall beach are free of algae and stones and there is also a rescue service that provides immediate assistance in case of emergency. There is a small entrance fee of $2.50 for adults and $1.50 for children.
Cornwall beach is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and has all the amenities you can think of, including souvenir stalls, showers, a children’s area, and changing cabins. In addition, you can rent a catamaran, a yacht, or a sailboat for a day of aquatic fun.
11. Laughing Waters Beach
Laughing Waters is also called James Bond beach as it prominently featured in the first James Bond film Dr. No as a backdrop for actress Ursula Andress.
It is located east of Pearly Beach and Dunn’s River Falls and the beach is managed by St. Ann Development Corporation, an extension of Jamaica’s Urban Development Corporation.
This government body operates some of the country’s most popular tourism attractions. Laughing Water boasts a gorgeous waterfall that flows directly into the sea, providing a fanciful backdrop for romantic getaways and fairytale wedding ceremonies.
The beach is only a 20-minute drive from Ocho Rios, so if you want a big city environment too you won’t be disappointed.
12. Boston Beach
Boston Beach is only about ten miles to the east of central Port Antonio. It is famous for having Jamaica’s only surfable waves along with the powder-white sands and tons of authentic island food.
According to legend, Jamaican jerk seasoning originated on Boston Beach and the Boston Jerk Center is close by. So, you can fill up on local delicacies when you are done swimming and lounging in the sun.
While the rough waters are beloved by surfers, the choppy waves can be too intense for young children. It costs about $1.50 to access the beach and that price includes parking and restrooms.
The 500-foot-long beach has two sections that are separated by a small bluff. There are lots of West Indian Almond and Coconut trees near the waterfront if you need a shady place to rest.
13. Lime Cay Beach
Lime Cay Beach is a 15-minute boat ride from Port Royal. The cay is home to one of the most spectacular beaches on the whole island.
It is the largest of Port Royal’s coastal cays and all the beaches are public to any tourists who make the boat ride over. The tide often submerges Lime Cay, ensuring that it has never been populated.
Lime Cay is a popular destination for Kingston residents who are eager to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Typically, locals will set up at Morgan’s Harbour Marina during their visit.
If you go, be sure to bring food and refreshments as there are no restaurants, vendors, or facilities. On the weekdays, clothing is optional and nude sunbathing is the norm since very few beachgoers are typically around.
14. Dunn’s River Falls Beach
Dunn’s River Falls are over 600 feet wide and are surrounded by orchids, ferns, bamboo forests, ginger lilies, and palm trees. You can climb the rocks and swim in one of the lagoons to watch as the water flows directly into the beautiful Caribbean sea.
The beach below is small and usually has a big crowd. That’s not surprising given that it offers a stunning view of the falls from below.
When you pay for entrance to the falls, you get all-day access to the beach as well. Dunn’s River Falls Beach has several convenient amenities like free parking, lifeguards, and clean toilets.
15. Bamboo Beach
The Bamboo Beach Club is a private beach with a beautiful seashore. It has lots of live entertainment and music to enjoy while you sip on unlimited drinks and freshly prepared lunches made by a chef.
Bamboo Beach offers a fantastic opportunity to experience a lively part of Jamaican culture as Kumina drummers regularly perform inspired routines on the sand. Get in on the fun by joining a line dancing session or playing the drums!
If that isn’t your scene, you can always unwind with a beachside massage or take a swim in the tranquil waters. There are 100-year-old palm and almond trees to hide away from the sun for a few moments of tropical shade.
Things to Consider
Besides choosing which beaches to enjoy, other factors need to be taken into consideration before visiting the Caribbean island. In particular, keep in mind the following:
- Jamaica has a tropical climate all year long, with temperatures ranging from 60 to 99 degrees.
- Though it’s mostly sunny and bright, the island has two rainy seasons: May to June and September to November.
- Hurricane season happens between June and November, so be sure to check weather forecasts if you’re traveling during those months.
- Most Jamaicans speak English but with a regional dialect that includes the island’s signature patois.
- Islanders drive on the left side of the road. The speed limit is usually 30 miles per hour in the city and 50 miles per hour on the highway.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you still have some questions about the beaches in Jamaica, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions posed about the island nation:
Where is the clearest water in Jamaica?
While this topic is subjective, many tourists say Doctor’s Cave has the most pristine waters on the island.
How many beaches are there in Jamaica?
Jamaica has more than 50 public beaches, though some do charge an entry fee to use their facilities.
What is the safest part of Jamaica?
The safest areas to visit in Jamaica are probably Port Antonio, Montego Bay, and Ocho Rios because of the proximity to popular resorts. Be careful on the public beaches, where you may encounter overly-aggressive peddlers and pickpockets.
When is the best month to travel to Jamaica?
The ideal time to visit Jamaica is from November to the middle of December. This period has weather ideal for a tropical vacation, reasonable rates for airfare, and plenty of hotel vacancies.
Do I need a passport to enter Jamaica?
Yes. U.S citizens must present a valid passport and proof of anticipated departure date to be able to enter Jamaica.
So, What’s the Best Beach in Jamaica?
If you visit Jamaica, you will find a culturally rich country that is steeped in tradition and full of natural beauty.
One of the island’s many beloved treasures is an abundance of picture-perfect beaches that make Jamaica one of the Caribbean’s most popular vacation destinations. Once you experience the sparkling water and soft sand beaches for yourself, you will never forget the experience.
There are a wide variety of beaches in Jamaica and these are only 16 of the very best. Who knows, you might visit and find your perfect seaside paradise.