Negril: A pocket guide

Bongos, Jamaica
Happy man with “windy” dreadlocks. Jamaica, Caribbeans.
Bongos, Jamaica
Negril, Jamaica.
Negril beach, Jamaica.

Jamaica is the definition of laid-back, but no place on the island is more relaxed than Negril, a town of low limestone hills covered in lush foliage and exotic flowers on Jamaica’s western coast that dances to its very own beat. The name, given by the Spanish in 1494, refers to the black cliffs along the shoreline. In the 1950s Negril became a popular escape for glamorous sun seekers and partygoers, and today it has a flourishing tourism industry. Eleven kilometers of powder-white sand beaches and calming waters make it an ideal spot for families, and there is enough nightlife to satisfy an older crowd; a holiday in Negril typically blends long, lazy days with a little inland exploration and partying in some of Jamaica’s most popular nightspots. Other attractions: an opulent golf course, a meditation center, exclusive vacation rentals, exceptional service, and sunsets to rival Hawaii. Seven Mile Beach (the locals call it Long Beach) is the place to go for a range of water sports, dramatic sunsets, and lots of restaurants, bars, and lively nightclubs; at sundown, the reggae beat is turned up. Thrill-seekers can arrange off-road adventures in Sandy Bay: Arrive at a safari ranch and mount your rugged quad bike to embark on a tour of the countryside. Rumble alongside citrus groves and through a colonial-era estate before climbing a slight incline to a mountain viewpoint with vistas of the island.