Top beaches in Jamaica

With more than 1000km of coastline, Jamaica offers several outstanding beaches that front major resort communities – just perfect for honeymoon couples.

Discover a choice of gorgeous beach resorts, with more clothing-optional beaches than any other island in the Caribbean. The best beaches include the following…

Seven Mile Beach

(Negril) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe on arguably the best beach in Jamaica – an 11km-long, palm-fringed white-sand beach that shelves gently into a wide, protected lagoon of clean aqua blue water.

Although undeveloped in places, this laid-back beach is mainly lined with a choice of open-air restaurants, bars, clubs and low-rise resorts.

Friendly (but often persistent) vendors ply a brisk trade along the public section of the beach that reaches up to the high-water mark.

Facilities include parasols and sun loungers for hire, showers and toilets.

Numerous water sport activities include scuba diving, fishing, tubing, glass-bottom boat trips, sailing, sea kayaks, water-skiing, windsurfing and snorkelling (which is best just south of Negril town).

Seven Mile Beach is excellent for honeymoon couples, however it is good to note that topless bathing is common here and there are several sectioned-off and private areas for sunbathing au natural.

One of these is Jamaica's best-known nude beach at the infamous Hedonism II resort, located at the northwest end of the beach on the promontory separating Negril Beach from nearby Bloody Bay; only resort guests or day-pass holders may sunbathe here.

Large, all-inclusive resorts fringe the northern end of the beach, while smaller family-run hotels line the southern end.

Choose from a range of low-rise accommodation options, including modest cottages, boutique-style hotels and all-inclusive resorts, none of which infringe the local building code, which forbids the construction of buildings that rise above the canopy of the coconut palm trees.

Splash out in a luxury beachside villa at the Moon Dance Villas, offering 24 hour personalised service and located in the centre of the beach strip. Or try the all-inclusive Couples Swept Away Negril, which boasts one of the finest sports complexes in the Caribbean.

Seven Mile Beach faces Long Bay and is framed by 12m-high cliffs at the southern end of Negril town, and by a lush promontory separating Bloody Bay at the northern end.

Negril is located on the western tip of Jamaica, around 89km west of Montego Bay Airport, about a two-hour drive.

Bloody Bay Beach

(Negril) – Unwind on the white sands of this 2km-long, narrow, half-moon-shaped beach lined at the southern end with large all-inclusive resorts. Mainly private, this beach is a lot quieter than nearby Seven Mile Beach.

Stay at the luxury Riu Tropical Bay resort, which offers numerous activities including a dedicated kids centre. Or head to the eco-friendly Sunset at the Palms Resort, where you can stay in small timber cottages rising on stilts from a lush landscaped garden scattered with royal palms and mango trees.

Doctor's Cave Beach

(Montego Bay) – Unwind on the pristine white sands of this 700m-long wing-shaped beach that shelves into calm, crystal clear turquoise waters in the heart of Montego Bay.

Facilities on this family friendly beach – probably the best beach in Montego Bay – are managed by the Doctor's Cave Beach Club, which (for a fee) provides guests with parasols, sun loungers, changing rooms, showers, restrooms, a beach bar and food court. A further choice of restaurants and hotels are just a stroll or taxi ride away.

Enjoy swimming and snorkelling amid colourful rainbow-hued fish right off the beach – Doctor's Cave Beach is part of the protected Montego Bay Marine Park.

Come for a day or stay longer at the luxurious, all-inclusive, five-storey Breezes Montego Bay or the three-storey Doctor’s Cave Beach Hotel, set in 1.6ha of manicured gardens.

Montego Bay is on the northwest coast of the island of Jamaica, less than 5km from the Montego Bay Airport.

Walter Fletcher Beach

(Montego Bay) – Relax on the golden sands of this wide beach, home to the Aquasol Theme Park, which offers a huge range of sports facilities including jet skis, glass-bottom boats and snorkelling, as well as tennis and basketball courts, a go-kart track and a children’s playground.

Facilities include parasols and sun loungers for hire as well as an attractive bar, seafood restaurant and fast-food kiosk.

Frenchmen's Cove

(Port Antonio) – Unwind on the pristine white sands of this idyllic 60m-long beach that lies at the end of a narrow inlet surrounded by lush green vegetation.

Once the hangout of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, among other celebrities, Frenchmen's Cove offers a stunningly beautiful spot on the north coast, just 8km from Port Antonio.

Come for a day or stay longer at the Frenchman's Cove Resort, set on a scenic windswept headland. Sunbathe on the small beach or swim in the clean fresh waters that flow into the sea from a freshwater stream flanked by lush native bush.

Facilities include showers, toilets and a beachfront barbecue restaurant serving cold drinks and freshly grilled fish.

Boston Bay Beach

(Port Antonio) – Sunbathe on the golden sands of this small crescent-shaped beach framed by lush tree-covered headlands and shelving into clear turquoise waters perfect for swimming (and surfing, when the conditions are right).

This beach has the biggest waves in Jamaica; you can rent surfboards and have surf lessons.

Facilities include changing rooms, toilets, showers and picnic tables, as well as food and cold-drink kiosks.

Boston Bay Beach lies on the north coast amid some of the most rugged and beautiful scenery in Jamaica, 18km east of Port Antonio and 97km northeast of Kingston.

James Bond Beach

(Oracabessa) – Unwind on the golden sands of this tiny beach located beneath the villa Goldeneye – author Ian Fleming’s former home and where he penned the 13 original James Bond books.

The villa is now the centrepiece of a luxury villa complex, including GoldenEye Hotel & Resort, and offers access to this small private beach managed by the James Bond Beach Club.

Facilities include changing rooms, restrooms and restaurant-cum-bar serving grilled fish and cold drinks. A water sports centre offers snorkelling equipment, kayaking and glass-bottomed boats – perfect for admiring the underwater world without getting wet.

The beach is free for guests of the hotel, while non-guests can use all the beach’s facilities for a small fee, which includes a free drink.

James Bond Beach is located along Old Wharf Road in Oracabessa, 15 minutes drive east of Ocho Rios.

Rose Hall Beach

(Montego Bay) – Unwind on the white sands of this 800m-long secluded beach, located around 18km east of Montego Bay.

Swim in the crystalline blue waters and enjoy a range of beachside facilities including parasols, sun loungers, changing rooms, showers, restrooms, hammocks, beach volleyball courts and various water sport activities.

Enjoy cold drinks and fresh seafood from the beachside bar and restaurant. Come for a day and pay a small fee to use the facilities or stay longer at one of the nearby luxury hotels, including the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach (photo), Hilton Rose Hall and Ritz-Carlton.

The Blue Lagoon

(Port Antonio) – Although not technically a beach, the so-called Blue Lagoon is well worth a visit for its dramatic and sheltered cerulean blue lagoon, which is perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

The 56m-deep lagoon teems with marine life, including schools of colourful tropical fish.

Facilities include a changing room, restrooms, showers and a rental shop for paddleboats and snorkelling equipment. A restaurant offers fresh seafood and cold drinks.

Treasure Beach

(South Coast) – Escape the tourist crowds and discover the ‘real Jamaica’ at a choice of four beaches and several small secluded coves along this coastal area collectively named Treasure Beach.

The best time for swimming and snorkelling the offshore coral reef is in the morning; afternoon waves are good for bodysurfing - watch out for strong undertows.

Facilities include beachside restaurants and cafes. The coastline between Treasure Beach and Lover's Leap is networked with trails that are ideal for hiking or mountain biking. Come for a day or stay longer at Jake's Hotel, perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean.

Dunn’s River Beach

(Ocho Rios) – Sunbathe on this small golden-sand beach that nestles beneath lush bush and the stunning sight of the Dunn’s River Falls. Facilities include restrooms and showers.

Ocho Rios is situated on the northern coast of Jamaica, around 73km west of Port Antonio.

Latest update: Best beaches in Jamaica: 7 May, 2022