Negril is best known for its spectacular beaches and laidback feel. Having started as a fishing village, Negril is a relaxed, beach-oriented town. Jamaica’s legendary Seven Mile Beach is in Negril, as are several other top beaches. Many of the restaurants and bars in Negril make the most of this by being located on the water.
If you’re coming to Jamaica for the beaches or water sports—or if you’re looking for a peaceful, romantic hideaway—Negril is the best destination in Jamaica for your honeymoon or couples’ escape.
Negril is located on the west coast of Jamaica. It’s about an hour and a half from Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, but visitors say that the trip is worth it.
Beaches and Water Sports in Negril
Beaches in Negril are long and lovely. In fact, the consistent answer to the question “Which beach is the nicest in Jamaica?” is Seven Mile Beach, located in Negril.
Seven Mile Beach is world-famous for its shining white sand and beautiful blue water. This water is calm and crystal clear, perfect for snorkeling and other watersports like snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. You can also see some stunning sunsets along Seven Mile Beach.
Just to the north of Negril is Bloody Bay, also a gorgeous beach with calm, clear water for watersports that is usually uncrowded.
Long Bay Beach Park is a peaceful and quiet option, north of Seven Mile Beach. This beach is beautiful and offers picnic tables, changing rooms, and watersports activities. There’s a small entrance fee.
About 12 minutes from Negril is Half Moon Beach, another quiet and beautiful beach. You can relax in hammocks here, get freshly grilled lobster, and snorkel off a little offshore island.
Most of the resorts in Negril are beachfront, as are many restaurants and bars.
Water sports in Negril are extremely popular among visitors, due to the stunningly clear and calm waters. You can snorkel off the beach or head to several great sites, including Negril Reef, Half Moon Beach, Pristine Cove, Booby Bay Island, and Joseph’s Cave. You can also take a glass-bottom boat tour to get a glimpse of the colorful fish that inhabit the waters around Negril or go scuba diving to get an up-close view of the incredible coral reefs and vibrant marine life.
And did you know that you can go swimming with horses in Jamaica? You can book a tour that takes you first on a horseback trail ride, then head to the beach and enjoy a 15-minute swim in the sea while on your horse!
Outdoor Adventures in Negril
If you feel like taking a break from the beach in Negril, there are plenty of other things to do. Golfers can head to Negril Hills Golf Club. Negril Royal Palm Reserve has 114 plant species and 300 animal and insect species in its lush grounds; you can take a guided tour along the Royal Palm Boardwalk Trail to learn all about them. You can also go horseback riding here.
For some water-oriented adventures, check out Roaring River Park and Cave, set on the grounds of an old sugar plantation and featuring fascinating underground caves where you can take a cool mineral water bath. Or go tubing on the Great River and enjoy the scenery as you learn about Jamaican history.
Just a mile and a half from Negril is YS Falls park, which has 7 waterfalls, natural pools, and beautiful gardens. There are rope swings and ziplines for the adventurous. You can also go to Mayfield Falls to see two waterfalls that fill up44 mineral pools and 21 “natural jacuzzis.” After splashing around, enjoy an authentic Jamaican meal at the onsite café.
You can also visit Barney’s Flower and Hummingbird Garden to marvel at—and feed—these beautiful birds. If you like to ride horses, check out the Horseback Ride’n’Swim in Negril tour for something different: swimming with horses! Or head to Rhodes Plantation (see below) for fun rides through all sorts of terrain.
Be sure to go to Rick’s Café for a refreshing cocktail, great sunset views, and the world-famous local cliff divers. Take a 20-minute boat trip out to Floyd’s Pelican Bar, a driftwood structure that offers cold drinks and fresh seafood. Or enjoy a leisurely glass bottom boat tour of the waters around Negril.
Twenty-five minutes from Negril is the Blue Hole Mineral Spring in Ocho Rios, a stunning spot that offers a mineral spring and spring-fed swimming pool. There is a bar and grill here as well.
From Negril, you can also take excursions into Jamaica’s mountainous interior and explore the rainforests. Hike, go on an ATV tour, or zipline through the jungle canopy. You can also go out on the water for scuba diving or deep-sea fishing.
Cultural and Historic Sites in Negril
Negril is home to one of two lighthouses in Jamaica. You can visit the 66-foot-tall Negril Lighthouse, built-in 1894, and climb to the top for amazing views.
You can also take a tour of Rhodes Hall Plantation, an 18th-century estate and working fruit farm on the water near Negril. Here you can hike the grounds and visit a mineral spring, as well as ride horses through all sorts of terrain including rainforests, beaches, mangroves, and crocodile ponds.
Instagram-Worthy Locations in Negril
Instagrammable locations in Negril are primarily the breathtaking beaches, with sugar-white sands and deep turquoise and blue waters—especially Seven Mile Beach and Bloody Bay. Other scenic spots are Rick’s Café for the sunsets and cliff divers; Floyd’s Pelican Bar, perched above the water and built of driftwood; Blue Hole Mineral Spring; YS Falls; and any of the beachfront restaurants, especially elegant ones like Rockhouse Restaurant and Zest with their clifftop settings.
Romantic Things to Do in Negril
Romantic things to do in Negril include taking a sunset cruise, finding a secluded beach spot, and having dinner at one of the city’s many fine restaurants. A sunset cruise is a great way to relax and enjoy the stunning views of the Jamaican coastline. With so many miles of beautiful beaches to choose from in Negril, it won’t be too hard to find a private spot to while away the afternoon.
And if you’re looking for a romantic dining experience, Negril has no shortage of fine restaurants to choose from. Some of the best restaurants in Negril are Rockhouse Restaurant at the Rockhouse boutique hotel; Zest; Bongos; Ivan’s; and the private cave dinners at The Caves Resort.
Day Trips from Negril
There are quite a few day trips from Negril that you can take. One favorite is a trip to Dunn’s River Falls, one of Jamaica’s most beautiful waterfalls. Another popular choice is a visit to Nine Mile, the birthplace of reggae legend Bob Marley. Some tour companies will combine these two destinations for a full day of fun.
Dunn’s River Falls is near Ocho Rios, about a 3-hour drive from Negril. You can hike to the top of this stunning waterfall and then splash around in terraced pools.
Nine Mile is Nine Mile is the Jamaican village where Bob Marley grew up. Tours here showcase his childhood home and early influences. His mausoleum is also here.
A fascinating day trip from Negril is a visit to Croydon Plantation, which is a working farm that produces coffee, citrus, pineapples, plantains, and honey. You can even try samples of their produce, including fresh juice, and your tour includes lunch and Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. This is about 2 hours from Negril.
Also about two hours from Negril is the Appleton Rum Estate, where you can tour the operation and taste rum.
Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can go ziplining through the rainforest! There are plenty of companies that will pick you up from your hotel and return you after a day of exhilarating ziplining across the jungle canopy. You can also combine this with hiking, ATV tours, and river tubing.
How about trying Jamaican bobsledding? If you’ve ever seen the move “Cool Runnings,” you know the amazing story of the Jamaican bobsled team which made it to the Olympics in Calgary in 1988 against incredible odds—and also returned to the Pyeongchang Olympics. At Mystic Mountain Jamaica Adventure Park, you can bobsled too! You take a chairlift to the top of the mountain, where you can visit the Olympic museum. Then zoom down on your bobsled! Mystic Mountain is about three hours from Negril.
Shopping in Negril
Negril doesn’t offer as many shopping opportunities as a larger Jamaican city like Montego Bay, but you can certainly find souvenirs, local crafts and art, and duty-free items. For duty-free and souvenir shopping, go to Times Square Mall. For local items and art, you can browse at local galleries and shops, Negril Crafts Market, and Rutland Point Market.
Events in Negril
There are several events in Negril that are popular with visitors. Each May, Tmrw.Today Culture Fest is 6-day wellness, music, and eco festival in Negril. In July you can visit for the Negril International Food & Wine Festival. Reggae Sumfest also happens in July. And in December, Jamaica’s Reggae Marathon comes to Negril. The course starts at Long Beach Park and continues along Seven Mile Beach.
Dining in Negril
When you visit Jamaica, you’ll want to be sure to feast on the local cuisine. There are plenty of casual restaurants in Negril that serve delicious authentic local fare. Roots Café has a variety of dishes as well as live music on Wednesday nights. Sweet Spice has a fun atmosphere and delicious Jamaican food including ackee and saltfish, oxtail, and curried meats.
3 Dives Restaurant and Bar is said to have some of the best jerk chicken in Jamaica. There are also two bars here, and you can get great sunset views. Chicken Lavish serves all sorts of—you guessed it—chicken. Kuyaba on the Beach is a lovely thatched-roof restaurant serving Jamaican dishes on Seven Mile Beach.
There are also plenty of fine dining and romantic restaurants in Negril. One of the best restaurants in Negril is the open-air Rockhouse Restaurant, perched on a cliff over Pristine Cove at the Rockhouse boutique hotel and serving “new” Jamaican cuisine.
Another excellent fine dining restaurant in Negril is Bongos restaurant at the Sandy Haven Resort. Bongos has an upscale, romantic ambiance and serves fresh seafood as well as local and international cuisine.
Zest is a casually elegant gourmet restaurant with a cliff-top patio overlooking the water. Here you can feast on diverse dishes that feature a nouveau Jamaican twist. Another upscale restaurant overlooking the water is Ivan’s, which also offers Caribbean cuisine. For a super-romantic dinner in Negril, try dining by candlelight in a private cave at The Caves Resort.
Nightlife in Negril
Nightlife in Negril is actually pretty good as well, and many consider Negril to have the best nightlife for tourists. There’s a wide variety of options, from chill waterfront bars like Canoe Beach Bar to a nightclub that some think is the best in Jamaica, The Jungle. This club has seven bars and two floors plus a patio and features reggae and dancehall music.
You can see live music at plenty of bars in Negril, including Alfred’s Ocean’s Place, Roots Bamboo, and Bourbon Beach. There is an outpost of Margaritaville here as well, with a beachfront bar and grill.
There you have it: a guide to some of the best things to do in Negril, Jamaica. Whether you’re looking to relax on a breathtaking beach, go on outdoor adventures, feast on local cuisine, or scuba dive and snorkel in crystal clear waters, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in this popular romantic destination. There’s no doubt that Negril is one of the best places to visit in Jamaica.
Do you have any questions about what to do in Negril? Feel free to ask in the comments below! And if you’re looking for more travel inspiration, be sure to check out our blog for more fun destinations.
Ashley has always loved to explore new places and indulges her passion for travel whenever she can. She has been to 12 countries and 32 states so far.
Ashley has worked as a freelance writer for more than 20 years, specializing in the areas of travel, marketing, personal development, and the pursuit of happiness.
Favorite destinations include Sorrento and Capri, Italy; Haarlem, Netherlands; Paris; Sydney and K’gari, Australia; Rotorua and Waiheke Island, New Zealand; the American West; Palm Beach; the Florida Keys; and her hometown of New Orleans. Ashley has a goal of visiting every state plus many more international destinations.