Swing your hips to the groovy sounds of reggae, while peering out at the golden sun, sandwiched between azure sky and sea. As relaxation seeps into your pores and the smell of heady, spicey and fresh island cuisine wafts up your nostrils, you’ll know why so many flock to the island paradise of Negril. With soaring cliffs, vibrant wetlands and spotless beaches, this is nature at its finest. Combined with a lively pub culture and friendly, welcoming locals, you’ll fall head over heels for Negril’s cheeky but light hearted charms.
Jamaica is an island country situated in the beautiful Caribbean sea and is comprised of numerous little parishes, but it’s many travel guides will speak of Negril, a small beach resort town that is widely dispersed across the parishes of Westmoreland and Hanover. The little town has a long, colourful history but has only come to prominence now, specifically as a tourist destination. In the past, Jamaica was taken over by the Spanish, which is where Negril’s name stems from. Close to the Spanish word for ‘little black ones’, the name is said to refer to either the great, dark cliffs the town is so famous for or to the vast population of black eels that once inhabited its coastline. In the late 1950’s, the town started to develop into a popular tourist attraction where vacationers would be put up in extra rooms of Jamaican families, or pitch up tents outside on their yards. The establishment of the first guest house, the Negril-Palm Grove, led to the creation of numerous more guesthouses and resorts, thus seeing the town’s popularity soar as high as their cliffs.
Today, Negril is one of the most prominent towns in Jamaica, attracting visitors from all around the globe. Tourist information is pretty easy to come by. Its spotless, pristine beaches are recognized as some of the best in the world and the local culture is extremely vibrant. That’s why its such a popular honeymoon destination. The people seem to love playing host, as they’re warm and welcoming, and the tourism industry supports and is supported by various local level enterprises. For example, when Hurricane Ivan destroyed the rustic Floyd’s Pelican Bar, the hotels nearby made sure it was rebuilt, plank by plank, back to its former appeal. Just chatting up the receptionist at your lodge will enable you to find the best places to go, to eat at and to explore. Negril is also home to a highly diverse environment, with beaches, swampland and forest adding to the geographical composition of this tiny space, as well as a wealth of wonders underwater. The beauty of this island was immortalized in Ian Fleming’s novel ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’, and the movie ‘Thunderball’, both of James Bond fame.
What makes Negril particularly charming is its underdeveloped nature. There’s an unmistakably calm vibe on the island, which the locals seem to exude like a golden aura. Perhaps this is only natural since Jamaica famously celebrates marijuana use, and if you’re surrounded by nature, music and good food like these guys are, you can’t help but slip into a state of Zen.
Island picnics, river cruises, shows and dancing, cricket, yoga, hair braiding, massage, outdoor barbecues and animal watching don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the multitude of things one can take part in here. You’ll find boats with glass bottoms, cafes filled with cliff divers and opportunities to swim, dive, and whatever it is that tickles your fancy. You’ll also be able to relax and just unwind, without any kind of pressure creasing your brow. Let the sounds of reggae make your lift your spirit as the island air calls out to your senses like a secret, sultry, sun-tanned love affair. You’ll feel exhilarated, rejuvenated and craving for more time in this beautiful town.