Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean, and arguably the most lively and fun filled as any of them.  The beaches in Jamaica are some of the absolute best you will find anywhere and attract tourists from around the world.  You can also find many stretches of beach that are very secluded that are perfect for that quiet, relaxing get away.  With the hundreds of miles of beaches in Jamaica, you will easily be able to find that perfect spot that will make your holiday the best ever.

Enjoy the magic of the famous reggae music and sample the local foods such as jerk chicken as well as the many rum flavored drinks that make this island unique.  Besides the beautiful coastline, there are so many Jamaica attractions to see such as the Bob Marley Museum and bustling nightlife in the cities such as Kingston the capital.  Here is a list of just a few of the best beaches in Jamaica that make up just a sampling of the ones you will want to check out.


1. Turtle Beach


best beaches in Jamaica

Flickr Credit: William Leonard

Turtle Beach in Ocho Rios is certainly one of the most popular beaches in Jamaica for tourists from around the world. This magnificent crescent shaped bit of coastline stretches nearly 500m along Ocho Rios Bay, and is full of hotels and resorts so you can stay right there and enjoy every minute. The gradual sloping of the sea bed makes much of the area shallow enough to allow swimming and playing in the water that is safe for everyone.There are many shops and guides on the beach that can provide the equipment you need to enjoy many other water sports such as scuba diving, kayaks, paddleboards and so much more. You will also find a wide variety of vendors where you can get all the food and beverages you could want, and with full facilities such as showers and toilets, you will be able to spend your entire holiday relaxing and having fun without leaving the area.


2. The Blue Lagoon Jamaica


best beaches in Jamaica

Flickr Credit: Kevin

The Blue Lagoon Jamaica is not only one of the most famous of all the Jamaica beaches but possibly the most beautiful area as well.  The area includes such wonders as the Dunn’s River Falls and the Blue Mountains, which you will definitely want to spend time exploring while here.  Many movies were filmed here, so you may feel like you have been here before.  The Blue Lagoon itself is the greatest sight of all.  It is a deep hole with stunningly blue water that comes from freshwater water springs.It is then connected to the sea by a narrow channel.

The water in the lagoon, which is known to locals as “Blue Hole”, is such an amazing combination of colors, from a deep azure blue to intense emerald greens that seem to change as the sunlight bathes over it.  The crystal clear and very deep water, which reaches down to over 50m, is what creates such magnificent colors.  This also makes for some spectacular scuba diving adventures.  There are several shops in nearby Port Antonio that can set you up and take you out to some primo dive spots.  There are also some guides that will take you for an afternoon excursion to  Monkey Island, which is one of the more popular places to see in Jamaica.


3. Hellshire Beach


best beaches in Jamaica

Flickr Credit: Aaron James Wolfries-Miller

Hellshire Beach is one of the best beaches in Jamaica that is also located close to the capital city of Kingston. It is also very near Portmore, which is an old fishing village where you can see much of the native culture and sample some of the best food the island has to offer. With the Blue Mountains in the background, fascinating black and white sands and the clear, warm blue water of the Caribbean Sea, this is one of the favorite Jamaica beaches for honeymooners, families and anyone looking for that perfect island paradise.

Locals also love to gather here, and you can always hear some lively reggae music while taking part in beach volleyball games and barbecues. With full amenities, such as showers and toilets, and lifeguards along much of the coastline, it is a safe and relaxing place to spend the day.  Many colorful shops, food and drink vendors are scattered along the way as well, giving you a wonderful opportunity to pick up some souvenirs and seafood delights.Swimming and snorkeling are favorite activities here, and you will find some terrific coral reefs and underwater caves to explore.  There is an abundance of colorful marine life that are fascinating to watch.

Further out in the water are some great fish such as marlin, dolphins, tuna and snapper that are not only fun to watch but fun to catch and have cooked up for your supper.  Along the shore you can also find some fun little creatures such as iguanas.  Lime Cay is a small uninhabited island just of the coast that is also great to explore.There are ample charter companies here that will take you out to sea or to the island.

After a full day of enjoying the beach, whether it is swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling or sunbathing while reading your favorite book, you will be treated to a spectacular sunset.  Then you may want to head into Kingston and check out their wonderfully fun night life scene.  You will find many popular Jamaica attractions here such as the Bob Marley Museum, art galleries and many shops and restaurants and so much more.  With so much to see and do in the immediate area, this is one of the top places to see in Jamaica.


4. Seven Mile Beach


best beaches in Jamaica

Flickr Credit: Peter

Seven Mile Beach, also known as Negril Beach, boasts having the longest stretch of shoreline of any of the Jamaica beaches. This magnificent beach, with it’s powdery white sand and swaying palm trees, offers something for everyone. Located in the resort town of Negril, you will find places to stay, eat, shop and enjoy the nightlife without ever having to go anywhere else.  There are many places that will rent equipment for any water sport you want take part in, from parasailing, kayaking, snorkeling, jet skis to paddle boards, just to name a few.Other companies can rent you boats or take you out to sea to watch the marine life, fish or scuba dive.

This is also one of the best beaches in Jamaica for diving and snorkeling as there are great, colorful reefs as well as underwater caves that are fascinating to explore.   With the beach being so long, you will be able to find that perfect spot to spend the day, whether it is with the lively groups enjoying the music and playing volleyball, or a more secluded spot where you can sunbathe and read a good book.  There is even a section of the beach that is “clothing optional” for those that are so inclined.  This beautiful beach should be at the top of anyone’s list of places to see in Jamaica.


5. Bloody Bay Beach


best beaches in Jamaica

Flickr Credit: iBackpacker

Bloody Bay Beach is another one of the great Jamaican beaches that is close to Negril. The name comes from the fact that it was once a major whaling port. It is also said that Calico Jack Rackham, a despicable pirate, and his rowdy crew were finally captured here after they had drunk too much rum to be able to fight back.  The beach has a much more laid back atmosphere than the other beaches in the area, so is perfect for those wanting a quieter day. Not to be outdone though, and you can still rent all of the equipment and gear you need or take advantage of any of the many excursions that are available.

There are those that can take you on a magnificent sunset cruise or go deep sea fishing and catch your dinner.  Or take advantage of the quiet stretch of white sand and spend the day swimming or idling on a beach chair soaking up the sun.  The Negril Lighthouse is nearby which is a beautiful sight.One of the most popular Jamaican attractions here is to take a canoe trip into the protected area called the Negril Great Morass. There are some amazing exotic birds here as well as other native animals, including crocodiles.

You will be in awe of the tall palm trees and beautiful flora here.  Or explore some of the caves in area.  Mountain biking and hiking trails are a great way to see the area that surrounds the Bay.After such a workout, head back to the beach, get some food from one of the many beachside vendors, and then sip on great tropical drink while you lounge on the beach and enjoy the spectacular sunset.  You may even want to join in some of the great nightlife in Negril to top off that perfect day.  Dance the night away at a calypso party or dine at one of the terrific restaurants that offer delicious local foods of all types.  However you choose to spend the day and evening, you probably couldn’t find a better Jamaican beach to do it at.


6. Runaway Bay


best beaches in Jamaica

Flickr Credit: Jen Dallas

Runaway Bay is one of the beaches in Jamaica that is famous for several things. Probably at the top of that list is the scuba diving.  People from all over the world come here just for the diving.  Many of the dive sites are protected, and you will find sunken boats, a large underwater canyon, and an extensive coral reef that will keep you diving and exploring for hours, or days.  The whole area is full of amazing, colorful tropical fish that will fascinate and amaze you, whether you are diving, snorkeling or out on a watercraft of any sort. Another thing the area is famous for is the fact that this was the first Jamaica beach that Christopher Columbus laid eyes on.

You will love visiting the Columbus Park Museum and seeing all of the artifacts and historical information about the island’s rich history.  While touring the area away from the beach, the Green Grotto Cave Complex, which is a network of underground caverns, is a thrilling and interesting place to spend a couple of hours.  It is one of those Jamaica attractions that are unexpected and well worth the visit.Another fun thing that this Jamaica beach is known for is being the perfect destination for anyone wanting a unique tropical wedding.  Not only is it ideal for that romantic beachside wedding, you can opt to have an underwater wedding.  Perfect for that scuba diving couple!  Or if your ideal wedding is having it Au-naturale, one company offers nude weddings.  Whatever your dream is for an island wedding, it can probably be done right here.


7. Doctor’s Cave Beach


best beaches in Jamaica

Flickr Credit: Pablo

Doctor’s Cave Beach along Montego Bay is one of the best beaches in Jamaica. It is also perhaps one of the most beautiful ones as well. With the pristine white sand with many bright flowering trees and the rolling meadows in the backdrop with it’s hills that are magically lined with palm trees, you would be hard presses to find a more idyllic location.  This is one of the most popular beaches in Jamaica for both tourists and locals for year-round fun.This gives it a continual party atmosphere where you can enjoy lively music, beach volleyball games, barbecues and so much more.  It is also part of a large nature preserve, the Montego Bay Marine Park.

This gives protection to ten square miles of some of the most amazing coral reefs, underwater caves and more that is home to hundreds of species of colorful marine life.  Whether you go diving, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, sailing or kayaking, you will be treated to some spectacular sights.There are plenty of shops that can rent equipment or guide you out to the perfect spot where you can take in all there is to offer here.  A day spent viewing the marine life, enjoying your favorite water sport and playing in the beautiful white soft sand can be best capped off with sipping a great tropical drink, snacking on delicious Caribbean food while enjoying a magnificent sunset.  This is certainly one of the best beaches in Jamaica for doing it all.


8. James Bond Beach


best beaches in Jamaica

Flickr Credit: rustb01

James Bond Beach in Oracabessa is perhaps the most recognizable beach in Jamaica. Anyone that watched the James Bond film “Dr. No” will no doubt recognize that it was filmed here. The author, Ian Fleming, lived on an estate in Oracabessa and loved the area, and with good reason.  Not only does it have the typical beauty of all of the Jamaica beaches with the warm soft sand and crystal-clear water, it is nestled right in the spectacular mountains of Saint Mary.The beach is less crowded than many of the other beaches in Jamaica, so you are able to have the room and tranquility to spend your days how you want.

The snorkeling and diving are amazing, with more of the coral reefs and underwater caves that the island is known for waiting to be explored.  Take a kayak or paddle board or even a glass-bottom boat ride further out on the water for the day, or stay closer to shore and swim and soak up the sun.Away from the water there is the nearby Dolphin Cove that is a very popular Jamaica attraction, along with some wonderful golf courses.  Throughout the year, various music concerts are held here as well, including an annual tribute to Bob Marley which any lover of reggae music would not want to miss.


9. Reggae Beach


best beaches in Jamaica

Flickr Credit: hokie92_2000

Reggae Beach is located between Oracabessa and Ocho Rios and is also tucked away between some dramatic cliffs. It is one of the favorite beaches in Jamaica for the locals, and is considered one of the most “authentic Jamaican” because it is less touched by the tourism industry. It is a more secluded beach, and less crowded than most so is a real paradise for anyone wanting a quiet get-away.  There are beach bars and a restaurant right on the beach as well that serves great seafood.There are also shops that rent equipment, kayaks and boards, and snorkeling along the reef is a favorite activity.  While the beach is normally quiet, on Friday nights it shows how it got its name!  Live bands and Djs crank up the reggae music and the beach becomes a lively party.  Many special musical events are also held here throughout the year.  So for a real cultural experience, not only for the beauty and solitude of the beach but for the iconic music that can only be produced in the purest form here, head to Reggae Beach!


best beaches in Jamaica
best beaches in Jamaica
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Justin Carmack
Justin is a dive master and world traveler on a mission to dive and document the top 100 dive sites in the world. In doing this he hopes to bring love for the marine environment to the world!
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