The best beaches in Jamaica are known for their fine white sand and crystal-clear waters. Despite being a small country, Jamaica’s home to many of the most beautiful beaches in the world, rivaling those of Italy, Thailand and Australia. Even better is you can hop from beach to beach in minutes by automobile. 

    A total getaway is available on Jamaica's more secluded beaches. Others are much more lively, featuring fresh seafood, watersports and even live music. If you’re a beach vacation lover, Jamaica’s many beaches offer the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. Read on and find about these jewels of the Jamaican coast that you simply cannot miss.

    1

    Seven Mile Beach

    An endless Negril beach with turquoise waters

    • Families
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    Negril’s Seven Mile Beach is Jamaica’s longest beach, which makes it easy to enjoy an escape from it all without venturing too far from luxury amenities. Located on the lively Norman Manley Boulevard, you’ll never be far from an air-conditioned restaurant or your resort.

    As one of the best beaches in Jamaica, the massive stretch of white sand is met by shallow turquoise waters, which are calm enough for families to enjoy snorkeling and paddleboarding. There are plenty of bars, beach loungers, and food here, too – everything is at your fingertips.

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm

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    2

    Fort Clarence Beach

    Picnics on the beach and family-friendly activities

    • Families
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    Fort Clarence Beach is pinched between Jamaica’s Great Salt Pond and Hellshire Bay, so you’ll feel as if you’re surrounded by sparkling blue water on all sides. This is a favorite local hangout for picnics on affordable beach furniture rentals. It also has beach volleyball courts for sports fans.

    A fantastic beach for families, Fort Clarence Beach is not as crowded as others around Jamaica, and there are lifesavers on duty. When you’ve had enough fun in the sun, nearby restaurants and beach bars provide shade and refreshment.

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

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    3

    Hellshire Beach

    A lively beach for fresh seafood, cold beverages and reggae tunes

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Families
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    Hellshire Beach has a lively atmosphere and loads going on, especially if you’re looking for a beach and a party in one. Find a spot for your towel and then explore the many food vendors and bars scattered across the sand.

    This beach is always full of music and dancing, which goes until late. You can also enjoy a beachside massage and some famous Jamaican cuisine. The fried fish on Hellshire Beach is said to be some of the best in the country.

    Open: 24/7

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    4

    Doctor’s Cave Beach

    A beach club for those who prefer a catered experience

    • Couples
    • Families
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    • Adventure

    Doctor’s Cave Beach is the place to go when you want security, ease and excellent service. This private beach is operated by Doctor’s Cave Bathing Club, a business that will cater to your every need as you relax on a comfy beach bed or enjoy a meal or drink overlooking the water.

    There’s no lack of activities here. You can enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking and much more. Taking a ride in a glass-bottomed boat offers spectacular views of sea life without getting your feet wet. There are also lifesavers on duty, making this a worry-free beach for families.

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm

    Phone: +1 876-952-2566

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    5

    Turtle Beach

    A bay to unwind with some peace and quiet

    • Couples
    • Families
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    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Turtle Beach at Ocho Rios Bay is an easily accessible spot for a swim, yet it’s not as busy as other popular beaches in Jamaica. You won’t find nearly as many bars, restaurants and activities here, which is a plus for those who like a more tranquil experience.

    If you do want a bite or a drink at Turtle Beach, though, you won't have to rely on packing a picnic. There are vendors along the strip as well as watersports and boat trip providers – just not quite as many as elsewhere. Turtle Beach is one of the most peaceful beaches you can visit without going off the beaten path.

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 876-656-8031

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    6

    Long Bay Beach

    A secluded bay away from the tourism hubbub

    • Couples
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    • Adventure

    Long Bay Beach is one of the most secluded beaches on the island of Jamaica. It’s also very long, so you can easily find your own little coastal section with no one else in sight. Strong currents and bigger waves make this a popular spot for surfing, but inexperienced swimmers should exercise caution.

    The beach is almost completely deserted, so you'll struggle to find many amenities here. There are some food vendors and small guesthouses, but that's about all. It’s a popular spot for backpackers and artists who come for an afternoon and end up staying for weeks. Our next word of caution: you may never want to leave.

    Open: 24/7

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    7

    Lime Cay Beach

    Like a private island all to yourself

    • Couples
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    • Adventure

    Lime Cay Beach is located on Lime Cay island, about 2 miles off the coast of Kingston. It can hardly be called an island as the tiny crop of a beach is just 100 meters long and not nearly as wide. But great things come in small packages and the views and snorkeling here are unrivaled.

    On Lime Cay, you’ll encounter many locals who take their boats for picnics on weekends. Go during the week to encounter fewer beachgoers, giving you the feeling of having your own private Caribbean island. Just make sure to pack some food and beverages - you won’t find much ashore besides sand and sun.

    Open: 24/7

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    photo by Gmanacsa (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    8

    Winnifred Beach

    A hidden cove with chill vibes

    • Couples
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    • Adventure

    Winnifred Beach is a slightly hidden gem in Porto Antonio that feels far away from the hustle and bustle. Flanked by rocky outcroppings and dense vegetation, you won’t see many signs of city life here, unlike other beaches near Jamaica’s resorts and busy roads.

    A popular spot for tourists and locals, Winnifred has chill vibes reminiscent of Jamaica decades ago. Boats mosey up to the shoreline offering sea excursions on the turquoise waters. You can also go horseback riding down the beach – a romantic activity not found on other beaches.

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +1 876-290-7150

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    9

    Bloody Bay Beach

    A place for sailing and snorkeling in crystal-clear water

    • Nightlife
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo
    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Bloody Bay Beach may not have a tranquil name, but the calm waters of this bay are some of the most relaxing on the islands. Located near resorts, it’s easy to hop to Bloody Bay for some snorkeling, kayaking, and beachside cocktails. The shallow water is also ideal for young swimmers.

    Many boating excursions leave from this beach. The sunset cruises are especially popular, but there are all sorts of trips throughout the day exploring sea life and the Negril coastline. Bloody Bay has everything you need for a full day of fun at the beach.

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm

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    10

    Reggae Beach

    A romantic and secluded beach with pristine white sand

    • Nightlife
    • Couples
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Reggae Beach is named for a famous festival that took place here but it’s now one of the most peaceful spots in Jamaica. Highly secluded, you won’t find much here besides a seafood shack serving up fresh shellfish and jamming reggae tunes. There are also changing rooms and beach furniture, so you won’t be completely on your own.

    Reggae one of the best beaches in Jamaica for couples, so bring a partner if you’re looking for a little time on the sand together. The romantic beach views are only part of the allure. Reggae Beach is hidden from the world by ancient almond and palm trees – an Instagram-worthy photo op.

    Open: 24/7

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    photo by 38chad (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    Benjamin Gorman | Contributing Writer

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