All About Negril
Negril is located on the westernmost tip of Jamaica.
This "Capital of Causal" offers two holidays in one! Negril is beautiful white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise seas, dramatic cliffs and Technicolor sunsets....paradise.
The Beach Side
The world famous 7 mile white sand beach is dotted with hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars, beach clubs offering live music, shops, vendors and water sport kiosks.
The approx. first 4 miles of white sand beach, closest to the small town centre and the larger craft market, is where most of the non all inclusive resorts are located. These resorts, in all price categories are more intimate , with most under 50 rooms ( boutique, 4 star or more and more economical hotels). The "open beach" allows couples, families, singles and groups, a taste of the real Negril , as you can walk the beach, stop in at independent restaurants, bars, other resorts, beach clubs, and eat and drink or listen to music day or night.
As a former "hippy destination" now grown up, Negril still has an ire vibe feel. Shorts, bathing suits and sandals are the outfit of choice.
The beach continues on from the "open beach" and this is where the larger all -inclusive resorts with all the bells and whistles ( in all price categories) begin. This continuation of the beach going towards Montego Bay includes Bloody Bay ( still the same white sand beach). If you choose an all-inclusive vacation in this area, you can still visit the main open beach with a short taxi ride.
The main beach road then goes into town via the roundabout , where banks, local restaurants, shops, hardware stores etc , serve locals and visitors alike.
The Cliff Side
The cliff road winds past resorts, hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and vendors, all the way to the famous Rick's Cafe, Negril Lighthouse and beyond.
The cliff side features private coves and hidden caves for snorkeling.
Cliff side resorts include boutique properties, both high end and more modest. You can snorkel right off the cliffs at your resort.
There are also resorts and venues with live music and a multitude of place to eat and drink are withing walking distance.
Shops offer groceries, alcohol, souvenirs and anything you might need.
This end of Negril tends to be the quieter side.
Many visitors split their stay between beach and cliff. From either side ...a short taxi ride allows you to explore all Negril has to offer.
Some visitors prefer to know the bottom line for their vacation, like to relax with food and drinks taken care of, or expect total pampering with all the bells and whistles including multiple restaurant, bars, daily actives, nightly entertainment, land and water sports included, butler or concierge service or something in between. Negril has it all.
You will find more villas in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios but Negril does have some, both beach and cliff side....from casual and comfortable to 5 star.
Where to eat
Negril is blessed with a variety of restaurants for every budget and palate.
You can now enjoy cliff and beach restaurants featuring Italian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, International, American, Fusion, Vegetarian, Jerk- spicy chicken and pork cooked over coals, Jamaican, Seafood and amazing combinations. Beach vendors sell fresh fruits, pastries, fresh fruit juice, cooked lobster in season, dried coconut, ice cream, Jamaican patties etc...and they come to your beach chair! Cliff side you will hear the whistle of fresh roasted peanut sellers walking the road, ice cream & fruit vendors and cliff side restaurants feature the best sunsets.
Negril is known for its music! Jamaican musicians offer live music that will have you moving...Roots Reggae, Ska, Dance Hall, R & B, Jazz, Blues and Mento Bands. You will be dancing and grooving on the beach under the stars. Multiple beach and cliff locations offer live music...afternoons or evenings at many venues in high season but still available year round. Negril also has a nightclub for night owls. At most venues there is no cover charge. High season brings international headliners to Negril and there is a charge, but you'll be up close and personal for a fraction of what is cost to see these same headliners back home.
Scuba diving, snorkeling, Para sailing, Catamaran Cruises, cliff jumping, horseback ridding, paddle board, kayaks, sunfish sailing, deep sea fishing, Yacht charters, Pub Crawls are just some of the many activities offered. Close to Negril find zip lines, ATV tours, Jeep Safaris , golf and even a Blue Hole to explore.
Negril is close to many adventures and you can do them all on day trips...check out our Tours page.
Negril is not a shopping destination per se but you must pick up a memento or two. Craft markets and vendors sell carved wood objects, paintings by talented local artists are a popular take home and of course Jamaica's famous Blue Mt. Coffee, Rum or Rum products . Vendors sell colourful sarongs, woven hats and baskets, T-shirts, bathing suits, Cuban cigars and lots more. Time Square offers duty free shopping for electronics and exquisite jewellery.
Currency, Banks & Money
Jamaican or American currency is readily accepted in Jamaica.
If you are going to convert your money to JA we strongly advise you to do so in Jamaica.
Larger restaurants will have prices in US but will easily convert the bill to JA for you.
Grocery stores, gift shops etc will be priced in US (or JA dollars).
Smaller local stores or beach vendors may only accept JA and do not accept credit cards.
Taxis will accept US or JA.
Major banks - are National Commercial Bank, RBTT, and Scotiabank.
Normal bank hours are 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM Monday to Friday.
Major Banks have ATM's.
Banks accept Travelers Checks.
The exchange rate between Jamaican dollars and all foreign currencies changes daily.
Foreign exchange kiosks and banks often add 5% when you convert hard cash (for the major currencies; more for other currencies).
ATM's - as well as at most banks, ATM's are located in some larger grocery stores.
ATMs typically add 2% (and then most also add ATM service charges).
Cambios - In most cases the best currency conversion rate will be available at a cambio (money exchange) or at a bank. Hotels or shop usually don't give you the same conversion rate. You can find many cambio locations in all major tourist areas in Jamaica. You can convert US dollars, Canadian dollars, British pounds, and Euros into Jamaican dollars at almost any cambio.
Cambios are available at the airports in Montegeo Bay and in Kingston in the arrival and departure areas. Banks, cambios, and most larger hotels/resorts will exchange US dollars as well as British pounds, Euros, and Canadian dollars. The exchange rate will be different between banks, hotels/resorts, stores, etc.
Credit Cards - most hotel, large shops, restaurants accept credit card with Visa and MasterCard the most popular. American Express cards may incur an additional fee.
Smaller stores, street vendors and local restaurants may not take credit cards or if they do may charge an additional service fee.
Your bank your financial institutions will charge a fee for foreign and foreign denominated transactions for debit and credit card purchases of goods and services. Ask your Bank what their international fee will be before you travel.
Credit cards typically add 3% (for the major currencies; more for other currencies).
If you are paying in cash in US dollars it is best to pay as close to the exact amount as possible, as any change due back to you must legally be given in Jamaican currency.
Its always a good idea to have US dollars in $1. and $5. denominations for shopping and tipping.
Negril Health Centre (Govt): 957-4926 - Doctor's Medical Clinic (near HiLo): 957-3770
Omega Medical Clinic (near Roundabout): 957 - 9307
Registered Nurse with US and Jamaican License
Beth can assist with any medical emergency and she works with local doctors as your advocate.
Not in Negril June, July, Aug, and Sept. but phone still rings and she can offer assistance.
ATMs in Negril are available in a number of locations.
Negril Service Center on the beach road provides all your printing, photography, PC Recovery, Arial Video & Photo, Maps, CD & DVD Printing and Internet Cafe.
If you are in Negril and want to rent a car for any number of days there are 2 local companies that have a variety of vehicles.
Happy World Car and Bike Rental - 10% off for Onestop Clients (lots of nice cars, bikes and scooters) - across from Beachcomber Club, next door to The Rayon Hotel - Phone: 957-4004
Vernon's Car Rental located at Fun Holiday Resort on the beach road- 876-957-4354
If you prefer someone else do the driving, Malcolm Brothers Transfers and Tours offer a "Driver for a Day". You choose when and where you want to go/ 7 hours. Knowledgeable, safe, friendly, insured drivers allow you to enjoy the scenery. You can book this yourself by going to Transfers and Tours.
Shopping in Negril
Shopping is available from craft stalls, both on the street and at the two craft markets. Something to catch your interest will also be found in tourist souvenir shops, and duty-free stores. Woodcarvings, straw goods, indigenous art, perfumes, watches, and jewelry are available. One can also buy an array of cooking spices and sauces, Blue Mountain coffee, rums and liqueurs, and cigars. Jamaican music is available on CDs.
There are three shopping centers in town. On Norman Manley Blvd. (the beach road) - the largest center is Time Square. The complex is comprised of duty-free specialty stores and gift shops.
At the roundabout in the center of town, one can find the ValueMaster grocery store, fruit stalls, the Digical Jamaica communications center where phones, phone cards may be purchased, pharmacy, beauty supplies, office supplies and other small shops.
In the Hi-Lo Shopping center (on the road towards the cliffs, one will find an arcade with more gift shops, a large air-conditioned grocery store, outdoor eateries, a travel agent, two banks, pharmacies etc.
Just past the Hi-Lo shopping centre is Traders grocery store.
All grocery stores sell liquor, household needs and non prescription drug store items.
The beach and cliff roads also have many little corner stores selling liquor, beer, phone cards, suntan lotion etc. and basic grocery items.
For those looking for authentic Jamaican carvings and other items, please be sure to check out the open air Craft Market beside the Negril River near the center of town.
Beachwear - colurful sarongs are available everywhere, serve as a beach coverup or wrap and make great gift to take home (they fold up very small). Bathing suits are also available but with less selections.
Wooden Carvings are a popular gifts or mementos to take home. The quality and authenticity determine the price.
There are more authentic crafts/gifts/art at stores that only sell "Made in Jamaica" where you will pay more for the craftsmanship.
Many of the touristy gift shops or beach vendors have colourful and fun things to purchase that will remind you of Jamaica but may be made elsewhere.
Bargaining is expected when shopping in Jamaica except at higher end shops.
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