There is no doubt that Jamaica has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. We have had the privilege of visiting Jamaica several times and while we mostly focus on the adventures that we have had, we have explored most of the best beaches in Jamaica from Montego Bay to Treasure Beach.
The white soft sand and clear blue waters make Jamaica one of the best beach getaways in the world. To help you plan your trip to Jamaica, we’re breaking down the must-visit beaches to make the most of your stay.
Top Beaches in Jamaica
Jamaica is known for its all-inclusive vacations, but it is an island that you can travel independently as well. Some of our favorite times in Jamaica have been when we got out to explore the island off the resort. Make life easy when you land and book your airport transfer from Montego Bay to anywhere on the island.
1. Treasure Beach, South Coast
Our favorite place to stay in Jamaica was Treasure Beach on the south coast. This is a bit of an off the beaten path destination in Jamaica far away from the hustle and bustle of Montego Bay. This beach stretches six miles along the south coast of Jamaica with private coves, long sandy stretches, and rocky shores. We took a boat tour from Jakes Resort with Captain Joseph to explore the endless sandy beaches where we had it all to ourselves as we sat at the top of a dune watching for dolphins.
Where to Stay at Treasure Beach: Jake Resort feels like you are staying in the true Jamaica. We walked to local bars at night, locals hung out at the hotel and it is an amazing place to chill and enjoy island life with beautiful sunsets near Port Elizabeth.
This is a great place to explore some of South Jamaica’s top attractions. Book a full-day trip to Combine the YS Waterfalls with the Black River Safari and Appleton estate Rum Distillery!
2. Seven Mile Beach, Negril
Seven Mile Beach is Jamaica’s most famous beach and it is filled with resorts and fun in the sun. The beautiful white sand beach stretches for four miles (the other three of the seven miles are part of Bloody Bay Beach) with calm and shallow turquoise waters leading out to the Caribbean Sea.
We hopped aboard a catamaran tour to explore the coast from Seven Mile Beach allowing us to view the gorgeous Jamaican Coast and to snorkel with marine life and sea turtles. This is a great catamaran tour from Ocho Rios combined with a stop at Dunn’s River Falls beach.
Where to stay on Seven Mile Beach:
- Beaches Negril – Located on the widest stretch of the Beach, Beaches Negril is a beautiful resort with an excellent location.
- Sandals Negril – Five star couples only resort on an exclusive strip of this beach.
3. Bloody Bay Beach, Negril
Located just north of Seven Mile Beach, Bloody Bay stretches for three miles. While its name is not the most appealing of beach names in Jamaica, it makes up for it in beauty. The waters of Bloody Bay beach are calm and inviting and the soft sand was made for long walks on the beach.
Bloody Bay got its name from its bloody past when whalers used to brutally butcher their catch on the shore. The bay filled with whale’s blood, thus giving it its name. Luckily there is no whaling today and the beach is left for resorts and beach lovers to bask in the sun.
Where to Stay at Bloody Bay: Hotel Riu Negril – An all-inclusive hotel with 5 restaurants, watersports, spa, and beach activities.
4. Boston Bay Beach, Port Antonio
Did you know that there is a surfer’s beach in Jamaica? Boston Bay Beach in Port Antonio is known for its crystal clear waters, powdery white sands, and jerk spices. Boston Bay Beach also has the claim to fame that it is home to the original jerk.
It is said that jerk spices originated here and they serve up a wide array of jerk meals from lobster to chicken. There is a fee to get on this public beach and there are picnic tables to enjoy your jerk lunches. Surf lessons and rentals are offered at the beach as well.
Where to Stay: Great Huts – For a natural serene setting, Great Huts stands on a cliff above the Caribbean Sea. This eco-resort has a private beach and two cliffside pools. Good location to explore Boston Beach, Winnifred beach, and it’s not too far from Frenchmen’s Beach.
5. Mammee Beach, Ocho Rios
This expansive powdery white sand beach leads out to crystal clear waters. We had the opportunity to enjoy this beach when staying at the Hotel Riu, but part of Mammee Bay Beach is accessible to the public. There are some vendors on the beach where you can buy food and drinks. Bamboo Blu is a legendary beach hut that offers lounge chairs, and cabana beds while you soak up the sun and sand.
Where to stay: Hotel Riu Ocho Rios – We loved our stay at this 5-star hotel on Mama Bay. The All-inclusive hotel has 5 pools and an area on the beach reserved for hotel guests only. In-room mini-bar, swim-up bar, and splash park.
6. Doctor’s Cave Beach, Montego Bay
Doctor’s Cave Beach may be the busiest beach in Jamaica but it is worth stopping at least to see. Frequented by daytrippers and cruise ships, this beach is filled with people, beach umbrellas, and loud music. Located on the Hip Strip in Montego Bay, this is the place to come to party and meet people.
A cool fact about Doctor’s Cave Beach it got its name from Doctor Dr. Alexander James McCatty who resided here in 1906. He and his friends had to swim to a cave to get to it. The cave is now gone, but the beach lives on. Especially after the warm and clear waters were marketed for their healing properties.
Where to stay near Doctor’s Caves Beach: S Hotel Jamaica – Stay in the heart of all the action on the Hip Strip near Doctor’s Beach at this contemporary boutique resort.
7. Dead End Beach
Just a short walk from Doctor’s Cave Beach is Dead End Beach where you can see the airplanes landing close to the beach itself. When they land over the Caribbean Sea, they feel as if they are right over your head!
Where to Stay in Montego Bay – Hyatt Zilhara – You really can’t go wrong with this hotel for visiting anywhere in Montego Bay. In fact, its position on the north side of the island is convenient to explore between Montego Bay and Dunns River Falls. The all-inclusive resort has an adult-only section at the Hyatt Zilhara and a family section at the Hyatt Zilara Ziva at Rose Hall. We loved our stay here. Watch our video to see a tour.
8. Frenchmen’s Cove
The beach at Frenchmen’s Cove is often voted as one of the best beaches in the world. With soft golden sands, spanning a quiet cove where freshwater from the Blue Mountains meets the sea, this is a perfect place to spend the afternoon. There is a beach restaurant that offers meals and drinks and you can rent beach beds for the afternoon.
It was once a secluded beach retreat for the rich and famous attracting the likes of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. (we seem to follow these two around) – when staying in a villa in Spain, we found out that was another one of their old haunts.
9. James Bond Beach Ocho Rios
Jame’s Bond’s Dr. No was filmed in Jamaica and after you have had a chance to explore the Green Grotto Caves that were made famous in the movie, make your way to James Bond Beach to Bask in the sun. With its clear electric blue waters, golden sand, and calm setting, this is a great place to watch the sunset over the Caribbean Sea.
A very cool fact is that the GoldenEye estate is located just opposite the beach. Ian Fleming designed this estate and it is where he wrote many of his James Bond novels. How cool is that? There are watersports and you can grab lunch at one of the beach shacks, or cocktails at the Moonraker Jamaican Bar and Grill.
Where to Stay: Moon Palace – We have stayed at a few Moon Palace resorts in the Caribbean and they are excellent. Top shelf drinks, fine dining, and Caribbean Ocean views, this is a great place to explore Ocho Rios and its beaches. Plus, Mystic Mountain is nearby to go Jamaican bobsledding.
Make sure to book a tour to see the Green Grotto Caves. It’s a fascinating excursion to see where James Bond was filmed and to explore where Runaway Slaves hid out near Runaway Bay. It’s not just famous for the movie, the Green Grotto Caves played a large role in Jamaican history. The 1.5 km-long cave system was a hiding place for both slaves and the Spanish in the 17th century.
10. Lime Cay
If you want to book a day trip or excursion from the resort, make your way to Lime Cay located off the coast of Port Royal. This uninhabited Cay is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Jamaica and is perfect if you are looking for that secluded beach retreat. This is a popular afternoon getaway for local Kingston residents and has some of the best snorkeling in Jamaica.
11. Winnifred Beach
Winnifred Beach is a public beach that is frequented by locals making for a great spot to get off the resort. There are beach shacks selling local food and beach huts and there is no charge to visit. It is one of the few Jamaican beaches that don’t charge an entry fee for locals.
Book this amazing tour from Ocho Rios to experience the world-famous Blue Hole, a pristine watering hole made famous in the movie The Blue Lagoon followed by relaxing on the beach at the BluBeach Club.
12. Ocho Rios Bay Beach / Turtle Beach
Turtle Beach, also known as Ocho Rios Bay Beach, is the main beach of Ocho Rios spanning 500 meters of white sand, turquoise waters, and plenty of action. There is a ton of watersports here with scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking. There are facilities at this beach and even change rooms and showers. It is popular with cruise ship passengers so it can get crowded.
13. Aqua Sole
Aqua Sole is a less crowded choice to Doctor’s Cave Beach. Located in downtown Montego Bay, Aqua Sole Beach was formerly called Fletcher’s Beach. Located on the Hip Strip, we enjoyed playing on its offshore water trampolines and water playground.
There are the usual water sports with banana boats and wave runners zipping about. And there are glass bottoms boats showcasing the crystal clear waters that are all around the beaches of Jamaica.
Where to stay near Aqua Sole Beach: Half Moon – Montego Bay – This 400-acre resort has 2 miles of private white sand beach. It 3 restaurants and 5 bars. Check out Availability & Prices on Trip Advisor / Booking.com
14. Cornwall Beach, Montego Bay
Pure white sand, crystal clear blue waters, and calm surf…Do you recognize a pattern in tall of these beaches? They are all simply perfect. Cornwall Beach is another busy beach in Jamaica located beside Doctor’s Cave Beach. Get there early to reserve a beach chair for $5.
Where to Stay: Hotel Riu – Montego Bay – Riu Hotel Montego Bay offers a freshwater swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, gym, and wellness center. Check out Availability & Prices on Trip Advisor
An amazing way to explore the beaches of Jamaica is by horseback. Book this highly rated tour out to St. Anne and stop at Chukka Cove in Llandovery for a horseback ride on the beach and then a 15-minute swim riding bareback on a horse out to sea.
15. Burwood Beach
Burwood Beach is located just outside of Falmouth on the northwest coast and is one of the more active beaches on the island. It is a small beach spanning just 130 meters, but like all Jamaican beaches, you’ll enjoy the fine white sand and clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. This is a very family-friendly beach where you can go for strolls and you are never bothered. There are showers, toilets and change rooms and chairs can be rented. There’s also a bar to enjoy a cocktail.
16. Dunn’s River Falls Beach
Dunn’s River Falls is one of the top attractions in Jamaica and when you visit, you can go to a little beach nearby. Dunn’s River Falls Beach is where the 180 meter falls cascade right into the Caribbean Sea. When you take a day to explore Dunn’s River Falls, entrance to Dunn’s River Falls Beach is included in the price.
17. Reggae Beach, Ocho Rios
Many people have heard of Reggae Beach and we wanted to include this because it has now been switched to Bamboo Beach Club. But it still has the laid-back Jamaican vibe with Reggae music summers and Jamaican dancers. Everything is Irie at Bamboo Beach.
With rocky outcrops at either end and a quarter-mile beachfront, it is easy to see why this is one of the island’s best-kept secrets. It is never too crowded and really gives you a feel for the local life in Jamaica.
Book this Bamboo Rafting tour of the Martha Brae River, one of our favorite things to do in Jamaica.
18. Pleasure Cove Beach
Pleasure Cove Beach, located just outside of Ocho Rios, is a beautiful public beach in Jamaica with a beach bar serving fresh seafood and drinks. That water is calm and shallow and there are some lounge chairs. If you head out on a Sunday you’ll be hanging out with the locals.
The trick to getting into the beach is you have to use the service entrance for the Couples San Suchi. Just tell them you are going to the beach and they will let you through.
That’s all folks. We have only scratched the surface when it comes to all the beaches you can visit in Jamaica but these are definitely the best. We have gone back to Jamaica four times and we still have more beaches to explore. Where is your favorite part of the island?
Frequently Asked Questions about Jamaican Beaches
How Many Beaches are in Jamaica?
Jamaica has more than 200 miles of beaches lining its coast. You won’t have to go far to find a beautiful pristine beach in Jamaica. There are more than 50 public beaches and countless secluded and private beaches.
Where are the Best Beaches in Jamaica?
It’s difficult to choose the best beach in Jamaica because they are all so good with soft white sands and crystal clear waters, but 7 Mile Beach, Treasure Beach, Runaway Bay are some of our favorites.
What are the most famous beaches in Jamaica?
Chances are your resort will be located on a beautiful beach in Jamaica, but some of the most famous beaches are Doctor’s Cave Beach, Seven Mile Beach, and Treasure Beach.
What part of Jamaica has the best beaches?
There’s a reason places like Negril and Montego Bay are popular, here you’ll find the most iconic and best beaches in Jamaica spanning its shores for miles and miles.
Read more about how to plan your travels to Jamaica