Beach Front on a Budget in Negril

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Negril beach review

Negril was our first stop outside of a resort. Giving us our first real taste of Jamaica. The drive up to our budget Negril beach apartment was exciting. With views of locals and beautiful Landscapes along the way. Negril-Beach

Negril is just over one and a half hours driving distance west of Montego Bay Airport. Home to the longest beach on the island. Which also happens to be a very popular beach in Jamaica. 

Negril beach is known officially as seven mile Beach while actually measuring roughly four Miles Long.

Seven mile Beach gets real rough on wet and stormy days. Taking on a totally different colour and vibe. With murky looking waves that didn't tempt us into the ocean. I struggled to see the appeal of seven mile Beach until our time in Negril was coming to an end. 

After days of rain and thunder thanks to a hurricane that was relatively close by in passing. I stepped out of our apartment to sunshine and clear skies and had to do a double take. Negril beach was a beautiful turquoise. With still. Warm waters and soft, yellow sand. Seven mile Beach had transformed into the paradise we had hoped to experience. We couldn't wait to enjoy the beach properly. Rushing back indoors to put on our swimsuits we trod back over to seven mile beach that was right on our doorstep. Where a handful of vendors, including a Django lookalike. Complete with costume and a beautiful brown horse. Tempted us to go for a ride.

Stepping out to sea we found that the water stays shallow really far out on calm sunny days. It's an excellent beach for young children and those that can't swim. 

We splashed around in the sparkling sea and bathed in the hot rays of the sun on a handful of free loungers that lined our small section of seven mile beach. 

We were blessed with a sea front property during our visit to Negril. Ground floor. Basic studio property with sand and waves visible from our front porch area. The Mosquito problem we encountered whilst in Jamaica was at its worst here in Negril. It was extremely wet and humid during our time in Negril and mozzies would congregate at the door of our apartment!

The property we stayed in was very low budget, with only a hot plate and microwave for cooking and luke warm shower water. However. The proximity to the beach is what made it a very worthy choice. Especially if like us you're travelling with a desire to relax and are on a tight budget. Bringing younger children along as we did. You probably won't want to do much more than spend your days chillin by the beach.

Negril is one of the worst places on the island for being hassled by hustlers selling anything from fruits to shells. Cannabis and even themselves. The latter being known as a rent a dread. Where Jamaican men offer up their bodies to female tourists. In return for some money or even just a meal for the night! There's no denying the poverty that Jamaicans. Who are descendants of slaves and more importantly. Descendants of God's chosen people in the bible - the Israeli ties face. Jamaican ancestry dates back to a time where Israelites sadly went into captivity around the world on slave ships due to not keeping the 10 commandments.

Some vendors can be a little pushy at times, but a firm no thank you should be enough. Even during the global pandemic. Negril, as with other hot spots around Jamaica was vibrant with noise from as early as 6am. An hour after the 9pm-5am curfew that was in place whilst we were there. 

Things to do in Negril

Whilst most Jamaican tours and excursions aren't located in Negril. Mayfield Falls is the closest of Jamaica's array of stunning waterfalls. About an hours driving distance from Negril. Seven mile beach

Besides lounging at Negril seven mile beach. Enjoying the beach bars and music. You have Rick's Cafe. Where people enjoy cliff diving. Rick's cafe Negril also enjoys some of the best Sunsets on the whole of the island. Because it's set in the west atop a 35 foot high cliff!  

Another exciting activity that takes place back at Negril beach is horseback riding where you can enjoy a trot along the sand and right into the sea. 

Take a boat ride over to booby cay. A tiny island with a small private beach close to seven mile Beach. Either by catamaran tour with music. Open bar and Snorkeling mid way or a glass bottom boat ride. You could also check out Negril lighthouse and some of the different bars and restaurants along Norman Manley Blvd. 

There's also the Kool Runnings water park in Negril. However I recommend enjoying the more sophisticated water parks at one of the hotel resorts across the island if you can. Such as the water park at Beaches all inclusive resort in Negril. 

Barney's hummingbird and flower garden is a treat for nature lovers where you'll receive a cup of sugar water to entice the beautiful little birds. 

History Of Negril

In the early 1700's Negril was known as a pirate destination and later became a hippie holiday hangout in the 1970's. Negril_Beaches

The first guesthouse in Negril was established at Palm Grove in the swinging 60's (1960's). With the yacht club in St Mary's Bay becoming the first hotel in Negril. 

Fast forward to 2019 where Seven mile Beach was awarded Trip advisors travellers choice award for beaches. Negril beach is made up of two bays. Bloody Bay in the North and long bay to the south. With loads of resorts to choose from for all budgets and tastes. Including resorts like Couples resort designed specifically for.. couples! Budget backpacker locations like our beach front property called sand and blue seas. Plus family friendly resorts such as Riu Negril. Worth a mention is the famous adults only resort Hedonism. Mentioned in popular novel and movie adaptation of how Stella got her groove back. 

With tourism currently the main industry for Negril and Jamaica as a whole. New holiday accommodations including Airbnb's are opening their doors in Negril all the time. 

Further historical info about Negril is that it gets its name from a shortened version of its original name Negrillo. Which is Spanish for "Little black one" as it was originally named by the Spanish in 1494. Theory has it that because of the vast population of black eels along Negril's coast, the Spaniards called the area Anguilla Negra. Later shortened to Negrillo and then to Negril.

Negril humble beginnings were as that of a swampy. Inaccessible part of Jamaica. Until roads were built in 1959. Prior to that. Negril was largely a shipping community that served as a naval base in the Battle of New Orleans in 1814.

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