If you came to Jamaica looking to find a party and lose your inhibitions, look no further than Negril, 81km west of Montego Bay. At night, reggae and dancehall parties thump their tunes across the beach; by day, thousands fall in love with Negril’s insouciance and scintillating 11km-long beach sliding gently into calm waters that reflect a palette of light blues and greens. Coral reefs lie just offshore, and you’ll want your camera close by to record the consistently peach-colored sunsets that get more applause than live reggae concerts.
Tourism is Negril’s only industry, and it shows in the way you’re treated here. There’s an easygoing rapport between visitors and locals in some places, especially when you start becoming a regular at specific bars and restaurants, but it’s hard not to feel like a walking wallet, especially when you first arrive and every hustler and drug dealer can smell your fresh blood.
In spite of Negril’s perhaps predictable evolution from a remote, sensual Eden to a big-money resort, the place remains Jamaica’s best destination for Dionysian revelry. Let your hair down, sample the local pleasures and let Jamaica happen around you.