Introducing Treasure Beach
Treasure Beach puts paid to the misconception that Jamaica is little more than big, expensive resorts and poor ghettos. A smattering of yellow sand, lowland brush, guest houses, private homes, rental villas, fishers, farmers and expats, the area has sufficient tourism infrastructure to be convenient for visitors, yet it’s low-key enough so you rarely feel like an interloper. There’s hardly any of the hustle you get in Negril, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, and everyone walks around at night without fear. This is the highlight of Jamaica for many foreign visitors who reject big resort tourism; they return to this spot every year or even settle down, buying homes and becoming neighbors – much to local pride.
Treasure Beach is the generic name for four coves – Billy’s Bay, Frenchman’s Bay, Calabash Bay and Great Pedro Bay. It’s said Scottish sailors were shipwrecked near Treasure Beach in the 19th century, accounting for the presence of fair skin, green eyes and reddish hair among the local population. The area’s residents are known for their strong community spirit. Collectives like the Treasure Beach Women’s Group and the Treasure Beach Foundation bring locals and expats together to work on projects relating to housing, education and local culture. There’s a burgeoning cultural scene, with artists, poets and other luminaries continuing to put down roots. This creative class, plus events like the Calabash International Literary Festival, continue to shape and guide the national literary dialogue.
With all the buzz that ‘quiet’ Treasure Beach is generating, it’s no surprise developers are hungrily buying up land, and some say it is only a matter of time before the first major resorts appear. A citizens’ committee meets each month to regulate impending development. But for the time being, it’s just you, the sea and one of the most compelling mixes of expats and Jamaicans on the island.
Treasure Beach destination guides
Escape the all-inclusive resorts and see a side of Jamaica that few tourists experience on this whirlwind 10-day adventure. Meet true Rastafarians and learn about the original inhabitants of the island while hiking through lush wilderness.