Until the 1960s, Negril Jamaica was a sleepy fishing village, without even a road connecting it to the rest of the island. The first road came around 1960, and soon after Negril Jamaica was discovered by young North American tourists as an off-the-beaten track Caribbean paradise.
The days when Negril Jamaica was a hippie hideaway are long gone. Upscale resorts dot the Long Bay and the seven mile Negril Beach is now invariably packed with sunbathers. Nevertheless, compared to the resort towns of Montego Bay or Ocho Rios, Negril offers a unrestrained, more laid-back vacation experience.
Negril comes alive during March and April, when U.S. college students flock here for Spring Break. Negril nightlife is legendary at any time of year; during Spring Break, Negril nightlife is particularly lively. Most of the most happening nightspots are in the town's large all-inclusive resorts, notably Hedonism II in Long Bay. Outside the resorts, Jungle nightclub is a longtime disco favorite. Negril nightlife is also famous for its reggae concerts. Kingston, with the Bob Marley Museum and homegrown music scene, and Montego Bay, home to the annual Reggae Sumfest, are the only competitors if you want your Jamaican vacation to have a healthy dose of reggae music.
Except from the Negril nightlife, the most popular activity in the town is relaxing on Negril Beach. Although Negril Beach is no longer the isolated paradise of years past, it retains its intense beauty and still regularly makes lists of the top Jamaican beaches. Note that nudity and topless sunbathing is extremely popular along Negril Beach.
Weddings in Negril Jamaica along the white-sand beach are popular. Many of the all-inclusive resort offer arrangements for weddings in Negril Jamaica. One of the best reasons to plan weddings in Negril Jamaica is that you can begin your honeymoon instantly.
There is not much Negril sightseeing in terms of museums or historic structures, but the area is remarkably rich in natural beauty. The Negril Environmental Protection Area contains the mangrove swamps of the Great Morass, idyllic beaches like Bloody Bay, the Negril Hills, and several islands in the coastal waters. A Negril sightseeing tour should include a visit to Great Morass.
Negril sightseeing is perhaps best under the water. A fragile coral reef surrounds the shoreline. Although the reef has suffered much from recent pollution and other environmental factors, it still presents some great opportunities for scuba diving. The reef can also be viewed on glass bottom boat tours. Snorkeling is also popular off Negril Beach. Other popular water activities include deep-sea fishing and renting a jet ski or sailboat.
Negril offers a host of good hotels. Those along the West End are generally smaller and more reminiscent of the town's hippie beginnings. For the best all-inclusive hotels, look to the east end Long Bay.
There is no international airport at Negril Jamaica. Travelers must fly to Montego Bay and catch an air shuttle or come overland by bus or taxi.
A vacation to Negril Jamaica is best for unattached singles or young couples. Negril's vibrant, youthful atmosphere with a special Jamaican vibe makes it an ideal place for a Caribbean getaway or fun Spring Break.