Charming Inn Set on Secluded Cove with Private Beach
In the 1960s, the first wave of tourists to visit Negril literally waded ashore. There were no roads connecting Negril to the rest of the island—only a ferry, which attracted the most free-spirited of travelers. Despite the glitzy resorts that have popped up along the shore, there are still plenty of laid-back spots along the beach, including the secluded Westender Inn.
There are few better ways to greet the day than with a fresh cup of island-grown coffee on your own ocean-view veranda. After a dip in the ocean or seawater pool, you can while away the hours before sunset on one of the hammocks or beachside loungers. Apart from its quiet location, Westender Inn distinguishes itself with highly personalized customer service, which helped to earn it a place on TripAdvisor's Top 25 Hotels for Service in the Caribbean.
The onsite Westie's Restaurant offers fresh seafood such as grilled lobster and snapper and island staples including jerk chicken and pork. For breakfast, you can dig into pancakes and eggs or try Jamaica's national dish, akee fruit and cod sautéed with local herbs and tomatoes.
Negril, Jamaica: Laid-Back Beach Town with Picturesque Sunsets, Snorkeling, and Cliff Diving
Located on Jamaica’s western coast, Negril is known for its white sand beaches, dramatic rugged cliffs, and coral reefs lying just offshore in the Caribbean. Its underwater beauty makes the town a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkeling at Negril Marine Park, and anglers have found the sea filled with blue marlin, wahoo, and mahi-mahi. The city has a front-row seat to some of the world’s most beautiful sunsets, and people often climb to the top of waterfront cliffs just to watch. At Rick’s Cafe, which is listed in the book 1,000 Places To See Before You Die, groups congregate every night to watch the sun dip below the horizon; some brave adventurers even leap off the 35-foot cliffs into the water.
Often called "the capital of casual," Negril is best defined by its laid-back vibe, from the slow and steady rhythm of the indigenous reggae music to its unofficial uniform—swimsuits and flip-flops. Running along the town is Seven Mile Beach, a stretch of powdery-white-sand coastline that earned a spot on Frommer’s Best Beaches in the Caribbean list. The town center comprises a shopping mall and a craft market where visitors can pick up locally produced goods.
Farther inland, the mountainous terrain harbors several eco-tourism attractions including hiking, ziplining, and waterfall tours. Take a 60- to 90-minute drive east to reach the cascading YS Falls or Mayfield Falls, where you can wade in 21 natural pools shaded by exotic tropical flowers and ferns. Or stay close to Negril by visiting the Royal Palm Reserve, where 300 acres of swamp forests and wetlands shelter more than 300 types of birds, butterflies, and abandoned Rubik's cubes.
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