Solo Travel Destination: Negril, Jamaica

We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Lisa, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Lisa lives in Australia and submitted the following report about Negril. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!

Solo travel rating: (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)

Languages spoken: Jamaican Patois, English, Spanish

photo, image, blue lagoon

A boat ride in the Blue Lagoon.

Reasons to go:  I asked a Jamaican girlfriend living in the UK, “Where should I go in Jamaica for a beach fix?” Many flock to Montego Bay but thanks to my friend, my pick was Negril.

On the West coast, about 1.5 hours from Montego Bay you will find this quieter hidden treasure. I stayed right on the beach at Roots Bamboo Beach Resort which was happily shared by singles, middle-aged couples, and backpackers alike. There are regular reggae beach parties, attracting international artists.

Negril or Seven Mile Beach is a beautiful stretch of white Caribbean sand, dotted with stalls, resorts, and cafes. By day I soaked up the sun, bought some locally made beaded jewellery (great gifts to take home) and sipped fresh fruit punch – white Jamaican rum optional!

After watching the peach and pink hues of a Jamaican sunset, I can recommend live music at Alfred’s and Legends Beach Resort. The atmosphere is chilled, so kick off your flip flops and sway to the reggae, mon! When you first arrive, do expect to be hassled and hustled. With constant approaches for ‘company,’ make your intentions known from the beginning. Be polite but firm and don’t promise anything.

The world famous Rick’s Cafe must be on your list. Arrive late in the afternoon for some reggae, watch the cliff jumpers, then hang around for another awesome sunset. Make sure you sample jerk chicken or pork, the island’s signature dish, cooked over an outdoor pit (jerk is the spicy seasoning and marinade).

My stay in Negril was made even more memorable by a local tour operator named Jerry. I recommend that once you find a good operator, stick with them and it will save you all the hustling if you’ve arrived with an open itinerary. He organised a private overnight tour to the eastern side of the island, where I found another gem, Port Antonio. I stayed in a cosy Georgian-style guest house, chilled on a deserted surf beach at nearby Long Bay. and took a boat ride and swim in the Blue Lagoon (yes, where the famous movie was shot). Within a few hours of Negril, Jerry arranged tours to the Bob Marley Museum and Dunn River Falls. Jerry’s prices are competitive, he will work within your budget, and he looks for every opportunity to add value to your experience. He tells some interesting stories along the way, exposing travelers to the heritage, history, and cultural values of Jamaican society. I’m happy to pass on Jerry’s details to anyone interested. Yeah mon, no problem!

photo, image, long bay beach, negril

Long Bay Beach

photo, image, fruit stand, negril

Pausing for refreshments.

photo, image, sunset, seven mile beach, negril

Sunset on Seven Mile Beach.

Solo Travel Destination Rating System

Safety – 2 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)

Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)

Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)

Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)

Average Rating – 2 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)


  • Núria Rito Pinto

    Hi! Can you pass Jerry’s contact? I’m travelling to Negril on the end of the month!

  • Bella Batali

    This post has stirred up quite a bit of controversey. It wasn’t my intent to “hate on” jamaica or tell people not to go there. I simply wanted to start a discussion which would hopefully improve to the tourist board and police taking a more active roll to keep tourists safe in town and on the beach and cliffs.

    I felt my post was taken two ways. Some people agreed with me, yes even Jamaicans and tourits with 30, 40 and 50 trips under their belt.

    Others however called me names, told me good don’t come back, etc.

    I love Jamaica, it’s by far my favorite travel destination in the world. That said I want to feel safe on my vacation. I know myself as well as others are very protective about Jamaica and its reputaiton because of all the unfair stereotypes about how Jamaica is dnagerous and you can only stay at an AI and don’t leave the “compound” lol.

    In years past I laughed at people with that attitude however these days it’s seemingly like that may not be bad advice.

    I think too often people are so quick to jump to the defense of Jamaica that it can lead to burrying our heads in the sand about real issues going on.

    Anyohw, I recently read on both facebook and trip advisor another troubling incident that happenned on property at a hotel, conveiently while security was changing shifts. We’ve been hearing a lot about things like this recnetly.

    I did a follow up post regarding this incident as well as the origional post which can be read here…

  • jgetsmoneyy

    Loved your post. I’ve been hearing from a lot of longtime visitors, people who have been to Negril 40 and 50 times that the vibe is changing and Negril has many more problems than in years past. Was curious what your thoughts are?

  • Lisa Clement

    Thanks for the post, I travelled to Negril solo two weeks ago and had an amazing time! Met some great people and saw a quite a bit of the island, it was truly amazing, they do love the “blondies”out there for sure!

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  • Wendy Greene

    I have traveled all over Jamaica but Negril is still my favourite beach spot also!

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  • Amanda Zimba

    It’s interesting that for language you put 2. Jamaican patois is probably 80% english with sprinkles of african, spanish or french words. Basically it is bastardized english so other than an extremely strong accent and foreign pronunciation of words, if you ask the person to speak slowly you should understand majority of what they are saying. Of course depending where you are some people have much clearer accents to the point where it seems like heavy patois is a completely different language.

  • HenryJMorton

    By day I soaked up the sun, bought some locally made beaded jewellery (great gifts to take home) and sipped fresh fruit punch – white Jamaican rum optional!