Escape to Negril: A Weekend Guide to Jamaica’s Slice of Paradise

May 2, 2024
Summer Bucket List

Negril, a picturesque coastal town on the western tip of Jamaica, is the perfect destination for a weekend of relaxation and exploration. Negril has some of the most beautiful sunsets in Jamaica. This laid-back, beach town also boasts some pristine, white sand beaches and alluring cliffs. Whether you're lounging in the sun, dipping in the crystal-clear waters, or embarking on a thrilling cliff-diving adventure, Negril promises endless hours of blissful escapism. Negril is one of my favourite places in Jamaica. While a weekend isn't enough time to truly experience what Negril has to offer, there are a few must-do activities. In today's post, I'm sharing my itinerary for fun weekend in Negril. Whether you are a foreigner or a local this will help you plan your getaway.

Friday: Arrival and Sunset Celebrations

Your journey begins with a seamless arrival in Negril, greeted by warm breezes and the scent of saltwater in the air. Whether you stay in a luxurious resort, charming guesthouse, or beachfront villa you'll feel the stresses of everyday life melt away, replaced by a sense of serenity and anticipation. After your journey to Negril, you might want to take some time to relax and freshen up. Once you are refreshed and settled into your accommodations it's time for the adventure to begin.

Evening: Sunset at Rick’s Cafe

Kick off your weekend with a visit to the iconic Rick’s Cafe. This cliff-side bar in West End Negril is one of the best spots in Jamaica to watch some spectacular sunsets. You can sip on a cold Red Stripe or a fruity cocktail as you satisfy your inner opacarophile. Rick's Cafe isn't just known for its mesmerising views. As one of Negril's most popular attractions Rick's Cafe also has music and entertainment. It also gives you a chance to watch daring cliff jumpers leap into the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. If you are feeling truly adventurous you too can make the jump. If you are staying on the Norman Manley Blvd, Rick's Cafe is only a few minutes away by taxi. You can enter free even if you are not dining.

Saturday: Adventure and Exploration

Since this is a weekend, Saturday will be your only full day in Negril so you will want to make the most out of the day. Start with a hearty breakfast and then head down to the beach.

Morning: Glass Bottom Boat Tour

A glass-bottom boat tour is a unique experience that allows you to glimpse Negril's vibrant underwater life without getting wet. Glide over coral reefs and marvel at the tropical fish and other marine life through the clear glass bottom. If you are lucky you may even spot a sea turtle or two in their natural habitat. It’s a peaceful way to start your day, surrounded by the beauty of the Caribbean Sea. These tours typically cost around 30 to 35 USD per person for an hour. The glass bottom boats and their captains can easily be spotted along the Seven Mile Beach. Doing this tour in the morning works best since the sea is usually calm and clear at this time. To ensure the best view, verify that the glass is clean and clear as smudges or dirt can detract significantly from the experience.

Mid-Morning: Coffee at Patsy’s Coffee Shop

After your aquatic adventure, head to Patsy's Coffee Shop. Patsy's is a charming, roadside cafe that offers a selection of breakfast and lunch options. The coffee served at Patsy's Coffee Shop is locally sourced, Jamaica's Blue Mountain Coffee so you already know it's good. This quaint shop is ideal for enjoying a freshly brewed cup and a light snack on their cosy patio while you recharge before your next adventure.

Afternoon: Parasailing and Beach Bar Hopping

No trip to Negril is complete without experiencing the thrill of parasailing. After your coffee break, head back to the Seven Mile Beach for an adrenaline-pumping parasailing experience. This is an ideal activity for thrill-seekers and adventure lovers, offering an exciting way to experience the island from a unique perspective. Take to the skies and enjoy stunning views of Negril's landscape as you soar above the turquoise waters. The breathtaking aerial view highlights the beauty of Negril, Jamaica. This is one activity I am yet to cross off my bucket list, but fingers crossed that happens this year. Parasailing in Negril will set you back by about 50 USD per person.

Once your feet are back on solid ground, enjoy a leisurely afternoon beach bar hopping along the renowned Seven Mile Beach. This stretch of pristine white sand features an endless variety of bars and shacks, offering signature Jamaican cocktails and snacks. Start with a refreshing fruit smoothie at Jaybird's, where tropical flavours like mango, coconut, and pineapple blend to create a perfect beachside treat. Continue your stroll, feeling the warm sand between your toes, until you reach Margaritaville Negril, where you can unwind with a classic margarita, its salty rim and tangy flavour a perfect match for the sun-kissed surroundings.

Meander down the beach to Miss Lily's, where the tequila shots flow freely, inviting you to kick back and mingle. This delightful mix of libations, lively atmospheres, and laid-back vibes makes beach bar hopping along the Seven Mile Beach unforgettable. It's also an excellent opportunity to interact with locals and fellow travellers, sharing stories and laughs, all while basking in the radiant sun on one of Jamaica's most stunning coastlines. The blend of tropical drinks, friendly faces, and scenic views ensures your afternoon is filled with relaxation, camaraderie, and joy.

Cool Down with Paletas at Chill-Pops

Later in the afternoon, take a refreshing break at Chill-Pops, a delightful spot offering artisanal paletas, or Mexican ice pops. These handcrafted treats are made from fresh, local ingredients and come in three distinct categories: fruit-based, ice cream (fudge), and alcohol-infused. The variety of flavours in each category is impressive, with options including pine and ginger, watermelon and lemongrass, sorrel, Oreo cookies and cream, Blue Mountain coffee, strawberry, whiskey sour, pina colada, and Scotch bonnet margarita. To elevate your dessert experience, you can also add toppings such as sprinkles, almonds, coconut flakes, and cookie crumbles. It's a deliciously cool treat which is perfect for beating the heat after a day under the Jamaican sun.

Evening: Dinner at Matthew's Negril

As the day draws to a close, there's no better way to cap off a fun-filled day in Negril than with dinner at Matthew's Sushi Bar Restaurant. Located in the Boardwalk Shopping Village on Norman Manley Blvd, Matthew's opened its doors in 2019 and has quickly become a must-visit spot for food enthusiasts. The restaurant's enticing menu features a wide variety of sushi rolls, including traditional options and creative cooked varieties like the jerk chicken roll. For those less inclined to sushi, Matthew's offers an extensive range of appetizers and entrees, from chicken to curried goat, pasta to steamed fish, lobster, and a variety of vegetarian dishes, ensuring there's something to please every palate. Pair your meal with a drink from their extensive drink menu, completing the dining experience. Matthew's offers not just a meal, but a culinary journey, making it the perfect conclusion to your day.

Sunday: Final Day of Relaxation

Start your final day in Negril by returning to the Seven Mile Beach. Spend a leisurely morning soaking up the sun, swimming in the clear waters, or simply lounging under a tree with a good book. This serene setting provides the perfect way to relax and reflect on your weekend adventures. Before leaving Negril, consider grabbing lunch at one of the beachfront restaurants. Whether you opt for a quick snack or a more substantial meal, the ocean views and sea breeze will ensure a delightful dining experience. Then, pack your bags and make your way back to reality carrying with you memories of sun-soaked days and stunning landscapes.

Farewell, Negril!

Negril offers a captivating blend of relaxation, adventure, and culture, making it an ideal destination for a weekend getaway. Whether it's the thrill of parasailing, the serene beauty of the Caribbean Sea, or the mouthwatering flavours of Jamaican cuisine, Negril promises an unforgettable experience. There are many more activities and experiences that await you in Negril, feel free to add or subtract activities to make the experience more suited to your tastes. Here are a few other places to visit if the time allows;

  • Blue Hole Mineral Springs
  • Mayfield Falls
  • Jamwest Adventure Park
  • Jungle Night Club
  • Rockhouse Restaurant

How would you spend a weekend in Negril? Tell me in the comments below!

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