The town centre in Negril isn’t much to look at and there are no real sights, but you’re bound to find yourself here sooner or later, unless you really are determined not to leave for one moment the perceived safety of your all-inclusive! This is the place to come if you want to top up your funds from an ATM, change travellers’ cheques, buy stamps, shop for souvenirs or more basic necessities etc.
In truth, the centre of town is little more than a roundabout, with three roads leaving from it. One, Norman Manley Boulevard, heads north to follow the beach the length of the bay, lined with resorts, smaller hotels, restaurants and bars. Another, West End Road, heads west and south towards the cliffs where we were staying. And the third, Sheffield Road, heads inland through the parts of town where most of the locals live.
For cash, we found the ATM at the Scotia Bank to be reliable, although you’ll need to queue for the one machine that accepts foreign cards and supplies US$ in return. But even standing in the queue is a good people-watching experience as the machine is in front of the bank with a view of the busy roundabout. Nearby, at the start of West End Road, is the post office, and just before this is a small unpretentious bar, Seaview, where we enjoyed a cold beer and more people watching one morning after our errands were complete. Photo 4 was taken near here - the signs made us smile :)
Going the other way from the roundabout, towards the beach, you will almost immediately cross the South Negril River which we found to be a great spot for photos. Another good photo opportunity was our meeting with Leon, the drum-maker who has a shack near the start of Sheffield Road. Although we had no intention of buying a drum he was happy to chat to us and explain how they are made, as well as to pose for photos as you can see.
There are also quite a few souvenir shops in the several shopping plazas near the roundabout. Most sell very similar things (tax-deductible according to the signs, though we didn’t investigate) but we found one small gallery with more interesting items – see my separate shopping tip. We also bought a few postcards in one of the souvenir shops, and amused ourselves with one of our favourite holiday pastimes – spotting the most kitsch or ugliest knick-knack!