I’d read quite a bit about Negril before going there, and seen numerous references to the cliffs, but was still surprised when I saw them for myself – they were not at all what I was expecting! I’d envisaged high cliffs with sheer rocky faces, but instead Negril’s “cliffs” are in reality the rocky remains of dead coral reefs. In most places they are only a few metres high, but their uneven shapes and many inlets mean that the sea can crash over them at times as dramatically as it does over much larger cliffs elsewhere. We had several days of relatively rough weather during our stay – not so good for snorkelling, but great for enjoying the waves and spray from the well-positioned deck chairs at our hotel.
We also enjoyed taking a much closer look at the rocks. Everywhere you look you can spot the fossilised remains of the many different coral species that once made up these reefs – see photos for examples.
By the way, the cliffs even gave Negril its name – it was called Punta Negrilla by the Spanish after these dark rocks.
When in Negril you should definitely go parasailing over the Carribean Sea. There will be many tour companies out on the beach ready to be hired for this adventure. The views that you see are amazing and the brilliantly clear carribean water is even more beautiful from high above. A nice way to get a view of the surroundings.
Staying Awake All Night in Negril
After everyone closes in Negril, there is a place that has not closed in 13 years. Even during the Hurricanes, Gas Stove and generator feeds people, gives lights and music, and lets you charge your cell phone. Pull the shutters down and batten all hatches. And if the lines are not down, high speed inter net!
It is a Music Bar. With Live Internet broadcasts that all are welcome to join, here or at home. Mi Yard supports all local artists and any that are visiting Jamaica. Every Tuesday night the Dj's play all kinds of music, and Delroy, the owner does interviews with guests and artists, and it goes on until the black of the night sky slowly turns to blue.
It is also a unique eatery. With plantain, green bananas, fritters, fry fish, breadsticks, bread fruit and fried chicken served 24/7, always fresh. And if you do not mind waiting abit, you can order a full meal, cooked to order.
A small internet cafe. Get online 24/7 with an affordable rate. $100 J for 30 minutes. Phone cards are available.
Dance all night!
And when the sun finally wake the rooster, enjoy Blue Mountain perk coffee, freshly ground.
There are 4 rooms for rent, and two cottages, with a small beach right across the street. The last sandy beach heading West towards the Light house and Rick's.
Shame it isn't friendlier
On one of the mornings in Negril we decided to take a walk along the West End Road away from town towards the lighthouse. Beyond the lighthouse we came to Lighthouse Park, where there is a small bar serving drinks and snacks – Whoopees. Dave had recommended this as good place for a drink and a view, so we stopped off for a very welcome cold Tang (a grapefruit soda we’d both grown to like). The view was indeed great, and we liked the casual atmosphere but the barman was the grumpiest we came across in Jamaica – indeed, the grumpiest person of any description we came across. Although we were the only customers, he was very slow to serve us and didn’t want to enter into conversation. And when Chris produced his camera and asked if he could include him in a photo of the bar he refused, saying that we would only turn our pictures into postcards and make money out of them! Obviously we had no intention of doing this, but even if we did you would think he would see it as good advertising for the bar!
Despite this experience though, I would recommend a quick drink at Whoopees if you’re in the area. There’s not much else round here, and the views are great – oh, and there are hammocks dotted around the park if you really want to chill for a while!
Black River Safari
The Black River, in the south of the island, is Jamaica's largest wetland area and a haven for wildlife –especially birds of various species, and crocodiles! Several companies offer boat trips on the river, during which sightings of some of the crocodiles are all but guaranteed. You’ll see these described in tour brochures as “safaris” but if that suggests something adventurous, think again – these are simply pleasant boat rides through a very attractive landscape.
We did an hour long tour with one of the most established companies, J. Charles Swaby. The boat appeared well-kept and the pilot/guide gave a good commentary with a bit of humour thrown in. We got very close to some of the crocodiles – they tend to frequent the same stretches of river and our guide obviously knew exactly where to look. We also saw a large number of egrets and a few herons, but the birdlife wasn’t as varied as I’d expected. The vegetation is very lush in places, with forests of mangroves and palms alternating with large sweeps of reeds.
The tour cost US$16.50 per person, which included a soft drink (fruit punch). As well as the great photo opportunities it was lovely simply to be out on the river with its fresh cooling breezes and beautiful wetland scenery.