Negril is quite a sprawling resort town, with only a small centre and most hotels strung out along the Seven Mile Beach or the West End Road to either side. The most convenient way to get around if you don’t have your own transport is by “route taxi”. Unlike in Ocho Rios, where these were used mainly by locals, here tourists seem to make just as good use of them; no one really considers taking a taxi just for themselves, unless it’s for a long trip (such as when we took one to the airport at the end of our visit).
They work on the principle that they follow a set route, like a bus, but you can hail them wherever you want to, like a taxi. The drivers will squeeze in as many people as they can, so be prepared to squash up! It will take slightly longer than a conventional taxi, as you’ll be stopping from time to time to drop off or pick up other passengers, but it costs a lot less. We found that drivers wouldn’t quote a price but instead ask what we would pay, which is disconcerting when you don’t know the going rates. On our first trip into town we offered US$5, which was accepted without an argument, so we thought we’d probably been quite generous and cut back on later trips, so that at the end we were paying just US$2 for the same trip. I observed that locals were handing over considerably less, but we knew our drivers would be as aware as we were that we had more money than they did, so it seemed mean not to offer a fair price.
Transfer from Ocho Rios
Having spent our first few days in Ocho Rios, we needed to get across the island to our new base in Negril. What better way to travel than with Dave, who had met us at Kingston Airport nearly a week earlier, and had been our driver on several very enjoyable excursions. We agreed a fee of US$150 for the day, which was very reasonable considering that he would have to drive all the way home as well, and set off after breakfast and a fond farewell to Elise and Darryl and to the lovely Blue House.
We turned the day into a tour by stopping in several places en route. Firstly Dave did a detour for us up Fern Gully as he knew I’d wanted to get some photos there the previous day and hadn’t been able to. Then we set off along the coast, with brief stops for photos now and then, to our next destination, Outameni. This proved however to be the least enjoyable of the many things we did in Jamaica, as I’ve described elsewhere.
Never mind, our next stop was for lunch, and much more agreeable – a plate of jerk chicken and rice & peas at a little seaside shack, the "Native Rest Stop", somewhere between Discovery Bay and Montego Bay. Washed down with cold drinks, and enjoyed with a backdrop of lovely sea views, this tasty meal cost US$7 per person.
From here we continued to follow the coast through Montego Bay and round the western end of the island to Negril. The views of the scenic coastline and Dave’s friendly chat meant that this was a great drive, although by the end of it we were glad to arrive and check into our room at the Negril Escape.
By the way, if you’re flying to Jamaica for a stay in Negril, do try to arrive at Montego Bay Airport, just an hour and a half away, not Kingston which would take you the best part of a day to drive.
great cab driver Bryan
Gone to Negril 2 years ago but can't forget how helpfull and kind was Bryan, a great cab driver who makes us discovers customs and places few tourists see. So, if u're interested in Jamaica seen by jamaicans, treat him well, u won't be deceived.
His phone number:0018-7637-26402.
Getting around Negril
The best way to get around Negril is on foot -- just walking up and down the beach to the different hotels/restaurants. You will be approached by beach vendors and drug dealers, but it's not nearly as sinister as it sounds. I wouldn't walk along the beach at night, but that's my personal feeling. If you have to go into town (which I wouldn't recommend) you have to take a taxi from most beach hotels. The town is crowded and unattractive in my view and I would really only recommend going for necessities like groceries or cash. We had to go to the ATM to get more cash and I found it a bit uncomfortable.
Getting to Negril
First, check to see if your hotel offers a shuttle service as it will be the most reliable form of transportation. We didn't do this and hired an independent driver with a business called Talk of the Town. Barry was our driver and he was waiting for us when we walked out of MoBay airport. He was friendly enough and the drive was fine. The problem occured when he forgot to pick us up to return to the airport. Very stressful. Luckily, we were staying at the amazing and incomparable Caves and they arranged transport for us very quickly. I was disappointed and frustrated, but I will say that Barry emailed me personally when I got home and apologized profusely for his lapse. Everyone makes mistakes so I'd hate my one experience to be held against this company that usually gets such rave reviews.
take a taxi
to get to negril you can fly to montego bay's airport, and take a taxi from there; or fly to kingston airport, and take a light aircraft to negril's aerodrome. a taxi from montego bay is cheaper, and in my opinion more convenient. the ride takes two hours.
if you are an independent traveler you can take one of the collective taxis from montego bay's bus station. if you share one of these taxis with locals, you will save a lot of money. you may need to change taxis in lucea
Private taxis are not private.
On the resort tours you are either waiting on someone or someone is waiting on you. So we hired a taxi, through the resort to be at our beckon call for an evening. After taking us to our first stop, the driver said he had to leave and pick up a couple and would be back in a few minutes. Well, an hour later and we had to call the resort to get him returned to us. After getting back together and from that point on, he was very helpful and stayed with us the rest of the evening. Someone had made an impression on him somewhere down the road. Speak slowly and make your driver speak slowly if neccessary to get your directions across to each other. Red tag taxis are government controlled. White tag taxis are okay, but be firm with the drivers.
Air Shuttles Between Negril / Sangster
Both TimAir and Air Jamaica Express offer air transfer service between Montego Bay Sangster's airports and Negril.
TimAir flights are on Cessna's for the most part, and can seat 4-8 passengers. These are great because they aren't scheduled air, and you won't have a long wait when you arrive in town.
Air Jamaica Express planes are a bit larger, holding around 15 passengers. These are scheduled service, and you can purchase these tickets along with regular Air Jamaica tickets in the States.
Each of these cost about $65 per person, each way. The flight is only about 15 minutes, which will save you about an hour then if you took the bus.
Reservations for TimAir can be made in advance. Just pay at the ticket counter upon arrival. Air Jamaica Express can either be paid in advance, or simply show up at the terminal and get on the next flight.
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