Montego Bay is Jamaica's party town. With its electric nightlife, its lively vibe, its culture, and its music, this is the place to go for a good time. Thanks to its fabulous selection of beaches, it's also the place to go if you want to enjoy the island's holy trinity of sun, sea, and sand. Some of the beaches are as lively as the rest of the area. Others are as tranquil as a dream. Regardless of which way your tastes run, you're guaranteed to find something to suit you in our guide to the best beaches in Montego Bay.
Doctor's Cave Beach
As Viator writes, with its huge stretch of pristine, soft sand, warm turquoise waters, and idyllic position, Doctor’s Cave is by far the most popular beach in Montego Bay. It does get a little crowded at times, but it's all part of the attraction. Although you'll need to pay a small admittance fee, you get a lot by way of return, including a well-stocked beach bar, plenty of deck chairs and umbrellas, and scrupulously clean restrooms.
Walk just 100 yards from downtown Montego Bay and you'll reach Belvedere Beach, a gloriously peaceful beach with pristine white sand and crystal clear waters. Although the amenities are limited, you'll find everything you need nearby. With its laid-back vibe, stunning views, and glorious tranquility, it's a great place to head if you're looking for somewhere a little quieter than some of Montego Bay's larger beaches.
You can't visit Montego Bay without spending at least one afternoon at its most talked about hangout, Montego Beach. With plenty of amenities, water sports, and activities, this isn't the kind of place to head for a super relaxing, super tranquil day at the beach. It is, however, the ideal place to experience the famous Montego Bay vibe. Even without all the fun and games on offer, it's still a stunning beach, with warm clear waters and sugar-white sand.
One Man Beach
One Man Beach (or old Old Hospital Park Beach, to give it its official name) is lively, popular, and a ton of fun. There's never a dull moment here - if you want some entertainment as you sip your Pina Colada and admire the ocean views, this is the place to go. Despite being one of Montego Bay's most popular beach hangouts, it never seems to get too crowded, even when a cruise ship is in for the day. If you want to combine a serious amount of relaxation with a serious amount of fun, it's ideal.
Dead End Beach
Dead End Beach may not sound like much, but don't be fooled. Despite its unpromising name, the beach is actually a delight, with shimmering waters and pristine sands. If you're looking to skip the crowds, it's ideal - even during the peak season, it's still gloriously quiet and peaceful.
Dump Up Beach
Ranked by my-island-jamaica.com as one of the best beaches in Montego Bay, Dump Up Beach has a lot more to recommend it than just a witty name. The beach was created back in the mid-1970s as the result of an expansion project: as the name suggests, it rests on a dumped-up part of the city. As admittance is free, it's a favorite among locals, who tend to use the beach as more of a football pitch than anything else. Fun, lively, and with some great water sport opportunities, it's an unmissable part of the Montego Bay experience. Time your visit right and you might even be lucky enough to catch one of the music concerts or events that regularly take place on the sand. Although there are no restrooms on the beach itself, there are plenty of facilities in the nearby area.
Mahee Bay Beach
Serene, tranquil and blessed with all the white sand and turquoise waters you could wish for, Mahee Bay Beach stands in stark contrast to some of Montego's Bay's busier beaches, and it's all the better for it. Amenities are limited but it's within easy reach of the downtown if you suddenly find yourself in need of refreshments or a restroom.
Walter Fletcher Beach
With its carefree, laid-back vibe, abundance of shaded areas, and rows of rainbow-colored umbrellas, Walter Fletcher has all the hallmarks of a great beach. Its proximity to the port makes it a popular destination with the cruise ship brigade, but it rarely gets so crowded as to feel overwhelming. If you've got kids, it's a must-visit: while some of Montego Bay's other popular beaches are a little too adult-orientated for under 18s, Walter Fletcher Beach has a distinctly family-friendly feel, with plenty of go-karts, waterslides, and other activities to get involved in. For added peace of mind, a lifeguard is on duty between 8 am and 5 pm every day. Admittance costs $3.30 for adults and $1.65 for kids.
If golden sands and clear blue seas sound like heaven, then you're going to love Cornwall Beach. You're going to love it even more if you like water sports: the snorkeling opportunities are legendary, with swarms of rainbow-colored fish teaming around the shore. If you want to dial the excitement up a notch, take a glass-bottomed boat tour from the dock. The one drawback is that the beach is owned by a hotel. Although you don't need to be a guest to use it, you will have to buy a day pass if you aren't.
Kent Avenue Beach
Recommended by Sandals as one of the most memorable beaches in Montego Bay, Kent Avenue Beach may be a little off the beaten path, but it's well worth the trek. Peaceful, tranquil, and a far cry from the noisy, crowded beaches over on the 'Hip Strip,' this is the kind of beach that island getaway fantasies are made of.
Tropical Bliss Beach
If you prefer your beaches to be on the lively side, look no further than Tropical Bliss Beach. With an upbeat atmosphere, music, a buffet-style restaurant, cocktails on tap, music, and a full roster of activities, it may not be the most relaxing place to pass an afternoon, but it's definitely one of the most entertaining.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson