Arrange hotel/airport transportation ahead of time so that you do not have to worry about catching a cab or a bus and overpaying. Negril is 1 ½ hours away from Montego Bay Airport, so keep that in mind after you land. It’s a long ride, but kind of scenic.
Do not be surprised by the goats – apparently there are a whole lot of goats roaming around the streets. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw all these goats was to open up a little jerk goat or curry goat spot out in Jamaica. Or maybe not, but goats seemed to love it out there.
During check in at the hotel – make sure to ask about amenities and where things are. I love resorts with a fitness center so I can get a workout in before starting my day.
Schedule a la carte reservations when you arrive – If you arrived to the hotel early, schedule reservations to the a la carte for the week so you can try all the food at the hotel and not have to worry about one of the restaurants being booked on a day you wanted to go.
Go for a jog – Go for a jog early in the morning by the beach. My body is used to waking up early, so I made good use of it. A beach jog is an awesome way to start the day. Jog past the other hotels/resorts and jog back to your room, or finish up at the fitness center and pump some iron while you still have energy.
Water Amenities/Activities – many hotels/resorts will offer complimentary water activities that you would usually have to pay for at other places. I am not really a water activities person, me and open water are not one. But I do give it try whenever I feel brave and bold. At Riu Negril, some complimentary activities included: Paddle boats, kayaking, snorkeling and scuba training. Make sure to take advantage of these free activities while at the resort, to make your stay a bit more enjoyable. You can get an awesome tan by just paddle boating around the beach.
Schedule your tours for the middle of the week – On vacations I usually try to get in at least 2-3 tours/excursions. Excursions are a great way to get to know the place you are visiting. Negril has some really amazing places to visit and based on recommendations from others and from my own research, I decided to visit the following places:
a. Mayfield Falls - Mayfield Falls, kinda reminds me of the Waterfalls I did at Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The concept is very similar, you walk through the forest, climb up and down rocks and eventually arrive at this natural pool of heaven. I love waterfalls, and walking through the rocks and submerging in the most clean, refreshing water there could ever be. I really enjoyed the Mayfield Falls tour, it was fun and relaxing.
b. Margaritaville Negril - I went to this place for two things, the drinks and the view, and Margaritaville Negril offered a free bus ride from our resort. This place is much alive! Awesome drinks, music, games, entertainment, they even have a huge trampoline in the middle of the beach. But most of all, it offers the most amazing beach sunset view along the seven-mile stretch of white sand beach. I love sunsets! My favorite sunset thus far has been at Aruba.
c. Dolphin Cove Negril - I am not much of a water person, yes, kinda hard to believe when you come from the islands, but yea, I love nature, but open water freaks me out, with that said, Ocean animals freak me out too, lol. Don’t get me wrong, I love animals, but some animals, I appreciate them from afar, very far. I didn’t quite get to swim with the Dolphins, but I did pet and kiss a dolphin (pic of that coming soon..). At the Dolphin Cove Negril, you get to touch, encounter and swim with the dolphins. There are other animals you get to interact with at the Dolphin Cove, such as interacting with the stingrays, seeing a live shark show and interacting with the shark, as well as riding a camel. I totally recommend doing this tour if ever in Jamaica, the prices are very reasonable, compared to what you would pay to touch or swim with a Dolphin here in the states. The Dolphin Cove Negril is amazingly beautiful, clean, the animals seem happy and friendly.
d. Rick’s Café - this Café is a must do, recommended by one of my fellow bloggers Kerry Yanique of Champagne Dreams & Dress Me Beautiful and after reading about it through Travel & Leisure, I knew I had to see it for myself. You can go here every night or at least one time before your vacation is over. Food is inexpensive and admission is free. If you are feeling a little gutsy: take a dive into the fresh blue ocean waters… Not so brave: watch the divers jump from really high trees, boards, etc… and feel free to tip them for their bravery. Rick’s Café has it all, live music, an amazing sunset view and even a pool. I love this place.
I admit that I felt like there was a lot more that I wanted to do in Negril, that I didn’t quite had a lot of time to do. There was also a lot of things I did that I did not mention in this post. For one, make sure to indulge in the Jamaica food, and drinks, and exotic fruits that you can only get from the Caribbean. There were tours that I wanted to do such as the Bob Marley Nine Mile tour and Bobsledding and Ziplining at Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios, but Negril is pretty far from Ocho Rios, so I tried to cover as many tours in Negril as I can. My next visit to Jamaica will definitely be Ocho Rios, so I can continue my Jamaica journey. Below are some more images from my vacation in Negril, if you have any recommendations feel free to share in the comments section.