Things To Do And See In Negril

Negril is known for its long beaches and lively nightlife, but there is so much more to do and to see in this part of Jamaica. Here are a few tips to make your next vacation even more enjoyable and exciting.

Wildlife Watching

Jamaica is known for its varied bird life and you can observe most of them around Negril; especially interesting are the herons, egrets, parakeets and the endangered Doctor Birds. In the same locations where you find the birds, you will also might get lucky enough to see a wide variety of differently colored butterflies. The sea is also rich with life and it is perfectly possible to observe dolphins, whales and turtles.

Sunsets and Cliff Jumping

No stay would be complete without having watched the famous cliff divers jumping into the sea at sunset time. Please be aware that the higher cliffs are for experienced cliff divers only; injuries have happened when tourists took the plunge without knowing what they were doing. Enjoy instead the spectacular sunset over the ocean and listen to live Reggae music which can be heard nearly everywhere.

Guided Walks

There are a lot of tours and excursions available in the area: one of the most beautiful options is the “River Walk,” leading through lush vegetation alongside the river near Westmoreland. The stream forms natural jacuzzis and waterfalls that invite visitors for a swim. Don’t forget your bathing suit! Many of these tours include also a typical Jamaican barbecue and feast, giving you the opportunity to sample the best of the local cuisine.

There is so much more to do in this part of Jamaica; many of the Negril hotels offer their own tours and are happy to organize the perfect excursion for you. It would be a pity to spend your whole vacation only between bar and beach when the rest of Negril waits to be discovered.

26 Miles Across the Sea

“26 miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is a’ waiting for me” –- or at least that’s what the famous lyrics from the Four Preps would have you believe. And they promote a vision of “romance, romance, romance,” too!

Indeed, it’s true that visitors to Orange County tourist attractions would be well advised to take an extra day or two and visit Catalina Island. It’s a magical place, modern in so many respects, but also deliciously preserved so that it’s wonderful habitat remains intact. (The only reason not to visit would be the time it takes to get there and come back, but even that complaint has been met with a hydrofoil ferry that takes just over an hour to get there.)  A visit to Catalina comes highly recommended by the folks at California Tourist Guide, and for good reason.

You can get there by ferry (the best way), leaving from Long Beach on the north side of Catalina or Dana Point on the south. The ferries are modern, comfortable and fast (not the “40 kilometers in a leaky old boat” as the song says!), and they arrive in Avalon, the harbor on Santa Catalina’s southeastern shore. (Isn’t it interesting to note that a song written in 1958 would use the metric equivalent of distance in such a quintessentially American song? Could that happen today?)

The “romance” promised from the song was a personal promise, but visitors will almost certainly be enchanted by what they find in Avalon. One of the main streets, Crescent Avenue, is dotted with boutiques that present the tourist with lots of temptations for gifts to be brought back home, and the Zane Grey Pueblo hotel — built on a hillside that overlooks the town and the bay — is surely one of the most picturesque spots in all of Southern California. And you can’t walk anywhere in the town (and you will walk, since motorized transportation options are limited to golf carts, tour buses, cabs and boats) without seeing flowers everywhere — pansies, snap dragons, begonias and other flowers. It’s beautiful!

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