Hi Folks! Its Me, Markospoon, Your Favorite Negril Storyteller in Stunning 3D! Cool Huh?

I Write Colorful Articles About a Dimension of Negril the Most Tourists Rarely See.

This has led me to create this blog in order to save and display my stories along with all of my 3D photos just for you my many tourist fans. I'm doing it in cooperation with the 2 author / webmasters of the NEGRIL JAMAICA TOURIST VIDIA, a free, 1500 page exhaustive visual encyclopedia - directory website of Negril.

My articles are about my actual experiences doing various goofy things at various interesting places all over Negril. So I sometimes utilize this reference website's photos, videos and maps here to visually portray some of the tourist enterprises, activities and attractions that I mention that are in this beautiful Jamaican tourist town.

Through my articles and the visuals that I've posted here you will quickly learn why I and so many other tourists love this little town so much.

The following is an endless loop slide show of the 3D photos which I shot when I was down in Negril in December 2010. Enjoy Mon!

This kind of a no glasses 3D slide show has now become possible because of start3d.com's exciting new 3D technology for blogs and websites. With it, all of my 3D photos may be viewed here or in thumbnails in my album on their website or in a larger size on my page on the Negril Jamaica Tourist Vidia.

And should you go there, you can also view a twin slide show of my 3D photos in the much deeper displaying anaglyph format (which does require the 3D glasses to be focused and viewed). In that format, my 3D photos can be displayed in full screen mode to show you an even more fascinating 3D view of each of these scenes.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Negril Scammer's Trick

Courtesy of Markospoon from negril.com's message board

There is always one fellow, after years and years he never gives up. First time I met him it was, maybe 5 years ago. He has a certain spot staked out on the road.

He called over to me, waved and said "Hey mon, check this out.'

I either yell back for him to come to come to me or yelled back no thanks.Unless somebody has a stand or stall, I don't go to where they are. They better use the legs that God gave them and come to me, especially if I'm walking on a mission.

So, he scampered over with a quick step.
"Check this out mon!"
"Holy moley, what's this?"
"It pineapple hashis mon."
"Pineapple what? (act like i never heard of such)"
"Hash mon, its hash."

"No thanks, I do not want to buy any hash.
I do not want it Sam I am.
I dont want it here or there, I don't want it anywhere.
I dont want it in a house
i don't want it with a mouse."

So, I tried to give it back to him.
Then he says, "It's for you."

"For me, hmmm. Well thanks, I'll see you later then."
"Mon, thats 200 J mon."
"Man, take this stuff back, I don't want it Sam I am."

He is always spotting me, everytime I stroll down the road.

Moral of the story:
Dont even let somebody put something in your hand. They will act as if you wanted to buy it.

Here's a similar scam the author of this blog encountered. The scammer introduced himself and chit chatted nicely for a moment. Then he gave me a pack of cheap gum saying that he was celebrating his birthday. So I took it and then he said, "Have you got a present for me for my birthday? I gave you one so you should give me one too."

Since I had accepted the gum he had me! So, $300 J later I escaped and learned the same lesson. Never accept anything being supposedly given to you!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Onestop Vacations Travel Service's Trip Report for October 2009

Trip Report

"Irie"... that sums up our Oct. 22- Nov. 6 trip to Jamaica! This trip we spent most of our time in Negril with a 3 day/2 night visit to Treasure Beach and had a chance to stay at 5 of our resorts (all beach resorts this time) .

We started out by renting a car from Island Car rental at the airport in Mo Bay, as we're on the go from morning to late afternoon visiting as many resorts as we can fit in (o.k....we made time for a "likkle" swimming and cold Red Stripe). No problem driving on the left but remembering that the turn signals and windsheild wipers are reversed can prove interesting! As usual, we got lucky and had sunny weather (with a few afternoon showers that cleared by evening).

Sunset At The Palms with their unique, romantic tree top accommodations, great food and service was our first 3 night stop.Next we moved down the beach to Beachcomber Club. Pretty beachfront and "the most spacious 1 bedroom suite in Negril". I love the large veranda and the washer and dryer came in handy.

Then we headed off to Treasure Beach to revisit our resorts and stayed just outside at the Button Bay Beach Getaway. This private, unassuming getaway will soon be offered on our TB web site. A great steak dinner at Sunset Resort and a fun night with the local band in town ( the singer was a no show so Bob did the whole show for him) was a highlight.

Back to Negril and our stay at Sea Wind. This popular resort offers great value and good food (they even have a pastry chef!). The costumed hallowen dinner/spooky evening was a blast. If you are in Negril next year don't miss it. Photos up soon.

And our last stop (but not least) was 3 glorious nights at Charela Inn. The lower sea view rooms (now with walk out to your deck) are wonderful and their deep beach front with lots of palm trees can't be beat. Their 5 course dinner was a fine dining experience. We visit at least twice each year, yet every visit we are again in awe of how magnificent Negril's beach is.

A Special Experience

Jackie's On The Reef is a holistic spa & retreat and one of the original properties on the cliff side of Negril. We enjoyed an exceptional afternoon here in early Nov. The deep tissue massage we received with the waves as a backdrop to their soothing music melted away tense muscles and frenetic minds. We then enjoyed a fresh and delicious lunch.

Stay for a week or come for the day. Various treatments are offered by experienced and knowlegeable therapists. Jackies is a highly recommended Preferred Onestop Vendor.

Driving Services

Airport Transfers &Tours The "Malcolm brothers" are happy to offer private, safe and smooth transfer to your hotel. Check out the new tours on our site. The guys will customize any outing to suit you. They now have a new 14 seater bus!

*You can now book your airport transfers and tours with them directly from our site.*

Other Resort News

Catcha Falling Star has finished their long awaited pool and it was worth the wait! Another delightful addition to this property. Catcha has also taken over the land side cliff resort formerly known as LTU. New bathrooms, all rooms with TV and micro wave, new landscaping etc.Right now we have a special of 15% off rooms.

Bar-B-Barn in Negril is offering awinter special and Onestop clients receive an extra special rate of $110. per couple per night which includes full breakfast and dinner with a complimentary drink.

Charela Inn is a charming 49 room Inn centrally located on a palm lined stretch of Negril's 7 mile beach.Spacious accommodations are offered as room only, optional meals included or all inclusive. Evening dining options include a 5 course prix fixe dinner that changes nightly and features fresh ingredients from their farm. Gracious (but never stuffy) service and ambiance ensure a relaxing holiday.

Noteworthy meals, places and things to do in Negril.

We really enjoyed our meal at "Pushcart", the new restaurant at the Rockhouse Hotel in Negril's cliffs on the West End. Great Jamaican food at very reasonable prices overlooking the sea.

If you want to finish off a great meal with a great desert...try Sheretas Restaurant at Sea Wind Resort. We had shrimp pasta with tons of huge shrimp then couldn't resist delicious bread pudding and keylime pie for desert!

Angela's Restaurant at Bar-B-Barn has ( among other things) great thin crust pizza....our dining companion said it was the best he's had.

Dancing on the sand at Alfred's Ocean Palace >or any of the Negril beach clubs is always fun. Negril is "the place for the best live reggae"...combine that with a lively mix of tourists and locals to make some fine holiday memories.

Ready to be more adventurous?...try a snorkeling trip, or book a tour to a waterfall, Jamaican bobsled ride, swim with the dolphins or see how rum is made.

Read the first article on this blog about Onestop Vacations.

Toll Free 877-651-7867

Onestop Vacations showcases smaller independent properties in Negril, Jamaica.

Don't hesitate to call us for more information. After all, as a travel service we will be more than happy to help! We take our own photos and we try and stay at every resort we offer allowing us to give you, the traveller, first hand, unbiased feedback.

We are a family run business, serving over 15,000 clients since 1998.

Susan, Bob, Bart & Derek

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Couple of Petty Criminals can Ruin a Vacation in Negril

Today I was reading some other blogs about Negril and I found an article wherein some driver in Negril named Niyah who claims to be a travel guide was accused of stealing a lady's jewelry from her purse while she briefly left his car. Underneath that post was another where another lady said that she had also used a man named Niyah as a travel guide and her husband's camera was missing from their bag when they came back with him from Dunn's River Falls!

These are unfortunate incidents that can occur with one bad apple in Jamaica. They put a dark cloud over all of the great people and wonderful things that are there to enjoy. This is especially lousy if the Jamaican police (she didn't say if they were Negril Police or not) are uninterested in doing anything about it as one of the ladies claimed was the case with her.

These incidents reminded me of 2 friends of mine who now refuse to set foot in Jamaica again (after many trips there in the past) because their room was vandalized and things were stolen while they were away from it and partying on their last trip. These kinds of crimes are petty in the overall scheme of things and they are very rare. But they are really, really bad for tourism because they violate the tourist's sense of the innate safety and security of the accommodations there and the trustworthiness of the drivers upon whom they must depend to get back and forth to the airport.

I hate to even mention these incidents here for fear of scaring away some of you who are looking for information about taking a vacation in Negril. However, I do it to be completely honest with you about your safety in Negril. But at the same time I want to mention that after having taken many trips to Negril and other places in Jamaica myself, I know that a little extra cautiousness on any tourist's part can prevent these kinds of things from ever happening to them.

We have had great times in Negril and elsewhere on the island and we've never had any incidents of vandalism in all of our trips there because we are cautious. But we are cautious at home in Chicago too and my wife and I both feel that Negril is a whole lot safer than many areas here. We live in a very decent, well lit neighborhood on Chicago's far north-side and yet our 20 year old grandson was robbed by 2 punks early one evening when he was entering our condominium's secure entrance gate! So to us this incident proves that no place anywhere is totally safe and so we are very careful whenever we travel.

Tourists need to understand that Jamaica is in many areas a third world country and although the people there are so very wonderful and so extremely friendly, they are mostly poor and there are very few opportunities for them to advance themselves. So a few of them will turn to scamming and petty crime to try to make what they think is some easy money for themselves.

What they don't always consider when they do this is that if or when they get caught violating a law, the Jamaican legal system can put them away for an awful long period of time in a miserable third world jail! Therefore, very few of those who realize these consequences actually turn bad this way. Still, in both of these cases some did and bad things from them happened to each of these tourists.

Now because of these 3 petty crimes alone, 6 tourists who have each spent many, many thousands of tourist dollars vacationing over the years in Jamaica are never going to do it again! And they're also going to tell all of their friends and relatives about what happened to them when they were there so they might not go to Jamaica either! What a pity! In these tough times when every tourist dollar counts, at least 6 (and probably a few more) of those who can afford it will no longer vacation there because of a couple of bad apples and their petty criminal activities!

I just want to finish this post by reassuring everyone that Negril is really a very, very safe place. It has an adequate police force and an on foot tourist protection force and nearly every resort has some level of security to protect its own patrons. Because of these measures, unfortunate incidents such as these are really a rarity and should only be viewed as a caution, not in any way as a deal breaker for a vacation there.

The following are some links to further information about these and related issues which are present already within our Negril Jamaica Tourist Vidia and within this blog.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Land Activities Available to Tourists within the Negril Area

There is a large variety of land activities in which tourists may engage while on vacation in Negril. Of course for the rugged and energetic there is hiking and camping as well as bicycling and horseback riding.

These activities can be especially delightful for Negril's tourists because of the nice friendly Jamaican people you'll meet, its beautiful tropical setting and its awesome views of the ocean and the Great Morass. For the adventurous tourists who do not want to exert much human power to get around, Motor scooters, motor cycles and 4 wheel land cruisers are the call.

For the sports minded there are basketball and tennis courts in a few places and volley ball courts abound all up and down the 7 mile beach. There is one nice golf course on the outskirts of town and a couple more within an hour or so drive. Cricket, Soccer and Rugby fields are also available in a few places in town.

For shoppers, shopping excursions in themselves can become all day, exhausting land activities! This is because there are 200 + shops of great variety scattered all around town and within Negril's 7 Shopping Plazas and 3 Craft Markets.

A couple of the large all-inclusive resorts provide their own sports centers for their guests and there is also a yoga center / spa , a gym and a library in Negril.

During the high season of December until June when the weather is warm and balmy and there is only sporadic rain, it's a great time for tourists to engage in any or all all of these land activities. But in the off season, Negril can be boiling hot and / or there can be torrential rains or even an occasional hurricane so only the most hardy will engage in them then.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Water Activities Available within the Negril Jamaica Resort Areas

Because of Negril's 14 miles of clear, warm, aquamarine ocean waters all along its 7 mile beach (shown above) and its additional 7 miles of cliffs (not shown but to the right of this beach scene), it is an ideal place for tourists to engage in all kinds of water activities.

On our Negril Jamaica Tourist Vidia - our visual encyclopedia - directory of all of Negril's enterprises, attractions and activities we have created research sections of vendors for all of Negril's water activities such as....
  1. Jet skiing on Negril's 2 bays
  2. Sail boating on Negril's 2 bays
  3. Wind surfing on Negril's 2 bays
  4. Water skiing on Negril's 2 bays
  5. Para-sailing on Negril's 2 bays
  6. Personal water-crafting on Negril's 2 bays
  7. Kayaking on Negril's 2 bays and in the Negril River
  8. Scuba diving in Negril's close by ocean
  9. Snorkeling in Negril's close by ocean
  10. Swimming in Negril's 2 bays and its resort pools
  11. Cliff diving off of Negril's 40' cliffs
  12. Power boating on Negril's close by ocean
  13. Glass bottom boating on Negril's 2 bays
  14. River fishing in the Negril River
  15. Charter ocean fishing in Negril's close by ocean
  16. Charter boating on Negril's nearby ocean
  17. Ocean horseback riding
  18. Nude or Topless Bathing in restricted areas
  19. Nude cruises on Negril's 2 bays
  20. Booze cruises on Negril's 2 bays
  21. Romantic sunset cruises on Negril's 2 bays
  22. Snorkeling / Scuba diving cruises
  23. Small island fishing excursions with shore lunches
  24. Kool Runnings Water Park for children
None of the above linked sections in our Vidia are yet as thorough and complete as we want them to be but the information we have so far compiled in them will help Negril's tourists to get started in their research on where to obtain water activity services. We will be improving all of these sections within the next year (by the end of 2010).

Services and places for tourists to go to in Negril to elicit these activities start with the major all-inclusive resorts that provide their own water services to their guests (mostly at no extra charge). But for those tourists who plan to stay in smaller beach or cliff boutique resorts, vendors for these kinds of water activity services at very reasonable rates may be found right there on some of their premises or nearby to them.

Check with your resort on the availability of these services before booking up your stay with them because this could affect your decision as to whether or not you do stay with them. But if you fail to do this in advance, just ask your airport transfer driver or ask at the desk of your resort when you get there for their on-site or nearby water activity service providers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Music of the Night

This is another interesting article that Markospoon posted on negril.com a while back. He sure has a comfortable and comforting writing style doesn't he?


Anybody in Negril ever go out in the morning, eat, swim, take a ride, drink some cocktails, go back to your room and take a nap?

I did.

I didn't wake up until about 7 PM.

Man, I missed the whole day!

I jumped into the shower and threw on my glad rags. I opened the door and it was almost dark out.

It's a whole different world at night. The frogs were awake and calling each other (no cell phone needed).

Leaving my hotel, there were all kinds of people walking up and down the road, in the early evening. Cool cars out cruising around, showing off.

When I got to the beach, I could look down the shore and see all kinds of different size and colored lights twinkling away.

When the sun is going down, the shade of orange is so magnificent. The reflection on the water, with that bluish/greenish/orange color is mezmerizing.

It just seems like everything fits, like it's supposed to be.

The smell of dinners being cooked, the music from places that may have been closed or deserted during the day, but are open for the evening crowd.

There is a certaln vibe, electricity in the air at night. It's almost magnetic, in the way it draws out your imagination.

I picked a bar, ordered a cold one and just chilled. Even if nothing is going on, just being outdoors, at night is so cool.

All of the sudden, you are a secret agent, on a mission to find the coolest crowd, coldest beer, prettiest ladies and best tasting food.

Good thing about the beach, you can just walk and walk and walk. No car traffic.

Night time sharpens, heightens each sensation! Darkness stirs and wakes imagination, Silently the senses, abandon their defenses! The Music of the night!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ted's Hand Woven Jamaican Grass Mats

This is an article from Jamaica My Way - a blog wherein you will find out about how to get around for less, stay for less, see more, meet Jamaican people, experience Jamaican culture, and eat the best food.

Jamaican Craft

About 5 years ago I cyber-met a really cool American lady, Alice, on a Jamaican chat forum. Over the years we got to know each other really well by conversing online and by phone, and she eventually retired to Jamaica. My mission was to meet her on my very next trip and so it happened.

Alice, me and Ted at their home in Negril

Alice, me and Ted at their home in Negril

I have now met and stayed with Alice and her boyfriend Ted on two separate occasions, once at their house in Montego Bay and once at their new house in Negril. I love Alice like a second mother and even though he’s quiet and shy, I’ve grown fond of Ted too. This is why I’ve decided to feature Ted’s beautiful craft of grass mats. I’ve watched him tediously weaving and braiding grass and seen the final and beautiful finished product.

A finished product

A finished product

Drying grass before starting a mat

Drying grass before starting a mat

Pile of grass ready to start braiding

Pile of grass ready to start braiding

Alice and Ted have them all throughout their houses, at the front doors, as bath mats, out on the veranda, etc. Such a nice addition to any room really.

Ted has a regular spot at the Negril craft market where he sells his mats and will also take custom orders. Some of our forum friends who have met Alice and Ted, have taken home a mat or two. I have yet to take one home because I still think I’m just moving to Jamaica and will have them all over my house there LOL.

Ted braiding grass for a mat

Ted braiding grass for a mat

If you’re ever in Negril and would like to see Ted’s creations, you can head to the Negril craft market. His spot is kind of tucked away and hard to find but if you ask the other vendors for the Rasta Ted with the grass mats they’ll be sure to take you there.

***Partial photo credits to Lula Carter of www.reliabletoursofjamaica.com***

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reggae Music Everywhere in Negril

This article was written by Markospoon, a regular poster on negril.com message board who IMHO has very good writing talent. He is another one there whom I would encourage to start his own blog on Negril because of his great love for the place.

Reggae music everywhere, I went Reggae music. I have always heard reggae growing up, but never got into it. In Negril, it is of course everywhere.

It took me a while to understand Reggae. It is a powerful, soul inspired sound. Being in Negril or on the Island, is what I needed to understand it.

Sure, it has a good beat, rythym and soul stirring sounds. Those are 3 pluses, but my fav was Jazz. Coltrane, Miles and Bird (aka Charlie Parker)

It was maybe my 3rd solo trip, that I got into it, understood it, felt it. I met a gentleman and started to "hang" at his place. I would wake up, eat a biiiig breakfast, buy a bottle of OJ, then head down to his spot. Sitting, talking to him, hours and hours, day after day. That was 9 years ago.

The way he lived, how he was raised, the trials and tribulations that occurred during his life and the life of his ancestors. How he relates to his environment, the surrounding forest and hills, the veggies and fruit, the birds and butterflies. How they prepare and cook their food. The aromas and the sea air. The way it rains and the sun and the sunsets. The older people and the little kids, how they talk, how they walk far, and run fast. The weddings and funerals, its all connected.

All of this is in Reggae music. At dusk, when the sun is going down, sometimes all my reflections come together and I get it. Now, I gotta have it, here at home, or there on the Island.

On my cable TV provider, (Comcast) there are music channels, all kinds of music.
What I do at home in Chi-town is turn on the Reggae station, loud, jump in the shower and take a nice loooong one. When I finish and open the bathroom door, the music hits me!

For a moment i am in Negril, and all is well with the world.

I still love jazz and R&B music, but now I can add Reggae to my list of soul stirring sounds!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Patty Man on the Beach


(please credit this entire account and the photos of this fine man to Rambo and his wife CoComando (Ray and Jules Edwin) who are frequent visitors to Negril)

"PATTY MAN" is what he is normally called.....His real name is Neville Stewart, a man small in stature, but not in dreams or work ethic's.

He is a widower of six years from this writing (2009), and a father of 6 children. He lives in Grange Hall and leaves his bike near the beach area that he works each day, rarely taking a day off. He brings the "Patty Box" with him each day, loading it up in the morning with fresh pattys and returning at night filled with supplies for the next days sales.

His bike is safe-stored at the end of the beach, near where he starts and finshes each day. He has been pushing his bike through the beach sand for over 16 years now, and is in the process of fixing up a "scooter" to help him to get to work and home to cut down on his expenses so that he wont have to raise his prices........(smart man!).

His day usually starts about 5AM with the cooking and preparing of his days worth of patty's. A patty is a pastry shell filled with BEEF-VEGTABLE-CHICKEN-COCO BREAD, and then deep fried to a golden brown (like a brown taco) only soft and warm with a very light and flaky crust.

The patties filling varies with the choices, as does the prices...with the CoCo Bread being the cheapest. Normally we are talking about 1 US buck to a buck and a half a piece.......BIG Discounts for volume..LOL!

All the fillings are GREAT, with all being able to put that "certain" Jamaican "hot-ness" on the end of your tongue, which is washed away nicely with a Red Stripe or a Heinekins.

I made him a shirt with his photo on it and we gave it to him on our last visit so if you see a guy on the beach with a bicycle wearing a shirt with him on it - you have just run into the Pattyman!

As all Jamaicans do more than one job and so does the Patty Man. He will also will cook you a fine Jamaican Meal at your place or elsewhere, and deliver it to you.

We asked him for BIG LOBSTERS,,,and Mon did he deliver! We were taking a dip in the pool when he arrived at about 4 in the afternoon one day with a bag, in it were 3 of the BIGGEST JAMAICAN LOBSTERS we had ever seen. They were maybe 2 to 3 lbs of tail meat each!

A good sales day for Neville is 70 patties (when Spring Break is in session) going down to an average of only 35-45 per day during these slow times. He very rarely brings any back home with him, giving the last away or trading them for rides.

When he gets back home he does his "chores" and gets ready for the next day. When he's done he'll say his nightly prayers, and finally close his eyes...it will be around 11 PM!

So when you see the Pattyman, pushing his bike full of patties along on the sand in the blazing heat why don't you get up and go over and buy him out....and help him get that "scooter" on Di Road!

And as you watch him walk off, you can feel proud and honored that you have just met a real "Jamaican Legend".

By the way, this is the second article from Rambo (The Fruit Lady was the first)and we are encouraging Rambo and his wife to start a blog of their own so a few encouraging comments below from you readers here might help to convince them to do so.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Fruit Lady in Negril.


This is one of Jamaica's unsung heroes that tourists should know about. Please credit this entire account and its photos of this fine woman to Rambo and his wife CoComando (Ray and Jules Edwin) who are frequent visitors to Negril and who often post on negril.com's message board.

The fruit lady's name is Mrs. Gem Gidden and she truly is a gem! She lives in St Elizabeth so she travels by route taxi about 3 hrs to work and 3 hrs home every day. She wakes around 5AM and by 6AM she has bought her days supply of fresh picked fruits at the farmers market and is on her way to the Beach.

She arrives about 10AM and walks the beach from Roots Bamboo to Coral Seas (shown in map below) repeatedly until her day ends around 6PM and she gets back home by 8:30-9:00PM.

She and her husband of 32 years have raised 14 children. At 55 years old, she is the sole provider for her family and she does so by selling fresh fruits which she carries in her basket and her 2 hand bags...the basket weighs about 25-30 lbs, which she carries and balances on her HEAD! Her BAGS will weigh about the SAME each!

She does all of this while walking in thick beach sand under a blazing sun only stopping to rest now and then. So when you see her please lighten her load and buy a few things from her because she has many steps to walk selling her fruits before she can rest.

Mrs. Gidden has traveled extensively for the Jamaican Tourist Board in Jamaica and elsewhere. She has a "BEAUTIFUL SINGING VOICE" and is called upon professionally for weddings and events.

So the next time your sleepin on the beach, and you awake to hear this strange sound...."Anybody Di Fruuuuits"????????", get up and walk over to her and help her out by buying a few of things and please TIP HER WELL!

You might even get treated to a little song? She has an amazing voice!

By the way, we are encouraging Rambo and his wife to start a blog of their own and a few encouraging comments below might help to convince them to do so.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Negril's World Renowned 7 Mile Beach

The 7 - mile beach in Negril is one of the best beaches in the world according to many, many travel critics. It is actually 2 strips of beach but it is considered as one continuous beach by Negrilians. It is about 4 miles long along Negril's Long bay and then another 3 miles long along Bloody Bay. This is nicely shown in the wonderful adjustable Wikimapia map below.

The northernmost 4 miles of this 7 mile beach area are where the newer, larger, all inclusive resorts are located as well as most of Negril's nude beaches (which are restricted areas on the property of the couples only type of resorts).

The southern 3 miles of beach contains about 60 colorful and uniquely styled boutique beach resorts of all sizes, most of which are Jamaican owned and operated.

Here may also be found some of Negril's dance clubs, entertainment centers and quite a few beach bars and beach restaurants most of which continuously play great Jamaican reggae music.

On this beach there are also many small shops of various kinds and an arts and crafts market with about 50 stalls of locally produced goods which is situated just outside of Negril's downtown area.

Here may also be found for-hire glass bottom boats from which to fish or snorkel or just observe the bay's interesting underwater features and creatures.

Para sailing services are very popular and may be contracted here. Para sails givs you a birds-eye view of the beach and its bays.

Jetskiing, waterskiing and catamaran services may also be found here.

photo courtesy of Wild Thing Catamarans
Booze cruises and sunset cruises on the big catamarans that are for-hire here are very popular pastimes for tourists because of their tremendously romantic and / or relaxing effect.

This lower 3 mile section of the beach is where tourists who are familiar with Negril love to walk and browse around much of the day.

At night it's also the area where most of Negril's beach action occurs so the tourists gravitate to its clubs, bars, restaurants and entertainment centers for party time activities.

Their parties begin at about 8 pm and last up until about 2 am when almost everything in Negril totally shuts down. Just a few places like Mi Yard stay open all night for partying.

Some of you might wonder why most clubs and entertainment centers shut down so soon but if you think about it a minute you'll realize that they are open every night, so much later activities will conflict with their tourist's next day's beckoning call back to the beach. After all, spend a day in the sun and surf and then all night partying and it won't be but a day or two before you'll have had enough and need your rest.

One of the reasons that this 7 - mile continuous stretch of beach in Negril is so famous is that for about 100 yards out into its 2 bays it has very clear, shallow water. Additionally it has cool, white sand all along the beach itself even on the hottest days. Also, its warm, shallow waters are usually quite calm so it's a very safe place for children of all ages to play.

Every resort along this beach sets out beach chairs and lounges for their patrons but they also welcome beach walkers to use them. Beach walkers are also welcome to stroll into any of the beach's shops, bars, restaurants or clubs as well any of the the beach's resorts grounds. Encouraging walk-ins is all a form of advertising in which the owners of Negril's enterprises engage. This is another reason why Negril is called the Capital of Casual.

One visit to Negril's ultra friendly 7 mile beach will capture you for the rest of your life! It is highly addictive because of its great Jamaican vibe. Yes, there are beach scammers and aggressive gigolos to pester the tourists but they're just trying to make a living and they do add to the beach's ambiance, even though no one really looks forward to encountering them.

Negril's beach resorts are wonderful places to spend your winter vacations or your springbreak or to propose to your fiance or have him (or her) propose to you! It's also a great place for wedding ceremonies or to renew a couple's wedding vows.

Isn't this a couple's to die for wedding photo?

Photo courtesy of FG Photos & Videos

Here couples can also honeymoon or celebrate their anniversary in a gorgeous, lush, tropical setting.

Words nor photos nor even videos can ever adequately describe the wonderful experience of staying at a resort on Negril's fabulous 7 - mile beach! Whatever reasons might prod you initially to go there, you will find your visit to definitely be a life changing experience for you just as it was for me! Do you want proof? Take a look at me now!

Now that I'm completely Jamaicanized I'm ready to put the reggae into the reggae, mon!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Economizing While Visiting Negril

This is a subject that nearly everyone who wants to visit Negril is interested in now that the world is in such tough times. Economies can be obtained in each of the various aspects of a tourist's visit here so below I identify a few of them for each of them. It is often suggested to sleep cheap and dine fine when traveling and that can be applied to a stay in Negril also. But there are other ways of skinning this cat, so please bear with me.


The most expensive time for visiting Jamaica is during their winter season from December until May (when it is not the hurricane season or very rainy but warm and balmy). Because this is when the island has its best weather, this is when tourists from all over the northern hemisphere flock here in big numbers. This is also when all prices for everything everywhere are higher because this is when Negril's enterprises have to make their money to carry them over to the next season.

So to most economize on a trip to Negril come during the off season. But be prepared for some wicked heat, lots of rain and an occassional hurricane which if intense, can badly ravage the island and upset your vacation.

But if you want to come to Negril on season when its weather's to die for and Negril is full of action then to economize try to book everything well in advance and inland of the beach or the cliffs so that you get the lowest prices possible.


Off season non-stop round-trip airfare with Air Jamaica (as of 2009) from Chicago or New York to Montego Bay by advance reservation can be on special for as low as $99 USD each way + taxes! But usually these round-trip airfares total out to be in the $400 to $500 USD range.

On season can be as low as $450 USD round trip from Chicago or New York to Montego Bay if booked in February or March for December thru May. Any later bookings and the airfares increase gradually up to abut $900 - $1,000 USD round trip non-stop airfares in November - December!

Air fares for flights with layovers or transfers in an airport on the way like Miami can be a little bit cheaper but they add at least a half day each way to a trip.

Airport Transfers

There are 2 unionized airport transfer bus services servicing Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay and all of the resorts in Negril. They are JUTA and JCLA and they are the cheapest form of transportation for visitors and locals. Both of these companies offer similar low rates for their bus trips back and forth to and from these places. As of this writing their prices were in the $30 to $40 USD range per pasenger for each trip plus tip. You can book yourself onto one of their buses when you land at Sangster International Airport as long as you arrive not too late (in which case you'll have to take a more expensive charter taxi).

Hotels, Resorts, Villas and Rooms

As a rule of thumb, staying in places that are off of the beach itself or inland of the cliffs will give you the lowest room rates. An inexpensive resort on the beach in the off season will rent their lowest cost room for - $50 - $70 USD. On season that same room will cost $75 to $125.

Right across the street at a resort (and maybe a pool) within easy walking distance to the 7 mile beach will rent an inexpensive room for $40 - $55 USD off season and for $50 - $80 on season. The same pretty much holds true for places that are on and inland of the cliffs.


There are quite a few grocery stores all over the greater Negril area and there is a large Hi - Lo supermarket right downtown. Here all kinds of food, rum, beer, pop and other goods may be purchased to save you money over resort prices. Just be sure that you have a working refrigerator in your room or access to plenty of ice there if you elect to go this route (which will cut your food bills nearly in half compared to buying cooked food at even the cheapest street grills or restaurants. Many people go to places like Ossie's or 3 Dives to purchase jerked chicken or pork and they take it back to their room to enjoy with cheap beers ($100 JD each from the supermarket) in their refridgerator.

You can bring all kinds of snacks from overseas into Jamaica, just not any meat products. The Jamaican government wants tourists to spend money on the island for everything possible so thay make it hard for tourists to economize by bringing in large stocks of food or beer / liquor.


The rule of thumb for dining out is to ask the locals where they go to eat because they know the lowest priced good places. Ossie's and Selina's on the land side of the 7 - mile beach and Fatty's and 3 Dives on the cliffs are 4 places known for serving good sized portions of great food at low prices. These are places where you get more than enough to eat so you can take leftovers back to your room for consumtion later. Be careful though because some of the resorts have a policy of not allowing their guests to bring in carry-outs from other restaurants off of their premises.


There are a couple of hundred bars and restaurants in Negril, each more colorful and more fun than the next because of thier wonderful, friendly Jamaican vibe. Usually everyone in them is colorful, nice and polite, even their tourist patrons. The price of beers in them starts at a low nowadays of $200 JD ($2.25 USD). Rum and fruit drinks are usually double that and up.

Transportation within Negril

Negril provides a free shuttle bus every 2 hours which traverses One Love Drive from the 7 - mile beach all the way to the lighthouse in the cliffs. This bus may be flagged down all along its 14 mile route by tourists and locals. It's purpose is to pull 7 mile beach resort patrons up into the cliffs to increase their tourist enterprises' trade there. This bus is the cheapest form of transportation other than walking but you have to time your hookups with it on the road to its schedule of going past wherever you are on it.

The next cheapest form of transportation in Negril is the route taxi. These run either up and down the beach portion of One Love Drive to and from downtown or up and down the cliffs portion of One Love Drive, also to and from downtown. Either trip is $80 - $100 JD (about $1 USD) one way no matter how far within these 7 mile routes you desire to go. Since this is only about $1 USD per ride most tourist passengers alos give a tip of anothe $100 JD to the driver.

Licensed route taxis have red license plates and should not be confused with unlicensed robot taxis that are not legal to use and that are sometimes unsafe for tourists to enter. The red plate route taxis are often speed demons because they have to run enough trips a day to pay for their vehicles before they make anything for themselves. So many of Negril's tourists will not use them and instead opt for their resort's safer driver at twice the price or more.

Anytime a tourist enters a taxi of any kind in Negril they should first negotiate the price per passenger for their trip! Some unscrupulous drivers (usually route taxi drivers) will charge exhorbitant rates at the end of a ride because this was not done. Don't just jump in a taxi and expect a fare box to be there to compute your trip as you would do in many overseas cities because they do not have them. They have designated


The least costly entertainment available in Negril is to just walk the beach or the cliffs road for free and observe the goings on of some of the more colorful locals. However, when tourists do this they are invariably hounded by scammers and hawkers but this in itself can be entertaining. Tourists should always be polite in their haggling over price and when they're ready to go on, they should be firm but polite in their refusal of any more goods or services.

Single women can be accosted by obvious gigolos and some enjoy the attention and the flattery but many don't so this may or may not be a form of entertainment to them. If a woman is polite and firm in her rejection of these suitors they will back down but some of them can be so aggressive that the lady may have to threaten to call for an officer. But that can be fun too, especially if there are a couple of girls who are out together reinforcing one another.

Negril has a number of clubs and entertainment centers on the beach, in the cliffs or inland of both which have something going on every night in one or another of them. Some are free but some may charge a small entry charge because the local bands and entertainers there are usually great and ell worth paying a little to see. The Red - Stripes at these occassions are $300 - $400 JD ( $3.50 - $5.00 USD) which is very reasonable considering the high level of entertainment found at some of these places (add another $100 for Heinekin's).

Some of you readers probably have many more suggestions on how to economize during a visit to Negril so I hope that we will see many comments on this post to give us all additional thoughts on thei matter.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Negril's West End - Beautiful, Colorful and Wonderful Yet Sometimes Tourist Difficult

The fantastic 30' - 40' West End cliffs of Negril stretch out for 5 miles starting about a mile and a half west of downtown and arcing around south along the ocean-front.

All of this 6 - 7 mile area of western-most Negril is referred to by the locals as the West End or the Real Negril!

Negril's ocean front cliffs and the beautiful resorts, bars and restaurants that run all along them are only accessible via One Love Drive which was formerly known as the West End Road or the Cliffs Road.

Running up this road within the first mile and a half from downtown (before the cliffs actually rise up), there is a line of 3 small public beaches.

These 3 beaches are interspersed with a few of the West End's colorful bars and restaurants such as Mary's Bay Boathouse, Canoe and the Love Boat.

The most well known enterprise in the cliffs is Rick's Cafe which among other things provides its patrons with a wonderful view of Negril's fabulous sunsets.

Rick's Cafe is housed in a beautiful set of hurricane proof stone buildings with a bar, restaurant and swimming pool. It is a world famous club that covers the property all the way up to its cliff where people can do cliff diving.

Photo courtesy of Rocky's Taxi and Tours

Here tourists and locals mix it up nicely as they eat, drink, party and dance together to the unique sounds of live reggae and dance-hall music performed by good local bands.

Some of Rick's bolder patrons will even jump or dive from its cliffs into the gorgeous aquamarine ocean below.

There are even professional local divers here who climb another 20' or so up into a firmly anchored tree to dive 60' down from it just for tips from the patrons. So all in all it's a very unique place and well worth visiting.

However, the West End has a lot more to offer than just Rick's even though so many tourists only go there when they stay at resorts on the 7 - mile beach. For instance, there are over a dozen amazingly designed boutique cliff resorts, each one more unique and beautiful then the next.

And there are many, many, independently owned and operated restaurants, bars and entertainment centers all along One Love Drive where great local food, drinks and music, especially Jamaica's reggae music, are provided.

photo courtesy of negrilonestop.com

Enough cannot be said about the colorfulness and vibrancy of everything that can be found in this part of Negril.

photo courtesy of FG Photos & Videos

When tourists come to Negril's large, all-inclusive, westernized resorts located on its 7 mile beach, they are ferried by their resort's shuttle bus (usually only one day during their stay) to Ricks Cafe and back, just to give them a taste of Negril's supposedly real Jamaican flavor. But in stopping at just Rick's, they miss out on all of the rest of the fun and color of the West End which has kept to its Jamaican heritage and actually is the Real Negril.

So to help the tourists who are staying in any of Negril's all-inclusives or any other beach resorts, to go up and sample some of the rest of the West End's real Jamaican places, a free shuttle bus has now been made available.

This bus called the One Love Drive Free Shuttle and it makes a circuit from the beach to the cliffs and back again every 2 hours. It can also be used by Negril's cliff dwelling tourists or residents to get to and from the 7 - mile beach area.

The Jamaican government inaugurated this free shuttle service primarily to help the smaller West End Cluster of tourist enterprises. This cluster group's desire is to gain more visits from those tourists who reside in the beach resorts on the other side of town that have been drawn to Negril by the big all-inclusive beach resorts' international advertising. With this free shuttle bus it is hoped by the government that the tourists residing in all of the beach resorts will come out of them and use it to come up to the cliffs to sightsee and trade.

One major detriment to the West End that adds to its dearth of tourists is that its portion of One Love Drive has a reputation as being a very hard road for tourists to drive, cycle or even walk upon. Speed-demon route taxis (especially the unlicensed taxis known as "robots") and reckless local motorists running up and down it does not help in any way to allay this negative impression of the West End with Negril's tourists.

Unlike the 7 - mile beach's flat, straight expanse of road with wide shoulders, the West End portion of this road has many serpentine twists and turns all along its 6 or 7 mile length. When it is being frequented by reckless, speeding and even rum-drunk drivers it is very dangerous to all. There have been many fatal accidents on it, a few of which involved Negril's tourists. Many of these have been attributed to excessive alcoholic consumption on the part of drivers and / or the pedestrians who have been hit. So be very careful whenever you're walking on it, especially when you've been drinking. Here's a video to show you just what these roads are like....

Another detriment to the reputation of Negril in general but the West End in particular is that some of its native residents can be scammers and can be a little difficult with lone tourists. Here they can seem to just appear out of nowhere and then disappear away from them more easily than can those who are operating on the other end of town with its straight wide road with nowhere to hide. So it's always best stay in groups of 2 or more when walking about on the West End Road (which is good policy for all travelers everywhere anyways).

This is not to say that the West End is a particularly dangerous area because it's really not. But its poorer elements are not always well mannered towards timid or unwary single tourists as they try to get money from them and they can be difficult to deal with.

The West End is safe enough that many, many long-time repeat visitors have decided to reside on the West End when they are in Negril. They make this decision because it is very economical to stay there and after they become familiar with the locals and are accepted by them as part of the community, they will watch out for them as they traverse this area alone. Here's 2 videos of a lady traversing a part of the cliffs section of One love Drive....

In these videos you will also notice that at various points in the road there are no sidewalks on either side which makes those road sections very dangerous for pedestrians, drunk or sober!

The local scammers who accost tourists as they are sightseeing on the West End of town (and on the 7 - mile beach for that matter), are usually peddling some kind of small goods or services. Please understand that most of these folks are poor and too proud to beg so they do this to eck out a meager living from the tourists.

Unfortunately, many of them use pushy, scam artist tactics which are such a turn off to most tourists. It can be very hard to look past this huge flaw in one of them to see his or her very real need to survive but it's most often lurking there. So if you can be generous to any of them please do so. Over-paying for something or big tipping can be a form of masked charity which allows needy Jamaicans to get some survival money and still maintain their pride.

But one outrageous, often perpetrated scam to watch out for and never allow is when locals very nicely ask you to include them in one of your photos. Then, right after you have taken it, he or she will demand $20 USD! So, in that case or when enough becomes enough with one of them and you want to go on about your business, just give them a firm but polite, "No thank you!". This will usually suffice to set you free from their demands. But when pressed beyond this, a polite but firm, "Do I have to call an officer?" will send them packing.

Remember, all Jamaicans have a very big thing about "respect" so do not be impolite to them when you haggle over price or tell them "No" in order to avoid a row with them over disrespect. Bear in mind that sometimes poor people feel that all they have is their pride, so they will wear it like a badge of honor and defend it at all costs.

This photo contributed by FG Photos & Videos

The West End is the favorite area of many, many of Negril's repeat visitors because of its colorfulness, its relative inexpensiveness and its authentic Jamaican reality.

photo courtesy of negrilonestop.com

Most of the many places on the West End to eat, drink and party are owned and operated by very friendly local Jamaicans that when the tourists get to know them they will befriend them. When the tourists leave they can then stay in touch with each other on negril.com's message board or by e-mail.

Without big budgets for international TV and Radio advertising or fancy banner ad websites these small enterprises, no matter how nice and colorful they are, must rely entirely upon their happy repeat customers and their word of mouth referrals to friends and others in order to stay in business.

The major reason that I am writing this blog and that my partner and I are continuing to develop the free Negril Jamaica Vidia is to try to help these small Negril businesses to get a little bigger piece of the tourist pie without having to spend any money with us on their advertising.

Next time you're in Negril why not consider staying in one of the West End's beautiful boutique cliff resorts or at least visiting some of its bars, restaurants, clubs and shops a couple of times?

photo courtesy of Onestop Vacations

If you have not yet done this, please do so on your next trip because you will discover a whole new flavor to Negril that you are certain to really like and you will be helping some good little people who need your help!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What some of the Travel Blogs have to say about Negril Lately

The following are links to current blog articles about some of Negril's all-inclusive luxury spa resorts. Some people who winter vacation in the Caribbean love to be pampered and these places sure know how to do just that.

Travel Buddy

Wayfaring Travel Guide

Jet Set Life

Online Travel Agent Opportunites

Here's a few current general interest articles that have been written about Negril on the travel blogs....

Chris Vaughn Was Here

Outboand Holidays

Caribbean Travel Deals


There's a lot of articles on Negril which you will find when you do a blog search on it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Country Country Beach Resort

THE COUNTRY COUNTRY BEACH RESORT is a mid-size Caribbean vacation paradise located on Negril's 7 mile beach, out about 3 miles from downtown.It is a very colorful boutique resort which has been locally architected to give its guests the real Jamaica feel.THE COUNTRY COUNTRY BEACH RESORT is set in lush tropical vegetation while offering its guests a great view of (and spot in the midst of) Negril's famous 7 mile beach.Guests (as well as beachcombers stopping by) can dine in style at its lovely outdoor beach restaurant.

This brings up one of the fabulous draws for tourists to stay in Negril. It's the mixing of people from all over the world as they stroll up & down the beach, sightseeing and stopping to shop, dine or drink anywhere they please on it. This beach interactivity is so pleasant, especially since many people become more uninhibited and friendly as the the balmy afternoons turn into evenings and the rum and red stripes emerge.
THE COUNTRY COUNTRY BEACH RESORT is one of Negril's better mid-size resorts that tourists rave about when their stay ends.

It is one of the nearly 50 fine places served by ONESTOP VACATIONS, Negril's most knowledgable travel service. Contact them for further information (with no obligation) about THE COUNTRY COUNTRY BEACH RESORT.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Seaview Retreat - A Small, Economy, Inland Resort

The little Jamaican tourist town of Negril has over 200 resorts (!!!) strung out along its 14 miles of oceanfront! That's a lot of places crammed into a small area therefore only a few of them are large resorts. Some of them are mid-price beach or cliff boutiques but many are smaller inland places that are very economically priced.THE SEAVIEW RETREAT is a great example of an economical, very small resort in Negril. It is a brand-new inland villa located in Negril's outskirting hills about 10 minutes from downtown Negril.This is very clean, modern place with 2 apartments that each have a wonderful panoramic view of nearly all of Negril's 7 - mile beach.Only one guest party at a time may rent its downstairs 2 bedroom apartment (because the owners occupy the upstairs apartment) so it is very private. The guest apartment has its own tranquil veranda from which may be seen its great view of the ocean (that is, when the laundry is not hanging on the line in front of it!). THE SEAVIEW RETREAT is a great bargain for tourists because they can rent this entire 2 bedroom apartment for USD $80/night or $500/week! There is also a cook available for a small fee, and if the owner's doing the cooking you don’t want to miss out! His food is to die for! They also have transportation available.

Places like this are wonderful for families who feel that they just can't afford to stay at the beach or cliff places in Negril and therefore might not even come to Negril. Its pricing is under 1/2 of the price for a family to stay in even a small beach or cliff boutique resort. THE SEAVIEW RETREAT, being brand new and providing such a great view is a real steal at these prices!

Just contact Ted or Alice (its owners) at - 876-407-6618 or 876-898-8769 - jamaicamiss@aol.com to find out more about it and to make a reservation. You won't be sorry.

There is another article on THE SEAVIEW RETREAT which has been written on the Jamaica My Way blog written by their friend Kristi who made me aware of their business and kindly allowed me to use her photos and some of her information here in this article.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Are there really Naturist or Nude Beaches in Negril?

The simple answer to this question is Yes, outdoor nudity is permitted in various places in Negril! This answer then leads to the next set of questions - are nude people everywhere along Negril's ocean front like on some of the beaches in Europe or if not, where are the places located that allow nudity and how much of it do they allow?

photo courtesy of the Firefly Resort

The answer to these questions is that there are quite a few spots reserved for outdoor nudity and they may be found all over Negril but especially on the north end of the 7 - mile beach in the all-inclusives for couples only.

photo courtesy of Secrets Tiny Timber Cabins

You'll find spots for outdoor nudity inland, on the 7 mile beach and even in places up in the cliffs. Most of them are kept isolated from family activity for the sake of children.

However, the naturist places do allow full family participation in outdoor nudity.

photo courtesy of the Firefly Resort

Many of these nude areas are for female topless only but most of them that allow nudity to be practiced, allow complete nudity for both sexes.

photo courtesy of Grand Lido

Resorts that permit this outdoor nudity usually restrict it to their beach front and / or their pool and pool bar (if they have one) where no cameras are allowed.

photo courtesy of Hedonism II

When nude or semi-nude people appear in wrong places, which happens on occasion (especially with European tourists who consider public nudity to be normal), the resort staff people move quickly to suggest that those who are unclothed go back and cloth themselves or go directly to the area reserved for nudity.

Yet this can work both ways because clothed people trying to enter the nudist areas are also prompted to disrobe or not enter the restricted area for obvious reasons.

If you are interested in finding out which resorts in Negril offer nude facilities you might want to review the left margin, drop-down, pop-out menu on our Vidia's Hotels, Resorts, Spas, Villas and Rooms section. Here you will find a list and links to all of the resorts in Negril that we have been able to find so far that advertise that swimsuits are optional within some portion of their facilities.

Beach nudity is definitely appealing to many people, that's for sure. However, be very careful because sometimes the beach's eye-candy can be somewhat deceptive....

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