The natural beauty of Negril is transfixing, there’s no denying it, but depending on your stance you might feel vexed by the resorts and associated tourism. For me, I looked beyond the all-inclusives and found a sleepy, fishing village that taught me what conscious living meant.
Head west out of Montego Bay and, when the air becomes thick with ganja smoke and horizontal pursuits start to take precedence over vertical ones, you’ll know you’ve entered the vacation-ville of Negril – Lonely Planet
Regularly ranked as one of the top 10 beaches around the world, Negril’s whimsical charm offers a time-gone-by feel, so opposite to Jamaica’s bigger, bustling cities. It’s here that I ate delicious, local fare; the freshest fruit; and found appreciation in where my food comes from. In places like Negril, time slows down and if you focus your attention on its azure waters and balmy air – you’ll find your consciousness and breath blocks out any annoyances. Everything becomes perfectly still and real.
The name Negril, stems from the word Negrillo meaning little black ones. This name was given by the Spaniards back in 1494. It is said that the name was inspired by the ebony cliffs found south of the village and the many large, black eels that can be found along Negril’s coast.
Negril’s laid-back charm from the ’60s, when hippies and backpackers would stay for lengthy stints is still evident today. Back then, travellers immersed themselves in the local experience – something I endeavoured to do too.
These people boarded with the locals or camped in tents on the beaches, smoked marijuana and ate psychedelic mushrooms while cementing the attitude and laid-back lifestyle that has become Negril – Visit Negril
Not much has changed in the way locals and foreigners engage with each other in Negril. From the fare to the ganja and the beach-town lifestyle, you’ll quickly find yourself slowing down in your tracks. I found I just melted into a more conscious existence, fresh and organic food is the norm in Negril. I’d complete my afternoons with a dip in the crystal waters of Seven Mile beach, it always made me feel clear.
Depending on your style, Negril provides the comfort of a resort vacation while offering an off-the-beaten-path experience. You really can chose your own adventure, here.
Trust me, this quirky town has a lot more to offer than meets the eye.
For more information on accommodation and travel in Negril, click here.
Lead image via here.