Jamaica and white-sand beaches go together like Usain Bolt and sprinting, or Bob Marley and reggae. Lucea works from the same template, with sunbathing territory that’s as peaceful as it is pretty. And thanks to the reputation of its luxury-driven coastal counterparts, it’s still fluttering below the tourist radar.
As resorts go, Montego Bay on the north-west coast of Jamaica is a big, vibrant place packed with Caribbean charm. It’s long been a magnet for the rich and famous, and with its reggae-infused nightlife and hot, spicy jerk cooking the place still pulls in the crowds. Oh, and the white sandy beaches might have something to do with its popularity as well.
You might recognise Negril – its famous black cliffs starred in the Bond movie Thunderball. When it’s not flashing its film star credentials, this resort on Jamaica’s western coast is a low-rise kind of place where no hotel stands higher than the tallest palm tree. Back in the Sixties, hippies loved the laidback vibe here – and that and the beach are still pulling in the crowds.
Ocho Rios – or Ochi to the locals – is a laidback town on Jamaica's northern coast. It's a pretty place, with thick forests as a backdrop, a few cute curves of sand out front, and national parks and a 17th-century fort just out of town.
Unlike its most famous resident, Usain Bolt, the peaceful parish of Trelawny lives life in the slow lane. It stretches along the north coast of Jamaica, where its 10 beaches loll out for miles. Each one’s of the white-sand and clear-water persuasion. And they range from quiet palm-backed bays to sandy spots loaded with things like kiteboarding schools and fresh-fish barbecue huts.
Runaway Bay’s a Sixties kid. A few fancy hotels, a golf course and some private villas all popped up on the site of the former Cardiff Hall Estate. There’s a lot of debate about how it got its name. But one thing’s for sure – nowadays, no one runs away from this place.