The name Negril is a shortened version of Negrillo (Spanish: Little black ones), as it was originally named by the Spanish in 1494. The name is thought by some to be a reference to the black cliffs south of the village. Another theory holds that because there was a vast population of black eels along Negril’s coast, the Spaniards called the area Anguila Negra which was shortened to Negrillo and then to Negril. Although Negril has a long history, it did not become well known until the second half of the twentieth century.
Negril’s development as a resort location began during the late 1950s, though access to the area proved difficult as ferries were required to drop off passengers in Negril Bay, forcing them to wade to shore. Most vacationers would rent rooms inside the homes of Jamaican families or would pitch tents in their yards. Daniel Connell was the first person to create more traditional vacation lodging for these “flower children” when he set up the first guest house in Negril – Palm Grove. The area’s welcoming and hospitable reputation grew over time and the first of many resorts was constructed in the mid to late 1960s. The first hotel in Negril was the Yacht Club by Mary’s Bay on the West End.
When the road between Montego Bay and Negril was improved in the early 1970s, it helped to increase Negril’s status as a new resort location. It was a two-lane paved road that ran approximately 100 yards (91 m) inland from two white coral sand beaches, at the southern end of which was a small village. The long paved road from the village ran north to Green Island, home to many of the Jamaican workers in Negril, and was straight enough to double as a runway for small airplanes, which was why there were lengths of railroad track standing on end along the side of the road – to discourage drug smugglers from landing on the road to pick up cheap cargos of marijuana.
After Negril’s infrastructure was expanded—anticipating the growth of resorts and an expanding population, a small airport, the Negril Aerodrome, was built in 1976 near Rutland Point, alongside several small hotels mostly catering to the North American winter tourists. Europeans also came to Negril, and several hotels were built to cater directly to those guests.
The geography of Jamaica is diverse. The western coastline contains the island’s finest beaches, stretching for more than 6 km (3.7 mi) along a sandbar at Negril. It is sometimes known among tourists as the “7-Mile Beach” although it is only slightly more than 4 mi (6.4 km) in length, from the Negril River on the south to Rutland Point on the north.
On the inland side of Negril’s main road, to the east of the shore, lies a swamp called the Great Morass, through which runs the Negril River. Within the Great Morass, is the Royal Palm Reserve, with protected wetlands and forest.
In 1990, the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society was formed as a non-profit, non-governmental organization to address ongoing degradation of the coral reef ecosystem. The Negril Marine Park was officially declared on March 4, 1998 covering a total area of approximately 160 km2 (62 sq mi) and extending from the Davis Cove River in the Parish of Hanover to St. John’s Point in Westmoreland.
Scuba diving and snorkeling are especially good in the protected reef areas.
The West End Road is also known as Lighthouse Road as there is a Belgian engineered lighthouse protecting seafarers from the dramatic cliffs. There is beautiful scenery on this western tip of Negril, near Negril Lighthouse.
For years, Negril’s beach has been rated as one of the top ten beaches in the world by many travel magazines. The beach’s length is the stuff of legends—it is actually little more than four miles in length, but tourists and travel writers insist on the “seven-mile” label. The north end of the beach is home to the large, all-inclusive resorts, and to the south are the smaller, family-run hotels. This combination gives the Negril area a large variety of rooms, services and prices.
South of downtown Negril is West End Road, known as the cliff area, which is lined with resorts that offer more privacy. These areas offer easy access to waters good for snorkeling and diving, with jumping points reaching more than 40 feet (12 m) high.
Many vendors and shops are located around the beach resorts; however, they are predominantly located on the south end of the beach, where there are fewer all inclusive resorts.
That Negril is still fairly underdeveloped remains a significant factor in its charm, but this may not last, as a new highway from Montego Bay and an improved infrastructure may bring more tourists. As a result, more hotels and tour operators continue to develop new attractions and excursions in Negril. Since the 1980s, it has also become a popular location for U.S. college students to visit during spring break or just a regular vacation in Jamaica.
NEGRIL with its many spectacular resorts and hotels is the perfect venue for that special day and a memorable romantic honeymoon to follow!
With the awesome scenery that is part of Negril accentuated by some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, couple that with breath taking sunsets over the Caribbean and you have a recipe for a wedding and honeymoon that you will never forget!!
For the more active and thrill seekers Negril is the place for you with its many tours that include the unusual Dunn’s River Falls, scenic White House and close by are horseback riding, jet skis, boating, parasailing and of course cliff diving at the world famous Rick’s Café all of this can be part of your incredible wedding experience in Jamaica!
My mission is to make new friends and ensure that you want to come back and see us again for your anniversary’s in the future as we leave an everlasting indelible impression upon you that brings you joy unspeakable when you reflect on your wedding in the years to come!!!