Negril vs. Ocho Rios

To experience is to appreciate. This rings true for Jamaica and all its beach areas. Negril and Ocho Rios are both exquisite sights to see if you're looking to immerse yourself in the Caribbean Islands. Although both have strong points, the mood varies from one place to another. Depending on what you're looking for, both are great destinations for your ultimate Jamaican relaxation. 
Negril vs. Ocho Rios

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Negril is known for its relaxing scenery and beaches. Everywhere you turn, you’re going to see clear waters and white sand. It’s a serene location with beautiful sights to see, allowing you to rest and slow down. Meanwhile, Ocho Rios is meant for the adventurers at heart. The place is filled with activities left and right. You’ll never run out of things to do.


They say that a trip to Jamaica is never complete without a stop at Negril. Relaxation and beaches go hand in hand, and you can expect both from this place. With a 7-mile stretch (11 km) of pure, white sand beach, it seems like the perfect place for a soothing experience.

Don’t be fooled by the quiet and calm because, despite the slow and steady pace in Negril, it’s a great place for adventure-seekers and outgoing people. From water activities to lively music, you’ll never run out of things to do.

What Makes Negril Unique?

Picturesque Cliffs and Beaches

The number one thing that grabs people’s attention about Negril is its beautiful 7-mile (11 km) stretch of white sand beaches. Negril is home to one of Jamaica’s longest and most beautiful beaches. What’s more breathtaking is the turquoise water that the beaches have because they give way to the Caribbean sea.

It’s not only the beaches that will take your breath away but also the rocky cliffs that complement the turquoise water perfectly.

Warmest People Around

Jamaican people are one of the warmest and friendliest people around, and people in Negril are no different. The best thing about the community in Negril is that the people are passionate and eager about their culture. They’re more than happy to share it with anyone, whether you’re visiting for a week or a month.

Beach Nights

If you enjoy beaches with the sun up, you will also enjoy beaches at night in Negril. You can perfectly cap off your day with live reggae music and parties left and right in Negril. You will never have a boring night, for sure.

Exquisite Food

In Negril, you won’t feel like you’re tucked away from the culture inside the resort you’ve chosen. There is fresh and exquisite food around that doesn’t shy away from letting you experience what authentic Jamaican culture is all about.

Jerk Chicken

If you know Jamaica, you know that jerk chicken is one of the best food to try out! What makes the jerk chicken in Negril different is that you get to enjoy it with the beautiful sceneries and sunsets in front of you. Jerk Chicken hits a different kind of delicious when eaten in Negril.

Ocho Rios

Stunning scenery, attractions, and resorts are spread out around Ocho Rios. If you’re looking for beauty, Ocho Rios has everything to offer. From waterfalls to rainforests, this place has it all.

Ocho Rios is located in what locals call the ‘Garden Parish’. With that, you can already expect remarkable greenery to welcome you. In line with this, you have the best options for luxe resorts and spas, assuring you of a luxurious and relaxing time on the island.

What Makes Ocho Rios Unique?

Adventure All-Around

If you’re looking for adventure, you’ll fit right in Ocho Rios. There are plenty of attractions to see and activities to do. Outdoor gatherings are perfect if done in Ocho Rios. You can enjoy all the sceneries and attractions through adventure tours that will make your adrenaline rush and your heart full.

Breathtaking Sceneries

Ocho Rios has everything from waterfalls to rainforests to film sets (the first James Bond film was shot in the Goldeneye estate). Whatever your heart desires, you can find in Ocho Rios. This includes sceneries that will astonish you even until you’ve left the place. The place offers rare gems that you can bask in and enjoy.

Culture Tours

The best thing that Ocho Rios has to offer is the overflowing culture. You will definitely not take the culture for granted because the place offers unique cultural tours for visitors. You can learn everything from the unique flavors of Ocho Rios to the authentic local culture that it boasts.

Luxurious Offerings

If there’s one word that best describes Ocho Rios, it’s luxurious. The place is oozing luxury, from the shopping experience to fine dining to your overall stay. Your whole experience will be filled with abundance and lush.

Fine Dining Experience

The locals of Ocho Rios take pride in the authentic and fine dining cuisine they have. Ocho Rios is filled with flavor left and right, but you can expect your overall dining experience to exceed your expectations. Visitors enjoy fresh and locally-grown produce that will make their taste buds pleased and satisfied.

Exquisite Shopping Experience

Shop until you drop. Ocho Rios does that right. The place is one of the best places to go if you want to get some casual shopping done. Whatever you need, you can find it in Ocho Rios, from clothes to spices to jewelry.

Which Is Better – Ocho Rios or Negril?

It’s easy to say that Jamaica houses the best tourist places you can ever go to. Negril and Ocho Rios are just some of those magnificent places.

Negril definitely has the best beaches around, so if you’re looking to relax and have an overall slow vacation pace, this is the place for you. Whether you’re looking to slow down or party up, Negril’s white-sand beaches can adopt you and give you a fun-filled time.

On the other hand, Ocho Rios is best for outgoing and adventure-seeking people. If you enjoy luxury paired with adventure, there’s no better place to go than Ocho Rios. Beauty and thrill are perfectly mixed into Ocho Rios that you wouldn’t want to look anywhere else.

The better place completely depends on the kind of adventure that you’re seeking. If you’re looking for a calmer time, Negril is the place for you. But if you want some luxury and adrenaline, go for Ocho Rios. The question really is, why not try both?


Beaches in Ocho Rios vs. Negril

There’s no doubt that Negril is the place to be when it comes to beaches. However, because of the many attractions that Ocho Rios has, many people forget that it also houses beautiful beaches. Both places exhibit beautiful and white-sand beaches that can take your breath away.

In Negril, beaches are calmer and best for relaxation. At night, you can expect the beach to still be alive with reggae music and parties. Wherever you go in Negril, you’re surrounded by the beach. The water on the beach in Negril is astonishing because of the turquoise color. If you’re looking for beaches that are nice to look at, too, Negril has exactly that.

In Ocho Rios, some people complain that cruise ships block the wonderful view of the beaches, so this can be a problem. Despite that, Ocho Rios has secure beaches and water so calm that looking at it will relax you instantly. You can also see schools of fish swimming by.

Negril vs. Ocho Rios for Family

It’s a tough decision between the two because both places are great for family vacations. However, for this one, Ocho Rios is a better option.

While the beach is a great time for families, Negril is perfect for partying singles and couples looking to have laidback days and more fun at night. However, that doesn’t mean that more laidback families looking to relax aren’t welcome in Negril.

Ocho Rios is the best place for families seeking adventure and family activities. If your family loves outdoor adventures, there’s nowhere else to look. The many activities you can choose from ensure that your family always bonds together and never runs out of things to do.

Is Negril Close to Ocho Rios?

The two places aren’t close to each other. They’re 83 miles (or 133 kilometers) away from each other, almost at different ends of Jamaica.

Which Is Closer to the Airport – Negril or Ocho Rios?

Ocho Rios is closer to the airport, but there’s really not much difference in travel time from the airport to Ocho Rios and Negril. Ocho Rios is around a 3-hour journey from the airport, while Negril isn’t that farther away.