The Charm of Jamaica's South Coast
For a taste of true Jamaican charm and authenticity, venture off the beaten path to uncover the untamed beauty of Jamaica's South Coast, where the air is crisp and clean, and the towns are quaint and untouched - a hidden gem that promises an unforgettable adventure. Discover the rugged and untouched beauty of the landscape, where authentic Jamaican charm meets nature's unbridled beauty in laid-back Treasure Beach, a coastal fishing village with a welcoming local atmosphere where eclectic villas open out to black sand beaches and panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea. Here, you’ll find many boutique villas and guesthouses welcoming you to the sweeping tropical coastline. With its unspoiled beauty, laid-back charm, and rustic retreats, Treasure Beach offers a glimpse into the local way of life and the strong sense of community you will be sure to encounter when you are out and about. Book lovers will not want to miss the largest literary festival in the Caribbean, the Calabash International Literary Festival, held in Treasure Beach biennially.
With its pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and charming fishing villages, the South Coast offers a unique and authentic Jamaican experience and the chance to exhale. Don't miss the YS Falls, a series of cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush vegetation, providing the perfect backdrop for a refreshing dip and a selfie. Swim in its turquoise waters, refresh your senses with the lush greenery and sound of the rushing water, and slow down to take in the breathtaking beauty of the falls surrounded by nature in all her glory.
From eco-tourism to cultural immersion, the South Coast has something for every traveler seeking an off-the-beaten-path escape. Navigate Jamaica's longest river with a boat tour along the Black River and explore the vibrant ecosystem, spotting crocodiles and exotic birds in their natural habitat and come back to breathtaking.
Start planning your journey to Jamaica's South Coast and discover a world of natural wonders tucked away in the sleepy countryside towns of Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth just waiting to be explored for a real feel of rural Jamaica's community way of life. This is the place for eco-tourism, relaxation, nature, adventure, and culture all rolled up into what it means to experience Jamaica.
What to Know
The South Coast is a naturally beautiful area that is sure to make your holiday dreams come true. Here are a couple of things to know; from facts to handy tips, what clothes to pack and what you shouldn’t leave without seeing.
Facts About South Coast:
1. Jamaica is known for its tropical climate, with a wet season from May to November, which coincides with the hurricane season, and a dry season from December to April. But whatever the season, summer clothes and a few jerseys should do.
2. Treasure Beach is one of the South Coast’s top spots, with a six-mile stretch of coral-colored and occasionally black sands, private coves and rocky shores. A visit to one of Treasure Beach’s four main bays – Billy, Calabash, Great and Frenchman’s – is a must.
3. Jamaica has more bird species than any other island in the Caribbean and the South Coast is no exception. Take your binoculars and do some birding, to find all 290 species we have here. In winter, through migration, we nearly double the number of species in Jamaica.
4. East of Treasure Beach, Lovers Leap is a dramatic 1600-foot cliff, overlooking the sea. Jamaican folklore has it that two slave lovers leaped to their deaths here, rather than be separated.
5. The delightful Little Ochie seafood restaurant is one of the South Coast’s treats. Dine in one of several huts on the beach, some made from the hulls of fishing boats with thatched roofs.
Where to Stay in South Coast Jamaica
The only all-inclusive resort you’ll find on Jamaica’s South Coast is Sandals South Coast. Located in Westmoreland, it is the epitome of luxury and extravagance, boasting over-the-water bungalows that rival those in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. If you’ve ever wanted to experience Europe in a Caribbean setting, here is the place to do so as the decor throughout the property takes on French, Italian and Dutch styles.
At this property, you’ll find state-of-the-art facilities including 9 world-class restaurants, a late-night buffet, nightly entertainment, a variety of pools, scuba diving classes, 24-hour fitness facilities, and a wide range of water sports and activities to enjoy. Right now, you can enjoy 65% off rack rates at this resort.
Outside of the luxurious all-inclusive property, choose from one of the many other villas and guesthouses that dot this wide and winding part of Jamaica to begin your adventure into serenity.
Jake's is one such property. The Bohemian eco-friendly resort has been a long-standing accommodation option on the South Coast known for its eclectic, outdoorsy vibe. Enjoy outdoor showers, a saltwater pool, and private stand-alone villas on this property right on the sea. Their staff all hails from the surrounding community and will welcome you into their beloved home.
Lashings, a newer entrant to the coast, offers different amenities based upon your needs. Choose to stay in the luxurious villas, one of the penthouse suites, or one of the hotel rooms at the Lashings Beach Club. Enjoy delicious pizza from the beloved Tree Top Restaurant and Bar on site. They also feature an art gallery in the lobby where you can purchase art native to the area.
The Sunset Resort is a small property with a farm-to-table offering that embodies the feeling of “home away from home.” All rooms boast a king-sized bed and a view of the ocean, allowing guests to enjoy that brilliant Caribbean Sea from anywhere on site.
What to Do on Jamaica’s South Coast
The YS Falls rises high in the mountainside and cascades for seven layers, offering a plethora of spots to play. The farm on the property is home to cattle you’ll see lazily grazing on the sprawling grounds as you make your way up to the main attraction. Once there, climbing the falls and zip-lining your way down is a must for thrill-seekers. At the base of the waterfall, families can enjoy the two large freshwater pools suitable for children. Grab a bite and memorabilia from the gift shop before moving on to your next adventure.
After a morning or riveting adventure over the waterfalls, the Black River Safari is the perfect way to find peace and serenity. This tour takes you 45 minutes up Jamaica's longest navigable river to see the local crocodiles and the birds who flock to the tremendous mahogany trees lining the river. You'll learn why it's called the Black River, hear of its rich history and uses even in modern day.
A vacation on Jamaica's South Coast isn't complete without a trip to lover's leap to see the breathtaking views of the horizon and hear the legend of our very own Jamaican Romeo and Juliet. Plan for a ride out to Pelican's Bar, the coolest bar in the world floating out at sea, and be sure to stop for a taste of spicy pepper shrimp, prepared lovingly each day by the various street vendors you’ll come across on your journey through the flourishing landscape.