Negril and the West

Transportation

Hanover and Westmoreland are Jamaica's westernmost parishes. Hanover wraps around from Montego Bay on its northeastern border to where Negril's large hotel strip overflows from Westmoreland at its western reaches. It's a picturesque parish with small mountains tapering down to the coast with rivers, lush valleys, and deep, navigable coves. Caves dot the landscape of some of Jamaica's most biologically diverse ecosystems, in the shadow of the Dolphin Head mountain range.

Negril, which straddles the Hanover\Westmoreland border, has become a mass-market destination popular among Jamaicans and foreign visitors alike. The Kingstonian phenomenon of a weekend escape to "country" often implies a trip west to kick back and adopt the beach life, which necessarily involves taking in spectacular sunsets and the enviable slow pace evoked in Tyrone Taylor's 1983 hit, "Cottage in Negril." A constant stream of new visitors also gives hustlers a chance to do their thing, and Negril has gained a reputation as a mecca for sinful indulgence as a result.

While Negril is the region's most well-known draw, there are several low-key communities farther east that are just as easily accessible from Montego Bay's international airport and worthy coastal destinations in themselves, namely Little Bay, Bluefields, Belmont, and Whitehouse. The Westmoreland interior consists of vast alluvial plains on either side of Cabarita River, still some of Jamaica's most productive sugarcane territory. The plains extend from the base of the Orange Hill, just east of Negril, to where the Roaring River rises out of the earth from its underground source in the hills above Blue Hole Garden.

Hanover exists as a parish since it was portioned off from Westmoreland in 1723 and given the name of English monarch George I of the House of Hanover. The Spanish first settled the area when New Seville was abandoned in 1534 and the capital moved to Spanish Town. Lucea became prosperous, with a busier port than Montego Bay in its heyday, which served 16 large sugar estates in the area. Remnants of many estate great houses dot the landscape to the east and west of Lucea, their abandoned ruins showing evidence of having been torched and destroyed during slave riots. Kennilworth, Barbican, and Tryall are a few of the old estates that have visible ruins; although they have been declared national heritage sites, they are not maintained.

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Knutsford Express

Knutsford Express is a popular coach service with Jamaicans and tourists alike, offering the most comfortable bus transport between Kingston, Ocho Rios, and Montego Bay with two or three daily departures from each city. New Kingston–Montego Bay departs at 6 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 6 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Sundays. Buses run between the parking lot behind New Kingston Shopping Centre and Pier 1 in Montego Bay. The trip lasts four hours depending on traffic and costs US$20 prepaid, US$23 on the day of travel.

In: Transportation

Negril Aerodome

Negril's Aerodrome can accommodate small private aircraft and charters. The only operator in Jamaica currently offering charter flights to Negril is interCaribbean Airways which will take passengers in from Kingston and Montego Bay. Charter fares run around US$2,000 per hour, with any single flight around the island not lasting more than an hour, and as little as 15 minutes, depending on point of origin and destination.

In: Transportation

Happy World Bike/Car Rental

Happy World Bike/Car Rental (open 8am-6pm daily) rents Toyota Corolla (US$105/day incl. tax), Suzuki Vitara (US$152) and a BMW X5 (US$2210) vehicles (deposit US$1500)
and Suzuki mopeds and Yamaha dirt bikes (US$41 daily, US$300 deposit).

In: Transportation

Speng Bike Rental

Speng Bike Rental (across from Jungle next to Westlea Cabins) rents scooters (US$40) and dirt bikes (US$50), negotiable for multiple-day rental. Proprietor Tony Hilton also does airport transfers (US$60), as well as private tours.

In: Transportation

Jah B's Bike Rentals

Jah B's Bike Rentals (8 a.m.\6 p.m daily) rents 125cc Honda and Suzuki Scooters (US$35) and a 60cc Honda Shadow (US$50). The sign on the road says JB Bike Rental.

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Tykes Bike Rental

Tykes Bike Rental (8 a.m.\6 p.m daily) rents 125cc scooters (US$45) and 175cc dirt bikes (US$50).

In: Transportation

Island Cruiser Rentals

Island Cruiser Rentals  rents a selection of brightly colored cruising vehicles for US$50 per day or US$325 per week.

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Negril Treehouse

Negril Treehouse has a water sports center managed by Ron Mirey, which offers parasailing (US$40), Jet Skis (US$50/half hour) and fishing trips (US$150 up to four people).

In: Transportation

interCaribbean Airways

interCaribbean Airways began offering regular service between Kingston and Montego Bay in early 2014. The airline is based out of Turks & Caicos operating turbo prop planes between Providenciales, Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Charters are also offered.

In: Transportation