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Negril trip - solo female?

Minneapolis...
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Negril trip - solo female?

Hello- I've always wanted to visit Jamaica. My former BF and I had been in the planning stages of a trip to Port Antonio when the relationship ended. Some friends are recommending that I consder Negril. I will most likely be taking the trip alone unless I can convince my 19 yr old son to tag along with his mom. My main questions are:

How much can I expect to be hassled as a single woman? And if I say no thank you I'm not interested will that likely be the end of it?

Transportation- I've read not to walk the beach at night. Is it safe to walk the main road to get to shops, restaurants during the day? Or do I need to take a cab even during the day?

I'm thinking of maybe splitting my stay between the beach and the cliffs. Will I be hassled less in the cliffs area?

Connecticut
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1. Re: Negril trip - solo female?

As a solo, you will get attention. Some Jamaican men believe (with some validity) that single women come to Jamaica for the "Rent-a-Rasta" concept. Very popular for European gals, seemingly. This concept is more available in MoBay, cruise ship ports and to a certain extent in Kingston and it is in work in Negril.

Walking the beach (Long Bay or Bloody Bay) during the day is completely safe. I would not walk the road as there are no sidewalks and Jamaican drivers are in a class of their own. Even I, a robust male, would only take a taxi at night and a private one at that rather than a shared taxi called a route taxi.

During the day, if I was staying on the beach and wanted to visit the Cliffs area, I would take a taxi (again, it is a longish walk with no sidewalks).

Many folks split between the Cliffs and the beach, but I am a beach person so I only stay on the beach and visit the Cliffs for fine dining.

Any ideas where you would be interested in staying. Any questions about a vacation at Hedo -- could offer a nice recovery venue as gals are treated as queens.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Negril trip - solo female?

as a female who has traveled the island basically from one point to another solo, Negril presented me with the most hassles (from the male contingent)... in other places the cat calls may be made, comments etc, but Negril has been the only place where physical contact has been made or attempted (grabs for hand, someone sneaking up and putting their arm around you etc)... it's never been aggressive to the point where i felt unsafe, but at the same time it was completely unwelcome and a huge reason why i doubt i'd ever return to Negril as a single female...

if you're looking for a vacation where you can walk alone and unhassled, I dare say Negril is not a good idea (sorry)... if your skin is thick enough to just ignore it or when necessary be firm to the point of being brash about non-interest, you could probably enjoy... on the other hand if you're fine with or even open to the attention, you will probably feel beyond flattered...

apparently i've heard of a poster who took a tour with TOTTT and was told by the female american proprietor that a line that seems to work is to tell the gentleman (use the term lightly) that you are a "one burner"... not sure if this works for all advances, but i'd be interested in feedback :) anyways... if you're not interested, i suggest while not being disrespectful, to be as firm and possible rather than simply wishy washy or overly poliet... subtly probably won't work, they just think you'll eventually come around and try harder....

if you are interested... again, it's a vacation... head on your shoulders and all that stuff :)

oh and for the record, i've never once experienced anything remotely related to this issue in Kingston (had one dude ask me for money once when i was crossing the street and it really threw me off guard (at which point he must have misinterpreted my confused look and he changed languages lol).. a huge appeal of town to me is the fact that this hassle is near non-existant...

Chelle

Edited: 30 January 2012, 17:35
Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Negril trip - solo female?

sorry for the typos... hopefully it makes sense lol

Minneapolis...
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4. Re: Negril trip - solo female?

I was thinking of Idle Awhile, but Chell's comments match what I had heard previously about Negril.

Would Treasure Beach or Port Antonio be better in terms of the hassle factor? I'm assuming that getting to and then getting around in either of those areas is going to be more difficult.

Chell- I did look at Treasure beach after your response to my other thread and it looks nice. I'm just concerned about getting around.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Negril trip - solo female?

treasure beach and portland have both far ranked far less on the hassle scale for me... in portland i've gotten the cat calls and some people who just wanted to chat a little too long, but nothing i couldn't handle... in treasure beach i've always found people take you under their wing and just make you feel at home rather than hassle you...

treasure beach is fairly walkable...it's just not like Negril where there is a ton to walk to,... it's a bit more of a very small village with some spots that attract both locals and vistors alike, rather than Negril which is made for tourism...

as i mentioned, TB is one of those places where people are genuinely nice and just sort of take care of you... you make your desires noted to a few people you're likely to find a ride to anywhere you want to go that's beyond walking distance... while it's doable, i'd not suggest walking alone at night as the area is a bit deserted (unlike Negril where if need be you could walk short distances on the road because there's still a fair bit of traffic), however finding someone to drive or walk you somewhere is really simple... I think i mentioned Taino Cove as a suggestion which i strongly recommend...

Portland is a bit harder to be without transport as things just feel more spread out... i found the people to be hospitable and nice enough, but a bit more reserved and not as outgoingly friendly as in Treasure Beach... to me the attraction of portland is the sheer beauty of the area... it's the most "junglesque" of the parrishes mixed with (small) white sands beaches.. it's like finding your own tropical paradise:) Treasure Beach by comparission is a lot drier and almost more of a "desert" climate/vegitation, it lacks the natural beauty of porltand, but i'd go back in a heartbeat due to the wonderful people i've met :)

Chelle

Minnesota
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6. Re: Negril trip - solo female?

I'm here alone now at Idle Awhile. There are very few women alone here so yes, you do get a lot of attention. However, I feel very safe walking around during the day and even at night short distances. If u are an assertive woman, you won't have any problems. All of the people are very friendly. Most men get the message when u aren't interested. Besides most of these guys r so skinny I could take them if I needed to...and I'm not a big person :).

Medicine hat...
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7. Re: Negril trip - solo female?

I just got back from a solo trip to Negril - stayed at Breezes, and ventured off the resort for a few days as well by myself. Hassling was very minor, had no physical confrontation/contact. I felt very safe the whole time, just kept my head on, despite the yummy rum, and it was great. My fav place to travel solo to-date though is hands down Turks and Caicos. Best beaches, no issues with safety, harrassment, at all for one second.

Los Angeles...
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8. Re: Negril trip - solo female?

I just returned from yet another solo trip to Negril.

This year I felt less hassled for sure, and I didn't run into any aggressive people - vendors or guys, which frankly I had been expecting ( I was expecting more aggressiveness this year, thankfully there were no issues at all.)

Edited: 02 February 2012, 00:12
Portmore, Jamaica
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9. Re: Negril trip - solo female?

As a solo traveller I would recommend the all-inclusives as they have more security. The all-inclusives also have activities & tours that you can participate in so you wont get bored. You will get unwanted attention once you go out alone.

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Negril trip - solo female?

I have spent time in Montego Bay and Negril as a solo female traveller. During the day I always felt safe spending time on Negril's 7 mile beach or at Montego Bay's Doctor's Cave Beach. Walking to and from my hotels was not a problem during the day. I did receive attention at both beaches, but nothing that was overbearing. I kept to myself at both beaches reading, napping or snorkeling solo, which seemed to deter any locals from talking to me. Also, at Negril I would advise staying at your hotel's beach or spending time at one of the busier beach areas, like Treehouse, to deter being hassled by the boat operators, tour operators, etc... Like others have said on the boat I wouldn't recommend walking around the roads in Negril, there aren't sidewalks and the drivers aren't too cautious about pedestrians.

Your hotel should be able to recommend a reliable driver to you for day time or night time.

Treasure Beach and the Bluefields Bay area are beautiful alternatives that are more laid back and less touristy.