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Any Jamaica beaches compare to Playa Norte?

New Paltz, New York
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Any Jamaica beaches compare to Playa Norte?

We love Isla, and vacation here at least once a year. To us, nothing compares to walking into the water by Tarzan's booth, and going seemingly forever before we are up to our necks in calm, clear, and warm water.

That said, friends are planning a Jamaica trip, and are begging us to accompany them. There's a lengthy back-story, but suffice to say, they're leaving much of the planning to us.

For those of you who have been, which area(s) of Jamaica come closest to having a beach comparable to Playa Norte? Negril? Montego Bay? Ocho Rios or Runaway Bay?

Any insight you can provide will be appreciated, and I'll buy you Cadillac margarita from Bally-Hoo

if our paths ever cross :).

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Saskatoon, Canada
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1. Re: Any Jamaica beaches compare to Playa Norte?

Negril's 7 Mile Beach is the nicest white sand swimming sand beach I have seen, anywhere. (I have categories! lol)

Cuba comes the closest, then Playa Norte and finally Playa las Gatas in Zihuatanejo.

7 Mile is just stunning. Narrower than Playa Norte in spots, but it is shallow and dead calm, with pristinely clear, warm water. I spent hours just floating in place in front of our little hotel, just heavenly.

Mix in a few vendors selling fresh squeezed juices and jerk pork and patties, and many interesting people watching sights, and that is Negril.....and just a short taxi ride away is the cliffs, also awesome.

Edited: 31 October 2013, 18:55
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Playa Norte
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Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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America, The...
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2. Re: Any Jamaica beaches compare to Playa Norte?

Ditto everything Rissask said. I haven't been to Playa Norte, but have very high beach standards. Negril and 7-mile beach are the best...better than any we've seen in the Yucatan. If you are looking to stay AI there, Couples Swept Away is our favorite. There are lots of smaller, nonAI options too. MoBay and Ocho Rios beaches do not compare to Negril, btw. If you're looking for a great beach, I wouldn't bother with them.

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Playa Norte
Playa Norte
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Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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Ocho Rios
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michigan
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3. Re: Any Jamaica beaches compare to Playa Norte?

We love Negril and go every year for two weeks. 7 mile beach is stunning and full of life. (it's divided into two parts, the area that most refer to is called Long Bay, as opposed to Bloody Bay) Negril is also unique because it has the Cliffs, with great little bars, hotels and restaurants perched above the water.

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Negril
Negril
Jamaica
Washington DC
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4. Re: Any Jamaica beaches compare to Playa Norte?

Negril, Varadero in Cuba, and Tulum are the nicest white sand beaches that I have seen. Also some beaches in Crete meet this standard with fine white sand and clear blue water.

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Riviera Maya, Mexico
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Greece
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5. Re: Any Jamaica beaches compare to Playa Norte?

7 mile beach is consistently ranked amongst the Top 10 Beaches in the world and is by far the best beach in Jamaica. Having walked all 6 miles of it (that's right, 6 miles) I would have to concur, but seeing how much Negril has grown since the early 1990s has kept me away. I prefer to remember 7 Mile Beach when there were very few properties on the beach once you got out of town, until you reached the point at Bloody Bay where the large AI resorts were located. Now it's resorts all the way, even on the inland side of Norman Manley Blvd, where previously there was nothing. Our old resort has been remade into a Sesame Street theme resort, which is all I need to know about Negril today.

7 Mile Beach in Georgetown, Grand Cayman, is equally stunning, despite the high level of development there. And guess what? It's 5.5 miles long. They understand marketing in the Caribbean. And the best spot on this "7 mile beach" is right by the Governor's Palace. Go figure.

I think our favorite beach of all time is Red Frog Beach in Bocas del Toro, Panama, although shortly after we visited a large new condo development was begun. Check out the picture at the bottom of this page:

indiegogo.com/projects/help-us-build-a-beach…

I've seen some stunning pictures of Crane's Beach in Barbados. It's on the list. Here's why:

barbados-guide.info/attractions/…

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Los Angeles...
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6. Re: Any Jamaica beaches compare to Playa Norte?

Negril! Since you are the planner. Stay half the time in negril on the beach and half the time on the cliffs. If negril wasn't such a PITA to get to for me, I would probably give up Isla for it. That's how much I liked it. I also felt very safe. If you do not have to do AI, I highly recommend where I stayed this past July. Idle awhile on the beach and the rockhouse on the cliffs. The food was awesome, it's inexpensive like Isla, but it has Reggae music! And the water is pristine and clear.

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Negril
Negril
Jamaica
Potomac, Maryland
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7. Re: Any Jamaica beaches compare to Playa Norte?

Negril is beautiful. The beaches in Montego Bay are just not very nice, so don't be tempted by its proximity to the airport. Negril is worth the drive.

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Negril
Negril
Jamaica
michigan
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8. Re: Any Jamaica beaches compare to Playa Norte?

We love Idle Awhile, only 14 rooms so you need to book pretty far in advance. Coco La Palm and Charela are also very nice and right next door. The best stretch on the beach IMHO. I don't know what Negril was like long ago, so I can't compare. I love that most of the hotels along the beach are small hotels and not high rise buildings. Stayed at Rockhouse as well in 2006 and loved the experience. We also loved a little place called Moonlight Villa on the cliffs.

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Negril
Negril
Jamaica
Saskatoon, Canada
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9. Re: Any Jamaica beaches compare to Playa Norte?

Idle Awhile and the Rockhouse is my dream Negril combo trip!

We stayed at Rooms on the Beach. It's fine, a nice but basic and clean non AI hotel. The hotels on the beach there are literally steps to the beach too, which is great.

We only went there for the first time in 2010 (I think? Lol) so I can't compare what it used to be like...but I didn't find it overly overdeveloped.

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Negril
Negril
Jamaica
New York City, New...
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10. Re: Any Jamaica beaches compare to Playa Norte?

Always looking for places to vacation. How is the area around Idle Awhile? Is there a small town close by that you can walk to for dinner? That is one of the things we liked about Isla. We have toddlers and need a small town we can walk to.