Beaches in Montego Bay

If you’re seeking the best beaches in Montego Bay, Jamaica, then this guide is here to help. Though Montego Bay is known for its beautiful coastline, there aren’t actually as many top-notch beaches as you might think.

It is pretty easy to find great beaches in Montego Bay once you know where to look. The fact is, much of the beach access is private, and are thus for guests of the resort or hotel they belong to. However, all beaches in Jamaica are public, but you have to be able to access them to use them.

Even the public beaches in beaches in Montego Bay, Jamaica require you to pay a fee before you can enter them. This means it’s really important to know what to expect before you go. 

The good news is, there are a few serious contenders as best beach in Montego Bay. Our favorites include Doctor’s Cave beach for the impressive amenities and snorkeling opportunities; Dead End beach for plane-spotting and Harmony Park beach for all the facilities offered there. 

Doctor’s Cave is our favorite, as we love to access the shore snorkeling. It’s so simple to head into the water at this spot, even for beginner snorkelers, and start spotting lots of colorful underwater life. We always recommend you bring your own snorkel and mask and fins, but there are rentals available if needed.

The runner-up would be Harmony Beach Park, which was newly opened in 2021. It’s added a lot to the southern end of Montego Bay’s hip strip, and offers some great facilities including snack stands and and aqua park. You can check out native Jamaican flora here, or try your hand on the basketball court. 

Keep reading to discover the top Jamaica beaches in Montego Bay that will tick all of your boxes. From a list of our top picks to a map and more information about each beach, this guide has all your sand, sea, and snorkeling needs completely covered. 

In this post:

Beaches in Montego Bay | Our top picks

If you’re looking for the best beach at Montego Bay, here are a few of our favorites.

  • BEST OVERALL: Doctor’s Cave Beach
  • Best for Snorkeling: Doctor’s Cave Beach
  • All the Amenities: Harmony Park Beach or Doctor’s Cave Beach 
  • Plane spotting: Dead End Beach

Montego Bay Beaches Map

Map of the best Beaches in Montego Bay

the best beaches in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Doctor’s Cave Beach, Montego Bay, Jamaica

view of beach at Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay Jamaica
  • Amenities: Snack shop, bar & restaurant, umbrella & chair hire, water trampolines, showers & restrooms
  • Access: Some parking at hotels & restaurants, public car park south of Hip Strip
  • Nearby Accommodation: S Hotel, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Doctor’s Cave is the best Montego Bay Jamaica beach overall. Sometimes this beach is (incorrectly) referred to as Doctor’s Cove Beach, Doctor Cave beach Montego Bay, or even the abbreviated variation of Dr Cave beach Montego Bay. Whatever you call it, this one’s got it all – great snorkeling, an impressive range of amenities and an incredibly scenic setting.

So what’s the Doctor’s Cave beach, Montego Bay price for entry- and what do you get for your money? At the time of writing, it costs $6 for adults to gain access to Doctor’s Cave beach. Kids aged under 12 go half price.

The list of amenities at Doctor’s Cave beach is pretty much unparalleled among local beaches – except, perhaps, for Harmony Park. There’s a snack shop, restaurant and bar for food and drinks, plus of course restrooms and showers. You can also rent umbrellas and beach chairs here, and there are water trampolines for the kids to play on.  

Doctor's Cave Bathing Club welcome sign

One of the reasons why we adore Doctor’s Cave beach is because the snorkeling here is awesome! That alone is well worth paying the entry fee for. Even the average swimmer should be able to access the reef directly from the shore.

The top snorkeling spots at Doctor’s Cave Beach are alongside the piers. Colorful corals grow freely here, and you might even spot a barracuda swimming around in the ocean. As we did during a recent visit!

Past the end of each pier there are densely-packed patches of colorful coral. You can also expect to spy lots of tropical fish and other forms of marine life. The area within the buoys is also the safest to stay in. 

Strong swimmers, however, might like to venture beyond the buoys. This way you can also discover other parts of the reef. Do use a snorkel buoy if you decide to do this, as there’s a lot of boat traffic outside the boundary marked by the buoys. 

If you swim across to where the tour groups are, not only from safety in numbers, but also from knowing you’ve reached one of the best spots on the reef.

Relaxing Beach bar and restaurant in Doctor;s Cave Beach in Montego Bay

The only downside of this beach is that Doctor’s Cave gets very busy when cruise ships are docking in the area. Our advice is to arrive in the morning – or leave your visit for another day. 

Do get here early if you plan to spend the day here, so you can grab a spot before the crowds descend. Afternoons get very busy, especially during weekends or public holidays. 

Highlights of Doctor’s Cave Beach include the long stretch of sugary white sands, lapped by crystal clear turquoise waters. People who visit praise the beach bar here highly, and it’s the ideal place to treat yourself to a colorful Caribbean cocktail. 

The rum punch and conch fritters served here come highly recommended, and service is generally very efficient. 

Accommodations at Doctor’s Cave beach

 decent restrooms in Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay
Montego Bay Admission rates

If you want to stay at a Doctor’s Cave beach hotel in Montego Bay, then we recommend staying at the S Hotel. This gives you free access to Doctor’s Cave Beach, which in our opinion is the finest of all the beaches in Jamaica’s Montego Bay Area. 

The S Hotel in Montego Bay is a four star, all-inclusive property offering a range of boutique accommodations. It’s right there on the beachfront by Doctor’s Cave, and has a Caribbean restaurant, bars, swimming pools, a gym and a spa.

Rooms range from Mini Kings to a selection of Ocean View suites. Each is fresh, modern and bright, and comes equipped with a flat screen cable TV and free WiFi. The biggest suits can sleep up to five guests. 

Harmony Beach Park/ Dump Up Beach

Harmony Park Beach in Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Amenities: Snack shops, restaurants, park & playground
  • Access: Free; parking costs around USD $1 to $5 per hour or day
  • Nearby Accommodation: Various accommodations on Gloucester Avenue, Jimmy Cliff Boulevard & Kent Avenue are about 1.5 to 2 miles away from Harmony Beach Park

Harmony Park Beach is also often referred to as Dump up Beach. This is a great spot in which to spend the day – and has a more local vibe than other beaches in Montego Bay. 

Harmony or Dump Up Beach was newly opened in 2021, and was created as it is today to reinvigorate the Hip Strip at the southern end of Montego Bay. There are several great things about Harmony Beach Park.

Firstly, it has a spacious stretch of white sand, plus warm, clean waters. This beach is also a little off the tourist and cruise ship radar. It thus has a more local feel, and if often less crowded than other beaches in the area. 

The water at Dump Up Beach isn’t as clear as at Doctor’s Cave, however. This particularly applies when it’s been raining heavily, as water from the rivers nearby runs into the bay from up in the mountains. When the weather’s been fine, though, this is a great place to be.

The range of amenities at Harmony Beach Park makes it a perfect spot for families. There’s plenty to do here, with tons of activities, a jogging trail and a modern block with clean showers and restrooms. 

Other facilities include a kids’ play park, plus a sizeable basketball court for practicing with those hoops or arranging team games. There’s also a couple of stalls selling snacks and drinks – or bring your own refillable water bottle. 

You can rent beach umbrellas for a few dollars on the beach. Sun loungers are also available for hire. Some shade may well come in useful, as there can be limited natural shade at this sun-drenched Jamaican beach park when it’s busy! 

A branch of KFC across the road from the beach also provides parking for paying customers. So instead of packing a picnic, you could pick up some fast food and head over to sit on the sand while you eat it. 

Harmony Beach Park is located on Howard Cooke Boulevard, and occupies a large 16 acre site. Another key feature is the native Jamaican flora that’s been placed throughout the park. There are several species only found in Jamaica here, so it’s great for fans of tropical plants. 

Like Doctor’s Cave beach, Harmony Beach Park is a place you could easily spend the entire day in. It’s ideal for visitors of various ages, as well as those in search of a relaxing or more active time. 

Dead End Beach, Montego Bay

Dead End Beach is also a popular hang-out for locals of Montego Bay in Jamaica
  • Amenities: None
  • Access: Street parking
  • Nearby Accommodation: Airport Beach Hotel 

There are two good reasons to seek out this very small local beach: namely planes and parties. It’s only a tiny strip of sand, but is near to the end of the airport runway so it’s ideal for plane spotters. Sometimes it’s known as Buccaneer Beach. 

Dead End Beach is also a popular hang-out for locals, so you’ll often find a party going on  at the nearby Dead End Bar. Pack a picnic and it’s a pretty place to be, with white sand and azure waters. Planes about to land at the airport can be seen very clearly indeed. 

While there are zero amenities at Dead End Beach, it’s always a good bet for kids who want to see planes up close. Those who want to mingle with the locals may also love it here. 

Accommodations at Dead End beach

There is one hotel right by Dead End beach, and that’s simply called the Airport Beach Hotel – or the Sunset Landing Inn.  It’s more basic than many Montego Bay resorts, but boasts a good location, clean and comfortable rooms and helpful staff. 

Sunset Beach, Montego Bay, Jamaica

  • Amenities: None
  • Access: Street parking
  • Nearby Accommodation: Sandals Inn (closed)

Sunset Beach is also a small local beach without any amenities. It is, however, less buys than other Montego Bay beaches, so it’s a good spot to get away from the crowds. This coastal stretch also has a more intimate, local feel.

Sunset Beach is just across the street from a local hotel. This was formerly known as the Sandals Carlyle Inn, or the Grand Pineapple Montego Bay, and then just the Sandals Inn. The Inn has now closed. 

One Man Beach/ Old Hospital Park Beach

In 2022, Old Man Beach – also known as Old Hospital Park Beach – had been closed for refurbishment for some time. It’s currently still under updating and reconstruction, but it’s not currently expected to reopen any time soon. 

Before closure, it was a popular beach, particularly among local people. Lots of soccer games took place on the sands, while others splashed around in the water. The beach did become rather past its best, however, and was often strewn with litter. Hence the restoration work. 

Aqua Sol Beach

Along with Old Hospital Park Beach or Old Man Beach, Aqua Sol is closed at present for construction work and restoration. Again, we don’t have any updates on when and if this beach might re-open. 

As well as the white sand beach, Aqua Sol was home to a local theme park. Go karting and water sports were offered here. The beach itself, meanwhile, is large and was lined with sun loungers and umbrellas before closure. 

Which beaches in Montego Bay will you visit?

If you were looking for the perfect peach of a beach in Montego Bay, Jamaica, we hope this article has helped with your search. 

There is some great snorkeling, sunbathing, swimming and even plane-spotting to be had in the area, and a couple of the most popular local beaches also offer some impressive amenities. 

Doctor’s Cave beach and Harmony Beach Park are the best options overall. The former is also a firm favorite with snorkelers. 

If you fancy spying some planes as they skim over the Cariribean before landing, though, then don’t miss Dead End beach. The same applies to anyone seeking a party at the Dead End bar over the road!

 Looking for more Jamaica information to plan your trip? Check out all of our Jamaica Guides HERE.

About the author
Kristin Young
Kristin is a hiker, triathlete, and avid snorkeler who spends her free time traveling around the Caribbean in search of all of the best snorkeling, hiking, and unique adventures.