NightLife in Jamaica

by Tim Henry

Nightlife in Jamaica showcases its rich and vibrant native culture and is flavored by the international blend of tourists that flock to this beautiful island nation.

Whether your taste runs towards the quiet and secluded spot or towards wild, youth oriented clubs, towards tourist hot spots or the hang-outs favored by locals, you’re sure to find a nightlife scene that will leave you with lasting memories of your Jamaican vacation.

Naturally, in a nation that has left its mark on the international music scene with its own reggae style, music is an important part of the nightlife of Jamaica. There are numerous music clubs, nightclubs, bars and restaurants that feature live music of all sorts, including island favorites – reggae, ska, calypso, and soca.

Alfred’s Ocean Palace, located in Negril, is regularly features live music, with reggae bands three times per week and attracts both local and international performers. Situated on a beautiful seven-mile long white sand beach, the atmosphere is a delight, complemented by the fine food served at the restaurant and the eclectic blend of people in the bar. Guest rooms are also available on site.

Also located in Negril, Risky Business is a favorite among the college set, attracting spring breakers from all over. It features live music nightly, with some of the best reggae musicians in the area taking the stage. Rick’s Café, internationally acclaimed party spot, is known for nightly reggae, a fabulous view of the sunset, and cliff diving for the more adventurous of their clientele.

In Port Antonio, the Blue Lagoon Restaurant features live jazz on Saturday nights. At the Little Pub, in Ocho Rios, visitors can enjoy a variety of Caribbean flavored performances throughout the week. Ocho Rios is also home to BiBiBips, which features live reggae and sometimes rap performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Dance clubs are numerous on the island. Jamaica, drawing tourists from all over the world, has a variety of dance club scenes, some having that Jamaican flavor, others being more American in flavor and still others having a decidedly high tech, international tone.

In Ocho Rios, Amnesia, at 70 Main Street, is a dance club with more of a Jamaican feel to it, and does attract a local crowd. In contrast, Jamaica’N Me Crazy, also on Main Street, uses high tech sound and light systems to create a definitely international type of club scene. Usually crowded, it tends to attract more tourists than locals.

Mingles, in Kingston, is known as one of the safest nightspots in Jamaica. It attracts a young and local crowd, and features primarily reggae and soca.

Hedonism II, found in Negril, is counted among the wildest, attracting a rather uninhibited crowd of tourists who are definitely there to party.

Jamaica certainly offers a wide variety of nightlife options and adventures. Be sure to use common sense and good manners to keep your nightlife experiences pleasurable, memorable and safe. With that in mind, you’ll truly enjoy the best of the Jamaican nightlife scene.

This article was originally posted on August 16, 2005.

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