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As the Caribbean's third-largest island, Jamaica has no shortage of beaches, ranging from the North Coast's tourist-filled stretches of sand lined by exclusive resorts to the nearly deserted beaches of the South Coast, where beach action often means a fisherman cleaning his catch.

North- and west-coast beaches tend to be busy, well supplied with amenities, and blessed with large expanses of sand. Both Negril (and its lovely Seven Mile Beach) and Montego Bay (which has both Doctor's Cave and Half Moon Bay) are renowned for their beaches, and both have many resorts directly on the beach to choose from. Beaches on the South Coast are generally less crowded but are smaller, with fewer services. The best South Coast beaches are in the Treasure Beach area near Calabash Bay. Kingston-area beaches are generally congested; ask your hotel concierge before heading out to any of them. Some of the best beaches are private, owned by the resorts and accessible only to resort guests or travelers who have purchased a day pass to gain access to the facilities.