a VirtualTourist member
First time going to Jamaica and will be staying in Negril, what is the best thing to do, use debit/credit card to get cash in Negril or exchange money in US before we leave? Also any tips on fishing, for fishing from the beach where do you go?
if you are staying at an all inclusive you will likely find that you do not need any Jamaician currency at all. I think the only time I used it was at a Juicy Patty store and maybe a grocery store that the locals frequent, even then I think I could have used US cash. No need to exchange money before you leave, you can do it at your hotel. I usually bring enough cash to cover my needs but I would do this only if I knew I was going to a resort with a safe, too many reports of theft in hotel reviews. I haven't used travelers checks in a lot of years but this article from Frommers suggests that they are not a bad way of bringing adequate cash with you.
Really no need to worry about currency. Just have a bit of US currency with you and work the CCs after that. Of course if you are not staying at an AI, and plan on venturing out into the island, some JA dollars will come in handy.
OK, fishing, - in spite of what you may have read, the only really good fishing in Jamaica is deep sea fishing. Reef fishing is extremely poor as the reefs are literally fished out. Same with beach fishing it is pretty poor, but it does not stop them from profitting from it.
It does matter where you are staying so if you can fill us in on what hotel/resort, you will be at, then I can tell you about specific beach fishing. If you are interested in "real" fishing in Jamaica, I can give some advise on Negril, and plenty on Ocho Rios. If beach fishing is the only interest, many of the AIs have such activities.
Negril is likely the nicest of the three main tourist areas on the north and west sides of Jamaica, and probably where you should go. The RIU on Bloody Beach is probably the nicest, all inclusive there, but there are many others.
I would rather go to a resort that is not all inclusive and have more freedom to pick and choose. Don't worry about, finding things to do, bars and such, plenty within reach. Here are a few: I can recommend Margaritaville, and Mi Yard.....and "3 Dives Restaurant & Cliff Bar"
Oh, - one thing. You may want to check out Rick's once you hear all about the cliff diving. Everyone gets caught up in that one. If you are serious about jumping off the cliff at Rick's, at Treasure Beach, perhaps you need to take a look at their fatality rate.....! Just be careful.
I would perhaps try to make a trip to the Royal Palm Reserve, a protected flora/fauna area just a few miles inland from Negril close to the town of Sheffield. It is just breathtaking. There is a a long boardwalk that you can walk deep into the reserve, and they have over 40 observation towers that give you just spectacular views over the area.
Nearby is the Lighthouse Inn, where the cuisine is very good. What they do have, that in quite good, is a local "Mento" show. They used to do this once a week but if you check with them you can find out the day(s) they do this. They will also pick you up and drop you off at your hotel if you make dinner reservations.
Mento, by the way, is Jamaican folk music that is similar to Calypso but different. It predates ska and reggae, and if not for Mento, there likely would be no reggae. Well worth seeing. (Reggae is the soundtrack to my live/movie....)
Don't know if this is your style, but this is a little known hideaway on the beach in Negril, that is just beautiful, and serene. I do like this place a lot. No, it is not a huge place, but for a couple it is definately worth it. Just though I would throw it in here.
If you are interested in the "real" Jamaica, relatively unspoiled still, a drive past the Lighthouse down the south western coast is the place to go. Relatively void of tourism, the people are friendly and the scenery is great.
There is also plenty of fishing, watersports zip-lining and stuff.
Feel free to ask me to explain and elaborate if you want to. Enjoy my Jamaica. Hope this all helps a bit! One love......d:o)