If Bob Marley and cliff diving don’t thrill you, then the price tag of a Negril, Jamaica, vacation will. Flights costing less than $350 round-trip are available across the U.S. Plus, I’ve handpicked a few value-friendly hotels right on the ocean. All you need to do is fly into Montego Bay, grab a taxi destined for Rasta paradise, and then turn up the reggae music. With everything added together, your $500 budget will “feel all right,” too.
Finding airfare to Montego Bay, Jamaica
Though you can find affordable flights to Montego Bay year-round, the summer season (mid-April through mid-December) is the best time to find deals. When I checked for travel in April and May, I found reasonable fares throughout the U.S., even for a few cities in the West:
- Miami: $226 (American)
- Chicago: $239 (American)
- Boston: $260 (American)
- Washington, D.C.: $272 (American)
- Cleveland: $280 (United)
- Atlanta: $285 (Delta)
- New York: $293 (American)
- Tampa: $300 (Spirit)
- Memphis: $314 (American)
- Detroit: $319 (Spirit)
- Las Vegas: $319 (American)
- Denver: $325 (American)
- Los Angeles: $343 (Delta)
- San Francisco: $343 (Delta)
Finding a hotel in Negril, Jamaica
If you want to chill completely, the trick is finding a nice place near the sea and its calming effect. In Negril, you’ll have two hotel location options to choose from: the beach or the cliffs.
For stays right on the beach, the value at White Sands can’t be beat. Family run for over 30 years, this small resort comes with a variety of modest rooms, a pool, and a beach bar and grill. Based on double occupancy, summer season stays start at $57, plus an 8.25 percent General Consumption Tax (GCT) tax and $3 energy surcharge per night, totaling $64.70 per night. Multiply that number by three nights to get $194.10 for two, or $97.05 per person. The hotel will handle your airport transfer, which costs $60 round-trip per person if you rideshare with someone else. Here’s how the math works out:
$97.05 (hotel) + $60 (transfer) + $325 (airfare from Denver) = $482.05
Departures from Los Angeles and San Francisco will put you over budget by 5 cents, but the price is still amazing considering the cities are located all the way on the West Coast.
While not on the sand, the Rockhouse Hotel has something special to offer high up on the cliffs of Negril’s West End. A personal favorite of mine, the hotel provides the perfect combination of affordability and tropical Eden—with lush gardens, secluded nooks, an infinity pool, and a brand new spa pavilion overlooking the sea. Rooms start at $125, plus a 10 percent service charge and an 8.25 percent GCT per night in the summer season. With taxes and fees, the total comes to $147.81 per night, or $443.43 for three nights. Divide that number by two to get $221.72 per person. Airport transfers cost $80 per car for up to four people one-way, so $40 round-trip per person if you can get another couple to join you. Here’s the math for staying at this hotel:
$221.72 (hotel) + $40 (transfer) + $226 (airfare from Miami) = $487.72
If your airfare won’t allow the Rockhouse to fit into the budget, consider spending one night at a place like White Sands to offset the cost. Visit Jamaica has a robust list of other Negril accommodations options.
What to do and eat in Negril, Jamaica
I wrote about all my favorite places to eat and things to do in a previous article on Negril. However, don’t try to do too much if you want to truly enjoy paradise. Whether you come for the reggae or the waves, just relax and let deals to Jamaica take you there. Even you can go to the tropics and sip pina coladas, all for under $500.
Have more to add? Email me your favorite money-saving tips for Negril, Jamaica, and I might publish them in a future article. Or, feel free to comment or suggest a new Escapes Under $500 destination.
All prices, dates, and booking details listed here were valid at the time of publication. Some information may have changed since that time.