Jamaica is known for a lot of thing: rum, reggae, Rastas. But this gem of an island is also known for having some of the best beaches in the world. And as the third largest island in the Caribbean, it offers just about every variety of beach vacation you can imagine. Whether you’re looking the thrill of adrenaline sports, a laid back family vacation or a romantic beach holiday, there’s a sandy spot somewhere on the island of Jamaica for you. Here is some of the best beach action that Jamaica has to offer.

Roaring Pavillion (Beach View)

Water Sports: James Bond & Doctor’s Cave Beaches

No Caribbean beach vacation would be complete without some kayaking, wind surfing and/or snorkeling, and Jamaica has two great spots to get in all of these water sports. Named after the famous spy of Sean Connery fame, James Bond Beach offers a bit more seclusion than other Jamaican beaches. Located near Port Maria, James Bond Beach offers plenty of white sand, blue seas and reggae music. But people also come for the water sports Snorkeling and glass bottomed boat tours make it easy for just about anyone to discover the coral and marine life on their own terms. And plenty of kayaks are available for those who want a work out on the high seas. Closer to Montego Bay, Doctor’s Cave Beach boasts a five mile stretch of turquoise water and pristine white sand. As part of the Hip Strip, though, Doctor’s Cave Beach also offers a lot of action, especially snorkeling and water skiing. Indeed, this beach really reaches out to the energetic soul.

Surfing: Boston Bay Beach

Home to the largest waves in Jamaica, Boston Bay Beach is the best place on the island to hang ten. If you don’t own your own board, there are plenty of rentals available, as well as instructors you can hire for lessons if you need them. Boston Bay Beach also has a reputation for being one of the less crowded beaches on the island. So surfers don’t have to worry as much about the swimmers, and finding a spot on the sand to dry off and chill out isn’t much of a problem.

Water Falls: Dunn’s River Beach

Located near Ocho Rios, Dunn’s River Beach is also home to Dunn’s River Falls — where the river meets the warm, blue Caribbean Sea. Indeed, the falls are such a site, that it’s no wonder that Dunn’s River Beach is popular with locals and tourists alike.

Ochos Rios (2)

Ochos Rios Beach

If swimming in the Fall’s whirlpool isn’t enough for you, you can always climb the falls, too. And, of course, you can always just lounge on the beach and drink in the sights.

Hedonism: Seven Mile Beach

One of Jamaica’s more popular tourist destinations, Seven Mile Beach is located on the northern coast of the island in Negril and boasts, well, seven miles golden sand stunning shoreline. But it also caters to every one of your human appetites. With many sections of the beach allotted for nude sun bathing, Seven Mile Beach probably isn’t the best place for a quiet family vacation. And even if you’re not into baring it all, there’s not shortage of open-air bars, restaurants and clubs to help you indulge. Don’t let the all the action fool you, though. Seven Mile Beach is also known for its laid-back, irieattitude. Then again, that’s probably why just about anything goes here.

Family Getaway: Cornwall Beach

Located less than half a mile from the resorts of Montego Bay, Cornwall Beach offers a pace and a vibe that’s perfect for building happy memories with your family. For just a few US dollars, you can spend a day running your toes through white sand and swimming in the calm blue sea. Indeed, this is one of the most popular destinations for families and is occasionally closed for private events. As a private beach you will find fewer vendors than at other Jamaican beaches. For a few extra dollars you can relax in a beach chair or rent snorkel equipment and explore the crystal clear waters. Susanne Richards loves exploring new beaches and Caribbean islands. When she’s not on the road, Susanne occasionally writes for Luxury Retreats, about villas in Negril Jamaica and her latest beach adventures.