Venture off to sunny Jamaica, the third-largest isle of the Caribbean, where you can enjoy beaches that are more unique than others you may have encountered. One legendary beach in Jamaica is Doctor’s Cave Beach on the north side of the island. The storyline of this Montego Bay beach involves mysterious healing properties that, once upon a time (and even still now), had hundreds jetting off to this island in the southern Caribbean Sea to recapture their health.
Whether or not there is any evidence proving the magical healing capabilities of the waters at Doctor’s Cave Beach, it’ll definitely make for a great day trip while in Jamaica! Before we dive into all the things that make Doctor’s Cave Beach amazing, here’s a bit of the backstory:
If you’re searching for Doctor’s Cave Beach in Jamaica, you might also hear it being referred to as the Doctor’s Cave Beach Club, or Doctor’s Cave Bathing Club. While this is one of the beaches in Jamaica where you’ll pay an admission fee ($6 USD per person), the fee gives you access to all the amenities at Doctor’s Cave Beach.
While lounging on this strand, you hear a bit about its history. A doctor, known as Alexander James McCatty, owned the beach in the 1800s when it was only possible to get to the beach via a cave. In 1906, the property was donated to the community.
Years later another doctor visiting from England, Sir Herbert Baker, penned an article about the healing properties of the water at Doctor’s Cave Beach. This article written by Sir Herbert has resounded over the years, and, though it’s not been proven whether this beautiful, white sand beach has special curative properties, the beach remains a favorite.
Plain and simple, a visit to any Caribbean island is incomplete without a visit to the beach. Doctor’s Cave Beach is one of the top beaches to visit in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and here’s why:
There are lots of reasons you’ll probably fall in love with Doctor’s Cave Beach once you see it. The clear, blue, and calm water is definitely one of them. The sea here is almost always calm, which makes it perfect for water sports, swimming, or just taking a relaxing dip on a hot day.
Whether you’re looking to take it easy and just enjoy that Caribbean vacation you’ve waited so long for, or you want to try water sports you’ve never been able to before, Doctor’s Cave Beach can be ideal. There are two water trampolines on this beach that’ll be perfect for a bit of fun, and lifeguards during the day, which add to this beach’s family-friendly appeal.
Expert tip: If snorkeling a reef or scuba diving sounds like a great way to spend your vacation in Jamaica, you should consider staying at an all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay like Sandals Montego Bay or Sandals Royal Caribbean where professional-quality snorkeling equipment and scuba diving (up to 2 tanks a day for certified divers) are all included in your package!
Whatever your experience level, snorkeling will definitely be a possibility on Doctor’s Cave Beach. The ocean here is even more beautiful once you dive in and see what’s beneath the waves. If you choose to participate in this activity, prepare to get up close to amazing coral reefs filled with vibrant sea life.
As you make your way along the edges of the swim area, you’ll be able to view the reef at your leisure and get a closer look at the sea creatures that call it home. Sightings around this reef include lots of tropical fish like butterflyfish, grunts, blue tangs, and sometimes even stingrays. You’re free to look and explore as much as you wish, but make sure not to touch the coral as this can kill them. If you don’t have your own snorkeling gear, you can rent some on the beach for around $6 USD.
Expert tip: There are many awesome spots for snorkeling in Montego Bay that you can try during your vacation in Jamaica.
When it comes to selecting a beach to spend time on while in Jamaica there are lots of things to consider. Are you looking for a beach that is private and secluded, or do you prefer a spot that has it all in terms of amenities? Once you answer these questions, you’ll easily be able to find the right beach for you.
Doctor’s Cave Beach is one of those where there’s a full range of amenities you can use. These include bathrooms, showers, and changing rooms along the beach. You can also rent out beach chairs, sunbeds, and umbrellas from beach vendors to use while there. These can cost around $6 USD each, per day. In addition to that, there’s also a beach bar and restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat before or after hitting the waves.
Shopping will definitely be a possibility while in the Doctor’s Cave area in Jamaica. This beach is very close to Jamaica’s famous ‘Hip Strip’ on Gloucester Avenue where you’ll find lots of resorts, boutiques, gift shops, and more.
The Hip Strip is great for doing some shopping before or after the beach, whether you’re interested in Jamaica souvenirs or you want to get a little something for yourself. While shopping and exploring this area, you’ll definitely feel inclined to let loose a little and jam to the live Reggae music playing along the street.
There are plenty of places to dine, including Margaritaville’s bar and restaurant, a popular attraction. You can walk from Doctor’s Cave Beach to Margaritaville in about 4 minutes. Another popular eatery in this area is the Pelican Grill. This is a family-owned local diner where you’ll be able to get authentic Jamaican cuisine like ackee & codfish, callaloo, and bammy. There are also more classic American selections on the menu, especially at breakfast time. It’s about a 6-minute walk between The Pelican and Doctor’s Cave Beach.
Insider tip: Want to do some shopping while in Jamaica without having to travel too far to find good shops? If you stay at an all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay, you’ll be able to book an excursion that’ll take you to the best places to shop, while keeping you safe!
There are plenty of things to do in and near Montego Bay whether you want to spend as much time as possible beachside, go shopping, or even experience great dining. Here are a few of our top suggestions:
The Montego Bay Marine Park experience is one worth putting on your vacation agenda. For starters, this marine park is about 10 miles of protected ocean area. Some of the stand-out features here include coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds. You can come here to snorkel or go kayaking. It is possible to visit this area via a catamaran cruise as well.
To visit the Montego Bay Marine Park, you can schedule a tour. These are usually as educational as they are fun. The marine park is near Doctor’s Cave Beach, so if you really want this beach experience, you might as well pair it with a marine park tour. The Montego Bay Marine Park is about a 7-minute drive from Doctor’s Cave Beach. It’ll take about 25 minutes to walk between these two attractions.
Good to know: Other marine sanctuaries in Jamaica include the Bogue Island Lagoon Special Fishery Conservation Area (Bogue Lagoon) and the Montego Bay Marine Park Special Fishery Conservation Area (Airport Point).
Mayfield Falls is close enough to Doctor’s Cave Beach that you can check out both of these spots in one day. This would mean perhaps spending half a day in each location: Doctor’s Beach, a strand loved for its potential therapeutic properties, and Mayfield Falls, a waterfall that has about 21 small cascades.
You can also choose to visit these two locations on different days, which will give you more time to enjoy it all. At Mayfield Falls, you can swim in and around the falls, and dip into the many natural pools and jacuzzis in the area as you make your way up the falls. The hike up the falls can take about an hour. Water shoes are highly recommended.
Good to know: The largest cascade at Mayfield Falls is known as ‘the Washing Machine’ and it is about 10 feet high.
You’ll hear a lot about Dunn’s River Falls ahead of getting to Jamaica and even more once you arrive. This is one of those places where you should definitely listen to the recommendations. Although it’s a bit further out of Montego Bay, it’s well worth a visit!
This world-famous waterfall, located about 1.5 hours from Doctor’s Cave Beach, is the largest waterfall in Jamaica at 180 feet high. Its sheer beauty and magnitude attract scores of visitors annually, which means things can get pretty busy.
At Dunn’s River Falls, you can hike, climb, and explore. It’ll also be possible to swim in the natural pools as you hike your way to the top of the falls. There’s a beach in this area as well (known as the Dunn’s River Falls Beach), a restaurant that serves up tasty local dishes, and a gift shop.
Good to know: Dunn’s River Falls is kid-friendly, and there’s also parking, restrooms, and disability access. Water shoes are recommended for this tour.
Doctor’s Cave Beach in Jamaica has quite a unique reputation. You’ll have to see it for yourself to decide whether or not it lives up to that! The reality is that few people leave this beach disappointed, but rather they depart with their own interesting stories to tell about their experience.
Wade in the clear blue water at Doctor’s Cave Beach and see if it eases your aches and pains. Check out the colorful reef nearby and see how many species of fish you can spot! Once you’ve had your fun in the water, you can grab a bite to eat and a cocktail to enjoy as the sun sets on your perfect beach day.
Expert tip: Prefer to lounge on a private white sand beach in Montego Bay, where you won’t have to pay admission and are able to enjoy unlimited cocktails for free? Stay at all-inclusive resort Sandals Montego Bay, you’ll even be able to book a private cabana and have your breakfast and lunch delivered by your personal butler!