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In the 18th century, English ships assembled here in convoys for dangerous ocean crossings. The infamous pirate Calico Jack and his crew were captured right here while they guzzled rum. All but two of them were hanged on the spot; Mary Read and Anne Bonny were pregnant at the time, so their executions were delayed.

On the winding coast road 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Mo'Bay, Negril was once Jamaica's best-kept secret, but it has shed some of its bohemian, ramshackle atmosphere for the attractions and activities traditionally associated with Mo'Bay. One thing that hasn't changed about this west-coast center (whose only true claim to fame is a 7-mile [11-km] beach) is a casual approach to life. As you wander from lunch in the sun to shopping in the sun to sports in the sun, you'll find that swimsuits and cover-ups are common attire.

Negril stretches along the coast south from horseshoe-shape Bloody Bay (named when it was a whale-processing center) along the calm waters of Long Bay to the lighthouse. Nearby, divers spiral downward off 50-foot-high cliffs into the deep green depths as the sun turns into a ball of fire and sets the clouds ablaze with color. Sunset is also the time when Norman Manley Boulevard and West End Road, which intersect, come to life with busy waterside restaurants and reggae stage shows.

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