Jamaica's Nude Beaches
Getting Nude in Montego Bay
By Max Hartshorne
We were sitting at dinner at Sunset Resort, an all-inclusive in Montego Bay Jamaica.
That was when we heard about the beach, sort of an aside, as John Nalewicki, the resort's manager was describing the layout of the sprawling property, which has 1200 rooms and is set right on the bay.
"Out here behind us, is the beach. Then there is the pool and the water park, which is the largest in the Caribbean. The nude beach, he said, is down to the right.
I asked our host, the manager of the Sunset Resort and a 38-year resident of Jamaica, how the hotel happened to have its own nude beach."Way back, in the 1990s, there was this small write up in Playboy about our nude beach in Montego Bay. Ever since then it's been a great attraction.
People will say, hey I saw that story in Playboy. And I'll say 'you must have a pretty big collection there since it came out nearly 12 years ago!" If you go a little further to the right, you'll find our clothing optional beach," he explained. Jamaica has about a half a dozen nude beaches, and his was 300 yards away!
And so it was that I set about discovering what turned out to be one of the nicest little nude beaches I've ever had the pleasure of discovering in a foreign country. There is still something exotic about getting naked while out of your own nation.
Hedonism and More
Jamaica is famous for its Hedonism resorts, where an 'anything goes' attitude brings swingers together with each other in many daring settings for casual sex.
You can read about clubs like these on GoNOMAD, but that's not what this story is about. Nudism, as any aficionado will tell you, is not about sex, it's about freedom. It's about being able to relax without the stress of wearing clothes and to enjoy the sun on all of the parts of your body.
To many like me, there is nothing as good as a nude beach for true relaxation.
Now that I knew where I should look to find my nude beach, I set out with the bare essentials. A back-pack with water, a towel, my notebook and no, I didn't bring my camera.
That's just not a classy move, it's against all of the nude beach protocol that I know is important to anyone who frequents such establishments.
I walked past Sunset's big water park, which even though it was a lovely Friday afternoon, was bereft of any children swimming.
I walked past the big stage where at night bands light up the stage and karaoke sometimes can be here. Oh, and there are also circus entertainers who are the ones who use that trapeze.
I walked around a lovely arch of sand, past the jetties which stick out into the bay and provide locals with a great place to fish. I walked past a few bathers sitting on the club-owned chaise lounges, a little further. How far was this place anyway?
Guards up Ahead
After about two hundred yards, I found two security guards in black uniforms milling about at the corner of a beach, where another jetty protruded out into the bay. They were smiling and enjoying kidding around in the sun.
I figured out that even though the resort property continues, this guy and gal must be there to ensure that no kiddies stroll onto the clothing optional area.
Up ahead indeed, it appears I had found what I was looking for. A high green fence stuck out into the water line and there was a big sign that laid out some pretty simple rules.
Au Natural Beach
* No cameras
* No swimsuits
* No children.
Ok, sounds good to me! So before I passed through the gate I doffed my bathing suit and shirt but kept on my Tevas and my big floppy sun hat. It was two pm, and it was a broiling sun indeed. I certainly didn't want to worry about a big bad sunburn. Crossing through the fence, I saw that this aptly named Au Natural beach was pretty tiny.
Maybe 200 years wide, and just about 50 feet wide. The beach arched up to another cement and stone jetty, and ahead of me were just four people. One couple was nearby and enjoying their all over tans, and another woman straight ahead was walking down into the mild gentle surf.
I set out my stuff, claimed my chair, and took everything else off that I needed to. It was time to float.
Walking out into the water, it pretty sharp on my feet, as there were a coral and rocks on the bottom of the clear azure water.
The water depth was only about two feet, but it was enough to swim, and that turned out to be a much better idea than any more walking.
I swam far out and felt the incredible buoyancy that you only get in salty ocean water.
It was so easy to float, and despite the shallow water swimming kept me just high enough to avoid the coral. Up at the other end of the beach was a chain link fence.
There was no visual barrier on that side at least but it is all located in a pretty sparsely populated part of Montego Bay, this area is the free trade zone where cruise ships come twice every week.
Floating in Freedom
As I floated and enjoyed that familiar freedom that only being naked can provide, I gazed out at the sea. In the distance were lovely colored sails of small catamarans which bobbed in the water.
The couple next to me spoke German, it's always easy to find Germans at any nude beach…or anywhere else that people can get naked. I think that as a people the Germans have got to be among the world's biggest nude beach fans.
After a very relaxing swim, I made my way up to the chaise and let the very hot Jamaican sun tan me….but only after I'd applied a lot of this great spray sunscreen that is so easy to put on. You can even spray the backs of your legs and your back by yourself, it covers easily and is perfect for such an occasion.
If the women at this beach looked like the Playboy models who graced the magazine that wrote the story that made this beach famous, well, it just wouldn't be a true nude beach.
No, the people at this beach looked the way I looked. A little paunch. Sagging breasts. Pot bellies and skinny legs. But everyone here was enjoying the day, soaking in that famous Jamaican sun, and I'm sure they were all very happy that they too found Montego's nude beach to be right here next to the affordable Sunset Resort.
Find other nude beaches in Jamaica:
Jamaica's tourism website, visitjamaica.com lists many opportunities to get naked on the island. In fact, they boast that Jamaica has more nude beaches than any other Caribbean island! Oracabessa's James Bond Beach or Negril's Bloody Bay allow nude tanning. Booby Cay is only a short boat ride away, on a remote island.
The SuperClubs Grand Lido in Negril and Braco both offer clothing optional beaches. Another suggestion for baring it all is Tower Isle, about 200 yards off the coast of Couples, Ocho Rios.
Negril has seven miles of beaches with lots of rugged coves--perfect places to strip down and enjoy! Nobody will object in friendly, relaxed Jamaica.
Why stop here? Be sure to read more about the best nude beaches in the world.
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Max Hartshorne has been the editor and publisher of GoNOMAD Travel in South Deerfield Mass since 2002. He worked for newspapers and other sales positions for 23 years until he finally got what he wanted, and became the editor at GoNOMAD. He travels regularly, enjoys publishing new writers, and watching his grandchildren grow up.