Cruise the Negril River

After you have thoroughly cooked in the Negril sun, maybe it is time to cruise the Negril River?

I use the term cruise lightly. While the Negril River has it’s charms, it is not a body of water that you would actually cruise, in the sense of a cruise ship, on.

What you can, and what we did, do is enlist the services of one of the many glass-bottomed boat owners, and, for a few dollars, they will take you along beautiful Negril Beach Jamaica, to just before the Village of Negril, and that is where the waters of the Negril River empty into the Caribbean Sea.

We hired the services of Captain Clarke, who moors his boat on the beach in front of  the Negril Beach resort Kuyaba on most days. In the photo below Captain Clarke is overseeing the anchoring of his craft at the end of a busy day.

Captain Clarke and crew moored in front of Kuyaba on Negril Beach Jamaica

Captain Clarke has a good boat, is a knowledgeable captain, and has an excellent first mate in Johnny. As a result of our positive experience we have no problem recommending that if you are looking for a Negril River cruise, a Negril Cliff cruise, or maybe a snorkeling trip, he and his one-man crew are an excellent choice.

Trying to cruise the Negril River

Now, if you are planning to cruise the Negril River, depending on the time of day, getting in and out of the mouth of the river is a bit of a problem. In the photo below, Captain Clarke and his first mate are working hard to get us past the shallows where the river meets the sea.

Captain Clarke pushing his boat

 Working on this page is bringing back such wonderful memories of our up-river cruise. For the most part, it was just the four of us in the craft and an almost always empty river.

Then, at one point, we passed a small craft with a couple of folks net-fishing the river.

A little farther along a family was commuting down river towards Negril Village, presumably living on or near the river upstream from where we were. We looked, but we didn’t see where they called home. Their  small punt was low in the water, nearly breaching, but the river was benign and the current slow. They stayed right near the shore, and Captain Clarke slowed his craft to just steerage-way as we passed the family to be sure we didn’t swamp them.

Shortly after entering the river we came upon this tree just full of Egrets, nesting, chattering, flitting branch to branch. We got quite close and they weren’t spooked at all. After taking a few photos we drifted quietly away from the rookery so as not to further distrub them, then started the motor to continue up river.

Egrets nesting in the tree on the Negril River

One of the weirdest sights as you cruise the Negril River is this, mother nature built, communications tower, shown below. Wifi and cellular service is widespread around Negril Village, and in fact, their high speed internet is reputed to be faster than many services in North America.

Palm tree communications tower on Negril River cruise

Upriver is the oldest bridge in Jamaica, according to Captain Clarke.

There is a fresh fruit and vegetable farm near that bridge. They grow, among other things, coconuts for sale in Negril Village. We picked a coconut, Johnny lopped the top off, we drank the juice, then he split the coconut with his machete and insisted that we eat the cream center. It was both nutritious and delicious.

Fresh coconut cream upriver on Negril River cruise

Once you get well away upstream from Negril Village, the river is bracketed by rain forest and swamp. Bird wildlife abounds. The river is peaceful and quiet. You round each bend expectantly, not knowing what you will see.

Up the Negril River


cruising up the Negril River - Negril Village Jamaica

As long as he is working the waters off Kuyaba Resort and Negril Beach Jamaica, if you want a river tour, snorkelling tour, visit the cliffs, take the boat ride to Rick’s Cafe, Captain Clarke, seen below at the helm of his glass bottomed boat, is the man for you. Find him (well, actually – his boat) moored on Negril Beach, right beside Kuyaba Resort.

Captain Clarke at the helm

 If you are looking for a peaceful few hours, perhaps visiting where few Jamaican tourists go, then cruise the Negril River. Tell Captain Clarke and Johnny we said hello.


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