Bob Marley Beach in Bull Bay, Saint Andrew, is not your typical tourist attraction. There is no white sand beach, lifeguard, security, or guide—just a beautiful dark sand beach with minimal human interference.
Although well-known because of its association with a famous musician, it is not developed nor flocked by tourists. Instead, only locals, true Bob Marley fans, and die-hearted adventurers experiencing the unfiltered Jamaican culture go there.
Located in the eastern part of the island might have played a role in its underdevelopment. The tourism hub is on the south coast, and travelers are warned not to leave the confines of their all-inclusive resort, so they dont get to experience these parts of the island.
Bob Marley Beach Location and direction
On Google Maps, Bob Marley beach is in Saint Thomas, but the entrance is in Bull Bay Saint Andrew. Since it is at the border between the two parishes and Bull Bay is the closest community to the beach, people will tell you that it is in Bull Bay.
It will take you about 30 minutes to get there from downtown Kingston. Google Maps works perfectly and will direct you to your destination.
But if you dont have access to Google, here is a guide.
Easy Guide to Bob Marley Beach
From Kingston, take the Sir Floizel Glasspole Highway. You will pass Harbourview and head to Bull Bay. Make the right turn after passing the Bull Bay Police Station. The entrance is directly across from the Bull Bay Kingdom Hall Jehovah’s Witness Church.
A sign on the wall says Welcome to Bob Marley Beach. No, it’s not fake; you are on the correct path. The underdeveloped road is confirmation.
Pass a few houses and cross a bridge; then, you will see an official-looking sign welcoming you to the beach and warning that there are no lifeguards and the current is strong, so swim at your own risk.
You might not get to the beach if you are easily scared or believe some Jamaican stereotypes.
The underdeveloped roads, zinc fences, graffiti, and run-down houses are the things that stood out. These are generally associated with violent inner-city communities, but this area section of Bull Bay does not have that reputation.
On my first trip, I thought Google Maps was tricking me again because it tends to give incorrect information when traveling in rural areas. However, that was not the case. The Rastafarian theme artwork and the sight of the shore confirmed I was on the right path.
Soon after, we crossed the bridge; a proper sign appeared; this put all doubt aside.
Being a local who knows the culture seeing men hanging out on the narrow road smoking was not intimidating. Because I know this is typical in some communities, especially on weekends or holidays.
However, someone from a different culture with preconceived notions about the island might view things differently.
My first visit
I have known about Bob Marley beach for a long time, but it was never on my list. However, after writing a post on Bob Marley Museum, I was compelled to visit some of his stomping grounds.
Bob Marley Beach was the first stop.
After getting over the initial disappointment of the unpleasant entry and poor infrastructure, I was amazed by what I saw.
I felt like a step back in time before our best attracts were scared by artificial structures and commercialized.
There is a long stretch of beautiful dark sand beach tall mountain standing in the backdrop of waves crashing ashore with no people. It is comparable to Negril seven mile beach in a different color before mass tourism.
The board structure close to the beach was hardly noticeable and gave an isolated island vibe. Few fishing boats on the shore, some m
A few shacks made from ticks and material sourced from nature and some wooden benches are the perfect spot to lounge and have a cold drink.
I could walk the stretch from saint Andrew to Saint Thomas for hours just gazing at the waves.
The rough sand on sections of the beach makes walking barefoot uncomfortable, but being close to the water is more pleasant.
I am not a strong swimmer, so taking pictures to capture this place’s beauty was good enough.
Bob Marley beach would be the perfect backdrop for a romantic movie like French Man’s Cove Beach in Portland.
What to do at Bob Marley Beach
The openness and isolation of Bob Marley beach are perfect if you are like me. Unfortunately, for those wanting more, nothing much there to do. However, you can be creative and create your fun. Here are some of my suggestions.
- Go for a swim. Go for a swim; however, be careful because there are strong currents and no lifeguard on duty.
- Take a long romantic walk on the beach. The long stretch of beach with the mountains as its backdrop is perfect for couples to enjoy each other company.
- Relax and have a drink with friends. This isolated beach is a great place to link up with friends for some beers. Advice to take your beverage, but can you grab a few from a couple of shops nearby.
- Picnic on the beach. A picnic on the beach is another excellent idea. Its isolation provides some level of privacy. You could quickly disappear from peering eyes and enjoy a lovely picnic with someone special.
- Watch the sunset over Kingston Harbour. Watching the sunset from that section of the island is another great idea.
- Meditate Bob Marley beach is the perfect place for meditation, far from the city noise and people, only the crashing sounds of waves hitting the coastline.
Is Bob Marley Beach safe to visit?
Safety is always a concern for people easily on an island with a bad reputation. Fortunately, the community around Bob Marley beach has a Rastafarian influence. Also, it is close to a parish not known for its high crime rate.
However, it is an isolated area; therefore, anything can happen. So it is best to travel with a company. Night beach is a fun experience, but I wouldn’t recommend staying after dark.
There are no lights on the road, and they narrow a bad. So you could easily make a wrong turn.
Like anywhere else on the island, use common sense to be aware of your surroundings and prepare to leave if you feel uncomfortable.
Bob Marley Beach In Saint Andrew is not for everyone. However, nature lovers, Bob Marley fans, and people who cherish isolation will love it. It is not the typical white sand beach show in a tourism magazine. However, it is just as beautiful, although different.
It is easy to find using Google Maps or the guide in this post. Take water shoes if you plan to walk along the beach because some sections have rough sand. Dont go alone, travel with company, it is isolated, so it’s good to have help nearby if there are any problems.