Travel website Travel and Leisure has listed Doctor’s Cave Beach in Jamaica among the 17 best beaches in the Caribbean.
Doctor’s Cave Beach was cited for its convenient location near the airport in Montego Bay and the fact that it is open to the public for a nominal fee in an area where many of the best beaches are associated with hotels and privately operated. The beach’s calm, turquoise waters make for excellent swimming all day. These waters are fed by clear mineral springs and are sustained at a temperature of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The beach itself offers clean, white sand and is fringed by trees. Onsite vendors provide welcome refreshment and sustenance for beachgoers, who can also rent chairs, umbrellas, and snorkeling gear there.
Doctor’s Cave Beach is named in reference to Dr. Alexander James McCatty who founded a sanatorium in Montego Bay in 1880 and allowed his friends to enjoy the beach that was accessed through a cave. He donated his property to the community in 1906. In the 1970s, English osteopath Sir Herbert Barker was so impressed by the health benefits of the waters he wrote an article that promoted the area to the general public. As a result, hotels were built to allow tourists the opportunity to enjoy the beach. Today, the beach forms part of the Montego Bay Marine Park, a protected area that is home to many sea animals and coral reefs that can be enjoyed by snorkelers.
The other 16 beaches listed by Travel and Leisure as the best in the Caribbean include Pigeon Point, Tobago; Grand Anse Beach, Grenada; Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos; Labadee Beach, Haiti; Bávaro Beach, Dominican Republic; Caracas Beach, Vieques, Puerto Rico; Varadero Beach, Cuba; Pig Beach, Big Major Cay, The Bahamas; Brown Beach, Barbados; Jalousie Beach, St. Lucia; Flamingo Beach, Aruba; Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Little Ffryes Beach, Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda; Coki Beach, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Trunk Bay, St. John, US Virgin Islands; and Maho Beach, St. Maarten.