Along the south coast of Jamaica visitors will find a number of narrow beaches that attract a local crowd. Hellshire Beach is the largest and most popular of them. Located just outside of the island’s capital Kingston, this beach offers a combination of natural setting, personality and local fare not found in more secluded spots. With interesting black sands, cool waters and a host of activities there’s more than enough here to keep you entertained.
( via Varun Baker )
Hellshire is most frequented by Kingstonians and residents of the neighbouring Portmore throughout the year. On the weekdays, it is lively; on weekends, it can get a bit crowded. On Sunday night, there’s a big party on the beach that starts late so you can enjoy the thumbing sounds of the latest Jamaican music mixed with the soothing sounds of the ocean into the early hours of the morning. There’s lots to do and watch at Hellshire: horseback rides, rent-a-tubes, some of the most amazing people watching ever. And of course, the water itself, which is as spectacular in February as it is in August. Yet perhaps the best part of this beach is the tantalizing food served there and dining at Hellshire Beach is a must do for anyone staying in Kingston (or just passing through).
Famed for its fried fish and safe swimming, here you’ll find a selection of some of the best (and most affordable) seafood this side of the island. There are dozens of fish shacks that line the beach, all serving up a combination of fish (parrot and snapper) and lobster, steamed, fried, escoviched or brown-stewed, with bammy (a starch made from cassava first used in the dishes of the Native Tainos) and festival on the side and a sweating Red Stripe to wash it all down. Prices are great, the quality is superb and you can choose to eat it right on the beach looking out over the gorgeous ocean. There are also a number of tables and benches in the shade of grape nut trees and there is no charge to enter the Hellshire Beach, because it is a public beach.
( via Varun Baker )
The fishmongers on the beach here first created “festival”, a sort of sweet bread usually served with fish, or so they claim. The seemingly simple recipe is often imitated, but rarely duplicated successfully. Kingstonians have many theories about this – some claim that a sprinkling of sand is the secret ingredient; others claim that a dash of seawater mixed into the batter is the trick. Either way, it is a tasty and filling complement to a meal of fresh escoviched fish that is practically synonymous with Hellshire.
It is easy to see why Hellshire has become one of the most popular bathing beaches on the South Coast because of the spirit of community and the generally mellow vibe of the beach. Spend a day there and you will see fishing boats coming ashore intermittently, intercepted on the beach by hagglers who either cook on the beach or take the fish to be sold inland. It has become a popular stop for patrons from who seek to buy salt water fish directly from the fishermen. In fact the Hellshire Beach, allows buyers to choose the fish of their choice as well as the crustacean of their choice. This has made the Hellshire Beach, very popular for dining. Almond trees provide a considerable amount of peaceful shade. If you love nice people, delicious food, and drink on the beach before playing in the waves, Hellshire is the place for you.
Tags: beaches in jamaica, beaches in the caribbean, beaches near kingston, caribbean, food, hellshire beach, helshire beach, Jamaica, jamaican festival, jamaican fried fish, kingston, places, places to eat in jamaica, travel