Negril is a small (pop. 6,900) but widely dispersed beach resort town located across parts of two Jamaican parishes, Westmoreland and Hanover.
Negril is about an hour and fifteen minute drive on the coastal highway from Sir Donald Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay. Westmoreland is the westernmost parish in Jamaica, located on the south side of the island. Downtown Negril, the West End cliff resorts to the south of downtown, and the southern portion of the so-called “seven mile (11 km) beach” are in Westmoreland. The northernmost resorts on the beach are in Hanover Parish. The nearest large town is Savanna-la-Mar, the capital of Westmoreland Parish.
The name Negril is a shortened version of Negrillo (Spanish: Little black ones), as it was originally named by the Spanish in 1494. The name is thought by some to be a reference to the black cliffs south of the village. Another theory holds that because there was a vast population of black eels along Negril’s coast, the Spaniards called the area Anguila Negra which was shortened to Negrillo and then to Negril. Although Negril has a long history, it did not become well known until the second half of the twentieth century.