Jamaica is noted for an unending supply of pretty beaches and Doctor's Cave Beach certainly qualifies. That's not why I visited this soothing strip 20 minutes after my plane landed, however. Located smack dab in the middle of downtown Montego Bay's Gloucester Avenue or "hip strip", it's one of the island's most famous beaches.
Over 100- years- old and full of history, I came to investigate the beach's legendary curative water. Legend has it that several centuries ago, when slavery still plagued Jamaica, runaways would dip into the spring waters of the cave leading to the beach and their sores and bruises from whips and beatings would quickly heal.
A beach club was founded on the location in 1906 by a Dr. McCatty, which is how the beach acquired its name. By the 1920s, a British doctor published research on the healing waters of Doctor's Cave Beach. Celebrities and wealthy travelers flocked to the beach, prompting hotels to spring up all around the beach. The cave was wiped out by a hurricane in 1932 but the beach retains its allure. The water is warm and crystalline and the sand is soft and pearly. But is the water magical and healing? Nope. Apparently, those special curative abilities left when the cave was demolished. That didn't stop me from lounging and splashing in the water as streams of dancehall music played at the Groovy Grouper beach bar. I didn't leave until Doctor's Cave Beach literally closed, at a shocking (for Jamaican time) 5PM.