Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Montego Bay's Doctors Cave Beach


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.

8 comments:

Wendy said...

Very interesting to hear the history. Would love to go back to Jamaica.

Fly Girl said...

Wendy,
Good to hear from you! Going back to Jamaica is always a good idea.

Andrew Graeme Gould said...

Healing or not, it's certainly a beautiful location!

Fly Girl said...

Andrew,
It eally was, I forgot about the special healing powers after awhile.

A Cuban In London said...

Who doesn't love a beach with its own myth? :-) Priceless post. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Cubano, I do know how you appreciate folklore but I really expected this one to be true.

Discovery Journeys India said...

I thoroughly appreciate studying it.Thanks for posting.

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Fly Girl said...

India, thanks for dropping by!