Royal Palm Reserve
Royal Palm Reserve
3.5
About
Two-mile stretch of swampland, part of the Great Morass.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles74 reviews
Excellent
17
Very good
32
Average
13
Poor
6
Terrible
6

Medic_334
Cambridge, MA62 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Family
My family and I set up a visit through the travel desk at our hotel, the Negril Tree House Resort. $50 roundtrip for transportation, wasn't cheap, but also wasn't terrible. It's about a 20min drive from our hotel, and maybe 10-15min from the roundabout in town. You turn off the main roadway, travel briefly through a neighbourhood, then down some primitive roads, with some stretches a bit flooded (at least during our visit). Along the journey, you parallel the Negril River, and my wife was convinced she saw alligators, which our driver said could be possible because there is an alligator or crocodile farm nearby. Anyway, there are some decent opportunities to photograph birds along the path in.
We arrived before we knew it, and found 3-4 security guards in the area. The main guy asked for $20/person, and we negotiated it down to $10/person. It's important you know that this preserve is "officially" closed to tourists. Unofficially, it's open, but the guards risk their jobs every time they let someone in, so keep this in mind, and don't try to completely screw them over!
You'll start out at a manmade lake, with a wooden boardwalk that skirts the south/southeastern bank. The buildings, constructed in the mid-to-late 80s look to have been left to nature (along with everything else), and have an eerie, but intriguing quality about them. You'll see egrets and ducks, among a host of other birds. The boardwalk is slick, and many of the boards are loose (a few are missing). It's still easily navigable, but wear something sturdy, and walk in the middle.
The boardwalk meanders through the woods, and you'll see beautiful palms towering overhead, giant snails, frogs, and, as I said, tons of birds. There's even an observation tower about 35-40ft tall, towards the middle. It's a bit precarious to ascend, but ultimately sturdy and affords great views of the Great Morass (the area of land around Negril).
I'd recommend arriving early in the morning (arrive between 0730-0800) for great sunrise photos, and lots of wildlife. Things thin-out later in the morning, and through the afternoon, and during sunset, I hear it livens-up a bit again.
Last bit of info: a guide is available, for a nominal, negotiated fee. Bathroom facilities exist...but, I'd hold it, especially for females. That said, the whole trip took about 1.5 hours. Ultimately, if you're aching for a taste of natural Jamaica, and Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville turns you off, come here, you won't regret it, and you'll join a small cadre of travellers who truly ventured off the beaten path!
Written August 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cajeju
Germany44 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Couples
Officially the place is closed. However you can go there and enjoy nature. The road for the last 2 km is just a dirt track, but you can get through. For 10 $ per person a proficient guide leads you around and explains a lot about what you can see.
It is well worth the effort.
Written September 12, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

terwoj54
Minneapolis, MN61 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Couples
This is a lovely spot for a leisurely walk to view wildlife. This eco tour is a nice break from the beach. You may walk at your own pace through the boardwalk type constructed trail. You should allow a couple of hours or so. Although it is somewhat under the wire to find. It is not too far out of Negril but only marked with a single sign. It is same left turn as sunset falls if you see that. The road is somewhat rough but not too bad. It is worth the time to go there. There is a small admission charged and an attendant on premises.
Written November 21, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tony r
Burlington, Canada49 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
The road was washed out so I had to carry my shoes and socks through knee deep swamp mud at certain points. It was pretty disgusting. It took me over half an hour to get to the ruins. The pond is pretty much non existent since being taken over by hyacinth and overgrowth. The decks and boardwalk have rotted to the point where it's a hazard. Very dangerous,need to take slow calculated steps. Walking back I encountered a bull with no owner in sight.. I had about 15 feet walking space to pass it or wait for it to leave . I just chartered an escape route through the swamp if need be and went for it. Thankfully he was ok with me. What I got out of this trip which I havn't had in a long time was. Frightened and disgusted.
Written February 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sony t
14 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Family
This used to be a wonderful place to visit. Mismanagement strikes again. We went several years ago when the kids were small and wanted to return with them this year.
Written January 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ExpatzAZ
Phoenix, AZ21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Couples
We hired a taxi from the Negril beach area, which took about 30 minutes each way. Although officially closed we were able to negotiate a $10 entrance fee and one of the people working there took us around. It is a lovely place with all sorts of interesting birds and flora. Well worth a trip, especially now when there is nobody around. Our guide was very knowledgeable and gave us lots of detailed information.
Written April 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dagfinn65
Froland Municipality, Norway10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2017 • Couples
Its a fantastic place to visit if you are interssted in birds. The place is closed, but there are always some one out there. I have been the once in the year since 2009 and next week i will be there again.
Written January 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HerbUttsmelz
Needville, TX45 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Couples
If you are a birder this place will hit you with 25 to 30 species including many of the endemic species. "You had me at Northern Jacanas". West Indian Whistling Ducks are almost tame, and the species just keep on coming. Noel, the resident expert is an amazing guide. Without binoculars he will pick out the species hidden in the trees. He knows all the calls as well as the genus species of the native trees. I kept asking him how he could see these birds hidden in the leaves without binoculars and he would just give this little chuckle and keep on walking. Jamaican Woodpecker, Jamaican Oriole, Vervain Hummingbirds and Jamaican Mangos til your tired of looking at them. A great find and an even greater birder in Noel go give us the tour. If you're going to Negril and want to get a great taste of Jamaican birds, THIS IS THE PLACE!
Written June 21, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BeenThere01
Ottawa, Canada99 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
I love walking in the nature and this is what this place had to offer for a whole 45 minutes. The ammenities are runned down and I believe the Reserve is barely surviving. Nice to see the whistling ducks. Poor abandonned crocodile..fenced in a small pen with no water to swim in. I'd say visit if it's something you really want to see. Other than that, save your money for something else. We payed 80$US round trip for 2 adults from Negril.
Written February 1, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dianefanning
Bedford, VA17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Couples
The elevated boardwalk made the exploration easy and enjoyable. The birds were the highlight for me. We saw a Jamaican Oriole, a male and female Doctor Bird, Mango Honeysuckle Hummingbird, West Indian Whistling Ducks, King Bird, White capped pigeons and a Red tailed Hawk. Reggae Tours took us there on a tour designed just for the two of us. If you've never been and you like nature, you'll be blown away by this different side of Negril.
Written September 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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