JAMAICAN-BORN international megastar Koffee took it up a notch with her co-directed music video for her hit, West Indies. Some of the stunning drone shots showed her more than 60 feet above ground, belting out the catchy tune as she rocked in her inimitable style to its hip-swaying, foot-stomping beat. The location: the tower of the magnificent Negril Lighthouse.
There are 103 steps to the top. The climb is well worth it, though. There’s a spectacular panoramic view of the Negril sea and the town below.
Located in Negril’s famous West End, directly beside The Caves hotel and a stone’s throw away from Rick’s Café, the lighthouse is one of the town’s most famous landmarks. The highest point in the parish of Westmoreland, its lights are 100 feet above ground. It’s also one of the first concrete lighthouses ever built on the island.
Constructed in 1894 at the westernmost end of Negril Point by the French company Barber & Bernard, the lighthouse is anchored by an 18-foot-deep tank filled with water. This reinforces the concrete structure and keeps it balanced just in case there’s an earthquake.
Fun fact: Powered by a kerosene or gas lamp when it was first built, the lighthouse has used solar energy since 1985.
Built just off the coast, the lighthouse boasts elaborate white- and red-coloured automatic lights enclosed in a metal and glass protector. They flash every two seconds, initially used as a beacon by ships passing at sea and in need of an inkling of their proximity to land. Today the lighthouse attracts curiosity seekers in search of an adventure off the beaten path. The view from its tower is truly spectacular at sunset.
It’s also become quite popular with cinematographers and photographers – no surprise as it’s one of the most scenic spots in Negril. Currently owned and operated by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), the lighthouse is available for commercial events. It’s also available for private videography (as in Koffee’s video shoot) and photography for events such as birthday parties and weddings. The PAJ has details on the price list.
If you’re ever in Negril and want to pop in, a lighthouse keeper is on location for walk-ins. There is no entry fee but he will expect a tip. The larger the group, the bigger the tip.
While there, be sure to make your way down to the nearby caves, take a stroll and feel the toasty-warm Negril sand between your toes before taking a swim in the inviting blue Caribbean waters.
This is not an experience to be rushed.
TEXT BY DAINA DAVY