• Turtles' Nest

The History of Treasure Beach




A contrast to the usual trademarks of the Caribbean, Treasure Beach in Jamaica is a unique and refreshing contribution to the region. This string of sleepy fishing villages welcomes visitors from around the world and is located off Jamaica’s south coast.

Serving up six miles of coral coloured beaches, gem-like private coves, rocky shores and lush waterfalls, Treasure Beach is true to its name. Have a snorkelling adventure at Frenchman’s Bay and have a chance to see dolphins. Zip line through the forest over the YS Waterfalls, or explore the Santa Cruz Mountains. Fancy a slower pace? Then sidle up to a shady palm tree with an ice-cold Red Stripe beer, and set the tone for a day of beach-bliss.

Arid like the East African Savannas, Jamaica’s landscape is home to a rare breed of trees that bloom with canopies of bright purple blossoms. Produced by the ornamental Lignum Vitae tree, Jamaica’s national flower is a rare and gorgeous sight.

Treasure Beach is a world unto its own with a wealth of natural beauty, a backbone of humility and a stream of lesser-known gems. Endowing romance to adjectives such as “boho”, “barefoot” and “off the beaten track”, Treasure Beach Jamaica found its way onto the tourism map almost 27 years ago.



The secret of Treasure Beach's monopoly on authentic island bliss was out and growth was inevitable. Still, even after the installation of a convenient cashpoint, reliable wifi and a luxury spa, Treasure Beach was able to retain its authenticity.

In the destinations more ancient history, 700 AD saw the arrival of the peaceful Taino Indians. These were the first inhabitants of Jamaica. A creative society, the new island-dwellers were skilled potters, carvers, weavers, boat builders and farmers; all traditions the Tainos retained for centuries.

A large population of the Taino people made their way to Treasure Beach, setting up camp around 1494 AD. Remnants of Taino pottery can still be found lying around the island, particularly spottable after a heavy rain. It was not long after they settled, that the Spanish made their arrival to the Jamaican waters, spelling the doom of the Taino people. Captured and enslaved, the Tainos quickly became extinct across Jamaica.

On the brighter side, some Taino Indians managed to flee Jamaica in boats, making their way to the shores of the Americas, where small Taino communities can still be found today.


Interesting fact: Popular Taino words you may recognise are: canoe, hammock, hurricane and tobacco.


Centuries later, around mid-1600 AD, a Scottish ship sank off the shores of Jamaica. The survivors swam to shore and became new inhabitants off the island. Instantly recognised as "brownin's" or "red men" from Treasure Beach, the inevitable intermixing with the local population led to the widespread presence of striking and handsome people.


This article first appeared on the Sandals website