With its rich culture, reggae rhythms and stunning beaches, Jamaica is a fascinating island paradise to explore. Montego Bay provides you with everything Jamaica’s all about. A Montego Bay cruise offers the perfect blend of excitement and relaxation, of days spent relaxing on the beach and nights living it up in one of the city’s many nightclubs.
There are so many beaches to choose from, many within walking distance. Doctor’s Cave is one of the area’s most iconic beaches. This strip of white sand is in a sheltered location, and is a perfect place for swimming with children. The clear waters are said to have healing powers – you’ll definitely feel very relaxed after spending the afternoon here.
Under the hot Caribbean sun, chances are you’ll want to spend a lot of time in the water. The Martha Brae River, 45 minutes’ drive from Montego Bay, offers Jamaica’s most highly-rated rafting experience. Sit back and relax as you float downstream on a bamboo raft, looking out for wildlife in the luxuriant rainforest that lines the banks.
If you’re interested in watersports, there’s nowhere better to be than Montego Bay. Take a relaxing catamaran ride along the coast, discovering secluded coves as you travel in style. Montego Bay is also renowned for its scuba diving. Dive in the protected waters of its marine park and you’ll encounter colourful coral and vibrant shoals of fish.
Rum punch, jerk chicken and reggae rhythms…
As the hot days stretch into balmy nights, it’s time to explore Montego Bay’s more vibrant side. There’s no better place to start than the Hip Strip, a lively avenue lined with shops, bars and nightclubs visited by tourists and locals alike. Margaritaville is one of the best nightlife options – by day it’s an adventure park for adults where you can enjoy trampolines and water slides, and by night a cool club frequented by the likes of P Diddy.
There are also lots of great restaurants located on and around the Hip Strip, serving cuisines from around the world. But after a day on the beach, there’s nothing quite like a cold Red Stripe beer and a plate of jerk chicken. Visit the Pork Pit to feast on barbecue-sizzled jerk ribs, sausages and chicken. If you’re feeling adventurous then try Jamaica’s national dish, ackee and saltfish.
If you want to pick up some souvenirs from Montego Bay, visit Harbour Street Market or Old Fort Market. Among the bustling stalls you’ll find unique wooden carvings, beaded necklaces and colourful clothes to take home. Enjoy browsing goods in the local shops, too, especially with the knowledge that purchases here are duty-free.
Montego Bay is renowned for its beaches, but it also has a spooky side. The most famous building in the area is Rose Hall, a sprawling plantation mansion. This house is reputedly haunted by the White Witch, Annie Palmer, an English woman who learned voodoo and murdered all three of her husbands. According to legend, she now haunts the echoing corridors of Rose Hall.
Jamaica is renowned for its reggae music, as it is the birthplace of world-renowned performers Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff. Montego Bay is famed for its world-class music festivals. Reggae Sumfest, the world’s premier reggae music festival, takes place annually on a local beach. Meanwhile, the town’s streets come alive every carnival season, with parades, parties and bands playing reggae, ska and soca music.
Did you Know?
- The National Geographic rated ackee and saltfish as one of the top 10 national dishes in the world
- Less than an hour from Montego Bay is Glistening Lagoon, a phosphorescent lake that glows blue at nighttime because of the bioluminescent organisms in the water
- When Christopher Columbus came to the Caribbean, he landed in Montego Bay
- Locals call Montego Bay ‘MoBay’