Travelers are guaranteed to enjoy every minute of exploring Montego Bay. Even before you leave this island paradise, you will already be making plans to return! Read on for the ultimate guide to visiting Montego Bay.
Is Montego Bay a Good Vacation Spot?
Yes, Montego Bay is a good vacation spot as it has so much to offer. For those looking for a bit more adventure and excitement, Montego Bay is just the place to go.
As Jamaica’s second largest city, it has lots of opportunities for nightlife and activities. Visitors can go horseback riding on the beach, zip-lining in the jungle or simply chill out at the amazing bars and restaurants around the city.
What is Montego Bay Known for?
Montego Bay is known for:
- Vibrant nightlife
- Golden sand beaches and calm waters
- Excellent duty-free shopping
- A cruise line terminal
Is Montego Bay Nice for Everyone?
Yes, Montego Bay has something for everyone. Although famous as a haven for party animals, Montego Bay can also be a low-key relaxing destination for those traveling to Jamaica with kids.
The city boasts a wide array of attractions tailored for both kids and adults that guarantee lots of fun for everyone.
Is Montego Bay Family Friendly?
Yes, Montego Bay is a good destination choice for family vacations, thanks to its wide variety of family-friendly activities, attractions and accommodation options. Vacationing families can visit various places in Montego Bay that offer fun for the entire family.
Many Montego Bay resorts and hotels offer calm waves at the beach, swimming pools, supervised children’s activities, large family rooms and cribs. There are also many fantastic restaurants, shops and watersports opportunities in Montego Bay.
Non-touristy Things to Do in Montego Bay
Montego Bay offers visitors a variety of non-touristy attractions and activities to enjoy.
Explore Rose Hall
Built in 1770, Rose Hall is one of the oldest plantation homes in Jamaica. Perched on a hill overlooking the Caribbean Sea, a tour in the Great House makes you feel as if you’ve stepped backed in time.
According to local folklore, the Georgian mansion is haunted by the ghost of Annie Palmer, dubbed the “White Witch of Rose Hall.”
Horseback Riding on the Beach
Situated next to the Half Moon Resort is an Equestrian Center that offers daily rides along the white sand beach close by. The horses really enjoy the water and once they begin swimming, you will feel as if you are gliding on their backs.
Lessons in equestrian dressage, jumping and polo are also available.
Doctor’s Cave Beach
Doctor’s Cave is one of the most popular beaches in Montego Bay. Its soft white sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters attract lots of tourist crowds.
Its location within a bay offers shelter from rough seas and currents, making it ideal for kids and inexperienced swimmers. Said to have healing powers, a day spent in the warm waters here is guaranteed to leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.
Glistening Waters Luminous Lagoon
Glistening Waters is a place you must visit at night. Situated in Trelawney parish, the phosphorescent lagoon is a habitat for thousands of bioluminescent microorganisms.
When the organisms are disturbed by boats, swimmers or even the weather, they light up creating a bright blue magical glow. Once your boat reaches the middle of the bay, you will start to see the blue glow appear from the waves.
Rafting on Martha Brae River
Martha Brae River is also situated in the neighboring parish of Trelawney about one hour’s drive to the east of Montego Bay.
One of Jamaica’s biggest rivers, it offers some of the best rafting experiences in the area. The rafting tour takes you along 3 miles of river in the surroundings of lush tropical forest. The rafts are wholly made out of bamboo, which only adds to the rustic experience.
Zipline Adventure Tour
Soak up aerial views of Jamaica while gliding through the dense canopies of the country’s most pristine tropical rainforests on the longest zipline course in the Caribbean.
During the tour, you will see native flora and fauna, while getting an idea of what the island looked like before the arrival of the European colonists.
Golfing at the Tryall Club
The golf course at the Tryall Club is one of the most beautiful and exclusive in the Caribbean. It winds around and through the large property, starting from the hillside and ending down along the coast.
Golfers can enjoy stunning views of the ocean and surrounding mountains while being attended to by friendly and attentive caddies.
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
Set amid warm, crystal-clear waters and boasting beautiful coral teeming with colorful fish, Montego Bay Marine Park is an ecological paradise for snorkelers and scuba divers.
The marine park has an array of wonderful shallow sites that start at 10-12 meters, as well as deep walls that begin at 23 meters. Many resorts and hotels offer diving packages for guests, including night dives and private sessions.
If you’re searching for a gorgeous beach without the crowds that frequent Doctor’s Cave, then Cornwall Beach is your best bet.
Although usually less busy, Cornwall Beach has the same calm waters and white sands you will find at Doctor’s Cave. Spend a day sunbathing here before heading down the Hip Strip to find a bar and enjoy a cold drink.
Where is Montego Bay Located?
Montego Bay is located in the parish of Saint James, Jamaica.
How Many Days Do You Need in Montego Bay?
As an itinerary guide, you could do 2-3 days (or more) in Montego Bay. With 3 days spent in Montego Bay, not only can you explore lots of the area’s historical sites and natural attractions, but you’ll also have time to get immersed in the local culture and go on a few excursions.
But avoid overbooking yourself in Montego Bay as the whole point of Jamaica is to explore, relax and feel the vibes.
What is the Best Time of Year to Go to Montego Bay?
Montego Bay boasts a sublime tropical climate that makes it the perfect sunny destination at any time of the year.
That said, the best time to visit Montego Bay for a beach vacation is at the start of “winter” from November to mid-December when the city’s beautiful weather is at its most pleasant.
Does It Rain a Lot?
Montego Bay receives an average rainfall of 37 inches per year. September to December are the wettest months, although it’s still a great time to enjoy the tropical destination.
During the rainy season in Montego Bay, expect about 15 minutes to 1 hour of rainfall, mainly in the late afternoon or early evening.
Are There Mosquitoes in Montego Bay?
Because Montego Bay is a tropical destination, it therefore has mosquitoes. However, as long as you protect yourself using mosquito repellent and other preventative measures, mosquitoes will not ruin your holiday in Montego Bay.