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Tourism to Jamaica got its start in Montego Bay in the 1880s when a spa opened at Doctor's Cave Beach. Today Mo'Bay is the country's second largest city and it's main beach resort. Overlooked by forested hills and overlooking a gorgeous bay, this lively town has an enviable location. In colonial days it was the island's foremost sugar and slave-trading port. The bustling town center exudes historic charm alongside somber mementos to its traumatic past, centered on Sam Sharpe Square. Outside town, Barnett Estate, Greenwood Great House, and Rose Hall – supposedly haunted by mistress Annie Palmer's ghost – provide a perspective on plantation ...

Tourism to Jamaica got its start in Montego Bay in the 1880s when a spa opened at Doctor's Cave Beach. Today Mo'Bay is the country's second largest city and it's main beach resort. Overlooked by forested hills and overlooking a gorgeous bay, this lively town has an enviable location. In colonial days it was the island's foremost sugar and slave-trading port. The bustling town center exudes historic charm alongside somber mementos to its traumatic past, centered on Sam Sharpe Square. Outside town, Barnett Estate, Greenwood Great House, and Rose Hall – supposedly haunted by mistress Annie Palmer's ghost – provide a perspective on plantation life. Beaches along Mo'Bay's touristic strip north of town shelve into the turquoise, coral-studded waters of Montego Bay Marine Park – a great venue for snorkeling, diving, water sports, and sailing excursions. To beat the heat, go rafting on the Great River, or head into the surrounding hills, where draws include Rocklands Bird Feeding Station. And adventure awaits in Cockpit Country, where descendants of runaway slaves lead hikes and cave exploration amid fantastical limestone formations.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Now Happening in Montego Bay

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: South of Cuba, Montego Bay is the second largest city in Jamaica by area and the fourth by population. It is a tourist destination with duty free shopping, a cruise line terminal and several beaches.
  • Language: English and Patois
  • Currency: Jamaican Dollar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Early spring months offer the nicest weather; Reggae Sumfest is in August.