Montego Bay is more than just a tourist hub, however; it’s also a real city with a long-standing history. Columbus visited in May 1494 and named Montego Bay “El Golfo de Buen Tiempo,” or Bay of Good Weather. In 1510 the Spanish started to settle here. Using the bay as a shipping point for hogs, they began to call this site “Bahia de Mantega,” a name derived from the Spanish word for lard, which was one of the top products.
In 1655 the British occupied Jamaica and the parish of St. James was founded soon after. Montego Bay became the capital of the parish and for many years was a tax-free haven. Surrounded by sugarcane plantations, the area became the home of many wealthy English planters .
The following section below will help to define what a means to experience Montego Bay.