THE MONTEGO BAY AREA OF JAMAICA
The MONTEGO BAY AREA is the “Tourist Gateway” to Jamaica. The vibrancy of this Tourist Mecca can be seen in such diverse places as the Craft Market and on the Cruise Ship Pier. Once called “Bahia de Manteca” or “Lard Bay”, today tourism, not pig butter, feeds the local economy. Here are my “10 favorite destinations” around the MONTEGO BAY AREA. I will divide them into two categories (five in each). You will see some overlapping each other but I assure you, each is somehow significantly different in experience.
- MUSIC VENUES – From the World Famous Reggae Sumfest to the “All That Heritage & Jazz Festival”, Montego Bay offers some type of music to please everyone’s ear. If music is the Soul of Jamaica, then Montego Bay is its Heart!
- WATER SPORTS – Whether your choice is diving, sailing, sport fishing or just cruising, take a taxi down to Pier 1 and you will find what you are looking for. Montego Bay has the best selection you will find in Jamaica. Very Nice!
- ROSE HALL TOUR – Built in the 1770’s by John Palmer and named for his wife Rose, Rose Hall occupies a commanding view of the ocean from its hilltop setting. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of the “White Witch” (Anne Palmer) who has been rumored to murder her four husbands. Opulence and mystery in a beautiful setting!
- DIVING FOR NON-DIVERS – Operating out of Margueritaville, is MoBay Undersea Tour where you don’t actually dive below the surface but view marine life through bubble-dome windows beneath the boat. Snorkeling and hand-feeding the fish too! Great for kids!
- GLISTENING WATERS (LUMINOUS LAGOON) – Acting like fireflies in the water, the microorganisms illuminate the bay with an eerie green when disturbed. Great for kids!
- RAFTING THE MARTHA BRAE – Named for an Arawak Priestess, this rafting trip down a 3-mile stretch has been rated as one of Jamaica’s best. Stop at “Tarzan’s Corner” for swing and swim! Trip takes about 90min. Worth the $$!
- RAFTING THE GREAT RIVER – From the mountain village of Lethe, long narrow bamboo rafts will take you on a tranquil 2-hour ride down the 9-mile course. A plantation tour at the Lethe Estate can be added! Check out Rhea’s World too! A different experience!
- TOURING THE BELLFIELD GREAT HOUSE – built in 1735, this exquisitely restored residence is part of the famous Barnett Estate and will make you feel you are stuck in the 18th century! A jitney ride will take you around the 3000-acre estate. Horseback rides are available from the Barnett Point Stables nearby.
- ROCKLANDS BIRD SANCTUARY – Located in the mountain village of Anchovy and founded by Lisa Salmon in 1958, Rocklands is a bird lover’s paradise! Only open from 2 to 5pm daily, but 3pm is the optimum time to visit! Countless varieties of birds will come and eat from your hand including the Streamertail Hummingbird; the National Bird of Jamaica!
- CHARLES SWABY’S SWAMP SAFARI – Located near Falmouth, this is a combination nature reserve and family park. Mr. Swaby can be seen wrestling huge crocodiles. Lots of other animals including the mongoose, snakes and a bird sanctuary can be found on the premises.
The MONTEGO BAY AREA of Jamaica has something for everyone. I hope this list will help you decide to make this area your next travel destination!
Need help in planning your adventure travel while in Jamaica. Feel free to email me at the following addresses : [email protected]