Montego Bay is on the north-west coast of Jamaica and is the essence of the complete resort where flowering trees, smooth meadows and palm-covered hills overlooking the turquoise sea and its white beaches. Montego Bay, commonly referred to as MoBay, is the second largest city in the island nation Jamaica, a member of the British Commonwealth. Montego Bay is the capital of St. James Parish, one of the 14 parishes of Jamaica.Complete Covid-19 Statistics for Jamaica
Christopher Columbus called Montego Bay “the gulf of good weather” as it was dubbed Bahia de Manteca (Lard Bay) by the Spanish. Montego Bay became a major shipping port for sugar and bananas.
At the turn of the last century, visitors came from far away to try the waters of Doctor’s Cave Beach, which was said to heal nearly any sickness. Today, the beach of Montego Bay is as popular as ever, while Montego Bay has grown to become the country’s prime tourist destination and second-largest city on Jamaica.
Montego Bay is home to the annual Reggae festival which is held in August and it is the heart of the “Jamaican Riviera”, with more hotel rooms than any other part of Jamaica, from five-star luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts to charming small inn’s, guesthouses and some of the most luxurious private villas in the Caribbean.
Montego Bay has some of the world’s finest golf courses can be enjoyed at the area’s four 18 hole challenge golf courses, including the well-known Tryall Golf, Tennis, and Beach Club.
Scuba and PADI diving can be enjoyed in the secluded waters of the Montego Bay Marine Park, with 18 square km of stunning coral reefs just off the coast from Montego Bay’s International Airport.
Fishing charters are well-liked with sporting types in search of the famous blue marlin. Luxury yachting is just as popular, with the Montego Bay Yacht Club hosting the twice-annually Pineapple Cup Miami to Montego Bay Yacht race.
Christopher Columbus sailed into the bay in 1494 and named it “El Golfo de Buen Tiempo” or Fair Weather Bay. The first record of a Spanish settlement here shows it as Monterias. The Spaniards hunted the herds of wild hogs that used to roam the hills and produced and exported ‘hog butter’ or lard. The name Montego derives from the Spanish “manteca” meaning lard, and Montego Bay is shown on some ancient maps as Lard Bay, or Bahia de Manteca in Spanish.
Due in part to its location on the island’s north shore, Montego Bay has long since earned the title of ‘tourist capital of Jamaica.’ It receives the bulk of international flights, and is home to Sangster International Airport, the larger of Jamaica’s two main international airports. It is a tourism destination known for its duty-free shopping, cruise line terminal, and the sheltered Doctor’s Cave beach with clear turquoise waters, which is one of the most famous beaches on the island.
- Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay (is on the northwest part of the island, very close to the cruise ports at Montego Bay and Ochos Rios.).
Montego Freeport, built in the 1960s on what was called the Bogue Islands, is the port of Montego Bay. The Montego Freeport terminal consists of five primary berths two of which are dedicated exclusively for cruise shipping. There is a telecommunications centre for cruise passengers (and crew), snack and refreshment stand.
Transportation is available from the terminal building, supervised by the Jamaica Tourist Board, which also maintains a visitor information booth. Montego Freeport is about 3 km south of town. Taxis to downtown MoBay cost about US$10. Shuttle bus service from the cruise ship pier to downtown City Centre Shopping Mall for US$2 per person each way.
Downtown Montego Bay
Gloucester Avenue-which is lined with tourist hotels, shops, and restaurants-has sidewalks on both sides and is best visited on foot. Aside from this road, walking may be considerably less safe.
By bus, taxi
Buses, minibuses and route taxis arrive and depart from the transportation station off Barnett St at the south end of St James St. There’s an inspector’s office (7AM-6PM) inside the gate where you can ask for the departure point of the bus you’re seeking.
Montego Bay Metro (952-5500; 19A Union St) is the municipal bus service (around J$100). Montego Bay Metro now operates three routes: Greenwood to City Centre; Sandy Bay to City Centre; and Cambridge to City Centre.
Taxis are readily available, but as with all cities be aware that some drivers will be less honest or reliable than others. follow your instincts; never get into an unmarked car with someone who offers you a ride, and stick with taxi services you recognize. Your hotel can suggest trustworthy drivers. Reliable driver (as used by the Bird’s Nest and Five Gable include Frankly (local phone 581 5712) and Smith (local phone 787 7889)
Another very common way of getting anywhere outside the vicinity of your hotel is by tour van. If you book a tour to the falls or the canopy, the driver will usually pick you up at your hotel. For more on tours, check the Do section below.
What to see and do
- The Centerstage Theatre, Dominica Dr. New Kingston. Small but cozy. Family-oriented musicals in patois.
What to do
Take a break from the sun and relax on the beach under a palm tree
- Cornwall Beach. 9AM-5PM. Snorkeling, swimming, and other fun beach activities. US$3.20/2 (adults/children).
- Doctor’s Cave Beach, Gloucester Ave. 8:30AM-Sunset. The water is crystal clear and snorkeling is available. It can get a bit crowded during busy season, but its still a great place to go for the family. US$5/2.50 (Adults/Children under 12) – Extra for chairs and umbrellas.
- Dunn’s River Falls & Park, Ochos Rios, Jamaica, W.I.. 8:30AM – 4PM. Dunn’s River Falls & Park comes to mind which is in Ochos Rios that is about two hours from Montego Bay by taxi cab. There are four rivers combined into one unending flow of rapid descent that drains directly into the Caribbean Sea. Adventurous tourist can climb the falls by forming a human chain led by an experienced Dunn’s river falls guide. Adults US $20 Children (2-11 years old) US $15.
- John Halls Montego Bay Adventure Tour. Thorough and thrilling tour of Jamaica’s beauty and culture. Adults: 75.00 Children:31.50.
- KiteBoarding Jamaica, Bounty Bay, Trelawny (only 20min from Montego Bay). Jamaica’s only Kite surfing center, great kite surfing on the Caribbean sea, suitable for all levels.
- Montego Bay Sea Trek Adventure, Doctor’s Cave Beach. 1 hour. Underwater adventures on the ocean floor. US$60.
- Walter Fletcher Beach. M-Th 9AM-7PM, F-Su 9AM-10PM. Swimming, boat rides, and other beachtime fun. US$5/3 (Adults/Children).
- Chukka Caribbean Adventures.
- Mayfield Falls (Renting a car and driving on an adventurous unsealed road (in parts) might be the easiest way to get there.). Mayfield Falls is the less-touristy option and much calmer than Dunn’s Falls. They are a 1,5hr drive south-west from MoBay. For an entrance fee of $15 local guides offer 1,5hr tours where you climb up the falls and return on a short trek. The tour includes jumping in pools, diving through tunnels and climbing stones. Jumping from a high tree might also be possible. You might ask your guide for a unofficial “nature tour” which takes you 2hrs up the falls through fields (maybe ganja as well) and means climbing the falls down. With driving there you will also have the chance to see rural life on Jamaica as you pass through little farmer villages. $15 + tip for the guide.
Jamaican Taxi Tours , ✉ email@example.com. Jamaican Taxi Tours provide professional and licensed drivers who can take you to the desired destination and sightseeing tour comfortably and safely. Our tours are ideal for every traveler, covering various interests such as archaeology, history, culture, religion and the best aspect of Jamaica in the most relaxing and exciting way.
Travel Around Jamaica Tours , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Travel Around Jamaica Tours is a Montego Bay, Jamaica based private airport transfer and tour company, which offers private airport transfers to all hotels, resorts and villas in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Negril. As well as private transfers to popular tourism destinations in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril.
- Dreamer Catamaran Cruises, Rapsody Tours, Charters & Cruise Limited, Gloucester Avenue , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Monday – Saturday 10AM-1PM/3PM-6PM. The Dreamer Catamaran cruises are a great way to explore the Caribbean Ocean. On the Catamaran cruise, there is an opportunity for sight seeing, snorkeling, drinking, sun bathing. The staff is very friendly, helpful and patient, making sure new comers to snorkeling feel comfortable with their equipment and what to look for while exploring the sea. After snorkeling, alcohol is served on the catamaran, along with massages by the crewmemebers. The Dreamer Catamaran cruises are fun, safe, and a great experience. US $89.
All day, representatives from tour companies will stroll the beaches, offering parasailing, horseback riding, and a million other fun activities; if you’re interested, keep your ears and eyes open for these guys, but remember to always play it safe and go with companies you recognize and trust. A lot can go wrong during these activities if the people in charge don’t know what they’re doing!
- Rockland Bird Sanctuary, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 9AM-5PM. Enjoy the many varieties of birds that make the Rocklands Bird Sanctuary a wonderful nature place. @ Rocklands Road, Wiltshire, Anchovy Montego Bay
- Montego Bay shopping center. You can find more reasonably priced souvenirs, and eat some real native Jamaican food. A traveler can find really great deals on gourmet coffee in which is produced right on the island, and Jamaican spices, art and scented body oils. You can get there by taxi or local shuttle.
Most restaurants also serve drinks. Try a tropical drink or grab a cold Red Stripe in the signature brown bottle, then relax and take in the scenery!
- Pier One Seafood, Howard Cooke Blvd. Open-air restaurant serving well-liked seafood and umbrella drinks with a great view of the bay.
- Evelyn’s, Whitehouse (near Sandals Montego Bay). Monday – Saturday 9AM-9PM, Su 10AM-6PM. Very reasonable prices, right on the beach, and the food is heavenly.
- Pork Pit, 27 Gloucester Ave. Right on the main strip in town, serving what some say is Jamaica’s best jerk chicken and pork cooked over coals.
- Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville, Gloucester Ave. 11AM-?. A tourist spot on the “hip strip” Gloucester Avenue, that is great for the whole family. Jamaica is known for their Jerk and Curry Chicken, which are both excellent here at Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville. They have entertainment, a hot tub, a 110 foot water slide that leads you into the ocean where there is also a water trampoline. Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville also has a gift shop, with a wide variety of souvenirs including t-shirts, shorts, hats, shot glasses, key chains, etc. This is a great place to get away from the resorts, it is located about 15 minutes from the resort areas and is always a great place to grab a bite to eat. Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville is always a great reminder of home, and always has a sense of “home” even in other countries.
- Day-O Plantation Restaurant. A favorite spot for romantic occasions, offering garden dining and Jamaican fusion cuisine.
- Belfield 1794. Monday – Saturday 6:30-11PM.. Located in an old sugar mill and offering Jamaican favorites in an unusual setting. US$15-$20.
- The Pelican Grill, Gloucester Avenue Hip Strip (Across the street from the old Hospital Park on the Gloucester Ave. Hip Strip. Near Doctor’s Cave Beach.) , ✉ email@example.com.
- Royal Stocks English Pub (in the gardens of The Half Moon Village Shopping Village) , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Resortin Montego Bay
Hotels Montego Bay: Popularity
|Hotel||Stars||Discount||Price per night, from||Choose dates|
Secrets Wild Orchid
Secrets St. James
Riu Montego Bay - All Inclusive
Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay All Inclusive
- Bethel Court Guesthouse. Mount Salem. Here you will have your own private furnished apartment. $20/night dorms, $50 Private 1 bedroom apartment.
- The Bird’s Nest, Patterson Avenue, Ironshore. Jamaica’s first and only sports orientated hostel. The Bird’s Nest is run by passionate kite surfers. $20/night dorms, $30 private rooms.
- Caribic House, 69 Gloucester Ave. Hostel – very much budget accommodation. Great views of the beach from the third floor. Across the street from Doctor’s Cave Beach. $35/night (double occupancy).
- Hotel Gloriana, 1-2 Sunset Blvd. A cheap place to sleep, with lovely staff, but the rooms are very basic. $30/night.
- Ridgeway Guest House, 34 Queens Dr. An inexpensive, well-liked guest house run by a very hospitable and helpful staff. $50/night.
- The Jamaica Grandiosa Resort, 3 Ramparts Close. Another budget option, with nice views and a friendly staff. $60/night.
- Grand Palladium Resorts & Spa, Lucea, toll-free: . All Inclusive 3 Meals daily plus snacks and all drinks and house wines with meals included. Free activities (snorkeling, sailing, paddle boating) all of these activities are located on the beach adjacent to the Grand Palladium Resort. Lifeguard on duty. $60/night. Kids stay free.
- Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort.
- Five Gables, Lot 285 Fairview, Ironshore (Route taxis and buses commute between MoBay and Ironshore. From the junction you can either walk (2,5km uphill) or find a taxi (see Get Around, J$150)). Five Gables is a hostel in a villa in the suburb of Ironshore. The house consist of multiple rooms with bathrooms, a kitchen and a huge community area. Outside, the property features a pool, a sun deck with bar, hammocks and chairs as well as a garden. It is closely associated with the bird’s nest. Even if it appears fully booked on hostel world, call the owner Ian, he might let you camp in the garden or offers you another room right next door. dorm $20 / double ensuite $70.
- Allspice Villa Bed & Breakfast. Newly refurbished bed and breakfast villa overlooking Montego Bay, owned and managed by a young American couple. $125-200 per night.
- Doctors Cave Beach Hotel. A moderately priced hotel that is centrally located along Gloucester Avenue (called the Hip Strip). A well established alternative for those seeking a good value. $115-170/night.
- El Greco Resort, P.O. Box 1624. Popular resort village. Furnished one and two bedroom air-conditioned suites, just a elevator ride down to famous Doctors Cave beach. $112-177/night for 2-4 people.
- Royal DeCameron Resort. Oceanview rooms and patio, includes all food and drinks (including international drinks and wine). 3 Beaches, and 2 pools. 1 Al a carte restaurant and 1 buffet. 100$/person/night, including all beach activities.
- Rose Hall Resort & Spa, a Hilton Resort. Rose Hall Road, Montego Bay. This island resort in Montego Bay was a legendary sugar plantation during the 18th century. $250/night.
- Royal Reef Hotel in Montego Bay, Greenwood P.O. Box 10 Falmouth, Trelawny. The Royal Reef Hotel is a luxury hotel. Rates start at $150.
- Altamont West Hotel, 33 Gloucester Ave. Rates start at $90.
- Half Moon Rose Hall, Half Moon P.O., Rose Hall. A large hotel with golf courses, spa facilities, a variety of vacation villas, and conference and meeting facilities. Rooms and suites start at $350/night.
- Riu Montego Bay. Ironshore P.O, Rose Hall. Less than three miles from downtown Montego Bay, and 1.7 miles from the airport, it has a wide variety of activities and comfortable accommodations in a beautiful setting, including an on-site spa, entertainment by the pool and on the beach during the day and on stage at night. $400/night The Riu Montego Bay has a total of 5 bars and 5 restaurants. The restaurants include a Steak House, Italian Restaurant, Asian Restaurant, Main Restaurant and a pool-side buffet. There are 2 pool-side bars, and 2 inside the resort and 1 sports bar. The sports bar is open 24 hours with a mini-casino located right next door. There is always entertainment during the day at the pool area and at night, either in the entertainment area, or on the beach. The Riu Montego Bay is a great vacation spot for everybody.
- Silent Waters Villa, River Road, Great River Private. Luxury villa with nice views and good service. The 5 guest suites and the owner’s villa can accommodate one group of up to 20. Tennis court, 2 pools, heliport, 14 staff. $2,000-$4,857/night..
- The Tryall Club, Alice Eldemire Dr., Hanover Parish (15-20 minute drive west of the city). A splurge, but worth it. A world-renowned golf course designed by Ralph Plummer lies on this property, making the Tryall one of the premier golf destinations of the Caribbean. Each villa has a private pool along with personal staff that cater to your needs. Ots her amenities at the Tryall is a kids club, 9 tennis courts(four which are red clay), and a private beach. $400/night.
While Montego Bay is a relatively safe city, normal precautions should be observed. Stay in groups, and stick to tourist areas. The rural areas are especially dangerous.
You can get domestic flights to Kingston’s second airport Tinson Pen.
Kingston Expatriate Guide with Covid-19 Travel Report
Kingston is the national capital and the commercial hub of Jamaica. Kingston is also the largest city in the Caribbean that speaks English. Kingston has the seventh largest natural harbor globally and is surrounded with the sea to the south and the Saint Andrew Mountains to the north.Complete Covid-19 Statistics for Jamaica
At the foot of the Blue Mountains, it faces the world’s seventh-largest natural harbor; Jamaica’s vibrant capital is the largest English-speaking city to the south of Florida’s Miami. The center of the country’s government and commerce, Kingston is truly the center point of Jamaica, with a wide array of chronological and cultural attractions, along with classy nightlife and cuisine that offers a multi-ethnic contrast to the rest of the island’s slow and easy going pace.
Excursion tours may take you to visit mansions such as the historic Devon House, the exciting drama at the Little Theatre and of course to the National Gallery, which houses a wide-ranging assortment of Jamaican art and crafts.
Kingston is a city with fine museums, art galleries and theatres; Kingston is also the birthplace of Jamaica’s own reggae music that has swept the world. The metropolitan area of Kingston has many nightclubs, discos for dance, theatre and restaurants that keep nightlife sizzling until early morning.
History is everywhere in Kingston, from the Parish Church of Kingston, where the oldest grave is dated 1699, to the Parade, a energetic, crowded square where British military once drilled. Multicolored and diverse, you can even tee up for golf; or listen to the Jamaican Philharmonic Symphony or watch the Kingston National Dance Theatre perform; picnic on the beach or tour a botanical garden. Kingston also boasts a arts and crafts bazaar and there is exceptional duty free shopping all over the city.
A tiny drive up from Kingston into the lush Blue Mountains brings you to captivating inns tucked into hillsides exposed with lush plants. Visit the famous Blue Mountain Coffee plantation and buy some coffee that has been known around the world.
Close to the University of the West Indies campus, flora and vegetation bloom around the year at the 200-acre Hope Gardens, that opened in the late 19 centuries and includes an orchid home and a small enjoyment park for children. The University of the West Indies was established in 1948, on the location of a former plantation and is of the Caribbean’s most well-known university.
Visit the location that, in the 17th century, was the home of famous pirates, “Port Royal” set at the end of the Palisadoes Peninsula that curves around the Kingston Harbor. Remnants of the town’s depraved past can be seen at the Museum of Historical Archaeology, the Maritime Museum and Giddy House which tilts at a 45 degree slant as well as about 30 feet offshore, where, with special authorization, covered ruins can be viewed on a scuba diving expedition.
A short drive from Kingston, Spanish Town has been Jamaica’s capital under both the Spanish and until 1872, the British. It is home to the Cathedral Church of Saint James that was built in 1523 and which is one of the oldest cathedrals in the world.
With hotels planned to please everybody from commerce travelers to families, Jamaica’s capital is more and more a desirable destination.
Kingston’s location also provides easy access to the striking inns and guesthouses of the Blue Mountains, which rise more than 2.1 kilometers above sea level across the eastern half of Jamaica.
Kingston is the commercial and cultural capital of Jamaica with nearly a million people calling the city home.
At one point, it was the only city in Jamaica. The city is assigned the equivalent of post/zip codes, (Kingston 5, Kingston 10, etc.) which is a good representation of how truly large this city is, especially for an island such as Jamaica. There are two major sections to this city: ‘downtown’ and ‘uptown,’ also referred to as ‘New Kingston.’
- Norman Manley International Airport (Located in the southeastern part of the island, overlooking Kingston Harbour on the Palisadoes peninsula). Served by Air Canada, Air Jamaica, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Delta, and a number of Caribbean airlines. Be prepared for queues at the airport, to clear both immigration and customs, which are fairly strict. It is important that you know where you will be staying and write it down on your immigration form.
There are taxi vans between the airport and town – one person USD28; a group USD33, potentially negotiable. Payment can be in US dollars. The cheapest way is to take bus 98 straight to the Parade in downtown Kingston for JMD80. The bus stop outside the arrivals terminal is for bus 98 going towards Port Royal. Just passed the bus stop is where bus 98 stops on its way to downtown.
- Kingston Tinson Pen. There is a smaller airport closer to downtown, but there is no longer any regular passenger service to it.
Island Rental Cars has offices at the NMIA airport, in downtown Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, and will allow you to do one-way rentals. Remember to drive on the left!
- Highway 2000 — one of Jamaica’s highways, run through St. Ann Parish to Kingston.
- North South Highway — runs from North of the island to the south. Taxicabs can be taken from the south to Kingston.
Kingston has an extensive and modern bus system. The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) runs the bus system for the government, while private contractors also run the same routes. There are also minibuses and route taxis which are very affordable. Whenever in doubt, ask a bus driver how to get somewhere or where to find a certain bus; they are generally very helpful.
Public transit generally goes through one or more of the three central transportation hubs.
- Downtown (Parade and the downtown Kingston Transport Centre). Keep a tight hold of your bags as petty theft is possible as in any large metropolis.
- The ultra-modern Half-Way Tree Transport Centre (HWT) in uptown Kingston is generally a safer area, but there are less buses.
- Cross Roads an older, congested hub not suggested for tourists.
The bus service in Jamaica has now been upgraded with express buses cost ranging from JMD80 to JMD100, and another bus also air conditioned can be found in yellow with the Jamaican flag at the front costs for regular fares JMD150 and for children under 12 JMD50 12+(prices are expected to raise for the new buses soon because of the increase of gas). The original non air con buses still function, but who knows when will they last?
Interactive bus map
All official taxis have red license plates that start with PPV.
Route Taxis (a taxi that has a set route and picks up multiple people along it) are also common and often mirror bus routes and are not much more expensive than buses. These are a bit more complicated to get used to, so ask for help.
Charter Taxis (normal taxis) – negotiate a price before getting in the car. Fares range from JMD400 to JMD5,000 for long routes.
With some practice, bravery, and chutzpah you can rent a car (Island Rent a car allows for one-way car rental). Take a good map and be willing to ask (and keep asking to get a consensus) for directions along the way. It’s not safe to drive in the countryside after dark. If you get in a wreck/hit someone, drive to the nearest police station.
What to see and do
Statue of Bob Marley in Kingston
- Bob Marley Museum, 56 Hope Road. Monday – Saturday, tours last 1 hour, including a 20 min film. The first tour begins at 09:30 and the last tour at 16:00. Filled with tons of memorabilia and Bob Marley’s personal belongings, this museum was Bob Marley’s recording studio and was his home until his death in 1981. The house is a preserved historical site; even the bullet holes from the attempted murder of Bob Marley remain. Every visitor will be added to a tour upon entry. residents JMD500, non-residents USD20 (credit cards accepted).
- National Gallery of Jamaica, 12 Ocean Blvd. Tu-Th 10:00-16:30, F 10:00-16:00, Sa 10:00-15:00. The museum features artwork by Jamaicans from throughout its history, from the native Taino Indians through the colonial period to works by modern artists. The gallery hosts its annual National Visual Arts Exhibition, which began in 1963 as a way to promote post-colonial art and to showcase the works of rising artists from Jamaica. Entrance fees are waved during the exhibition period. JMD100, students and senior citizens over 65 may enter for JMD50.
- Port Royal. Once known as the “Richest and wickedest city in the world”, Port Royal is a notorious 17th century pirate haven. The most famous pirate who operated from Port Royal was Sir Henry Morgan who plundered Spanish vessels travelling in the Caribbean. The city prospered as the pirates gathered riches, but a strong earthquake struck the area on June 7, 1692 sinking the ships in the harbour and killing many people as the earthquake moved much of the city into the sea. It has been said that the earthquake was caused by God himself to punish the evildoers of Port Royal. This disaster helped to establish Kingston as the new capital, and many of the survivors of the earthquake moved to Kingston. Although most of the buildings at the seaport today are not the original buildings, the walls of Fort Charles have been preserved since the rebuilding two years after the earthquake, Saint Peter’s Church built in the early 18th century, and the ruins of Fort Rocky remain. There is also a museum to learn more about the history and see artefacts from its heyday.
- Devon House, 26 Hope Road. The Mansion is open Monday – Saturday 09:30-17:00, the courtyard 10:00-18:00, and the gardens are open daily 09:30-22:00. One of the best example of Jamaican architecture, the Devon House was built by George Stiebel, the nation’s first black millionaire. Much of the interior furniture is not original, but it upholds the 19th Century mansion style. The courtyard has craft shops, a few restaurants, and the most famous ice cream shop on the island. JMD700 for a tour of the mansion. Entry to garden and shops is free.
- Hope Botanical Gardens. 08:30-18:30. The Largest Botanical Garden in the Caribbean. The garden gets its name from the man Richard Hope who helped capture Jamaica for Great Britain and was given the property to reward him for his faithfulness to the Crown. Free.
- Hope Zoo (Next to the Botanical Gardens). 10:00-17:00. JMD1500 Adults, JMD1000 Children.
- Arawak Museum (Taino Museum), White Marl, Central Village. A small museum with artefacts and information about the original inhabitants of the island, the Arawak (or Taino) Indians.
- People’s Museum of Craft and Technology. A small museum with pottery, instruments, and farming tools used in Jamaica. JMD100.
- Lime Cay. Beach off the coast of Port Royale must take a boat from Port Royal fisherman or the hotel to island. Island is famous as the location for final scene in The Harder they Come. Crowded party spot on the weekends with food and drink available for purchase, much more sedate and often deserted on weekdays. You can camp overnight if you pre-arrange a next-day pickup time, but be careful, as you can’t exactly swim to shore!
What to do
Negril Expatriate Guide with Covid-19 Travel Report
An eye-catching white sand beach hugs the Caribbean for almost seven miles in the city of Negril. Negril is only a 1 ? hour drive from Montego Bay. Negril has a laid-back way of life, but the resort town has always retained the sleepy tropical charm that first fascinated visitors that seek the sun.Complete Covid-19 Statistics for Jamaica
Serene Strolls on white sand beaches, swimming and snorkeling in aqua-blue waters and optional sunbathing are only part of your “do-as-you-please” Negril vacation on Jamaica.
Craft bazaar and duty-free shopping opportunities is plenty available in and around Negril. Golf and tennis are all day available at the Negril Hills Golf Club, just south of Negril.
Horse riding treks to the passionate ruins of Whitehall Great House and boat rides to Booby Cay, where and portions of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” were filmed offer popular pastimes.
For daring tourist’s, there is sea-kayaking or mountain biking along the coast and even sporadic canoe trips that venture into the puzzling Great Morass of Negril, a secluded natural area where giant palm trees, interesting birds and crocodiles prosper.
With its extraordinary coral reefs and calm crystal-clear sea, Negril is a paradise for divers. The Scuba Centre of Negril is one of the oldest dive centers in Jamaica and offers as well certified PADI courses. There are several excellent local companies offering numerous other water sports, as well as catamaran cruises.
Negril has many luxury resorts, villa rentals, inexpensive guesthouses and charming small beachside resorts, are also plentiful available.
Plus strung along the grotto-lined cliffs that stretch to the Negril Lighthouse (built in 1895), unique properties with elegantly rustic decor are tucked into the rock face leading down to peaceful hidden coves.
Negril boasts a broad range of accommodation options from relaxed, reasonably priced rooms, studios and suites to fine all-inclusive resorts catering either to single, couples or to families.
None of Negril’s hotels is taller than the average palm tree, the effect of local efforts to limit development and look after natural resources, including the area’s magnificent offshore reefs.
According to myth, Calico Jack and a mob of fellow pirates were captured close to Negril Harbor previously called Bloody Bay for its history as a whaling port, after his consumption too much rum.
They may have also been preoccupied by the blaze of orange, mauve and red that makes the end of every day here a cause for a f?te.
Nowadays the cheerful ritual is celebrated by sunset cruises and at several popular viewing spots such as the Pickled Parrot, for instance, with its rope swings and slide; and Rick’s Cafe, where pre-sunset amusement includes fire-eaters, jugglers and brave cliff divers.
Negril in addition has one of Jamaica’s liveliest music scenes from festive calypso beach parties to all-night dancing. Alfred’s Ocean Palace and other local clubs, to open-air concerts where the pulsating rhythms of reggae offer the perfect soundtrack for balmy tropical evenings.
Negril is one of life’s rare pleasures, the ultimate liberty vacation. It’s a kick-off-your-shoes, shrug off your blues way of life. Eat and drink, love and laugh, play party and be happy.
Negril is a major tourism destination in Western Jamaica, known for its white sandy beaches.
Negril is famous for its 7 miles of cool, white sand beaches and another 7 miles of 40′ cliffs. One of the most beautiful towns in Jamaica, it has a more laid back atmosphere than that of Montego Bay and is more touristy than Ocho Rios. When you stay at a hotel on the beach you are literally on the beach when you walk out of the beachside of your hotel. You have probably never seen water this clear or warm. You will be amazed at how far out you can walk in the water before it gets up to your neck. The water is gentler and the sand is whiter (smaller grained aka softer) the farther down(away from town) you are. The end of the beach down by the all-inclusives is the whitest. The region is also known for the foreign janes (female sex tourists) who visit.
Fly into the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. Take a 60-90 minute shuttle van ride to Negril. It is a very scenic drive along the north coast travelling west. There are many companies and taxis that provide a great service doing airport transfers to Negril.
The least expensive way to get around is to hire “Route Taxis”. Many drivers will attempt to get you to hire them. Many of them are very expensive, even if you try to negotiate with them. Route Taxis, for example, from the Rui Resort on Bloody Bay to downtown Negril will charge about $2 per person. From Rui to Ricks Cafe is about $4 per person. Be sure to set your price with the driver BEFORE you enter their taxi!
Current rates (2020) seem to be 100 Jamaica dollars along the beachfront road to the roundabout in Negril township, and 100 more for any point past this i.e. around the cliffs. Double this if you are catching a route taxi at night.
Drivers who are not Route Taxis often charge over $10 per person and will tell you that Route Taxis aren’t safe (which is not true, it’s just a way to get more money from tourists).
What to see and do
- Martha Bray River— a truly magnificent river; one of the longest rivers in Jamaica.
What to do
Taking a snorkeling tour in one the glass bottom boats is highly recommended. Watch the famous Negril sunset, it is the sunset to remember .
The tourist crafts market at the edge of town is a great place to pick up souvenirs and nick nacks. The sellers are willing to bargain especially if you want more than one thing. You can spend American dollars almost anywhere on the island. Most of the roadside stand sellers have a calculator and know the exchange rate. Although the roadside sellers are quite savy they can be honest to a fault when it comes to bargaining. If you want a better price you can get it. Just try to avoid upsetting the locals by killing their tourist tax.
- Sugar Cane, Coconut Jelly Meat, and Jerk Chicken.
- Rick’s Cafe is about the biggest tourist trap in which to view a gorgeous Negril sunset. Cliff diving is available from a sturdy concrete slab perched high atop the sea cliffs, higher than before. There, visitors can test their mettle or leave it to the professionals (note: people have been killed and seriously injured/maimed when cliff jumping – including the so-called ‘professionals’). Just remember that if you watch the show, you’re expected to tip the professionals.
- Eddie’s De Bar and Grill Jerk chicken plus all the traditional Jamaican dishes, goat, fish and lobster. The bar has great vibes, excellent music, nightly bonfire; truly a Jamaican yard. Just past The Rockhouse Hotel on the left.
- The Rockhouse Hotel. A beautifully set restaurant and hotel on the cliffs. They will collect you for free from your hotel and drive you there.
- Three Dives Restaurant an eatery on the west end that is just past Xtabi Resort. Expect jerk chicken, pork, lobster and snapper – all locally sourced.
- LTU Restaurant a locally-styled restaurant perched high on the edge of the cliff, just 200 yards from Ricks on the cliff road. The menu offers high quality and a wide range, including vegetarian, and there is a ‘specials’ board for fresh ‘catch of the day’ offerings such as Marlin, Kingfish and Mahi mahi.
- Royal Kitchen a vegetarian/Ital restaurant on the west end past the M&L Market. $250 J gets you a great combo that usually consists of soy chunks, rice and peas, veggies, plus often stew or ackee.
- Sweet Spice Restaurant. Most locals will recommend the place and with good reason, the oxtail is great and the lobster is cheaper than at the beach.
Red Stripe Beer
- Coconut Water – best straight off the tree, just cut open the coconut with a machete and drink (if you’re picky, you can use a straw). You can also buy bottled coconut water basically anywhere on the island, but not as good as getting it fresh from the green coconuts. Good for your heart.
- Rum Fruit Punch or *Red Stripe Beer are Jamaican concoctions. Guinness and Heineken can also be purchased pretty much anywhere that sells alcohol.
The SamSara Hotel also located in the west part of Negril (past the rock house) has a very nice buy one get one free happy hour from 4-7 every day!
- Guinep Corner (West Land Mountain), West land Mountain Road (Just by the famous Guinep Trees). early am till late. Local food at a local Jamaican bar, cooked & served by Jamaican couple Janice & Rasta Martell. From pieces of fresh fried fish and chicken to full breakfasts of Ackee & Saltfish or dinners of goat curry and other Jamaican dishes. Ambiance is truly Jamaica, with domino games, great music, Jamaica TV and wonderful street life. Very local, Jamaican street life at its best set in a really friendly community with strictly ‘no harassment’ & total enjoyment. 400JMD.
- The Jungle Night Club. A night club set on the main road which runs parallel to the 7 mile strip. Plays RnB/Rap/Reggae music. Note that this club is known for its Thursday nights (ladies night) when all ladies enter free. Very fun spot to be. Admission costs $700J (as of May 2020).
Where to stay in Negril
- Judy House Cottages, West Land Mountain Road (off One Love Drive (West End Road)). 24. This is really living life in a Jamaican community just minutes away from Negril’s beautiful beaches, local cook shops, fantastic restaurants. Two cosy, fully equipped cottages or Sue’s One 4 the Road Backpacker Hostel rooms, nestling in the back of Sue’s amazing tropical garden. 15 to 75 USD.
- Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay, Norman Manley Boulevard. Victorian-style resort is in Bloody Bay. 416 rooms offer deluxe accommodation, including a mini-bar and liquor dispenser in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Array of buffet dishes and à la carte options at the resort or take advantage of exchange programme privileges at the Riu Negril. Live music and Riu’s theme shows.
- Riu Negril, Norman Manley Boulevard Bloody Bay Beach. 420 deluxe rooms, a beautiful stretch of white sandy beach just minutes away from shopping area and nightlife. The resort offers renowned mini-bar and liquor dispenser, along with a complete programme of daytime activities and nightly entertainment. Dine at any of the tempting buffets and the à la carte specialty restaurants or enjoy a drink at one of our cosy bars.
- Rock House. Rockhouse combines natural beauty, strong architectural design, local materials and craftsmanship, excellent service, and a relaxed Jamaican experience. The hotel has an interesting history; when its first room was built in 1972, it was one of the first hotels on Negril’s cliffs. Early guests included Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. In 1994, the property was purchased by a group of Australians.
- Hedonism Resorts. All inclusive resort with adults only fare nude resort.
- Negril Yoga Center. Quiet & peaceful collection of small cozy villas. Has daily yoga lessons for $10 USD. Kitchen provides vegetarian fare. $30-65 USD (double occupancy).
- Negril Tree House Resort. Not an all inclusive but close enough with room service, a bar/restaurant, pool, hot tub, towels for the beach at the front desk, and a free buffet breakfast. The two bedroom suites at the top of the treehouse-style rooms have a master bedroom with a bidé and double sinks in the master bath, a full size fridge, a washer, cooking utensils, dining room table, DVD player with cable in the living room, cable, tv in both bedrooms, remote controlled serious air conditioners and ceiling fans in all rooms. The cleaning service washes all the dishes and will do your laundry if you are feeling too lazy to use the washing machine. There are also a hammock, and a little hammock-like swing on the private open air covered deck at the entrance to the room. They also have one bedroom suites at ground level.
- Blue Cave Castle, Lighthouse Road , ✉ email@example.com. A castle built 50ft above an old pirates cave, on the cliffs. The views are incredible and all of the rooms face the ocean. The rooms are large with a veranda. The superior rooms have cable TV, CD players, remote control air conditioning, fans, and refrigerators. From $50US, to the huge $120 castle-top penthouse, with its 360 views of Negril.
- Moon Dance Cliffs Resort and Spa (Moon Dance Cliffs), West End Road , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2pm, check-out: 12pm. Moon Dance Cliffs is a 22 room boutique hotel with four royal Villas that overlook the Caribbean Sea. The on-site restaurant and bars feature Jamaican and American cuisines. The spectacular 5,000+ sq ft pool includes waterfalls, islands and bridges. The Resort also features an on-site modern Spa. The Royal Villas range from one to five bedrooms.
- Xtabi Hotel. Built on the historic Xtabi cliffs. The labyrinth of caves beneath the hotel have served as hiding places for pirate’s treasure and film locations for major motion pictures. The Xtabi hotel consists of 24 rooms located on the cliffs and in its beautiful gardens. The hotel also has an award-winning restaurant and large open-air bar.
- Skylark Negril Beach Resort, Norman Manley Blvd (Seven Mile Beach) , ✉ email@example.com. Eco-friendly beach resort with beautiful guest rooms and with modern amenities.
Use common sense, especially at night. Negril is generally considered safer than most large American cities.
It is illegal to buy and/or use drugs in Jamaica. Commonly, you may be offered marijuana ‘smoke… smoke?’ by the locals. A pleasant “no thank you” or “yes please!” will usually suffice. Do not be surprised if you are offered drugs several times throughout your stay.
A little known fact is that you can walk from the far end of the beach to town in under an hour on the beach if you walk along the beach line to where the trees block the way and then take to the grass along the water. Just stay on the shore and you will stumble into the tourist market at the edge of town. There are coconuts and sugar cane for sale in the parking lot. It is a great way to avoid the taxi tax and stay off the road!
Port Antonio Expatriate Guide with Covid-19 Travel Report
Errol Flynn mentioned once Port Antonio as heaven on earth, an explanation echoed by many tourists that have found this island Eden to be, quite simply, the definitive holiday destination.Complete Covid-19 Statistics for Jamaica
Nestled between twin harbors on the Jamaica’s northeast, with covered mountains that plunge down to the ocean, Port Antonio has lived up to its status as “the most superb port on earth.”
Orchids, bananas and palm trees grow in large amount. Waterfalls plunge into fern-edged pools and some of the island’s most elegant villas and charming small hotels are tucked into hillsides overlooking secluded azure coves.
Established in the year 1723, Port Antonio was Jamaica’s most important center for banana growth and export in the late 1800s. One of Jamaica’s first resorts was built here in 1905, and it soon became a vacation place for the rich and famous of the day.
Actors from Hollywood arrived in the 1950s, a few years after Errol Flynn sought shelter in the harbor of Port Antonio on his yacht and decided not to leave: Flynn bought several properties in Port Antonio, including a plantation.
Today, Port Antonio’s beauty makes it popular for movies and fashion shoots and its resorts, hotels & villas continue to provide inspiration for movie celebrities, authors, aristocrats, and leaders of industry & commerce and politics.
From the ruins of the Folly, a manor recklessly built of concrete material and seawater, to the Fortress of George, an 18th-century British stronghold which cannons still point out to ocean, the history of Port Antonio is only a heartbeat away.
Perhaps that’s why life moves at a slower speed then it does in another place, so there’s more occasion to take pleasure in swimming, snorkeling and scuba-diving in the shimmer Blue Lagoon, which is fed by freshwater springs and thought to reach a depth of 200 feet.
A bamboo raft ride downward the Rio Grande river or a dip in the stimulating pool at the base of Somerset Falls are other popular activities. Strolling through tropical Athenry Gardens and exploring the prehistoric stalagmites and stalactites of Nonsuch Caves, where rare fossils and Indian relics have been originated.
Even the most active vacationer will be satisfied by the relaxed hiking and horseback riding trips through the Rio Grande Valley which are offered by Valley Hikes, a high-quality eco-tour organization that also offers excursions to the historic Maroon settlement of Moore Town.
Basking on the flat sand of Frenchman’s Cove or any of Port Antonio’s idyllic beaches could be the best alternative of all, unless fishing is a passion. Port Antonio has some of the finest deep-sea fishing possibilities in Jamaica, with marlin, tuna and kingfisher in abundance and it also hosts the Annual International Marlin Tournament in October.
Jamaica’s mouth-tingling “jerk” style pork and chicken is a local specialty and some of the island’s best can be found at Boston Beach, the “birthplace” of jerk cuisine in Jamaica, just east of the town.
Accommodations in Port Antonio span the fashionable elegance of villas and the luxurious resort hotels, to the hillside charm of moderately priced small hotels and inns.
Daily Chart of Covid-19 Reports in Jamaica
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