Montego Bay Jamaica

When asked to name an island in the Caribbean, most people would agree that Jamaica quickly comes to mind. With the help of Ian Flemming and Errol Flynn, the island has enjoyed fame for over 70 years. Regarded by many as the most inviting and attractive of the Caribbean Islands, Jamaica offers the perfect backdrop for a tropical dream vacation. Covered by lush green mountains, exotic flowers, cascading waterfalls, and golden beaches, the island offers something for everyone and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Jamaica’s second largest city is Montego Bay, which is set against the backdrop of low mountains and healthy green vegetation. Throughout history, the scenery Montego Bay offers has lured artists to the island who wish to capture its beauty on canvas.

Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1494, Montego Bay is believed to have acquired its name from an altered version of the Spanish term manteca–lard–as the bay was a port for many years from which ships set sail to take beef, leather and lard to other areas of the world. Jamaica was a Spanish Colony until 1565, when Oliver Cromwell’s army drove all Spaniards from the island. At the end of Cromwell’s rule, Montego Bay began functioning as a sugar port and continued this activity well into the 19th century. Declared a city by act of parliament in 1980, Montego Bay has still not obtained any type of autonomy, but rather is a part of St. James Parish. Currently, the city is famous for its Cornwall Regional Hospital–an expansive medical facility in the center of town. Tourism is the major trade in Montego Bay and the coastline of the city is peppered with resorts, hotels, and bed and breakfast facilities.

The average temperature in Montego Bay is 83 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and 76 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the winter. The Atlantic Ocean’s trade winds make Montego Bay quite breezy, which many islanders find particularly pleasant in the heat of the summer. May is Jamaica’s rainiest month and rain is again experienced from August to the end of September. However, in Montego Bay, the showers during these months typically last a maximum of only two hours.

Unlike some vacation destinations, Montego Bay offers a vast array of choices regarding accommodations. One can choose from a full service resort, quaint bed and breakfast, luxury villa, or a standard inn or hotel with traditional amenities. In addition, a person can opt for an all-inclusive vacation which includes transportation, accommodations and food.

Visitors also have a wide variety of activities and attractions from which to choose while on the island. A person can easily spend a few days relaxing on the beach or in a hammock with a pina colada and a good book. Those who enjoy sports and physical activities can choose from horseback riding, golf, rafting, scuba diving or guided excursions to Jamaica’s beautiful and unspoiled inland. With its stunning landscape and its wide array of activities and attractions, anyone visiting Montego Bay, Jamaica can anticipate an exciting and memorable experience.


Ocho Rios Jamaica

Jamaica is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations for a reason, and the town of Ocho Rios is one of the most popular among visitors to the island. This picturesque town on the northern coast may be the location where Christopher Columbus first landed in the New World. The name means Eight Rivers in Spanish.

Ocho Rios is less than two hours from Montego Bay by car and is located in Saint Ann’s parish. The town’s economy once resolved around fishing, but it now depends primarily on tourists and the cargo ships that take on sugar and limestone for shipment around the world.

Some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Jamaica can be found in and around Ocho Rios. The town may not have eight rivers, but it does have many beautiful waterfalls. Dunn’s River Falls is the most stunning, as water tumbles more than 600 feet down the cliff into the sea. It is easy to get up and down the cliff and guests regularly climb up on guided tours to see the coastline. Stepping stones allow visitors to shower in the cool river water.

The famously crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean are especially exquisite around the beaches of Ocho Rios, where tourists can often be found lounging in the sun. This town is famous for its swimming and diving. Many guests go to Ocho Rios specifically to go diving off the coast.

Dolphin Cove is another very popular attraction. Dolphin shows occur four times a day and guests can swim and interact with the dolphins. There are also nature hikes, a shark pool and a restaurant.

Fern Gully is another famous sight. This gorge stretches four miles from Ocho Rios up the central mountain to the interior and is filled with more than 500 kinds of ferns and other tropical foliage.

Cranbrook Flower Forest is a wonderful garden that often attracts tourists interested in hiking, fishing and bird watching. Guests can also swim and go horseback riding. Chukka Cove is a stable dedicated to horseback riding and bicycle riding. They offer mounts for riders of all experience levels and trails to both the beach and the mountains.

The town of Ocho Rios first became known to the wider world in 1962 after the premiere of the first James Bond movie, “Dr. No”. Tourists have been coming for Holidays to Jamaica ever since, and in recent years many resorts have been built and a deep water pier has been added to allow more cruise ships to dock. Six separate shopping centers have been built to handle the tourist traffic.

This has proven to be a mixed blessing, as on the one hand there is more development, and on the other more people can now experience the beauty of Ocho Rios and the surrounding area. There are still many smaller places to stay and it is easy for visitors to get away from the touristy areas and go experience the rich heritage and natural beauty of the island.