Montego Bay, Jamaica
Vacations, Travel and Tourism to Montego Bay Jamaica
Stunning beaches, fine sand, turquoise water, reggae, Bob Marley, and rum are only a few things that make the colorful island of Jamaica famous. On your next trip to beautiful Montego Bay, or "MoBay" as the locals call it, make sure you enjoy all that this vibrant Caribbean destination has to offer.
Montego Bay, or MoBay, sits on the northern shore of the island of Jamaica in the beautiful Caribbean. The fun, Carnaval-like atmosphere draws in visitors from all over the world. Three distinct sections make up Montego Bay: the colorful city, the coastal hotel zone, and another hotel zone situated on the outskirts of the surrounding hills. Montego Bay is the third most populated city in Jamaica and capital of the Saint James Parish on the island's northwest coast. Most consider it the tourism capital of Jamaica. MoBay is home to the island's most important airport, Sir Donald Sangster International Airport. The city's fascinating architecture features old Georgian-style houses alongside modern buildings. The MoBay area is mainly mountainous, with a coastal strip bathed by the beautiful and incomparable turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. The warm tropical weather makes for the perfect setting to participate in endless outdoor activities.
A Brief History
Christopher Columbus touched Jamaican shores for the first time in 1494, declaring it Spanish property. It is said that he first landed at Discovery Bay, known by locals as Dry Harbor Bay, some 45 miles east of Montego Bay. At this time, the indigenous Taino and Arawak people inhabited the island. In 1655, after more than 160 years as a Spanish colony, the English forcibly evacuated the Spanish from the area. While under control of the English crown for the next 200 years, Jamaica transformed into an important sugar exporter. This activity depended heavily on African slaves, and with the Abolition of Slavery Act in 1807, the English began to bring in Asian servants. African, Asian, and European roots all play a part in Jamaican culture today. From 1650 to 1834, Montego Bay functioned primarily as a sugar exporter, contrary to its beginnings, when the Spanish used the bay to export lard, leather, and meat. As a result, many believe that the name Montego comes from a variance of the Spanish word "manteca", meaning lard.
The Baptist War also took place near Montego Bay. Samuel Sharpe, a Jamaican national hero, led this massive slave rebellion in 1831. Montego Bay, officially declared a city by Parliament in 1980, is known for its perfect beaches, majestic resorts along the Caribbean coast, and warm climate throughout the year.
What You Should Know
Jamaica and the Montego Bay area offer a few tips for foreign travelers:
- The official language of Jamaica is English; however, Jamaican Creole is principally used among the islanders.
- The official currency is the Jamaican Dollar, although the American Dollar is widely used.
- Montego Bay has a large cruise terminal known as Montego Bay Freeport. In the past 50 years, it has received millions of tourists, who arrive daily on luxury cruises from all over the world. The port also offers great duty-free shopping.
- In Jamaica, you must drive on the left side of the road.
- Some national symbols include the Akee apple (fruit), the Doctor Bird (native bird), the Guajacum (flower), and the Blue Mahoe (tree native to Jamaica and Cuba).