Montego Bay: what to know and what to do | American Travel Blogger
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Montego Bay: what to know and what to do

While Jamaica is a wonderful place for a vacation with its laid-back vibes and beautiful beaches, one of the best location within Jamaica is Montego Bay. This Jamaican island is like a paradise with a beachside. Not only are the locals quite friendly here but the overall tropical easy-going vibe of the entire place makes a vacation simply perfect. I personally love it as a summer destination because of the beautiful sandy coastline. 

Why taking a vacation in Montego Bay worth it?

While this island is known as a bustling city second to Kingston, it offers a relaxing vacation to all the visitors here. But that’s not all. The place is known for its delicious food, adventurous excursions and a very unique culture worth exploring. The overall tropical climate and the lovely resort type feel of the place will make you want to visit here. I suggest you book Montego Bay Flights in time so you can spend a nice summer vacation there.

What to know?

Tours take a lot of time

Any tour booked in Jamaica are very spread out so a 30 minute drive can easily become a 3 hour drive as people are picked up from different resorts. Just be prepared to spend most of the day off the resort and to spend a good chunk of your day on the bus. Ultimately, it’s worth the fuss because the sandy beaches and other activities are so much fun, you’ll be sorry not to take part in them. You can skip the wait by renting a car and go off sightseeing on your own.

Doctor’s Cave Beach isn’t worth it

Most of the guides and itineraries on the internet will suggest that you check this place out but personally I think there are many other places worth checking out more. This beach is overcrowded and a bit too touristy. And because of this you won’t get to experience any local culture. Instead, you’ll get to see a bunch of umbrellas and tourists drinking different beverages.

The bioluminescence experience

Known as the Luminous Lagoon excursion, it allows you to see those naturally glowing organisms just chilling out but the tour in Jamaica doesn’t seem very healthy for the organisms. They use motor boats to rush through which disrupts the ecosystem and perhaps kills some of the organisms as well. Due to this, you’ll hardly see anything attractive and will be supporting something that’s ultimately harming the natural ecosystem.

It’s safe

Contrary to what we hear on popular media, Jamaica isn’t all that dangerous anymore. After many crackdowns and police investigations, the scary gangs no longer run the streets. There are some dangerous areas that one should avoid and just try not to roam around at night, but other than this, it’s quite safe to explore. 

Tips in small bills

Make sure to bring along small bills whenever you go on a guided tour or some excursion. The tour guides there expect to be tipped and it’s only the polite thing to do. Since it’s an island, you won’t find ATMs so make sure to have plenty of change. 

What to do?

Horseback Ride and Swim

Try out this simple yet unique excursion on this island. Basically, you get to swim with horses in the Caribbean Sea. The tour will start with a 30-45 minute ride through farmlands and jungle trails, eventually moving towards the coastline and stopping for an opportunity for a photo. Then you’ll get to ride in shallow waters but it’s still very relaxing. Finally, you change horses and enjoy a 15 minute horse ride through water. You also don’t need to worry as the horses enjoy the cold water on their coats and there are three tour guides riding beside you to keep both you and the horse safe. 

Rose Hall Great House

It’s always feels great to explore some local stories of a place. And this great old house is exactly that. Known to be the residence of the White Witch of Montego Bay. This houses used to be a plantation house that saw way too much death and blood in its time. The woman in question was named Ann Palmer who is said to have killed three husbands and plenty more slaves during her reign of terror. 

While you can tour the property, there’s a night tour available as well for those with a braver heart. Legend says that the ghost of the white witch still walks the grounds as the slaves put a curse on her body after she was killed by her slave lover. You can also see her sealed tomb on the property.

Bamboo Rafting

Go on this super relaxing excursion at the Martha Brae River. You’ll get to see lush plantation as your tour guide steers the raft through rocks and trees. Take in the serene sounds of the nearby jungle and the gently swish of the water. However, bring some money along for the ride as there are bars, shops and rope swings along the way. You can also get a beer at one of the bars and of course, tip your tour guide by the end of the ride. 

Green Wood Great House

While Rose Hall is popular in its own right, this great house is also very important. After all this is one of the few properties that survived the Slave rebellion of 1831. It was originally owned by the Barrets who were slave owners but due to their benevolence, they were spared in the uprising. Now, this property is part of the most important historical sites in Jamaica. Take a tour of the place and check out the original furniture and rare collection of antique instruments and books that’s priceless. Currently, the house is owned by Bob and Ann Betton, who still live in the house and have been owners since 1976.

Explore Rastafarian Culture

The island has its own unique culture that’s worth exploring. Visit the Rastafari Indigenous Village, located a bit outside of Montego Bay, and learn about the philosophy and lifestyle of the locals there. The villagers are friendly and would love to share their stories with you so take your time and enjoy their culture. Indulge in in vegan Rastafarian cuisine and buy some authentic handicrafts from the local village market. It’s an experience worth having because it’s one of the most laid-back and colourful culture out there that respects nature.

Victoria Brewood
vbrewood@gmail.com

Although very much British, Victoria always felt like she was meant to be living the 'American Dream'. She loves the US and has travelled to over 14 states.

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