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Things to do in Montego Bay

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For such a small place, Jamaica certainly has a lot to offer. And, if you’re passing through one of its most popular cities, you wouldn’t be blamed for being overwhelmed by all of the Montego Bay activities on offer.

To help make your time in Montego Bay a visit to remember, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in Montego Bay. From the adrenaline-fueled activities like ATV and zipline to the attractions that bring you closer to nature, here’s everything you need to know to plan your trip.

What is Montego Bay Known For?

Montego Bay is known as “Jamaica’s second city” and is popular for its series of white sand beaches, shopping opportunities, and party scene, and it’s arguably the island’s tourism capital. You can party until the early morning at one of Montego Bay’s cliffside bars, indulge in any water sport you can imagine (and some you can’t), and really appreciate the chill vibe that the region is proud of.

Montego Bay Beaches



Chances are, when you decided to plan a trip to Jamaica, beaches would have been high on your must-see list. The good news is one of the Montego Bay activities that feature heavily on our list is a day at the beach. While Montego Bay has its fair share of beach-front hotels that limit access, there are also a significant amount of beaches that everyone can enjoy.

Doctor's Cave Beach

It’s hard to have a list of things to do in Montego Bay without including this gem of a beach. Doctor's Cave features the soft white sand and turquoise clear waters that Jamaica is famous for. It is a private beach but for a small entrance fee, you get access to the immaculate facilities and a well-maintained shoreline.

Tropical Bliss Beach

One of the best beaches in Montego Bay, Tropical Bliss is family-friendly, has a variety of water sports on offer, and you can also find some great food options within easy reach. Experience a taste of island life while listening to local music and taking part in the beachfront entertainment.

Walter Fletcher Beach

Walter Fletcher Beach is close to the Montego Bay cruise port and is a top choice for cruise ship passengers. Also known as Aquasol Beach Park, this beach features lots of shady spots, brightly colored umbrellas that make for a good photo opportunity, and calm surf so the little ones can enjoy a swim too. If you’ve signed up for Montego Bay activities like a catamaran tour or glass-bottom boat ride, Walter Fletcher Beach is often the starting point.

Dead End Beach

Found at the end of Montego Bay’s hip-strip, Dead End Beach is a no-muss no-fuss kind of setup. Don’t let the name fool you, though. Dead End Beach has plenty of charm and it’s much quieter than its rival beaches. As a bonus, you get a great view of planes coming in for a landing. You won’t find any facilities here (except for the wandering vendors) but you won’t have to pay an entrance fee either.

Montego Bay's History and Culture

Montego Bay has a long history in Jamaica. As the second city to be established, it has seen native Tainos, the Spanish, and the British, all settle here at some point. If you’re keen to soak up some of this history and culture, there are quite a few opportunities for you on our list of things to do in Montego Bay.

Rose Hall Great House



With a picturesque setting overlooking the ocean, Rose Hall Great House is surrounded by lush green hillsides, golden beaches, and sparkling azure seas. On a guided tour around the property, you’ll get to step back in time and hear tales of life in the 18th century including some spooky ghost stories.

Bob Marley Museum

Found on the site of the legendary musician’s home, the Bob Marley Museum can help you get a deeper insight into the life of an icon. The museum is filled with treasured mementos and rich memories of Bob and even features a life-size 3D hologram of him from the 1978 One Love Peace Concert.

Greenwood Great House

The Greenwood Great House is another way to soak up a slice of Jamaican history. The antique-filled home is one of the best-preserved great houses in Jamaica and is over 200 years old. Highlights include a fascinating collection of musical instruments, well-maintained antique furniture, and a library of rare books.

Fort Montego

Fort Montego was built to keep Montego Bay free from pirates back in the 18th century. Visitors can explore the fort’s remains including an ancient artillery store and old canons which are famous for having only been fired twice. As Montego Bay activities go, this one gets bonus points for being very easy to get to thanks to its location on the “Hip Strip” of Gloucester Avenue.

Food Tours

It’s hard to look past trying out Jamaica’s food on a visit to Montego Bay. Whether you’re visiting for the day or staying in a resort, it can be hard to really sample everything that the island has to offer. A food tour is one of the best things to do in Montego Bay when you’re keen to dive into its rich culinary culture. You can learn how to make your own rum punch, try the island’s ubiquitous jerk chicken, and taste test some of Jamaica’s best street food.

10 Best Activities in Montego Bay

Once you’ve had your fill of beaches and learned some of its history, there are still lots of things to do in Montego Bay. Whether you’re up for some adrenaline-pumping adventures or keen to explore Jamaica's nature, here are the best Montego Bay activities to include in your travel plans.

1) Rafting the Martha Brae River



A peaceful and sometimes romantic activity, river rafting down the Martha Brae River is a relaxing opportunity to soak up the scenery of Jamaica's countryside. You’ll get to glide down a three-mile stretch of the river on a 30-foot bamboo raft as your captain shares his local knowledge about the area. On this tour you can combine a visit to the historical Rose Hall Great House with your river rafting adventure on the same day.

2) Dunn's River Falls



Dunn’s River Falls is one of the top things to do in Montego Bay because it caters to every kind of traveler. Adventure junkies can gear up and climb the world-famous falls which stand at an impressive 960 feet. Nature lovers will appreciate the scenery of exotic plants and a picnic in the Tranquility Gardens. Make a beeline for Dunn’s River Beach to sink your toes into the sand of one of the area’s best beaches. You can easily spend a whole day here with many more surprises in store.

3) Jungle Ziplining



Picture this: You, soaring across the jungle canopy at speeds up to 40mph while you take in the naturally beautiful surroundings and listen to the soothing sounds of the island below. These Montego Bay activities combine the exhilaration of flying free with ecological education. Some of the zip lines even include a double line where you can race a friend for the ultimate bragging rights.

4) ATV Riding



Take a ride on the wild side and journey deep into the Jamaican countryside on the back of a powerful ATV. On an ATV tour from Montego Bay, you’ll get to discover some of the harder-to-reach gems and see what village life is like away from the glitz of the big resorts. Hit the gas and test out the area’s rugged terrain including untouched hills and forest trails.

5) Plantation Tours

One of the more interesting things to do in Montego Bay is to visit a plantation. The Barnett Estate Plantation lets you explore one of Jamaica’s oldest sugar plantations while the Croydon Plantation’s main crops include coffee, plantains, and pineapples. Sampling the produce is welcomed and you’ll be able to take a tour to learn more about life on a Jamaican farm.

6) Swim with Dolphins



Montego Bay is home to Dolphin Cove, a spectacular 23 acre beachfront property dedicated to caring for dolphins, stingrays, sharks, and even camels! Visitors can experience a once-in-a-lifetime interaction with these incredible creatures and learn about them from marine specialists.

7) Horseback Riding



Horseback riding is fun and challenging for beginners and more experienced riders. Experience the thrill of being atop one of these beautiful creatures while also taking in the beauty of the scenery. You can also couple your horseback ride with a stop at a remote beach for a swim. On some horseback riding tours, you might even be able to have a dip together.

8) Rocklands Bird Sanctuary

Any nature lover will relish the opportunity to visit the Rocklands Bird Sanctuary. This family-run attraction lets you view, photograph, and even hand feed some native and exotic birds. If you’re feeling particularly brave, you can have a seat and let the hummingbirds drink nectar right from your hands. Look out for Jamaican orioles and banaquits and if you’re lucky, you might spot the regal long-tailed doctor bird, Jamaica's national bird.

9) Sunset Cruise

Nothing says island vacation like being able to take in the sunset on board a premium yacht or catamaran. Grab a tropical drink, snack on some local treats, and marvel at the sunset from the best vantage point around. If you still have energy to burn, some boats feature inflatable obstacles, water trampolines, and water slides.

To round off our list of the best Montego Bay activities, we have to mention this unique attraction found high in the mountains. Ahhh... Ras Natango Gallery and Garden is an outdoor gallery, botanic garden, and all-round eco-tourism gem.

Here you’ll find tropical plants in the vast gardens, at least 18 bird species, and the chance to shop for locally-made souvenirs. Art lovers can take some time to view the most recent selection of paintings on display and even choose their favorite to take home as a memory. This refreshing attraction is definitely worth adding to your list of things to do in Montego Bay.

Written by: Cristal

Cristal Dyer was born in the Caribbean and has spent the last several decades travelling and writing, including several stints in Latin America. Currently based in Australia, she owns and operates her own travel site tofutraveler.com and is an expert travel writer, editor and photographer with a focus on solo budget travel and food tourism. 

All of our content at Tourbase is written by experienced travel writers who have visited all of the locations we recommend. And our review board of local tourism experts ensure that all the information we provide is accurate, current and helpful

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