With a vast variety of tropical fish and coral thriving within the protected zone, pristine Montego Bay Marine Park is a snorkeling paradise. Water sports are prohibited in this area that stretches west from Tropical Beach to Rum Bottle Bay in Jamaica to protect the park’s coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds.
Surrounding the entire length of Montego Bay, this marine park occupies 15 acres (6 hectares) of protected reef, mangrove forests, and islets, offering travelers opportunities to enjoy Jamaica’s natural beauty while protecting it for the future.
Within the official zone are popular sandy public beaches along the coast where travelers may embark on snorkeling adventures, sea-faring tours in a glass-bottom boat or catamaran, or tours that paddle out in a canoe to spot herons, egrets, and pelicans. Some tours include a scuba dive.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Montego Bay Marine Park is a must for nature lovers who like to be in the water.
- Remember sun protection, swimwear, and water for hydration.
- Bring your own snorkeling gear or rent from a vendor on the Hip Strip or at one of the bigger beaches such as Doctor's Cave Beach.
- Fishing and water sports are prohibited or restricted in the park in order to preserve the underwater environment.
How to Get There
Travelers can experience the Montego Bay Marine Park simply by going for a swim at any of the beaches in Montego Bay such as Doctor's Cave Beach, Aquasol Beach, Cornwall Beach, or Dead End Beach. Tours offer a more immersive experience by heading out deeper into the reserve.
When to Get There
Montego Bay is a year-round destination, with consistently pleasant temperatures. High season runs from December through March, so travelers are mostly likely to find flight and hotel deals during the summer months and from November through June, the island’s hurricane season.
Leading the way for ecological innovation, the Montego Bay Marine Park is home to the Caribbean’s first seabin. This high-tech submersible receptacle collects ocean pollutants such as debris and oil slicks as a pilot for future spots all over the world.