Montego Bay is the capital of Saint James Parish and is the second-largest city in Jamaica. The Caribbean city offers an array of water activities, as well as duty-free shopping and plenty of shore excursions bound for other parts of the island.
Shore excursions are plentiful and varied; many focus on the natural wonders of Jamaica such as Dunn's River Falls, the white sands of Doctor's Cave Beach, the Green Grotto Caves, or the Blue Hole. Water sports include river rafting, river tubing, or kayaking on the Martha Brae River. Other popular adventurous options are horseback riding on the beaches lining the Caribbean and zipline tours through the rain forest canopy. For history buffs, the Rose Hall Great House is a must-see; tours fill visitors in on the history and ghostly presences said to haunt the hallways there. Foodies can kick back at one of Montego Bay’s renowned restaurants for Jamaican seafood treats or try a world-famous Jamaica rum punch for an authentic island taste.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Montego Bay shore excursions typically include round-trip transportation from the port, which makes for a seamless experience and eliminates the hassle of arranging transportation.
- Visits to other parts of the island, such as Negril or Falmouth, are usually full-day excursions.
- The port can get quite crowded and sometimes sees as many as four cruise lines docking in a single day. Booking a private tour is a good way to get out into the country quickly and beat the crowds.
How to Get to Downtown Montego Bay from Montego Bay Cruise Port
Montego Bay is a bustling cruise ship port, located three miles (five kilometers) from downtown. Taxis and group vans are readily available when cruise ships dock. Cruisers should make sure their cab is a licensed JUTA taxi in order to avoid being overcharged.
The official language of Jamaica is English (with that characteristic accent) and the currencies are the Jamaican dollar and the US dollar. Vendors around Montego Bay are notorious for their persistent tactics, so visitors shouldn't be hesitant in their refusals. It’s also wise to limit the number of valuables carried with you.