Best Things to do in Montego Bay

The inviting blue Caribbean Sea surrounding Montego Bay
The inviting blue Caribbean Sea surrounding Montego Bay | © lucky-photographer / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Lola Mendez
4 August 2020

Montego Bay, the second-largest city in Jamaica, has no shortage of exciting things to do, as well as being home to many excellent accommodation choices and restaurants. Be sure to explore all the area has to offer, including Rastafari cultural tours, dark history lessons about the slave trade in Jamaica and not to mention unwinding by the sea.

Rastafari Indigenous Village

Historical Landmark
Map View
Jamaica Montego Bay, Rastafari Indigenous Village, handmade organic soap
© Juan Serrano Corbella / Alamy Stock Photo
Book an educational tour at the Rastafari Indigenous Village in Montego Bay. During the cultural program, you’ll be told the history of the religious group and hear about the Rastafari principles of equitable exchanges. You’ll have the chance to taste local delicacies including home-made cacao and coconut oil, test out all-natural soaps with ingredients from the organic herb garden, and make and play calabash maracas. The highlight of the visit is listening to a sacred ceremonial musical performance.

Sunset cruise

Natural Feature, Architectural Landmark
Map View

Enjoy Jamaica’s world-famous sunsets while out at sea on a luxurious catamaran. Many tour operators organize two-hour sunset sail cruises from Montego Bay, including Dreamer Catamarans. Enjoy the tropical evening as you dance on the dock to the tunes of a live musician and keep an eye on the sea in case a pod of dolphins comes by. Guests have access to a fully stocked open bar and appetizers.

Rose Hall Great House

Historical Landmark
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Rose Hall Great House built in 1770, near Montego Bay, Jamaica, West Indies, Caribbean, Central America.
© agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo
History lovers won’t want to miss visiting the Jamaican Georgian-style mansion Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay. The grand 6,600 acre (2,671-hectare) hillside estate was built in the 1770s. The former plantation is said to be haunted by the bloodthirsty spirit of Annie Palmer. You can take a ghost tour to brave your encounter with the White Witch of Rose Hall. Legend has it that the slave owner allegedly murdered three of her husbands and the slaves she’d forced to help cover up her killings.

Fort Montego

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
Map View

When the British colonized Jamaica they built many fortresses to protect the stolen land from pirates in the 1700s. Fort Montego once housed four 12-pound cannons and five lower-caliber guns. The cannons were only fired twice in history. It’s free to visit Fort Montego, which is within walking distance from downtown Montego Bay. At the fort, you can visit the three remaining cannons and what’s left of the artillery store.

Cornwall Beach

Natural Feature
Map View
Cornwall Beach in 1993, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Caribbean. Image shot 1993. Exact date unknown.
© Harry Lands / Alamy Stock Photo
Enjoy a laid-back beach day at Cornwall Beach, which tends to be less crowded than neighboring Doctor’s Cave Beach. The family-friendly beach is just a short walk from town. You’ll find tranquil waters here that are perfect for a dip. The beach is equipped with all the necessary facilities including restrooms, lockers, chairs and umbrellas. Bring your own towel and relax on the fine sandy shoreline.

Ahhh Rasnatango

Art Gallery, Botanical Garden
Map View

Ahhh Rasnatango’s spectacular garden and art gallery is a must-visit in Montego Bay. Take an hour-long guided stroll through the lush gardens to glimpse at Jamaica’s magnificent flora and fauna, including 18 different species of birds. Some blooms you may come across include black gladioli, yellow gladioli, dahlias, begonias, coleus and many different types of ferns. Pick up some locally made keepsakes in the Ahhh Treasures gift shop.

These recommendations were updated on August 4, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.