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Known as MoʼBay‚ the vibrant beachside town of Montego Bay is Jamaica's second largest city and one of its most popular holiday resorts. With endless coastline, white sand beaches, and a lively party scene, this Jamaican destination has something for everyone. Snorkel in the marine park, relax under a palm and explore the markets and reggae bars in the evening. Holidays to Montego Bay are about as Caribbean as you can get!
Things to do
Holidays here are packed with things to do for everyone. One of Jamaica's earliest settlements‚ Montego Bay thrives with beach bars and bustling markets. With miles and miles of beautiful beaches, relaxing on a sun lounger with overhanging palms is a blissful way to start the day.
Montego Bay Marine Park offers world-class snorkeling and diving, so jump in and see the tropical fish and bright coral reefs for yourself. Kayaking, windsurfing, and boat trips are all part and parcel of a trip to this city.
Acting as a great base from which to explore the rest of Jamaica, this beach community is a lively destination. If you love to dance into the evening, the reggae bars on Gloucester Avenue will blow you away. The resort is also home to some of the best golf courses in the Caribbean, such as the par-72 course at Tryall Club, which hosted the Johnnie Walker World Championships.
A tropical paradise
You’ll have a few beaches to choose from when you’re on holiday in Mo’ Bay, and you’ll have a completely different experience on each of them, so make sure you try them all to find your favourite. They do all have something in common, though; each one is a tropical paradise of warm sand and sea. For a different kind of tropical scenery, head inland to the mountains where you’ll find fascinating places like the Ras Natango Gallery and Garden surrounded by the jungle.
In the not-so-distant past, Jamaica was covered with a patchwork of plantations growing everything from sugar cane to pineapples. While some are still working, such as Belvedere Plantation near Montego Bay, many are now resort hotels or golf clubs, including some of Jamaica’s top courses: Tryall Club, the White Witch at Rose Hall and Cinnamon Hill. Don’t miss your chance to see inside a plantation house while you’re in Montego Bay, as Rose Hall is one of the resort’s most popular attractions.
It probably won’t come as a surprise that music is a vital part of life to most Jamaicans, and that’s just as true in Montego Bay as elsewhere on the island. You’ll hear it at the beach, in the street, and especially on Hip Strip, the best place to mix with the locals for a great night out. Montego Bay is also one of the pick-up points for a must-do trip, the Bob Marley Experience tour. You’ll learn lots about Jamaica’s most famous son on this unmissable excursion to the village of Nine Mile where he was born and buried, and plenty more about what makes Jamaica tick.
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One of Jamaica’s most magical resorts is Ocho Rios. Settled on the beautiful north coast, this area combines luxury beachside hotels with jungle adventures and some of Jamaica’s most incredible natural wonders. Swim in crystal-clear water and go dolphin spotting, climb Dunn’s River Falls, and take a tour into the heart of the Blue Mountains, all on your Ocho Rios holiday.
Things to do
Ocho Rios is a popular cruise ship port, and it’s easy to see why. With lots of beaches and a lively community, it’s a great base from which to explore much of Jamaica. Close to sights like the waterfall at Dunn’s River Falls as well as the Blue Mountains, you’ll be truly spoilt for choice.
Hire snorkel gear and explore the coral reefs surrounding the town or take a boat trip and see this coastline from the water. A day trek in the dense, tropical forests will show you sights you’ll never forget and in the evening you can enjoy delicious local foods.
Ocho Rios has an array of beautiful beaches that have a typical Caribbean vibe. Soft, white sand stretches along the length of the resort’s most popular shore, Turtle Beach. Fringed with coconut palm trees, the swath of pristine sand is a perfect location to relax on sun loungers in the warm weather. Enjoy the picturesque views of the crystal clear coast with a fruity cocktail in hand from one of the several beachside drink shacks. Choose from an array of water sports, or discover the tropical wildlife that lives below sea level. Go snorkelling in the natural mangroves to see the different species of fish and colourful coral reefs.
History and culture
The Ocho Rios resort is probably best known as being one of the locations for Dr. No, the very first James Bond film, released in 1962. Today Ocho Rios is still an exotic paradise with soft, sandy shores and a laid back atmosphere. The charming resort is a main cruise port, which brings visitors to the surrounding resorts. It oozes tradition, from its rural village and rustic buildings to museums and local markets. Ocho Rios can be translated to Eight Rivers from Spanish, which relates to the streaming watercourse that runs through the tropical forests nearby.
Ocho Rios is a quieter alternative to neighbouring Montego Bay, but does still have an array of nightlife to experience. Enjoy the traditional charm of the restaurants servings local cuisine, like spicy jerk chicken severed with coconut-flavoured flavoured rice. In the evening, make your way to one of the live music venues and bars that come alive with reggae music. Dance until the early hours and be sure to sample some of the finest Jamaican rum and beer.
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Runaway Bay is the ideal place if you’re really looking to run away from it all and relax in style. Away from the bustle of larger towns and tourist areas, Runaway Bay holidays are all about beach time, swimming, lazing about, and seeing some of Jamaica’s most incredible natural wonders. Get away from the crowds and recharge those batteries in one of the finest Caribbean holiday hotspots.
Things to do
The resort is a step away from the lively tourist hotspots of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. You can easily explore these towns on day trips but for those who want to escape the crowds and relax in their own space, Runaway Bay is a haven.
Quiet and serene, you can relax on the soft white sands and swim in the luxurious clear blue water. Enjoy a cocktail and a Caribbean snack in one of the beach bars and even go horseback riding through the shallows. The Green Grotto Caves are just around the corner, so don’t miss a trip to see this exquisite subterranean world where the James Bond film Live and Let Die was shot.
The beautiful beaches are what makes the tranquil resort of Runaway Bay so favourable. If you’re lucky enough to stay in one of the beachside hotels, you may get the privilege of your own private beach. Don’t worry if you’re staying inland, there’s still enough space on the long stretch of sand to relax on. Runaway Beach is said to have some of the quietest beaches on the island, where you can enjoy soft white sand and glistening waters in the peaceful, palm tree setting. You’ll find that the seas are quiet, calm and shallow which are great for paddling in and there are some fantastic diving sites nearby too.
History and culture
The small and quiet resort has a unique character that mixes the island’s traditions with luxury hotels and golf courses. Runaway Bay resort has developed to keep up with the growing tourism in the surrounding area since the 1960s. The resort is still much quieter than its neighbours, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, but is the perfect basecamp for exploring the sights nearby, like the Green Grotto Caves. Many have debated the origins of the resort’s name over the years; some say it was once the point of departure for African slaves who fled the sugar plantations to Cuba.
Runaway Bay is a quiet, friendly resort that has a low key, laid back nightlife. There’s a wide selection of restaurants where you can sample authentic Jamaican food such as spicy jerk chicken and coconut flavoured rice, in a relaxed atmosphere. There’s also a small selection of bars around the resort, some even have live reggae music for you to enjoy, but if you’re after something a little more upbeat, the bustling resort of Ocho Rios is just a half an hour drive away.
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We also have travel guides available for destinations, including: Antigua | Aruba | Bahamas | Barbados | Cuba | Dominican Republic | Jamaica | Mexico | Montego Bay | Negril | Ocho Rios | St Lucia | Tobago