Wednesday, October 10, 2007
WE Destination - Montego Bay, Jamaica
Derived from the Spanish name ‘Manteca Baha’ or ‘Bay of Lard’, so called because of the lard-making industry in its early beginnings, Montego Bay was originally a sugar and banana town. Mo Bay’s claim to ‘resort fame’ came from the beautiful Doctor’s Cave Beach which attracted many celebrities from all over the world. The Beach is said to be fed by mineral springs and boasts the most uncommonly clear and sparkling water.
Over the years many other beach clubs have been developed in the area, each with its own special character. Walter Fletcher Beach is closest to town on Gloucester Avenue. Cornwall Beach is just a little beyond Doctor's Cave, Tropical Beach and Rose Hall Beach lie further out of town.
Montego Bay is now Jamaica's tourism capital. It boasts the most hotels and transport facilities and offers a wide choice of amenities. ‘Mo Bay’ is divided into three distinct parts. There is the city itself which nests a variety of shops, craft markets, restaurants and even an art gallery. There is the ‘hotel area’ which is a mile-and-a-half long strip that runs through the town, past the very popular Doctor's Cave Beach and to the Dead End Bar. Thirdly, there are the outlying hotels and villas along the beach and the hillside.
Montego Bay boasts a wide selection of accommodation, from the older luxury-hotels and the newer all-inclusive resorts to the many small and more intimate places. Villas await those who want to get away and do their own thing.
Things to do in Montego Bay
Aquasol Theme Park
Situated on Walter Fletcher beach, this park offers enough entertainment to keep you busy all day including go-karts, volley ball, tennis courts, and water sports. At night it is said to host some of Mo Bay’s best beach parties.
Just minutes away from ‘Mo Bay’ is one of the first sugar cane plantations in Jamaica and is still a working estate. You can visit the ruins which hosts many exotic plants and birds, plus several rivers and waterfalls. 952-6001
Bob Marley Experience & Theatre
You can view shows paying tribute to Jamaican legend Bob Marley every hour at the theatre located at Half Moon Shopping Village. The souvenir shop boasts the largest selection of Bob Marley T-shirts in the world. 476-953-3946.
Chukka Blue Adventure Tours
Go horse-back riding through picturesque landscape at an old estate at Sandy Bay or an exciting mountain-bike tour through Hanover. Chukka Blue also offers a ‘Heritage Tour’ through the countryside in a ‘Safari Jeep’. 476-817-3624
Coral Cliff Gaming & Entertainment Lounge
You can play slots machines and catch nightly entertainment from vintage Reggae, to Jazz and Cabaret.
The capital of Trelawny, Falmouth was once one of the island’s major commercial centres, in the early nineteenth century. You can view the spectacular architecture that still remains in the court house, churches and many Georgian style homes.
Tee-off to a world-class 18-hole gulf course at Tryall 2,200 acre estate next to sea. 476-956-5660.
A company which produces Jerk Seasoning, Hot Pepper Sauce and Jerk Ketchup, welcomes visitors to its factory just past Falmouth on the way to Ocho Rios.
Lester Art Gallery
The Gallery is the former home and studio of Polish sea captain and painter, the late Michael Leszczynski who later anglicised his name to Lester. The house was built in the 1950s on a cliff side at the village of Belmont and has stunning views. 476- 605-1299
Just west of ‘Mo Bay’ lies the ruins a 17th century fort. Lucea (pronounced Lucy) is a great site-seeing trip on the way to Negril.
Take an after-dark boat ride from Glistening Waters Marina to one of the most spectacular wonders of Jamaica. At night the ‘glistening waters’ aluminates when agitated and you can see the outlines of fish swimming around. 476-954-3229
After tasting one of the 52 tropical flavours of marguerites and sampling the grilled specials, you can relax in the rooftop hot tub or be adventurous and ride the monster slide that plunges 100 feet into the Caribbean Sea. Then go jumping on the water trampolines. 476-952-4777 http://www.margaritavillecaribbean.com/
Montego Bay Undersea Tours
You can view the wonders of the Montego Bay Marine Park from glass bottom boats. 476-940-4465.
Mountain Valley River Rafting Tour
Take a breathtaking ride through the valley of Great River aboard a30 foot bamboo raft. This is a very relaxing and romantic trip for couples.
Rocklands Bird Sanctuary
A visit to Rocklands Feeding Station in Anchovy, also minutes from Montego Bay, is a must for all bird watchers. Feeding time is four o'clock.
Rose Hall Great House
Take a tour of the once home of the notoriously wicked Annie Palmer, the White Witch of Rose Hall, who murdered three husbands and terrorized her slaves. 476-953-2323
A fitting name for the place that offers more than 100 varieties of rum. 476-952-4130.
Cool Aqua Sun Sports offers sunset cruises from 5pm-7pm aboard the ‘Lady Sharon’. 476-680-0969. Sharky's Boat Tours offers evening dance parties from Pier 1. 476-971-1049
Rose Hall Beach Club claims to be water sports capital of Jamaica. From waterskiing, para-sailing, kayaking, jet-skis, snorkelling, diving, and fishing; you name it, they got it. 476-680-0969. Other companies are Sun Sports 476-680-0969, North Coast Marine Sports 476-953-9266, Captain's Watersports & Dive Centre 476-952-5860
For more info on attractions and accommodations in Montego bay visit http://www.montego-bay-jamaica.com/