To know Montego Bay is to love Montego Bay – a vibrant, bustling city, situated on the peaceful and calm coast of Jamaica with its warm beaches and sumptuous island food. Montego Bay is a melting-pot of races and cultures where Jamaicans, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony. Our multiculturalism, warm temperature, easy going island vibe, reggae music and tasty food has made Montego Bay an attractive paradise and home to hundreds of experiences. It’s no wonder that we welcome millions of tourists and locals to the city each year. Here’s all you need to know about Montego bay Jamaica.
One Love, One Heart, Let’s Get Together And Feel Alright!
As a people, Montegonians are very relaxed, warm and friendly. Montego Bay is one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations, the city depends on tourism and as such the locals are very helpful and friendly. It is a small city within the country of Jamaica and has a population of just over 100,000 persons.
Where is Montego Bay
Montego Bay is the capital of the parish of St. James (one of the 14 parishes in Jamaica) and the second largest city in Jamaica by area and the fourth by population (after Kingston, Spanish Town and Portmore).
Officially, the largest cities in Jamaica based on their 2011 populations are:
- Kingston (Kingston Parish): 937,000
- Portmore (Saint Catherine): 182,000
- Spanish Town (Saint Catherine): 147,000
- Montego Bay (Saint James): 110,000
How it got the name
The name “Montego Bay” is believed to have originated as a corruption of the Spanish word manteca(“lard“), allegedly because during the Spanish period it was the port where lard, leather, and beef were exported. Jamaica was a colony of Spain from 1511 until 1655, when Oliver Cromwell‘s Caribbean expedition, the Western Design, drove the Spanish from the island.
Montego Bay Has A Rich History
One thing you should definitely know about Montego Bay is that a big part of Montego Bay’s history is the Christmas Rebellion of 1831-32, led by Sam Sharpe. The uprising turned violent and the slaves burnt several cane fields. Sam Sharpe presented himself to the authorities and was hanged. Today, he is a national hero of Jamaica.
The Rose Hall Great House is another monumental part of the city – It is the house of the widowed Annie Mary Palmer (Patterson) who murdered all her 3 husbands and practiced voodoo. The house is located in Montego Bay.
Major Montego Bay Milestones
- Montego Bay was accorded a city status in On May 1, 1981.
- The British maverick business mogul, Sir Richard Branson has opened a Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Montego Bay to help aspiring entrepreneurs.
Go Here For
The major attractions in Montego Bay include; The Rose Hall Great House and Doctor’s Cave Beach. As is common in all Jamaican cities, tourists will get entertained with the best of reggae beats as well as other genres of Caribbean Music. You will also experience the best Caribbean cuisine (including Jerk Chicken, and ackee and saltfish).
The official currency of Jamaica is the Jamaican dollar. Jamaican money (banknotes) come in denominations of 50, 100, 500, 1000, and 5000 dollars. Jamaican coins come in 1, 5, 10, and 20 dollar denominations. There are also 5 cent, 10 cent and 25 cent coins. Most places in Jamaica, but not all, related to the tourist industry will accept both Jamaican dollars and United States dollars.
As montego Bay is a tourist city, almost everywhere will accept US dollars. However there can be a few places that may still only accept local currency. Plan ahead to get currency based on where you plan to stay and spend your money. If staying at an all-inclusive resort then you may not need to worry as most prices will be in US dollars.
Also note that
- Commercial banks have branches throughout the island and are always willing to exchange foreign currency.
- There are several commercial banks in Jamaica (most if not all with branches in Montego bay), including Scotiabank which is an international Bank.
- Most towns have 24-hour ABMs linked to international networks and if you are having difficulty locating one you can always look for one at the nearest gas station.
- Major credit cards are accepted throughout the island. Some small shops may still prefer (or only accept cash)
There is a detailed overview here of how and where and when to use Jamaican currency http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g147309-c140152/Jamaica:Caribbean:Which.Currency.Should.Be.Used.html
Jamaicans speak English. Jamaicans also speak a broken form of English, a local dialect called patois (pronounced pat-wa). There are also a few Jamaicans who are bilingual or multilingual and can speak Spanish, french, Japanese and other languages.
Montego Bay’s governance falls within the democratic structure of Jamaican politics. Jamaica has a prime minister, two main political parties, a senate, and local government representatives. Montego Bay also has its own mayor. Glendon Harris, became the 15th Mayor of the City of Montego Bay in 2012.
As Montego Bay is a popular tourist destination that over 2 million persons visit each year, getting here, moving around and leaving has become a very easy and predictable process, and everyone is always too willing to assist.
How do you get to Montego Bay?
- Air – Montego Bay is served by Jamaica’s largest airport, the Sir Donald Sangster International Airport. Several North American and European airlines connect Montego Bay with the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the rest of the world. Also, Miami Florida can be reached within 70 minutes. and the U.S. cities of Charlotte, Houston, Atlanta, and Tampa can be reached by non-stop flights in less than three hours.
- By Sea – There is a free port and cruise line terminal in the city. Cruise ship passengers come to the island in droves each year.
How do you move around, once you get to Montego bay?
- Road – Montego Bay is on the main A1 (Kingston to Lucea) road and the B15 (Montego Bay to Falmouth) road. It is well served by buses, mini buses and taxis, which operate from the Montego Bay Transport Centre.
- Rail – The now disused Montego Bay railway station served the Kingston to Montego Bay main line. The station opened in 1894 and closed in October 1992 when all passenger traffic on Jamaica’s railways ceased.
Visit Montego Bay Now
All these reasons and more make Montego Bay an exciting destination for all adventure minded, culture seeking, music loving, and food craving travelers. Throughout this site you will also learn more about the nature, climate, culture, and spirit of Montego Bay.
For the perfect holiday, the time is now, the place is Montego Bay Jamaica.