About Montego Bay beaches
One of the most stable countries in the Caribbean, Mo Bay,’ as its nicknamed, is the most popular tourist spot in Jamaica. Despite its reputation for crime, tourists flock here for its beautiful beaches, top-rate golf courses, and bustling town near the main airport.
Low mountains and the sparkling clear aqua sea make the bustling Doctor’s Cave Beach the nicest place to relax in the sand with a cold drink or check out open-air restaurants, stores and watersports. The water is calmer at Walter Fletcher Beach, where there are watersports ranging from water trampolines to jet-skis. Scuba divers seek out the wall in Airport Reef, in the Montego Bay Marine Park, known for its coral caves, tunnels and steep canyons.
Beyond the beach:
Montego Bay has several championship-level golf courses, including Ironshore SuperClubs (Breezes), Tryall (North Coast Highway, Sandy Bay) called ‘one of the meanest golf courses in the world,’ and the White Witch (Ritz-Carlton). Blue Mountain Bicycle Tours (121 Main Street, Ocho Rios) offer exercise, spectacular scenery and ends with a swim in a waterfall. The island’s sole casino, Coral Cliff, is located on the hip strip. Ever hour, in the Half Moon Shopping Village (Half Moon Resort, North Coast Highway, 11km/7 miles east of Montego Bay), a video documentary on reggae pioneer Bob Marley is shown. For a little spook, visit Rose Hall (North Coast Highway), the plantation that was once home to the voodoo-using murderess Annie Palmer.
Anyone age eight and up can swim with bottlenose dolphins at Dolphins Cove, or let the animals pull them along for a ride. More carnival-styled fun is at Aquasol Theme Park, at Walter Fletcher Beach, and for a little culture lesson, the Jamaican Tourist Board has a free program called ‘Meet the People,’ in which you can spend a day with a Jamaican family, school or gardener. Arrangements must be made in advance.
Just west of Montego Bay is Lucea, a coastal town with a 17th-century fort. Just east of there is Falmouth, a town filled with old churches and interesting architecture. At night, take a boat ride through its Luminous Lagoon and see glow-in-the-dark fish. If you’re a fan of Jamaica’s jerk spice, you can tour the King Pepper factory that produces much of the jerk seasonings.
Massages at KiYara Spa at the Jamaica Inn (Main Street, Ocho Rios, St Ann) are in thatched-roof huts with views of the sea. Guests of The Ritz Carlton Golf & Spa Resort (Ritz-Carlton Road, Rose Hall, St James), can call upon their own bath butler, who will let them choose from a ‘bath menu’ and then draw their bath in a beautiful marble tub. Arrangements can also be made for romantic nights, like a violinist on a private moonlit catamaran ride.