Today many explorations of Mo'Bay are conducted from a reclining chair—frothy drink in hand—on Doctor's Cave Beach. As home of the north-shore airport, Montego Bay is the first taste most visitors have of the island. It's the second-largest city in Jamaica and has a busy cruise pier west of town. Travelers from around the world come and go in this bustling community year-round. The name Montego is derived from manteca ("lard" in Spanish). The Spanish first named this Bahía de Manteca, or Lard Bay, since they once shipped hogs from this port city. Jamaican tourism began here in 1924, when the first resort opened at Doctor's Cave Beach so that health seekers could "take the waters." If you can pull yourself away from the water's edge, you'll find some interesting colonial sights in the surrounding area.
Copyright ©2014 by Fodor's Travel, a division of Random House, LLC. All rights reserved.
Things You Can't Miss
Doctor’s Cave Beach features clear, calm water, lifeguards and a lively bar. Snorkeling can be excellent in the adjacent Montego Bay Marine Park.
© Doug Pearsonfirstname.lastname@example.org/JAI/Corbis
Two hours east of Montego Bay, the cascades shimmer over a long series of smooth rock ledges, creating one of Jamaica’s most striking landscapes.
© Sergio Pitamitz/CORBIS
Guides at magnificent Rose Hall Great House tell eerie stories of the legendary 19th-century owner (and reputed murderess) known as the “White Witch.”
Alvaro Leiva/Getty Images
Sit back and let your captain guide you down the gently flowing Martha Brae River on a bamboo raft. Pull over when you want a cold Red Stripe beer.
Stuart Dee/Getty Images
Formerly owned by relatives of poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Greenwood Great House exhibits splendid antiques, Wedgwood china and family portraits.
Anthony Pidgeon/Getty Images
Plan Your TripSee Full Map
Shared Trips to this Destination
|Trips||Places Of Interest|
Must Reads Before You Go
These unforgettable international locations offer much more than pretty beaches.
Going to an all-inclusive resort may or may not be a good travel option.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about cruise ships. Read on to get the facts vs. fiction.