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Discovery Bay Jamaica | Its History, Weather, Attractions & More

Puerto Seco Beach - Discovery BayDiscovery Bay Jamaica

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by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

Welcome! You’ve just found another of Jamaica’s best-kept secrets! But why is it called Discovery Bay? What is the weather like in Discovery Bay? What are the top accommodation and attractions there?

And how far is it from the airports in Jamaica? We got you... read on.

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Where is Discovery Bay Jamaica?

Discovery Bay is a small, quiet town on the northern coast of Jamaica in the garden parish of St. Ann. It is located just about 30 minutes west of Ocho Rios and just under an hour away, east of Montego Bay, Jamaica.

How Did Discovery Bay Get its Name?

Discovery Bay has had its fair share of name changes. It was originally named Puerto Seco by Christopher Columbus in 1494 when he first landed on the island. Supposedly due to the fact he could not find a source of freshwater close to the natural harbour. He later found the Rio Minho some 5 miles west of Puerto Seco.

Puerto Seco actually means Dry Harbour in Spanish, which brings us to the second name of the town, Dry Harbour. It is also believed that the town was called by that name in reference to the Dry Harbour Mountains close by.

In honour of the first place Columbus landed in and ultimately “discovered” Jamaica, the name was officially changed to Discovery Bay in 1947. This claim has its doubters however, and has been refuted by many who believe Columbus actually first set foot on the island in the areas we now call Rio Bueno and Seville. Incidentally, both areas are located in St. Ann not far away from Discovery Bay.

How Far is Discovery Bay From the Airport?

The airport in Montego Bay is the best point of access to Discovery Bay. From there you can travel by vehicle for a little under an hour to get to Discovery Bay. It takes less time to get to Discovery Bay from Montego Bay than it would to get to Negril or Ocho Rios. 

You still can travel through the Norman Manley International to get to Discovery Bay, however it will take about 2 and a half hours to get there.

What is the Weather like in Discovery Bay Jamaica?

Similarly to Negril, Montego Bay and other areas of Jamaica, Discovery Bay is mainly sunny, with the possibility of rain during certain months of the year. The climate is usually between 23-30 degrees Celsius and hardly ever goes above or below that range. 

If you are visiting during the months of May to November you may experience a little more rainfall than usual especially in the month of September. This is in part, due to the hurricane season in the Caribbean which runs from June to November every year.

During the months of December to April, it is less likely that it will rain but not impossible.

Is Discovery Bay Nice?

It depends on what you are looking for on your vacation. In general, it is a lovely town surrounded by beautiful attractions and lush vegetation, not to mention the beach and other water sources. The area is also very rich in history, so for someone who loves to factor in a little learning and cultural history of the places they visit, Discovery bay is perfect for you. It is also very close to Ocho Rios where you can visit those attractions and craft markets as well.

However, being the laid back town that it is, it would be perfect for someone who prefers to be away from large crowds and all the resort towns offer. Discovery Bay is perfect for someone who is into day trips and excursions while enjoying the peace and quiet of the night.

For someone who wants to experience Jamaican nightlife, Ocho Rios or Montego Bay might be a better option.

When is the Best Time of Year to Visit?

Every day is a good day to be in Discovery Bay, but I am guessing you would want me to be a little more specific. December to late March is perfect especially if you’d like to escape the cold. It is also less likely that it will rain in these months. However, cooling down at the beach in the warm summer months sounds perfect and Discovery Bay has many beautiful options.

What are the Accommodations Like in Discovery Bay?

Being that Discovery Bay is not really a resort town (bauxite is the main source of income in this area), there are not many options for all-inclusive resorts and large hotels. Usually for these options persons would stay in the more popularly known areas such as the nearby Ocho Rios.

However, there are many guest houses and villa options on the beachfront of Discovery Bay available for rent.

What are the Attractions in Discovery Bay Jamaica?

The Discovery Bay area has quite a lot of natural attractions, many of which are among the most prominent natural attractions in Jamaica. When you make it to Discovery Bay you must visit: 

  1. Green Grotto Caves
  2. Columbus Park
  3. Puerto Seco Beach
  4. Fisherman’s Beach
  5. ShowKart Jamaica
  6. Kaiser Hill

Just outside of Discovery Bay is Runaway Bay, you can visit these attractions there: 

  1. Wet n Dirty ATV Outback
  2. Cardiff Hall Beach

And in Ocho Rios you can visit:

  1. Dunn's River Falls
  2. Mystic Mountain
  3. Taste of Jamaica Tours (see video here)
  4. Blue Hole
  5. Sun Valley Plantation

Climb the majestic Dunn's River Falls with us! Watch the video below

Can I now say.... see you in Discovery Bay?

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Other Pages Related To Discovery Bay Jamaica

You will also find these pages quite helpful as well:

Return to Ocho Rios, Jamaica from Discovery Bay Jamaica 
Return to My Island Jamaica Homepage from Discovery Bay Jamaica

References & Sources For Discovery Bay Jamaica

  1. Tripadvisor, 
  2. Columbus Park Jamaica | History's Greatest,  
  3. Discovery Bay | Jamaica | AFAR,
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