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Montego Bay or Ocho Rios - Which is Better?

by Deon Clarke | Associate Writer

For this question, I will let you be the judge! Whether you choose to go to Montego Bay or visit Ocho Rios, your preferences or what you hope to achieve from your visit will ultimately decide which is better. I’ll help you to decide by offering you a snapshot of each location.

Montego Bay

Montego Bay known as the ‘friendly city’, has a lot to offer including the simple relaxation that travellers have come to expect from an all-inclusive vacation on its white sandy beaches, as well as making provisions for numerous adventure excursions and nature activities that are available on the island.

Features of Montego Bay:

  • Montego Bay has an international airport (Sangster’s International Airport) which is within proximity to most accommodations, some within 5 to 40 minutes.

  • It has several white-sand beaches including the world-famous “Doctor’s Cave Beach” one of the cleanest and most popular in Jamaica. You can swim all day or you might want to do some jet skiing.

  • It has numerous historic buildings within the town and its environs such as the St. James Parish Church, Montego Bay Civic Centre, and the famous Rose Hall Great House.

  • Montego Bay is famous for its “Hip Strip” – a long stretch of tourist shopping areas, bars, restaurants, resorts, and vibrant nightlife along Jimmy Cliff Boulevard (formerly Gloucester Avenue).

  • It has a popular cruise ship port that allows cruisers to have a great experience while docked such as shopping in Rose Hall, visiting heritage sites, river rafting and scuba-diving.

  • For snorkel lovers, there are great spots for snorkelling.

  • It boasts a marine park - the Montego Bay Marine Park. This was the first marine park in Jamaica. Here you will find a protected area of water and coral reefs covering most of the beaches along the coast of Montego Bay. The park’s headquarters usually organize glass-bottom boat trips to the ocean floor.

Now let’s take a look at the beautiful Ocho Rios.

Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios offers a wide variety of outdoor activities including river-tubing. Imagine paddling downstream while sitting in a massive rubber ring and just floating down the crystal clear waters of the White River. Ocho Rios is a true paradise, known for its beautiful wildlife and lush tropical scenery enjoyed by all ages.

Features of Ocho Rios:

  • Ocho Rios offers a wide variety of outdoor activities including river tubing, swimming, and mountain zip-lining.

  • Ocho Rios is known for its beautiful wildlife and magnificent lush tropical scenery.

  • It is truly a nature lover’s paradise. It has beautiful gardens and falls as well as a host of nature-filled attractions such as:

    1. The world-famous Dunn’s River Falls
    2. Shaw Park Gardens & Waterfalls
    3. The Enchanted Gardens, Bird Aviary, and Waterfall
    4. The Turtle River Falls & Gardens
    5. The Coyaba River Garden Museum
    6. Konoko Falls and Park
    7. Emarald Garden
    8. The Cranbrook Flower Forest
    9. Mystic Mountain
    10. Dolphin Cove
    11. Green Grotto Caves
    12. Fern Gully

  • It has numerous shopping areas that offer luxury brands as well as Jamaica centric souvenirs.

  • It offers great snorkelling spots, some right on the beach.

  • Lots of white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters.

  • Numerous All-Inclusive resorts.

  • There is a cruise shipping port.

  • It is about 1 hour and 40 minutes from Sangster’s International Airport.

  • There are lots of great restaurants and nightlife activities.

  • There are some heritage sites and great houses to visit as well.

The main difference between the two destinations is that Montego Bay has a much more city-like characteristic, while Ocho Rios on the other hand is a more tranquil and peaceful option for visitors who want to explore nature at its best.

So, what do you think? Based on your preferences, which one works best for you? Are you a nature lover or do you like the hype of the city mixed with some tranquillity? I’d say, both are just great in their own way!

I also recommend you read Welcome To Ocho Rios Jamaica The Capital Of Adventure



  • Jamaica,
  • Luxury Journal, Rental Escapes,,who%20want%20to%20explore%20nature.
  • Ocho Rios Vs Montego Bay: Which Is A Better Travel Option?, Tourist Secrets,

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