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Montego Bay City FAQ's
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montego bay city - The G West BuildingThe GWest Building (Montego Bay City Photos)

Inaugurated as a city in 1980, Montego Bay, also called The 'complete resort', boast some of the best resorts, historical attractions and beaches in the country.

But how much do you know Montego Bay city? 
You might be surprised!

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Follow me as I answer some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the city of Montego Bay.

Be sure to also read my pillar post on Montego Bay here.

Montego Bay City FAQ's

  1. What does Montego Bay mean?

    The word "Montego" was derived from the Spanish word "manteca" which means lard, as in pigs' lard. The bay was used as a shipment port for lard during the reign of the Spanish here.

    See How Montego Bay got its name below.

  2. Why is Montego Bay a city?

    Montego Bay was granted city status in 1980, October 9. The proclamation was officially read, by the minister of local government then, Pearnel Charles at Sam Sharpe Square on May 1, 1981. 

    It was advocated to be a city, hereby enjoying its own level of autonomy, by its residents and political representatives because of its importance to the tourism product.

    It is the 'second city' behind Kingston, the capital.

  3. What is Montego Bay Jamaica known for?

    It might be the 'second city', behind Kingston, but the city of Montego Bay is the hub of tourism in Jamaica. It is known for it's comprehensive tourist package of attractions, resorts, nightlife and historical landmarks, hence it's term, 'the complete resort'. It's airport is also the hub of the Caribbean. 

  4. Is Montego Bay a BAY? 

    Oh yes, certainly parts of it! This is so because a bay, by definition, is as an area of water (e.g sea) that much of it is surrounded by land.

    The most notable area here would be across the old fire station area of Montego Bay.

    By the way, bear in mind that there is also a peninsula, which is the opposite (land that is 3/4 surrounded by water) and we have that in Montego Bay too, the free port area!

  5. What ocean is Montego Bay Jamaica on?

    Interesting question :-) Jamaica, and more specifically, Montego Bay, is encircled by the Caribbean sea.

    But the Caribbean sea is reckoned to be a part of the Atlantic ocean.

    So depending on who you ask, the answer could be:

    a) The Caribbean Sea or
    b) The Atlantic Ocean.

  6. What is there to do in Montego Bay?

    A lot! Some of the top things to do in Montego Bay are:

    >Bask on the beach in the Caribbean sun at Doctor's Cave Beach.

    >Enjoy pulsating music and party at Margaritaville or Pier 1.

    >Play games at the Coral Cliff or 100 Gaming lounges.

    >Experience the haunted Rose Hall great house.

    >Fine dine at the House Boat Restaurant, or

    >Simply enjoy a Montego Bay City Tour.

  7. Is it safe to walk around Montego Bay?

    I'd say yes, but depending on where, just like many other resort cities.

    Montego Bay city covers a wide cross area, which include some garrison communities and what I'd call, touristy areas.

    The famous hip strip (avenue), which also host some fine hotels, is popular for tourists with exciting attractions, restaurants and things to do.

    Read Is Jamaica safe for more. 

  8. Do you need a passport to go to Montego Bay Jamaica?

    Yes. US visitors, in particular, needs to have a valid passport to enter and depart Jamaica back for the USA. 

  9. Does Montego Bay have white sand?

    If you mean white sand beaches, Oh yes - it's actually all white sands in Montego Bay! First recommended stop is Doctor's Cave Beach!

  10. Is Montego Bay airport safe?

  11. Definitely! One of the safest places in Jamaica! Remember that Montego Bay's Sangster International Airport is also the hub of the Caribbean.

  12. How Montego Bay got its name?

    When Christopher Columbus 'discovered' Jamaica in 1494, it is said that he anchored briefly at Montego Bay.

    He called the harbor Golfo de Buen Tiempo, which meant ‘The Bay of Good Weather’.

    From here, the Spaniards shipped large quantities of lard or ‘pig’s butter’, which came from the vast number of wild pigs that roamed the interior of Montego Bay.

    And so, the port was then known as ‘Lard Bay’, which has the Spanish meaning of Manteca (lard).

    It is from that Spanish word (Manteca) that the name Montego was derived.

  13. Is it safe to visit Montego Bay Jamaica?

    Absolutely! Montego Bay has had a challenge with crime, but outside of the fact that the security forces have employed what they termed Enhanced Security Measures to curtail it, note that the crime is mainly confined to gang activities in depressed areas which tourist almost never ever venture.

    Bear in mind also that Montego Bay is the hub of tourism in Jamaica and the Caribbean, and so, the majority of tourists who visits Jamaica arrive via Montego Bay. We now welcome over 4 million tourists per year.

    Review my answer to 'Is it Safe To Walk In Montego Bay' above as well.

  14. Is it cheaper to have a destination wedding?

    Yes, all things been equal, it will cost you less to have a destination wedding in Jamaica.

  15. How far is Kingston from Montego Bay?

    Montego Bay is approximately 170 km or 2 hours and 40 minutes via the highway, away from Kingston.

  16. Can you drink the water in Montego Bay Jamaica? 

  17. If you mean, tap water, yes, absolutely. You can get more information on drinking water in Jamaica here.

  18. Is there a smoking area at Montego Bay airport?

  19. No, not anymore. Generally speaking though, persons arriving in Jamaica will light up after getting on the outside (of the arrival area).

    The security officers seems to go 'light' on that too, pun intended :-)

    And this final, very interesting one?

  20. What country is Montego Bay Jamaica in?

    I wonder who would ask this question? But I am comforted by what one of my teachers would say, 'there is no stupid question'.

    The answer though is..... Jamaica.

    Montego Bay in the capital of the parish of St. James, one of the 14 parishes in Jamaica.

Watch Video! LIVE  Montego Bay City Tour

In this video I take you on a full tour of the city of Montego Bay, starting from the Sangster's airport, into the city via Queens Drive, St. James Street and Humber Avenue, and then back out via Cottage Road, Barnett Street and Howard Cooke Boulevard.

And there is a bonus, I also did a mini tour of the Freeport / Fairview area as well as a quick stop at the market. 

A Map Of Montego Bay

Here also is a map of Montego Bay, courtesy of Google Maps for your education and enlightenment.

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Return to Montego Bay Jamaica from Montego Bay City FQA's

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A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

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