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Montego Bay Jamaica
The Tourist Capital Of Jamaica

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montego_bay_jamaica_aerial_viewAerial view of Montego Bay Jamaica

by Dorrett Simmons | Associate Writer

Montego Bay (Mobay) got its name from the Spanish word, "Manteca Baha" which means "Bay of Lard".

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A lot of wild boar hunting was done during the time of the Spaniards and a lard producing industry was created, thus the name. It was later translated to mean Montego Bay as you now know it. This is just one of the many interesting fact about Montego Bay.

sangsters_international_airport_in_montego_bay_jamaicaSangsters International Airport In Montego Bay Jamaica

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Walter Fletcher, formerly, AquaSol Beach, Montego BayWalter Fletcher, formerly, AquaSol Beach, Montego Bay

Montego Bay Facts

Here are some very important and fascinating facts about the second city.

Montego Bay:

  • Is situated in the parish of St. James.
  • Has a population of approximately 120,000.
  • Is affectionately called the “friendly city” because of the warmth and friendliness of its people. Montego Bay is also called MoBay - for short.
  • Was made the second of only two cities in Jamaica in 1980, which also gave it the nickname the "second city".
  • Is the tourist capital of Jamaica.
  • Boasts the island’s largest airport, the Sir Donald Sangster International Airport (airport code: MBJ)
  • Many airlines run their Caribbean hub from here in Montego Bay, connecting the island to several famous and well travelled destinations & last but not least...
  • has some of the most beautiful beaches in Jamaica, eg. Cornwall Beach, Doctors Cave Beach and Aquasol Beach.
cornwall beach, Montego Bay, JamaicaCornwall beach, Montego Bay, Jamaica (now Decameron Montego Bay)

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Popular Accommodation In Montego Bay Jamaica

iberostar montego bay jamaicaIberostar Montego Bay Jamaica

MoBay is known for its posh accommodations, resorts hideaways and eating spots. It gives me great pleasure to mention some of the frequently visited hotels here in the 'Second City'.

And how could I forget – The RIU Montego Bay which was officially opened in September 2008.

There are many more as well these are the Top 50 hotels in Montego Bay ranked by user ratings.

Even if you are on a tight budget, there will be something available at the more affordable hotels in Montego Bay.

Don't forget that hotels aren't the only option we have, try one of the many villas, guesthouses and Airbnbs too.

Local Sites And Landmarks In Montego Bay Jamaica

In addition to the spanking new Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, there are quite a number of other local landmarks in Montego Bay.

One such site is the famous Sam Sharpe Square, so named because one of the national heroes, Samuel Sharpe and the Dome.

monteg_bay_jamaica_civic_center_nation_gallery_westMontego Bay Civic Center, Downtown Montego Bay
Same Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, JamaicaSam Sharpe Square, DownTown, Montego Bay (showing Civic Center at Left)
The Dome, Montego BayThe Famous Dome Building

Here in the center of the town is also the Civic Center, operated by the St. James Parish Council. It is used to accommodate many cultural events and is a popular attraction for the people of Montego Bay, surrounding towns and all over from Jamaica.

The facility provides:

  • Conferencing facilities
  • Art Gallery
  • Museum
  • Guided Tours
  • Public Parking &
  • Public Washroom

Then there is also The Cage, a very ancient building which was used to house runaway slaves but is now used for selling all things Jamaican and Fort Montego, which still housed some of the cannons used to defend the city.

Montego Bay is also known as home of the ever so popular Reggae Sumfest and patrons from all over the world (foreigners, Returning Residents, Natives here at home) are all in high gear whenever the month of July comes every year to look forward to this memorable event.

Montegonians are also proud to say that the city played host to the Jazz and Blues Festival which saw a lot of famous talents from all over the world.

The city is bursting at the seams with attractions and things to do so you can never be bored.

Restaurants In Montego Bay

houseboat restaurantHouseboat Restaurant

Montego Bay boasts a wide array of dining and restaurant options.
These range from casual outdoor to posh and elegant dining.

Among them are:

  • Robbie Joseph's Seahorse Grill/ The Yacht Club
    (Sunset Drive, Freeport, 876-684-9133)
  • The Pork Pit Restaurant
    (Hip Strip, 876-940-3008)
  • Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records
    (Jimmy Cliff Boulevard)
  • Jerky's Bar & Grill
    (Fairview Shopping Center, Alice Eldemire Rd, 876-684-9101-2)
  • Sugar Mill Restaurant
    (Rose Hall, 876-953-2228)
  • The Houseboat Grill (Southern Cross Rd, Freeport, 876-979-8845,)
  • Pelican Restaurant (Hip Strip, 876-952 3171)
    Kid friendly. Great for groups or the entire family.
  • China House (Hip Strip)
  • Dragon Court Court Chinese Restaurant (Fairview Shopping Center, Alice Eldemire Rd) &
  • Scotchies Jerk (Coral Gardens)

 These are just a few of the many restaurants in Montego BayVegan options are also available don't you worry!

Sea Horse Grill/ Yatch Club, Mobay

When you compare Kingston vs Montego Bay, you will realize that each city offers its own unique attractions. There is so much more to tell about Montego Bay and though it is the second city and not our capital, the warmth of the Montegonians will never be forgotten.

So come on down, meet us and be a part of our history.


Cornwall Beach, Montego BayThe original Cornwall Beach, Montego Bay
Old Hospital Park, Montego Bay, JamaicaOld Hospital Park, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Sunset from Freeport, Montego BaySunset from Freeport, Montego Bay Jamaica
Harmony Beach Park (formally Dump Up Beach)Harmony Beach Park (formally Dump Up Beach)

Video - The Montego Bay City Tour (Click Play To Watch)

See also: Montego Bay Beaches And Weather In Montego Bay

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For a comprehensive review of Montego Bay, including its best attractions, see the Jamaica Travel Guide page.

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Return to Famous Jamaican Places from Montego Bay Jamaica 
Return to My Island Jamaica Homepage from Montego Bay Jamaica

References & Sources For Montego Bay Jamaica

  1. Montego Bay Things To Do - 6 Must Visit Places And Attractions,
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