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

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

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.

AquaSol Beach, Montego BayAquasol Beach, Montego Bay Jamaica

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.
  • 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, Jamaica


iberostar 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'.


In addition to the spanking new Montego Bay Convention Center in Rosehall, 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.

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.

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 has been host to the Jazz and Blues Festival which saw a lot of famous talents from all over the world.

Restaurants In Montego Bay

houseboat 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)
  • 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 Chineese Restaurant (Fairview Shopping Center, Alice Eldemire Rd) &
  • Scotchies Jerk (Coral Gardens)
Sea Horse Grill/ Yatch Club, Mobay

See Montego Bay Restaurants for even more.

There is so much more to tell and though we are only the second city, compared to Kingston which is the other city, 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

See also: Montego Bay Beaches And Weather In Montego Bay

Edited: 10/26/17

Pages Related To Montego Bay Jamaica

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

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

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