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Travel Guide to Montego Bay, Jamaica

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Welcome to Montego Bay, Jamaica's vibrant coastal city known for its stunning beaches, warm Caribbean waters, and lively atmosphere. Located on the northwestern coast of the island, Montego Bay, often referred to as MoBay, is a popular destination that offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Whether you're seeking a luxurious resort getaway, an exploration of Jamaican history and culture, or thrilling water sports and outdoor adventures, Montego Bay promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of the Caribbean.

Secrets Wild Orchid Experience in Jamaica
@ Secrets Wild Orchid

WHEN TO VISIT JAMAICA


The weather in Jamaica is a beautiful mid-70’s to high 80’s all year round. The best time to visit is November through mid December. This is when the best flight deals and cheapest hotel rates can be found. It's the perfect time if you are looking to escape colder weather and avoid the crowds.


January through March is Jamaica's peak travel season. Although the weather is beautiful this time of year, prices spike and spring break in late March brings hoards of people to the island. If you are looking to avoid the crowds and find cheaper travel deals November-mid December is the best bet.

Visiting in spring April through June is the island's rainiest time of year. Hurricane season starts on June 1st. Hotel deals and discounts are offered to draw tourists to visit during this time.


Traveling during the summer months risks hurricane season. July through October is Jamaica's slowest travel season of the year. Hotel deals and cheap flights are readily available. Jamaica is known to get the brunt of its hurricanes in late August through September.


My Personal Travel Experience

We booked for July 4th weekend thinking it was early enough in the season, plus the vacation package we found was too good to pass up. Hurricane Elsa was the first Hurricane of the 2021 season and luckily it did not hit Jamaica directly. Our vacation was minimally effected only raining for one day. Traveling during Hurricane season is always a gamble so be prepared with travel insurance just in case.

 

HOW TO KEEP ORGANIZED WHEN TRAVELING


These packing essentials have kept my suitcase and important documents organized. There is nothing worse than not being correctly prepared when traveling. This packing list includes items that have personally made my travels easier while other items have brought me joy. I hope this helps you along the way!

 
Engaged in Jamaica at secrets wild orchid in Montego Bay
@ Secrets Wild Orchid

MY SISTERS ENGAGMENT STORY


Our trip to Jamaica quickly became very special when my sister got engaged! We were all in on the proposal and it couldn’t have been more perfect.


The night my sister’s fiancé planned to propose it started to rain because of the passing hurricane, but everything happens for a reason. The next night had the most magical scenery and that’s when he popped the question!


All smiles, our hearts exploding, these sisters are officially off the market! With such an occasion to celebrate we ordered champagne and toasted the future Mr. & Mrs. It was a night to remember!


WHERE TO STAY IN JAMAICA


We personally stayed at Secrets Wild Orchid Adults Only. This luxurious all-inclusive resort has everything you need to make your time in Jamaica exceptional! The resort is gorgeous with its own private beach and pool providing day beds and lounge chairs, readily available with pool and beach service. Order those Pina Colada’s and keep em' coming!


The restaurants had a wonderful atmosphere as well as good food and service. Our favorite eating experience was the 'Jerk Cart' that would come around late night after the restaurants were closed with fresh grilled Jamaican Jerk Chicken!


Best Montego Bay Jamaica Hotels
@ Secrets Wild Orchid

WHAT TO DO IN JAMAICA


There are endless things to do in Jamaica but my favorite activity on a tropical get away is the water sports! Scuba diving and snorkeling should be on your list of things to do when visiting Jamaica. Our resort had a PADI center on property and offered diving trips right from the resorts beach! The center offered an array of water activities such as, paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkel tours and more. Luke and I were able to squeeze in a snorkel tour and it wound up being just us two, the guide, and the captain. How lucky is that?!


Snorkeling in Jamaica. Where to snorkel in Jamaica
Luke with a Sea Cucumber
 

SEA CUCUMBER FACTS

Sea Cucumbers have no brain or sensory organs. Although they do feel touch they do not feel pain. This beloved creature was returned safely to the ocean floor where it can continue to clean the sand. In some cultures they are eaten pickled, fried, or raw!

 

HOW TO PLAN A DAY TRIP TO NEGRIL


I highly suggest hiring a private driver. If you are like us and love to be on your own time, away from the group tours, a private driver is a must. We created our itinerary and our driver more than accommodated us, even stopping at a local general store for us to stock up on drinks and snacks for the long ride.


Jamaica markets and fresh fruits
@ Fruit Stand along the way

SEVEN MILE BEACH

This beach is beyond gorgeous. The water is crystal clear, calm with no waves, and the sand is the softest I've ever felt between my toes. Being we were on a day trip our driver recommended we stop at Margaritaville right on the water. Jimmy buffet's island paradise really came through for us, offering lounge chairs, umbrellas, and beach service! Having all of those amenities available made it very enjoyable to spend the whole afternoon on the beach.


The nicest beach in Jamaica is Seven Mile Beach
@ Seven Mile Beach

RICK'S CAFE

A famous restaurant and bar that is known for cliff jumping and some of the best sunsets in Jamaica. Thrill seekers can jump from an 8, 24, or 35-foot cliff. I was only brave enough to do the 24-foot jump. Luke was obviously jumping from the 35-foot cliff. If you aren't going to jump, it's just as fun to watch other people do it while waiting for the sunset. There is a crazy 80-foot jump that the lifeguards will preform if there tip jar gets full enough. Even from the lowest jump there is always risk of injury so be careful, but have fun!


Cliff jumping at Rick’s Cafe in Jamaica
@ Rick’s Cafe

WHERE TO FIND LOCAL JAMAICAN FOOD


Go to Fireman's Lobster Pit! Here you will be able to pick out your own freshly caught lobster from the local fisherman on the beach and bring it to the Chef who will then prepare it for you. Grab a table facing the ocean and enjoy your delicious meal with a view.


The best local food in Jamaica
@ Fireman’s Lobster Pit

We happened to meet a local who was also a guest staying at our hotel. He recommended The Best in the West claiming it's some of the best Jerk Chicken on the Island. We sprung this on our driver on the way home from Negril and he happily took us to the restaurant. The local man we met was not lying when he said it was the best!


The best local Jamaican Food in Jamaica
@ The Best in the West

DUNN'S RIVER FALLS PARK


Hire a private driver to visit this location. Being on your own time is the best way to enjoy the falls. It takes about an hour and 35 minutes to get to the falls in Ochos Rios from Montego Bay. Get to the falls as early as possible, cruise ships dock not to far from this area and it can get overwhelmed with tourists and group tours. Walking on rocks in moving water is very slippery. Wearing proper water shoes makes all the difference. General admission into Dunn's River Falls park is $25 for adults 13+ and for guests 12 and under $17. Time this experience right and you won’t be disappointed.


Dear Traveler,


I hope you this blog entry has inspired you to visit Jamaica. Comment below and let me know about your experiences traveling to this beautiful Caribbean Island.


Talk to you later,

xo Corlu

The best hotel in Jamaica
@ Secret Wild Orchid

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7 Comments


It's a very beautiful place, a fairy tale, and you should go there only with your loved one to fully experience that incredible mood. I remember being in the Bahamas with my wife, and it was also so beautiful, such a small paradise in the middle of the ocean that to this day remains desirable for all vacationers. I liked everything there and even more, but in the last two days the nautical vector changed, so we could not swim in the ocean, but we were not very upset about it because we knew that we would be able to visit these bahamas next year. Overall, it's really cool to travel to new places and find new sources of strength…

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Guest
Feb 03, 2022

What a fun article! Congratulations to your sister! What a romantic place. We went to a wedding in the area years ago. Would love to go back. Thanks for the resort recommendation!

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Guest
Feb 03, 2022

My friend is currently spending two months in Jamaica while she works remotely. I'm so jealous! I loooove that your sister got engaged there. So romantic! I've only been to Jamaica once but not this area. Looks lovely, I am adding to my bucket list!

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Guest
Feb 02, 2022

Jamaica looks like a fun place to explore, and the beaches are beautiful! Also, congratulations to your sister! :)

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Guest
Feb 02, 2022

Beautiful photography! The underwater picture is awesome.

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