Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Montego Bay Visitor Tips in Brief

Montego Bay, Jamaica
Montego Bay, Jamaica. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

Montego Bay, Jamaica, is a western Caribbean cruise port and the tourism capital of Jamaica.

The second largest city on the island is a hub for many visitors to Jamaica. Besides a cruise terminal, the city also has the Sangster International Airport.

It is the flight destination for anyone planning to stay in hotels or resorts for Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios, among other locations. Sangster is only 70 minutes by air from Miami, FL.

Cruise ships often come to Montego Bay from embarkation ports such as Tampa, New Orleans and Galveston and continue on to Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Attractions and Shore Excursions

Cruise visitors will have shore excursions ranging from Jamaican bobsledding to bamboo rafting, ziplining, kayaking, waterfalls, beaches and dolphin swims.

The city has plenty of nearby beaches with at least nine of them within five miles of the cruise port. Dump-Up Beach and Events Park is right in the city and often crowded. Belvedere, Cornwall, Doctor’s Cave and Walter Fletcher beaches are a mile or less away from downtown.

Other Montego Bay attractions include the restored Rose Hall Great House plantation, the translucent waters of Doctor’s Cave Beach and Croydon in the Mountains, a working plantation with panoramic views of the Catadupa Mountains. The Greenwood Great House was formerly owned by the poet Elizabeth Barrett-Browning.


Montego Bay Resort Map

Anyone planning to stay in Montego Bay itself will likely take advantage of the many hotels and resorts along Gloucester Avenue. They also will experience the duty free shopping and relax on the miles-long white beaches facing, of course, the water inlet known as Montego Bay.

While Negril and Ocho Rios are known for their all-inclusive resorts, Montego Bay has its share of deluxe hotels, such as Ritz-Carlton, Round Hill and Half Moon, besides its own collection of resorts.

This is one of the more commercialized destinations in Jamaica. However, one benefit of Montego Bay over the other destinations is that those locations usually require up to a two-hour drive from the airport to get there.

Average Weather

Any month is a good time for weather in Montego Bay except for a short rainy season in May and a heavier rainy season in August, September and October caused by the annual Caribbean hurricane season.

Rainfall averages one to three inches a month from January through April and again in July, according to the Meteorological Service of Jamaica. It’s at least four inches during the other months of the year and reaches a high point of nearly seven inches in October.

The average high temperature is 88 degrees Fahrenheit or about 31 Celsius during the summer months. The averages high stay in the low 80s Fahrenheit or upper 20s Celsius during the winter.

The best months to go for a combination of warm temperatures and low risk of rain are April and July. These recommendations are based on long-term weather patterns and may vary from year to year.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
February 17, 2020