8 Great Things To Do In Montego Bay

8 Great Things To Do In Montego Bay
Located west of Ocho Rios and Falmouth, Montego Bay is Jamaica’s second largest city. While Ocho Rios and Falmouth tend to be Jamaica’s most visited cruise ports, many ships still call on Montego Bay’s nearby cruise port located several miles outside the city. Cruise visitors to “Mo’ Bay” have plenty of options for their day here. Most cruise guests take a half- or full-day shore excursion in Montego Bay, since attractions within walking distance of the port are limited. Others make a beeline for Scotchies, home of one of Jamaica’s best Jerk Pits, or opt to spend their entire day at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville on Montego Bay’s Hip Strip.

If your upcoming cruise itinerary includes a stop in Montego Bay, here are eight great things to do while your ship is in port:

1. Relax At An All-Inclusive Resort. Cruise guests looking for hassle-free fun and relaxation may want to spend their day in Montego Bay at an all-inclusive resort. Resort for a Day offers day passes at a number of all-inclusive beach properties near Montego Bay. Families, couples, solo travelers and groups can purchase day passes for a wide variety of all-inclusive resorts including Sunscape Sunsplash, Iberostar Rose Hall Beach, Grand Palladium, Hilton Rose Hall, Hyatt Ziva and Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort. All include private beach and pool access. Special children’s rates are available. ResortForADay.com also features all-inclusive resorts available for adults only, such as Hyatt Zilara. For more information, visit ResortForADay.com. Shore Excursions Group offers day passes at the family-friendly all-inclusive beachfront RIU Resort and Royalton White Sands Resort as well as the adults-only Hedonism Negril Resort. For more information, visit ShoreExcursionsGroup.com.

2. Be Adventurous At Mystic Mountain. Those craving an adrenaline rush will find plenty to enjoy at Jamaica’s Mystic Mountain park. Take the SkyExplorer chairlift as it rises 700 feet above sea level and take in the spectacular views of Jamaica’s northern coastline. Then take the heart-thumping Jamaica Bobsled ride as it twists, turns and plunges along 3,280 feet of single track. Finally, guests can fly through the forest on Mystic Mountain’s Canopy Zipline Tour before relaxing by the infinity pool or enjoying a leisurely lunch. There are height and weight requirements for these rides and close-toed shoes are required.

3. Climb Jamaica’s Well-Known Waterfall. Dunn's River Falls is one of Jamaica's most famous tour attractions. Take a guided climb over 600-feet up to the top of the falls, providing plenty of thrills and memorable moments. Wear water shoes with good treads for the best experience. Those who don't wish to make the climb can watch people ascending the falls from a series of observation decks. There's also a beach below the falls for swimming and playing before or after the climb. Many cruise passengers combine trips to Dunn's River Falls with other activities on their shore excursions, including river tubing, catamaran sails, snorkeling, zip lining, horseback riding, beach time and more.

4. Enjoy A Romantic Bamboo Raft Ride. Get out on the water while you’re in Jamaica. Treat yourself to a unique rafting experience and journey down the Great River or the Martha Brae River on a 30-foot long bamboo raft built for two. This romantic river rafting excursion is one of Jamaica’s most popular experiences. As guests glide along the water, they can relax and enjoy the area’s lush scenery. Tubing, kayaking and river boarding options are also available on the Great River as well.

5. Saddle Up And Go Horseback Riding. This popular tour takes cruise passengers to Braco Stables, about a 45-minute drive from Montego Bay. Once there, saddle up and go on a trail ride through Braco estate and others in Jamaica’s countryside. After completing the trail ride, the horses will come to a deserted beach where guests can go on a 10-15 minute bareback horseback ride in the Caribbean Sea. This is a unique and exhilarating experience, one you’ll seldom find outside of the Caribbean. On this ride, guests can also view the original Braco Great House, built in the mid-18th century. Guests must be at least 6 years of age and weigh 250 pounds or less. This horseback riding excursion is often paired with other nearby experiences such as white water tubing, kayaking, rafting, river boarding, zip lining and other adventures.

6. Learn About Jamaica’s Historic Past. Vacationers interested in history can choose from several tours, including visits to Good Hope Great House. This 2,000-acre former sugar plantation dates back to the 18th century. Cruise guests can also learn about Jamaica’s history on shore excursions that visit Rose Hall Great House. Here, vacationers can to tour the house and gardens and learn about its owner, Annie Palmer, often called the “White Witch of Rose Hall.” The Great House and Annie Palmer were memorialized in Johnny Cash’s song, “The Ballad of Annie Palmer.”

7. Take A Catamaran Cruise. Get out on the water and take a catamaran sailing trip along Jamaica’s coast. These tours often include time for snorkeling or power snorkeling in nearby Montego Bay Marine Park. These sailing excursions provide the necessary equipment to explore Jamaica’s underwater world and get a close look at the coral, tropical fish and marine wildlife. A number of these sailing trips also visit Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville as a final stop. There, guests can go down the 120-foot waterslide and relax with a drink out on the patio before heading back to their ship.

8. Visit Negril’s Famed Seven Mile Beach. One of the advantages of Montego Bay’s cruise port is the ability to access the western side of Jamaica and Negril’s stunning Seven Mile Beach. This long white strand of sand has been named one of the world’s top ten most beautiful beaches by numerous travel guides and magazines. Guests can spend several hours on the beach before heading to Rick’s Café, a famed bar and restaurant set high above the sea. Here, visitors can enjoy the panoramic views and watch the cliff divers – and maybe take a 33-foot cliff dive of their own. Some tours visit Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville in Negril as well.

Popular Montego Bay tours can sell out prior to arrival, so it’s wise to book your shore excursions in advance. While the majority of these excursions can be purchased directly through the cruise lines, some travelers prefer to buy their tours through independent shore excursion companies. These companies sometimes provide lower prices, smaller groups, and easy pre-booking options. Some popular independent shore excursion companies offering tours in Montego Bay include Shore Excursions Group, Chukka Caribbean Adventures and Viator.

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