What can I not say about Jamaica? Montego Bay (MoBay), simply put, was perfect! From the food, to the activities, to the people. Everything was fantastic. I will be recapping all the greatness that is Jamaica in this travel guide.
Before I start I would like to point out that tipping is a big part of tourism in Mobay and it is encouraged that you tip. So plan tipping accordingly, make sure you have enough money to tip people who help you out, but be careful not to spend all your money on tipping.
Where to Stay
There are resorts everywhere in Mobay. We stayed at the Riu Reggae hotel which is one of the three Riu resorts in MoBay. It was an all-inclusive resort complete with a pool, beach and five restaurants including a jerk hut on the beach. Staying at Riu Reggae also gives you access to other neighboring resorts owned by Riu like the Riu Montego Bay Resort which has a nightclub.
If you do want a less expensive choice, then definitely check an Airbnb, hotel or even a hostel, especially if you are traveling solo.
Here are some options for hotels as well:
Here are some hostels
Where to Eat
We chose this resort because we got rave reviews from various friends about Jamaican food. A lot of times I have been turned off by all-inclusive options because they usually don’t prioritize the food of the country, or if they do include the food from the country it is usually not prepared well or well-seasoned.
But the food at the resort’s buffet, Ackee, was delicious. I ate almost all of my meals there or the Jerk Hut on the beach. The other restaurants were non-Jamaican that included cuisines like Asian, Italian, etc. We went to one of the other restaurants for dinner, although it was extremely tasty, the food was a bit on the smaller side, so afterward we went to Ackee to eat more food. I would definitely say try out the other restaurants if you can, since you are already paying for them.
If you are looking to grab food outside of your resort, you should definitely check out a place called Scotchies, it is supposed to be extremely flavorful and authentic.
Here are some other highly rated restaurants in Montego Bay:
What to do
There are plenty of things to do on the island, so you definitely won’t be short of entertainment. I did not have enough time to do all of the activities that Jamaica had to offer. I am definitely eager to go back and do some of the activities I did not get to on my last visit.
Mystic Mountain, Blue Hole and Dunn’s River Falls are 1.5 hours from Montego Bay, so please allow 3 hours for transportation to and from each location.
With three activities, Mystic Mountain allows you to engage in a bit of adventure. The sky explorer is a chairlift that takes passengers up 700 feet to the mystical mountain peak. On the ride, you can see great views of the cruise ship pier and the rain forest. Next, you will go on the Bobsled Jamaica ride which is an ode to Jamaica’s talented Olympic Bobsled team. The slightly thrilling ride is 1000 meters long and it takes you through the Rainforest. The final and most thrilling activity is zip-lining through the heart of the rain forest. One thing I would say is that the zip lining could have gone a bit faster if there were more employees working to move things forward. Being that zip-lining takes longer than usual, it takes away from some of the excitement associated with it. However, I would say though that the employees that were at the zip lining were extremely hilarious and kept us laughing even through the downtimes. Lunch is also included in this excursion. Though the lunch is not as much as you would get in the resort, it is still delicious.
Take a Dip at Blue Hole
If you are looking for a little bit more thrill, and water activity, then you should check out Blue Hole. Blue Hole is a naturally occurring limestone sinkhole that is in the mountains of Ocho Rios. At this attraction, you are able to cliff dive, swim and explore the rain forest. Here you are able to wear a life vest so even those who cannot swim can engage in cliff diving, zip lining into the water and just simply dipping your feet in the water. However, I always suggest that every water-related activity should be done only by those who know how to swim or those who have some water survival skills.
Climbing up Dunn’s River Falls
If you don’t know how to swim then Dunn’s River Falls will allow you do some water activity because it does not require you to know how to swim. Dunn’s River Falls is a waterfall around Ocho Rios. The attraction has natural and man-made stairs that make climbing the 180 feet tall and 600 feet long waterfall easier. We climbed up the falls with the help of a tour guide and a videographer. At the end of the tour, you are given the choice of purchasing the video and pictures. We decided not to buy any videos and pictures and instead, we opted to put our phones in a waterproof case to take pictures and videos. I would suggest that you should buy a waterproof case on amazon before coming to Jamaica, it will be a lot cheaper. While climbing, we got the chance to fall back into some of the water holes which allowed me to use some of the skills I learned in my swim class. The climb was the highlight of that adventurous day after Mystic Mountain; it was a fun and exhilarating workout to cap off the long day.
Bamboo Rafting in Martha’s Brae
Besides the food, I think the Bamboo ride on Martha’s Brae was the highlight of my entire trip. Even before planning a trip to Jamaica, I knew that I wanted to go to Martha’s Brae for a Bamboo ride. This activity allows you to enjoy a raft ride on the 3 miles long Martha Brae’s river. There is someone who comes with you who will paddle the entire 3 mile stretch, but you can also ask to paddle for a few minutes. Martha’s Brae is around a 30 minute drive from Mobay.
Rick’s Cafe is a bar and a restaurant with a side of adventure. This cafe gives restaurant-goers the chance to cliff dive and watch the sunset while enjoying some food. The cliff is located in Negril which is about an hour away from Montego Bay. This would be a great attraction to visit late afternoon right before sunset so you can watch the breathtaking view of the sunset from the cliff. The food is not really the highlight of this attraction so if you can eat before or after visiting the attraction, then I would suggest doing that.
Lounge on a beach or at your Resort
If you are on a tropical island and you do not spend any time lounging at a resort pool or the beach then I don’t know what you are doing. I live in central Texas, so anytime I get the chance to go to a beach, I take the opportunity to do it. I made sure I spent my final day in Mobay, specifically, at the beach. This allowed me to destress from all of the adventure I had engaged in while on my trip and just relax before going back to the real world of my 9-5 job. Often times on vacation, we are so busy moving around and going from one activity to the next, that we forget to take some time to relax.
I hope this Jamaica travel blog not only motivates you to visit Jamaica, but also gives you some activities to check out while you are there. Jamaica is an amazing place from the food, to the people, to the activities and just the overall vibes. The country is fantastic and I will most definitely be back because no country has ever made me feel so welcome and so excited to wake up every single day to explore and eat my way through it all!