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Montego Bay & Northwest Coast

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© Lonely Planet Publications
176

lonelyplanet.com

177

Montego Bay &
Northwest Coast
Gateway to Jamaica for the vast majority of its visitors, Montego Bay forms most first impressions of the island. For some, the vision is celestial, and they embrace ‘MoBay’ from the
catered comfort of an all-inclusive beachside resort. For others, it’s simply a tourist trap en
route to the ‘real Jamaica;’ and they flee as soon as they get their bearings.
In truth, the attractions of Montego Bay and the surrounding northwest coast offer
enough variety to repay deeper exploration. In addition to its celebrated beaches, MoBay’s
‘Hip Strip’ boasts enough fine restaurants for a pleasurable tour de fork followed by some
of the most pulsating nightlife on the island. Pockets of downtown will pique interest
in St James Parrish’s vibrant (and violent) past, a historical thirst that can be slaked with
visits to the great estates of Greenwood and Rose Hall, or to the fading Georgian marvel
of Falmouth.
Some of Jamaica’s most remarkable nature spots are within easy striking distance. The
snorkeling and scuba diving in the limpid waters of the Montego Bay Marine Park are world
class, and the rafting on the Great and Martha Brae Rivers is truly unforgettable. And barely
an hour from the resorts – though truly a world away – rolls the eerie hillscape of Cockpit
country, Jamaica’s most unspoilt (and often impenetrable) region, where the hiking and
caving are terrific, and you can take exhilarating horseback rides straight into the sea.
HIGHLIGHTS
„ Reggae Sumfest Dance until dawn to Jamaica’s most renowned

musicians at this world-class midsummer reggae festival (p189)
„ Sunset sailing trips Party hearty on a cocktail-propelled jaunt across

the bay and toast the sun as it plops into the sea (p188)
„ Falmouth Lose yourself among the faded

Georgian splendor of this
compelling historic market town (p202)
„ Greenwood Great House Explore the exquisite

period furnishings of this well-preserved great
house with a remarkable view of the sea (p201)
„ Rafting the Martha Brae Serenade your

Reggae
Sumfest

Greenwood
Great House
Falmouth
Martha
Brae
Windsor
Caves

„ Windsor Caves See what Cockpit Country

looks like from down below in one of the
island’s most expansive and accessible caves
(p214)
„ AREA: 1480 SQ KM

„ MONTEGO BAY DEC AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURE: 28.3°C

MONTEGO BAY &
NORTHWEST COAST

beloved or splash your pal as you glide
down one of Jamaica’s loveliest rivers on a
bamboo raft (p...
MONTEGO BAY &
NORTHWEST COAST
lonelyplanet.com
© Lonely Planet Publications
Gateway to Jamaica for the vast majority of its visitors, Montego Bay forms most first im-
pressions of the island. For some, the vision is celestial, and they embrace ‘MoBay’ from the
catered comfort of an all-inclusive beachside resort. For others, it’s simply a tourist trap en
route to the ‘real Jamaica;’ and they flee as soon as they get their bearings.
In truth, the attractions of Montego Bay and the surrounding northwest coast offer
enough variety to repay deeper exploration. In addition to its celebrated beaches, MoBay’s
‘Hip Strip’ boasts enough fine restaurants for a pleasurable tour de fork followed by some
of the most pulsating nightlife on the island. Pockets of downtown will pique interest
in St James Parrish’s vibrant (and violent) past, a historical thirst that can be slaked with
visits to the great estates of Greenwood and Rose Hall, or to the fading Georgian marvel
of Falmouth.
Some of Jamaica’s most remarkable nature spots are within easy striking distance. The
snorkeling and scuba diving in the limpid waters of the Montego Bay Marine Park are world
class, and the rafting on the Great and Martha Brae Rivers is truly unforgettable. And barely
an hour from the resorts – though truly a world away – rolls the eerie hillscape of Cockpit
country, Jamaica’s most unspoilt (and often impenetrable) region, where the hiking and
caving are terrific, and you can take exhilarating horseback rides straight into the sea.
Montego Bay &
Northwest Coast
AREA: 1480 SQ KM
MONTEGO BAY DEC AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURE: 28.3°C
HIGHLIGHTS
Reggae Sumfest Dance until dawn to Jamaica’s most renowned
musicians at this world-class midsummer reggae festival ( p189 )
Sunset sailing trips Party hearty on a cocktail-propelled jaunt across
the bay and toast the sun as it plops into the sea ( p188 )
Falmouth Lose yourself among the faded
Georgian splendor of this
compelling historic market town ( p202 )
Greenwood Great House Explore the exquisite
period furnishings of this well-preserved great
house with a remarkable view of the sea ( p201 )
Rafting the Martha Brae Serenade your
beloved or splash your pal as you glide
down one of Jamaica’s loveliest rivers on a
bamboo raft ( p205 )
Windsor Caves See what Cockpit Country
looks like from down below in one of the
island’s most expansive and accessible caves
( p214 )
sailing
Sunset
Sumfest
Reggae
Falmouth
Brae
Martha
Great House
Greenwood
Caves
Windsor
176 177
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