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- 20 Jan 2021, 3 nights
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Montego Bay is a Jamaican paradise, with white beaches, bright azure ocean and a vibe so laid-back it's almost horizontal. It's a place to come to revitalise your body and spirit in the warmth of the Caribbean Sea. There's something for history fans too, from relics of the city's plantation history to the 18th-century St. James Church. Pick up your obligatory Bob Marley souvenir T-shirt, sip on a local rum and immerse yourself in a culture that's easy to love.
Hostels in Montego Bay include a Georgian-style townhouse from the 1760s, a villa with a private pool and ocean-view veranda, and a retreat nestled in the verdant hills. Many Montego Bay hostels have air con, so you can beat the Caribbean heat, and most have free Wi-Fi too. Staying in a Montego Bay hostel with an on-site bar is a great way to meet new people and make the most of the backpacker experience.
Gloucester Avenue, also known as the Hip Strip, is the energetic nightlife centre of Montego Bay. Whether you're looking for a late-night drink or a dance-until-dawn reggae party, this is the place to be. It's in the Seafront area, which also has pristine beaches to relax on by day. For a luxury beach experience, head up the coast to Ironshore, and for a day exploring the area's history of colonialism, head to Trelawny Parish and explore its crumbling Georgian architecture. The Rastafari Indigenous Village is open to visitors interested in the region's authentic food and musical traditions.
From beaches to history and culture, there's plenty to see and do in Montego Bay. The Rose Hall Great House is a place to learn about Jamaica's colonial history, and about the White Witch who lived there and her alleged bloody crimes. In Trelawny you can go rafting on the Martha Brae River's milky blue waters, or make your way to Doctor's Cave Beach for a coastline so pristine you'll wonder whether you dreamed it. You can combine a visit to the 180-metre Dunn's River Falls and Bob Marley's birthplace, Nine Mile, in a one-day trip.
You can arrive in Montego Bay by air, land or sea. Sangster International Airport is just a 15-minute taxi journey from the city centre. Buses run to Montego Bay from Jamaica's other major cities (it's 5 hours from Kingston), and you can arrive by ferry or cruise ship too. Most of the city is walkable, or you can hail a cab for longer trips.