AAA Travel Tips / 20 Best Things to Do in Montego Bay, Jamaica

20 Best Things to Do in Montego Bay, Jamaica
By AAA Travel Editor Michelle Palmer
April 08, 2022
Montego Bay, located at the north shore of Jamaica, is a popular tourist destination with plenty of hotels and restaurants as well as a port for cruise ships. The city is known for its beautiful beaches, notably Doctor’s Cave Beach, in addition to outdoor attractions like gardens, golf courses and adventure tours. Other popular places of interest for visitors include museums, shops and historic homes.
Check out our list of best things you can enjoy in and around Montego Bay, Jamaica.
AAA/Inspector 450

Half Moon Equestrian Centre

Rose Hall, Jamaica
Half Moon Equestrian Centre is in the luxury Half Moon resort. For more than 30 years, the clinic has provided support and rehabilitation for injured and abandoned horses.
Visitors can interact with these magnificent horses at Pony Park, a great experience for younger children. Older participants, depending on skill level, can ride horseback, jump and take polo classes.
The beach experience is a popular option where you tour on horseback down to Half Moon Bay and swim with your horse. Private instruction in dressage, riding and polo also are available.

Bellefield Great House and Barnett Estate Tour

Montego Bay, Jamaica
Tours of the Barnett Estate offer a chance to visit a historic sugar plantation. The plantation is spread across about 10 acres and has been a family business for more than 11 generations.
Learn about the history of the plantation on a guided tour. You will see how enslaved people once processed the sugar cane into molasses and other goods. During the house tour, hear about the house, artifacts and life and times of the residents.

Meet the animals at the Animal Farm and Nature Reserve

Montego Bay, Jamaica
Among the most frequented sights in Montego Bay is the Animal Farm and Nature Reserve where you can take guided tours, bird-watch and interact with animals. The animals on the property include several species of birds, rabbits, pigs and even a rescued cow.
The farm is well-known for its use of alternative energy. It is off the electric grid, using solar power and methane produced on-site by biogas plants, i.e. a system that transforms organic waste into energy.

Marvel at the Luminous Lagoon

Falmouth, Jamaica
The tour of the Luminous Lagoon will be a highlight of your time in Jamaica. The lagoon is one of the most popular bioluminescence bays in the world. Bacterial cells make fantastic blue lights; they illuminate when the water is disturbed.
The journey runs during the night, typically 30 to 45 minutes on the water. If possible, plan your tour during the new moon – the darker the night, the brighter the glow of the water appears. Wear water shoes and a swimsuit if you plan to take a dip in the glowing water. Luminous Lagoon is 3 to 5 feet deep in most areas.
Tip: The tour is an Instagrammable moment, but unfortunately, phone cameras typically do not capture the phenomenon. If you don't have a higher-quality camera of your own, be prepared to purchase photos from the tour company. Saulevich

Greenwood Great House

Rose Hall, Jamaica
Greenwood Great House was built in the 1780s and used primarily to lodge and entertain the guests of Richard Barrett, a one-time Speaker of the House of Assembly and cousin of poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The stunning house, constructed from cut stone, was spared from burning during the slave revolt of 1831, unlike many other plantation houses on the island. It appears much as it did when originally constructed.
Guests can peruse Barrett’s original library, which has hundreds of books. You also will find paintings, antique furniture and a collection of rare musical instruments dating back to the 17th century. Guided tours are 45 minute. Afterward, grab a drink at The Level Crossing, the on-site pub.
Read More

A Fun Dive Tour

Montego Bay, Jamaica
A watersports tour is a must-do activity in Montego Bay. Choose from diving, snorkeling, fishing and sightseeing boat excursions.
On diving and snorkeling trips, you can see the most spectacular coral reefs, and your guide will point out conch, crabs, lobsters, stingrays, urchins and other marine animals that happen to cross your path.

Go river tubing and take a canopy zipline at Montpelier

Montego Bay, Jamaica
Start your tour with Chukka Caribbean Adventures in the jungle by ziplining through the trees, getting views typically reserved for birds. The second part of this wonderful tour is tubing in the Great River where you will enjoy a leisurely ride on the gently winding water.
Tubes are linked to each other to help group stability, and the guides enrich the experience with entertaining stories and information about local flora and fauna.

Doctor's Cave Beach

Montego Bay, Jamaica
Doctor's Cave Beach was the best-known beach in Jamaica by far in the 1920s, after a British osteopath said it had curative properties. The declaration attracted tourists, and many hotel owners came to the area to take advantage of the market.
Today the beach is owned and operated by Doctor's Cave Bathing Club, and it’s a popular spot for cruise passengers. Amenities at the beach include a changing and shower area, restrooms, and beach chair and umbrella rentals. Admission requires a small $6 fee.
Read More
AAA/Inspector 450

Party at Tropical Bliss Beach

Montego Bay, Jamaica
Tropical Bliss Beach is near Sandals Montego Bay, about an 8-mile drive west of Montego Bay Cruise Port. Beachgoers to Tropical Bliss Beach are greeted with a rum punch and a party vibe, especially when cruise ships are in port. A DJ plays music, and stilt walkers provide entertainment. Food and beverages are available for purchase from the restaurant. Other amenities include chair and cabana rentals and a gift shop.
Entry is inexpensive ($5). Tip: if you are vacationing in Jamaica and want a quieter experience at Tropical Bliss Beach, go on a day the cruise ships are not in port.

Experience Green Grotto Caves

Discovery Bay, Jamaica
A visit to the Green Grotto Caves is among the best known activities in Jamaica. The cave was important long before a scene in the famous 1973 James Bond movie "Live and Let Die" was filmed here. There is evidence that Green Grotto Caves, about a three-quarters-mile-long cave system, was once used by Taíno Indians. The Spanish army used the caves in the mid-17th century, and people hid in them while attempting to escape enslavement.
In the 1990s, the owner ran a nightclub in the caves. Now Green Grotto is an enjoyable excursion where you can see an underground lake and some of the tens of thousands of bats that make the cave system their home.

Braco Stables Horseback Ride and Swim

Falmouth, Jamaica
Enjoy the unique and natural beauty of Jamaica with Braco Stables. The 2-hour guided horseback ride will take you across scenic landscapes where your guide will tell you about the area. The ride culminates at an attractive white sandy beach where you can ride the horse directly into the water.

Play a round of golf at Cinnamon Hill Golf Course

Montego Bay, Jamaica
Cinnamon Hill Golf Course is among the places to golf during your visit to Jamaica. The 18-hole course offers expansive seaside views. Originally designed by Hankie Smedley in 1969, the course was redesigned in 2001 by von Hagge, Smelek & Baril. Sometimes there is a strong sea wind here, either to your benefit or your opponent’s. One thing is certain – you'll never have any dull play here.

Dead End Beach

Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dead End Beach, also known as Buccaneer Beach, is the ideal location to enjoy an authentic Jamaican beach frequented by residents.
One of the best features of the locale is its proximity to Sangster International Airport, ensuring the enjoyment of those who like watching the low-flying planes.
Dead End Beach, located at the end of Kent Avenue in Montego Bay, has no cost, but there are no amenities either.

Chukka Caribbean Adventures

Montego Bay, Jamaica
Chukka Caribbean Adventures offers experiences that are sure to be fun for all participants. One of the best activities is the zipline over Dunn's River Falls. Other memory-making experiences include a horseback ride in the ocean and an adventure on ATVs.
Chukka can arrange excursions for waterfalls, sailing on a catamaran and tubing down rivers. For a relaxing and romantic outing, float down the Great River on a bamboo raft. The experience includes a limestone foot massage and a choice of wine or beer.
Read More

Stroll down the Hip Strip (Gloucester Avenue)

Montego Bay, Jamaica
The Hip Strip, a section of Gloucester Avenue, is near Doctor's Cave Beach. The many souvenir shops and restaurants make it a favorite for many travelers. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Montego Bay is a popular stop for the tasty food in the restaurant and the lively atmosphere.
Many cruise passengers frequent the Hip Strip, which features a number of shop keepers and street venders. Note that if you buy souvenirs here, expect to bargain or haggle.

Spend the day at Cornwall Beach

Montego Bay, Jamaica
Cornwall Beach offers breathtaking scenery, and it tends to be less busy than other beaches in Jamaica like its neighbor, Doctor's Cave Beach, adding to the charm. There is a small fee ($5) to use the beach, but this peaceful place has everything needed for an excellent day, including restroom facilities, umbrellas and chair rentals, snorkeling gear rentals and locker rooms. There is also a beachside restaurant and bar to grab a bite to eat.
Tip: Occasionally, events are held at the beach, so if you want to go on a less crowded day, check ahead with Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach; phone (876) 619-1200.

Enjoy the outdoors at Good Hope Estate and Plantation

Falmouth, Jamaica
Good Hope Estate is unlike most Jamaican plantations. This plantation, through Chukka Caribbean Adventures, offers several activities including bamboo raft tours, kayaking, river tubing down the Martha Brae, ziplining and rum tastings.
Good Hope is an excellent day trip, and guided tours of the estate are available. You can arrange pickup for tours from most major hotels in Montego Bay and Falmouth, Jamaica.

Jamaica Food Tours

Montego Bay, Jamaica
Trying delicious dishes seasoned with local spices is an interesting experience in a foreign country, but tourists may not know where to find authentic cooking. Jamaica Food Tours has made it easy.
The walking and eating excursion is two-and-half to three-and-half hours and leads visitors through the best restaurants of Montego Bay. You will try excellent jerk chicken and pork and have other options available such as oxtail while you enjoy the sights of Montego Bay.

Montego Bay Cultural Centre

Montego Bay, Jamaica
Have a creative day at Montego Bay Cultural Centre where you can learn about the art and history of Jamaica. It houses the National Museum West and the National Gallery West where you will find an exhibit on Rastafarian culture and also works by current Jamaican artists. Montego Bay Cultural Centre is located in Sam Sharpe Square.
Read More

Rose Hall Great House

Montego Bay, Jamaica
Rose Hall Great House was constructed in the 18th century and named for one of the original residents, Rose Palmer. The house was restored in the 1960s, and today, visitors can take 45-minute guided tours of the house and grounds. If you are looking for a spooky experience, take the night tour and learn about the legend of Annie Palmer, the White Witch said to haunt the estate.
If ghost stories are not your thing, no worries! The estate has two golf courses, so you can play a round, enjoy the lovely grounds, and feel relaxed by the seaside views.

Start Your Next Vacation with AAA

AAA Travel provides peace of mind when you travel — before, during and after your vacation! Members enjoy the advantages of membership including exclusive benefits, savings, map routing and travel planning, plus additional travel needs such as AAA Travel Guides, TourBook® guides, passport photos, International Driving Permits and travel insurance. Your next vacation starts with AAA — your complete travel solution. Visit