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Montego Bay


Montego Bay


Continent: Central America

Country: Jamaica

Capital: Kingston

Position: in the Greater Antilles at 90 km south of Cuba

Currency: Jamaican Dollar (JMD)

Official language: English. The Jamaican dialect is also spoken

Time difference with Italy: - 6 hours in winter and - 7 hours from March to October in summer during Day Light Saving

International phone code: 001 876 and then the local phone number

Document for entry: Valid passport

Electricity: 110 V


Montego Bay is the capital of the Parish of St. James and it is the second city in Jamaica. It was visited by Christopher Columbus, as the first European “tourist”, in May 1494 and he named the bay the “Gulf of Good Weather”. The area where the city lies was an important Spanish settlement at the beginning of the XIV century where the inhabitants named the bay “Bahia de Mantega” because of the large quantities of lard, the very many pigs populating the area and origin of a growing industry. Subsequently occupied by the English in 1655, the urban area was a small sized township in the first half of the XVIII century. It was a tax free haven until 1788, however it rapidly expanded thanks above all to its harbor, arrival and starting point for countless ships involved mainly in the sugar trade via sea. After the last important revolt of slaves, which occurred in 1832 and known as the Baptist War, Montego Bay was officially acknowledged a city in 1980. Currently it is a cosmopolitan tourist centre with excellent restaurants and countless shopping opportunities. Worth noting are the Cornwall Regional Hospital and the intercontinental airport (Sangster International Airport) while the adjacent coastal area offers a wide choice of natural beaches, not rarely with very fine sand, and high level hotels, some of which were built where sugarcane plantations used to be in the past.

To visit

The city centre, always crowded and with multicoloured buildings often showcasing Georgian style wooden facades, where also the City Centre Plaza or Sam Sharpe Square is, the island Crafts Market in Harbor Street, and the Lester Art Gallery. In the western side of the harbor the Montego Freeport is another ideal shopping place while in the town outskirts it is interesting to visit the Belvedere Estate, one of the most ancient sugarcane plantations still in operation. Lastly, Doctor’s Cave Beach is not to be missed, famous for its mineral springs and particularly crystal clear water.


The city of Montego Bay, Jamaica, is twin city with Atlanta in the USA. Several scenes from the James Bond movie, Live and Let Die , where Roger Moore starred for the first time as Bond, were shot at Montego Bay and in the areas nearby.