Montego Bay Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Montego Bay, St. James, Cornwall, Jamaica)

Picture of scuba divers exploring the reefsThe average tourist spends most of his or her time on the beach in Montego Bay, especially if staying at one of the all-inclusive resorts. There are, however, a range of attractions away from the beach that warrant attention from visitors.

Montego Bay was a major colonial enclave in the 18th and 19th centuries, and several 'great houses', or plantation homes, have been restored and opened for guided tours. There are also a few nature-based tourist attractions in this part of Jamaica, including both a marine park and a bird sanctuary.

Close-up picture of scuba divers

Scuba Diving and Snorkelling

Address: Montego Bay, Jamaica, JM
The scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities in Jamaica are certainly impressive, with some of the best being located right next to the Doctor's Cave Beach. This spot is easy to access, being famed for its crystal clear waters and perfect for beginners. For some serious scuba diving, consider heading to the resorts of Coyoba, Royal Reefs or Seaworld where the underwater attractions include barjacks, chromis, eels, loggerhead turtles, parrotfish, rays and wrasses, amongst other marine creatures. The Marine Park is also known for its reefs and beautiful underwater landscape, while additional choices include Discovery Bay, Falmouth, Runaway Bay and Ocho Rios, where inquisitive dolphins are often encountered.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free, charge for equipment hire and organised dive trips

Belvedere Estate

Address: Twin River Farms, Chester Castle, Jamaica, JM
Tel: +1 876 956 7310
Tours of the Belvedere Estate cast light on the plantation days of old-world Jamaica. The original building was set afire during the Christmas Rebellion which ultimately led to the end of slavery in Jamaica. Guided tours of the estate explore the ruins left in the wake of the rebellion, with employees wearing period costume and performing daily activities from the 18th century. Close to Montpelier, the Belvedere Estate is easy to reach, being situated just a short distance to the south-west, at Chester Castle.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 10:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge

Greenwood Great House

Address: Route A1, Montego Bay, Jamaica, JM
Tel: +1 876 953 1077
Located about 24 km / 15 miles east of Montego Bay town centre, this mansion was founded in the 18th century. English poetess Elizabeth Barrett-Browning once lived at the Greenwood Great House and she continues to be the main draw for this attraction. Some of her work is on display, along with an interesting collection of antique books and paintings.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge

Zipline Canopy Tours view

Zipline Canopy Tours and Outdoor Activities

Address: Montego Bay, Jamaica, JM
Tel: +1 876 953 5619
The island of Jamaica is rather hilly in places, with areas of lush jungle being especially close to Montego Bay. Although visitors are able to follow the trails and walk through the jungle, the more adventurous may like to consider 'sailing' through the trees, using ropes rigged between a series of platforms and decks, mounted high up in the trees. These 'Zipline Canopy Tours' begin with warm-up exercises, after which visitors are fitted with safety harnesses before zooming down the ropes, which are up to 300 metres / 1,000 feet in length and often high above the dense canopy of the rainforest. These tours are operated by Chukka Caribbean Adventures, who also provide dune buggy trips, horseback riding, four-wheel motorbike safaris through the Blue Hole Estate, 4x4 off-road safaris and river kayaking. Further activities are offered at the town of Ocho Rios, which is situated just over 90 minutes to the east. Tickets can be booked at the office of Chukka Caribbean Adventures, located at the Freeport Shopping Centre.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge, discounts for children

Picture of the AquaSol Theme Park attraction in Montego Bay

AquaSol Theme Park

Address: Walter Fletcher Beach, Gloucester Avenue, Montego Bay, Jamaica, JM
Tel: +1 876 979 9447
This is a great family attraction, especially for kids who aren't getting enough excitement out of sunbathing and swimming at the beach. The AquaSol Theme Park is located on Walter Fletcher Beach and is equipped with pedal boats, banana boats and jet skis. Visitors can also jump on a 'water trampoline', go snorkelling or scuba diving, or take a ride on a glass-bottomed boat or inflatable banana boat. Also available is go-kart racing, as well as two professional tennis courts, pedal boats, kayaks and beach volleyball.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 22:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children

Montego Bay Marine Park

Address: Montego Bay, Jamaica, JM
Tel: +1 876 971 8082
This was the first official marine park established in the area, set aside in the hope of staving off the negative effects of water sports, pollution and overfishing in the waters of the city, ensuring that this fragile eco-system survives for future generations. Guides are available for canoe rides around the park, which allow for sightings of herons, pelicans and egrets. Charter boats are also to hand and transport tourists on fish feeding outings. The Marine Park covers around 15 square kilometres / 6 square miles in total, encompassing the Bogue Lagoon and its mangroves, and has become known for its colourful coral reefs and exotic fish, which include the highly venomous lion fish.
Open hours: daily - daylight hours
Admission: free, but donations appreciated

Image showing the Pirate's Paradise Water Park in Montego Bay

Pirate's Paradise Water Park

Address: Sunset Beach Resort and Spa, Sunset Drive, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Tel: +1 876 979 8800
Located at the Sunset Beach Resort, the Pirate's Paradise Water Park opened as recently as early 2006 and comes with many exciting water slides, twists and turns. Highlights include Blackbeard's Lazy River, the Pirate's Plank Bridge and two side-by-side water slides stretching for some 75 metres / 250 feet. There are also hot tubs, a fun Caribbean Pirate Ship for children, swimming pools and a themed beachfront named the Buccaneer Beach. The Pirate's Cove Teen Center is on hand for teenagers looking for a little holiday independence, while young children can enjoy hunting for hermit crabs or other activities organised by the resident Mongoose Kid's Club.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 21:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children

Rocklands Bird Sanctuary

Address: Anchovy, Jamaica, JM
Tel: +1 876 952 2009
Located just a short distance to the south, in the neighbouring town of Anchovy, this facility was opened by Lisa Salmon in 1958 and has grown into something of a phenomenon among birders. The birds are wild, but they've become accustomed to eating out of human hands. Staff at the Rocklands Bird Sanctuary pour bird feed directly into visitors' hands and an assortment of finches, doves and even hummingbirds alight on their fingers to feed.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children