I recently spent a week in Jamaica splitting my time between Montego Bay and Negril.
Flying time from Toronto is about 4 hours.
Arrival is at Sangster International Airport which is about 1.5 miles from the city centre. Use the link above for more info on cabs, shuttles, car rentals etc.
If you are moving on to Negril it's about a 75 minute drive west of the airport, and if you are heading towards Ocho Rios, it's about a 75 minute east, these time could vary depending on traffic.
Stayed at the Riu Montego Bay, an all inclusive resort and only 10 minutes from the airport. That's right it really is only a 10 minute drive east of the airport and of course Montego Bay is a 5 minute drive west from the airport.
Relatively new hotel that opened in August 2008. On the beach and next door to Sandals Montego Bay.
The Riu Montego Bay has 3 specialty restaurants in addition to the main buffet restaurant, a Jerk chicken hut on the beach, a pool bar, gorgeous pool area, a long stretch of beach, gym, tennis courts, spa, but hey, instead of me going on about it, watch the short video I created.
For those of you that need to stay connected the hotel has free wi-fi in the lobby, additionally there is an internet cafe located in the sports bar, however you need to pay to use their computers.
Some Quick Facts on Jamaica
Location: In the Caribbean Sea about 145 km south of Cuba
Currency: Jamaican Dollar, US dollars accepted everywhere, ScotiaBank branches with ATM machines in convenient locations
Electricity: 110V-60 cycles.
Population: Approximately 2,780,000
What to do in Montego Bay and surrounding area?
The" Hip Strip" or Gloucester Ave., in Montego Bay. You'll find a variety of little bars, restaurants, hotels and shops, worth a visit anytime but the bars seem to be more energized in the evenings Margaritaville right on the water seems to be quite popular.
Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay and entrance is from Gloucester Ave. You'll pay an entrance fee, but well worth it. Clean beach, crystal clear waters, and a variety of little restaurants within the complex.
Golf - 4 legendary courses all with in a 30 minute drive of each other.
Half Moon Golf, Tennis, and Beach Club, Tryall Club, The new White Witch course at the Ritz-Carleton Resort & Cinnamon Hill (formerly Three Palms)
Excursions around Montego Bay & Ocho Rios
Chukka Tours Zipline Kayaking & River Tubing
Try ziplining for a rush or if you prefer something a little calmer try the river tubing.
watch the video
Jamaica Rainforest Bobsled at Mystic Mountain
This attraction is in Ocho Rios which is about a 75 minute drive from Montego Bay.
A chairlift takes you high above Ocho Rios where you can choose to go Ziplining, or Bobsledding.
Yup bobsledding under the hot Jamaica sun.
Gravity takes you down on the bobsled and then you get pulled back up, to start your zipline adventure.
Make sure to check out the Jamaica Bobsleigh Team website they're heading off to the winter Olympics in Vancouver
Rafting on the Martha Brae
A bamboo raft with your personal captain will take you for a 3 mile ride along the Martha Brae River, great scenery and photo ops. Raft ride is approximately 90 minutes.
Dunn's River Falls
A great experience and a must for any visitor to Jamaica. It's a gradual climb to reach the top of the 600 foot falls and your are led by experienced guides. Good fitting sandals or aqua socks recommended. You can also rent the aqua socks on site. Check out their website
Cool Runnings Dunn's River Cruise
sail on a catamaran, stop for swimming & snorkeling, sail to Dunn's River Falls, climb the falls with a guide and then let the party begin. Beverages, Red Stripe Beer and Rum drinks served on board after you leave Dunn's River for the sail back home.
If you're staying in the Negril area you can take excursions to YS Falls similar to Dunn's River but not as crowded. You can climb sections, swim in the small pools at different levels, or go ziplining.
Taking this excursion you will also take a short cruise on the Black River, You'll pass by mangrove swamps, see egrets, ospreys & herons and saltwater crocodiles and actually get to feed them, great experience for kids.
There is also a stop at the Appleton Rum factory and a short tour explaining the process of making rum, and of course a store where you can purchase as much as you desire.
Negril is also home to the world famous Rick's Cafe. Opened in 1974 it is located on a cove in the West End of Negril. Visitors and locals dive into the crystal clear waters, party, and watch spectacular sunsets. If you're in Negril it's a must see.
I'll be back in Jamaica shortly and will be heading to Ocho Rios at which time I will update on what there is to see and do there.
Questions? you can email me at email@example.com