Jamaica, the Enchantress - Montego Bay

When my husband and I decided to take a belated honeymoon last December we wanted an easy-to-reach tropical destination. So we chose Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Montego Bay

Montego Bay is a major cruise ship port on the north coast of Jamaica and is without a doubt one of the most popular parts of the Caribbean island. It attracts a load of tourists due to its undeniably stunning coastline.

Jamaican beach view, sea and sky

Many people travelling to Jamaica also choose to stay in Montego Bay because of the wide range of accommodations available, including the area’s attractions and tours.

Snorkelling is very popular and guided sessions are widely available. The most popular beaches tend to be Doctor’s Cave Beach and Walter Fletcher Beach, both of which have amusement parks.

Equally, there are relaxing and calm beach areas where you can wind down to watch the sunset. 

Blissfully, I’ve found you can’t be on an island for long without taking on its unhurried rhythm.

History

Montego Bay is the capital of the Parish of St. James and the second city in Jamaica. When Columbus sailed into the area in May 1494, he was the first European visitor.

Flora and fauna on Montego Bay

Columbus befriended some of the local Tainos, who called the Bay ‘El Golfo de Buen Tiempo’. Soon after, in 1510, the Spanish began to settle in Montego Bay in the area of the fort. They called it ‘Bay Bahia de Mantega’ because of the large quantities of pigs’ lard they exported to their colonies in South America and the West Indies.

With the British occupation of Jamaica in 1655, St. James was among the second group of parishes founded in 1671.

Montego Bay was a small town for the first part of the 18th century, and up until 1788 was exempt from taxes. Some time after 1720, however, a Captain Jonathan Barnett subdivided a portion of his sugar cane fields and created Charles Town, along with Charles Square which is now called Sam Sharpe Square and Barnett Town.

On an island, days seem to last forever. Lazy mornings segue into rainy afternoons and on into dreamy twilight.

 Montego Bay sunset

Lush vegetation teems with the melodic chirping of tree frogs.

Tropical Jamaican Vegetation

The island of Jamaica has tropical vegetation, which consists of fruit trees, such as bananas, mangoes, pineapple and tamarind. Jamaica also has natural hardwoods, such as mahogany, pine and ebony.

There is a wide variety of plants and flowers in Jamaica, including palms, bougainvillea, canna lilies, daisies and hibiscus.

There are over 200 varieties of orchid and numerous types of local crops, including cocoa, corn, yams and sweet potatoes. Other crops grown in Jamaica are pimento, ginger, sugar cane and oranges.

Lush Jamaican vegetation

Water and sky meet in an endless blue broken only by an occasional cloud.

Montego Bay seascape

But most surprising—and spectacular—are the sunsets that hold you captive until the last flash of light slips into the sea.

Sunset glow in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Ah, Jamaica, you are an enchantress. We can’t wait to return.

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