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Destination Guide: Montego Bay

Montego Bay
Allianz - Montego Bay

If you like your vacations with lots of sun, sand and spice, Montego Bay is calling.

This lively city on Jamaica’s north shore is reachable via direct flight from many U.S. airports. Add a steady stream of cruise ships, a string of lovely beaches and countless high-end resorts, and you see why MoBay has become such a popular tourist destination. Here’s what to do, where to stay and what to eat in Montego Bay, as well as advice on buying travel insurance for Jamaica.

3 Reasons to Buy Travel Insurance for Jamaica 

If you’re visiting Montego Bay or any other part of Jamaica, “comprehensive travel insurance to cover theft, loss and medical problems is highly recommended,” Lonely Planet advises.i

  1. Travel insurance can protect your vacation investment. Montego Bay’s all-inclusive resorts often have strict cancellation policies (as do cruise lines). If you have to call off your trip last-minute, you could lose the money you’ve spent — unless you have trip cancellation coverage to reimburse you.
  2. Travel insurance can cover emergency medical care and transportation. Emergency medical services in Montego Bay are “comprehensive but basic,” according to the U.S. Embassy, and private hospitals often require cash payment before providing services, even in emergencies. If you have to be hospitalized or get a medical evacuation to the United States, that can cost $15,000 to $20,000 or more.ii
  3. Travel insurance can help you in an emergency. While the tourist areas of Montego Bay are generally safe, the U.S. Department of State advises Americans to be cautious and avoid rougher areas of the city.iii If you’re the victim of theft, or if you lose your passport, Allianz Global Assistance’s 24-Hour Hotline Assistance can help.

Our recommendation for Jamaica travel insurance is the OneTrip Prime Plan, which includes a broad spectrum of benefits for international travel. Plus, kids 17 and under are covered for free when traveling with a parent or grandparent (not available on policies issued to Pennsylvania residents).

See all travel insurance plans.

3 Fun Things to Do in Montego Bay

Visit Doctor’s Cave Beach. In Montego Bay, many of the choicest stretches of sand are claimed by resorts, which restrict access. One of the nicest beaches that is open to the public (for a small fee) is Doctor’s Cave Bathing Club, which offers inviting sand, clear water with snorkeling opportunities, and clean facilities.

Get eye-to-eye with some hummingbirds. While Dunns River Falls is breathtaking, it’s also packed with tourists and vendors. Nature lovers will find a more tranquil experience at the Rocklands Bird Sanctuary, home to an incredible variety of bright tropical birds. The wild hummingbirds may alight on your finger as you feed them sugar water.

Experience life in a Rastafari village. The Rastafari faith, born in Jamaica in the 1930s, is often misunderstood. Discover what it’s all about — and find a serene escape from the MoBay hustle — by touring the Rastafari Indigenous Village cultural park. Taste produce from the organic farm, listen to villagers’ music and browse handmade crafts.

3 of the Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Montego Bay

In Montego Bay, all-inclusive resorts often offer the best value. You can enjoy luxury for less when you travel off season, in May through November. 

Travel + Leisure has named Sandals Royal Caribbean one of the best resorts in all of Jamaica.iv This all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay offers more than the usual perks: there are sunset catamaran tours, beach parties, scuba diving and a private island to explore. Book a Butler Suite and enjoy private dining on your balcony, served by a personal butler.  

Founded in 1953, Round Hill Hotel and Villas has hosted celebrities aplenty, including Errol Flynn, John F. and Jackie Kennedy, and Lupita Nyong’o. Fashion icon Ralph Lauren designed the hotel’s oceanfront guestrooms and luxury villas. Go all-inclusive, or choose a dining plan with just breakfast and lunch so you can experience local restaurants.

Traveling with kids? Iberostar Rose Hall Beach is a five-star, all-inclusive resort that welcomes families. There’s a pool just for kids, a camp program, babysitting services and nightly live entertainment. Grown-ups will love the included water sports, the spa and the specialty restaurants.

3 of the Best Restaurants in Montego Bay

Smoke, spice, and sea all flavor Jamaican cuisine, known for staples like jerk chicken, oxtail and curried goat. One of the best restaurants in Montego Bay is also the most picturesque: The HouseBoat Grill, which floats in the Montego Bay Marine Park Fish Sanctuary. On the menu you’ll find spicy pepper shrimp, pan-fried snapper and lobster.

For jerk chicken and pork, Scotchies is beloved. Just follow your nose: The meat’s grilled over a wood fire and served with yams, rice and peas or festival (fried dough). People are equally passionate about MVP Smokehouse, a roadside restaurant on the west side of MoBay. In addition to the classic jerk dishes, MVP serves steamed fish, shrimp, lobster and even vegetarian/vegan meals.

Ready for your Jamaican getaway? Once you’ve booked your trip, protect it with travel insurance. Get a quote.

What Do I Need to Travel to Montego Bay?

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Dec 13, 2018