Top 6 Things To Do In Montego Bay

by Crissandra Ayroso
view of the beach in montego bay jamaica

Montego Bay may be known for its famous sands, but dig a little deeper and you’ll uncover the roots from which Jamaica’s rich history grew and the culture that arose from it. From local art and eco-friendly botanic gardens to the beach that put Jamaica on the map, we’ve put together a list of the top things to do in Montego Bay.

1. See artwork made by local artists at an outdoor gallery and eco-friendly botanic garden


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Away from the beach crowds and only a 15-minute shuttle ride away, Ahhh…Ras Natango Gallery and Garden is a serene botanic garden high up on the hillside in the mountains. More than 18 species of birds have been spotted on the grounds, and the gardens flourish with orchids, bougainvillea, ginger, and other tropical plants.

Everything about this family-owned hidden gem is a labour of love, from the eco-friendly practices of recycling and repurposing everything on the property to the art classes taught by Tamika, Ian, and Ayale.

2. Check out Doctor’s Cave Beach and the “Hip Strip’s” art galleries, restaurants and shops


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It’s Montego Bay’s most popular beach, where you’ll find locals and travellers alike basking in the sun on the sand. Running alongside Doctor’s Cave is bustling Gloucester Ave., also known as the Hip Strip, where you can shop for souvenirs, grab a bite to eat, stop for a Red Stripe, or do some sightseeing.

3. Look for the ghost of the White Witch at Rose Hall Great House


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Built in the 1770s, this restored sugar plantation is believed to be haunted by the ghost of Annie Palmer, the White Witch of Rose Hall. While many other great houses were burned to the ground during the slave rebellions of the 1830s, legend has it that Rose Hall still stands because of Annie Palmer’s black magic. Tour through the rooms of Rose Hall to learn more about Jamaica’s colonial history and this great house’s macabre past.                                

4. Cruise down the serene Martha Brae River on a 30-foot bamboo raft          


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About an hour’s drive from Montego Bay, you’ll find the enchanting Martha Brae River, where you can relax under the Caribbean sun aboard a bamboo raft as you gently cruise down the jade green waters. Marvel at the lush green surroundings and colourful tropical plants as your captain skillfully navigates down the Martha Brae.

5. Stop at a jerk pit


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Jamaican jerk is the spice of life. An aromatic blend of pimento leaves, garlic, thyme, scallions and scotch bonnet pepper is dry-rubbed or marinated onto meat and chicken, placed in a jerk pit and then barbecued to seal in all that flavour. You’ll find jerk pits all over Montego Bay, but Jerky’s and Scotchies are two of our favourites.

6. Visit Sam Sharpe Square


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In 1831, Sam Sharpe led a peaceful protest that turned into the largest slave rebellion in Jamaica and changed the course of history for more than 60,000 slaves that lived on the island. Hundreds of slaves were killed during the rebellion, including Sharpe who was hanged for his crimes. Sam Sharpe is a national Jamaican hero whose memory is honoured in Sam Sharpe Square.


See the beach town that put Jamaica on the map. Whether you’re hungry for jerk or hungry for beaches and culture, you’ll find your fill in Montego Bay.

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Top 6 Things to Do in Montego Bay