Montego Bay is Jamaica’s north coast cultural capital, and as a result, has so much to offer tourists because it specially caters to tourists. However, I will say that I may have cheated and some attractions on this list are more Montego Bay adjacent or are outside of the parish of St James because of how prominent and worth the trip these attractions are. But rest assured, attracting in the Mobay area have still been covered.
1. Ahhh…Ras Natango Gallery & Garden
Overlooking the city of Montego Bay is an art gallery of local artists as well as an opportunity to derive art from our natural environment. Ahhh…Ras Natango, along with displaying Jamaican talents, also strives to cultivate talent by offering art classes (you keep your own art and they provide the materials). Here, art is used to educate on different subjects and help you to find your inner artist. Moreover, there is also a garden tour, which resembles a fantasy world by it’s sheer beauty and is a testament to living an organic lifestyle, or at least, cultivating a garden to that lifestyle.
2. Braco Stables
One of the cheats or non-Mobay attractions that is offered on this list is the converted overseer’s home that has become Braco Estates in the neighbouring parish of Trelawny. Promoting health and wellness, they offer very active and fun activities such as (based off the name) horseback riding. However, beyond horseback riding, tours range from biking to water sports like rafting, kayaking and river-boarding. So, if you’re looking for a day of adventure and have a fitness goal in mind while you’re having fun, pack your swimsuit and comfortable shoes because Braco Stables has you covered.
Around the base of the Catadupa Mountains is Croydon in the Mountains, and a chance to sample some of Jamaica’s homegrown produce. While enjoying a view of the mountains and countryside, you will be invited to taste citrus fruits, sugar cane and coffee, as well as learn the process and secrets used by local farmers to cultivate these products. And if that weren’t mouthwatering enough, the tour ends with a barbequed lunch served with Blue Mountain coffee.
4. Dolphin Cove
In a previous article, I had already covered the tourist favourite of Dolphin Cove. The only thing more I can say is that in Montego Bay, yes you get to fulfill that dream of swimming with the dolphins, but you also have a chance to interact with other animals beyond the norm, such as stingrays and camels. It is as promising a day as any akin to a waterpark.
Another gem found in Trelawny, rafting on the Martha Brae River is an experience well worth the journey beyond Montego Bay. You will be able to sail three miles down a river on a safe, cozy, handcrafted bamboo raft, captained by experienced raft captains. And as you sail this tranquil course, you will be in the heart of nature and enjoying a complimentary fruit drink. This trip also includes a visit to Miss Martha’s Herb Garden, a display of Jamaica’s indigenous flora and their medicinal properties.
The Rockland’s Bird Sanctuary puts a new meaning to bird-watching and going off the beaten path. You would think that bird-watching is this waiting game or test of patience, but quite the opposite – these birds are waiting on you. And once you’re given a bottle of sugar water to feed the birds, it is only a matter of time. This is a worthy experience if you enjoy the beauty and serenity of nature. The only disclaimer is this might not be for you if you’re fidgety, as it requires quiet and some patience to not startle the birds.
If you’re not afraid of a good ghost story then Rose Hall will enchant you with the legend of Annie Palmer, the White Witch of Rose Hall whose story is today immortalized in both a Great House and garden tour during the day and a Haunted House tour at night. Beyond the history and the supernatural, Rose Hall also sports two golf courses, White Witch and Cinnamon Hill. Depending on your taste, you may enjoy an ocean view with plantation remnants at Cinnamon Hill or a lush botanical feel at White Witch. Finally, cap off your trip at the plant nursery, a promotion of the natural beauty of Rose Hall and in your own home.