What City to stay in Jamaica
There are four main Tourist area in Jamaica, where to stay depensds on what you are looking for.
Montego Bay Main airport, good for 1 or 2 day stays. You are in jamaica but do not see the real beauty of the country and not a lot to do.
#1 . OCHO RIOS
Primary tourist destination for families and active vistors because of the beauty and all the things to see and do.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica (affectionately called "Ochi" by the locals) is a wonderful place to visit... and you're going to find out why.
But first, you should remember that...
...language can be confusing!
Some confusion led to Las Chorreros, the Spanish words for "rapid rivers" or "the river spouts", changing to Ocho Rios meaning "eight rivers", by the English sometime in 1657.
This was shortly after their showdown with the Spanish near Dunn's River Falls, a truly magnificent, most exquisite spot on the island. If one contemplates, the Englishman responsible for the name evidently did not have an ear for languages. Neither the Spanish, nor the English placed that great an importance on Ocho Rios.
However, the pirates did; in fact it was a safe haven for them. There are interesting tales to be heard. Yes, this is a place you would definitely want to visit!
Situated on the north-eastern coastline of the island Jamaica, the metamorphosis of Ocho Rios has been quite remarkable from that of a small, somewhat sleepy fishing village to a main tourist attraction over the last 25 years. Going back a bit further in time, it was not too long ago, in the 1940's that the banana and sugar trade made way for bauxite and alumina mining by the Reynolds Jamaica Mining Company. It created quite a boom for the area until the 1980's.
A deepwater pier was built in Ocho Rios, Jamaica to handle the loading of the bauxite and alumina which was transported about 6 miles from the mines by means of a conveyor belt straight into the waiting cargo ships. This really put Ochos Rios a little town in Jamaica on the map. However, today there is very little mining activity as a result of the political situation in the 1980's which caused the mining company to shut shop.
It was then that tourism took the lead in Ocho Rios. This Jamaican port town offers much, in particular to the nature lovers and the duty free shoppers. It is the main port of call for the cruise ships. What makes it so attractive to tourists is its feel of a bygone era... the colonial times.
Besides all that, Ocho Rios, Jamaica is known for its botanical gardens, waterfalls and wildlife. To get a good look at the port visit the Shaw Park Botanical Gardens. Balanced high over Ocho Rios is this most magnificent garden, 25-acres in total with the most breathtaking views of the bay.
For a great selection of tours and excursions in and around Ocho Rios, check out Ocho Rios Authentic Tours
With several acres of lawns that are terraced with a beautiful waterfall, tropical blooms, an interesting merging of shrubs, indigenous and imported trees and a rose garden the envy of any rose grower, it is not difficult to understand why tourists keep coming back.
Don't forget Dunn's River Falls that makes Ocho Rios, Jamaica famous. It's an amazing sight, with the river cascading over large rock steps as it makes its way down to the sea. These rocky stone steps that make up the falls allow is about 600 feet in length from top to bottom and allows for adventurous climbing, especially on a hot day and provides a cooling shower. Try it! It is refreshing on a hot day. (Click here to learn more about Dunn's River Falls)
There are so many places to mention, like Fern Gully where you are able to walk through a forest of hardwood trees and the lush green of a fern valley consisting of more than 600 types of ferns. Ocho Rios, Jamaica gives one a sense of tranquility. No wonder the writer Ian Fleming, who wrote the James Bond series decided to live at Golden Eye, fairly close to Ocho Rios. Actually there were several celebrities and writers who have spent time in and around Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Now that says something for the place.
Primary airport for tourist, it is midway between to Ocho Rios and Negril the main Tourist destinations.
Recommended if you stay here only if you have a short stay in Jamaica for a day or two and only want to relax and not really see the beauty of the country,
Montego Bay, Jamaica is the fourth largest city in the island and lies on the its northwest coast. The country is located about 90 miles south of Cuba... and "MoBay" (as it is affectionately called by the locals) is a popular tourist site and second home for many Americans.
Christopher Columbus is known to have visited Montego Bay in 1494. His name for the area was Golfo de Buen Tiempo, or "Fair Weather Gulf". As a colony of Spain during the 144 years between 1511 and 1655, the town was best known as a port from which beef, leather and lard were exported. A corruption of the Spanish word for lard "manteca" is thought to be the origin of the name of the city.
In 1655, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England sent an expedition to the Caribbean which he called the Western Design. The Western Design was part of a six-year war waged by British and the Spanish in which the Spanish were eventually forced to concede the area to British rule. The principal intent of the Western Design was to seize the island of Hispaniola from the Spanish but this failed to succeed. Only the island of Jamaica was captured and held.
British control of the island of Jamaica continued from 1655 on through the mid 20th century. There was heavy use of slavery with only a few plantation owners during the period from 1655 until the era of the slave rebellions, culminating in the Christmas Rebellion or the Baptist War in 1832-33. The Baptist War, led by Deacon Samuel Sharpe was fought in and around Montego Bay.
Deacon Samuel Sharpe was a well-educated slave who had been allowed to become a leader in the Burchell Baptist Church in Montego Bay. He was looked up to by the other slaves and was energetic in visiting slaves and preaching Christianity. He encouraged and helped to organize a peaceful general labour strike, at the Kensington Estate. It was his mistaken belief that emancipation of the slaves by British Parliament had already occurred. The completely outnumbered plantation owners took reprisals against the rebellious slaves in order to force them into harvesting the ripe sugar cane. The rebels, in turn set fire to the crop.
Within two weeks, the militia put down the rebellion, and many ringleaders, including Sharpe were executed in Montego Bay in 1832. The rebellion sparked two inquiries by British Parliament and in 1833 led to the Abolition of Slavery Act throughout the British Empire. In 1975, Sharpe was named a National Hero of Jamaica and the main square of the town was renamed in his honour.
is officially a city and is the home of Jamaica's largest airport - the Sir Donald Sangster International Airport. Surrounding this beautiful Montego BayToday, city are ruins and grounds of the old sugar plantations, some with original buildings and mill works still standing. Some of the sites of historical interest around the city include the Rose Hall Great House and Tryall Estate.
Welcome to the "Capital of Chill"
Number one place if you want to just " chill in day and party at night" . The seven mile beach east end the the best place to stay and then visit " Ricks in the evening for the famous " Negril Sunset" .
Best dining for causal is seaveiw restaurant in town near Buger King. Evening dining best is "Rock House and catch a falling star".
Interestingly, Negril, Jamaica is listed as one of the thousand places one should visit or things to be done before you die.
Are you wondering why?
Let's start at the beginning - the name Negril has been shortened from the Spanish word "negrillo" and appears to have referred to the black cliffs just south of where Negril is situated. It is more than likely how the Spanish explorers identified the area on a return voyage. Negril was first mentioned in 1494, and acted as a haven for ships. It has become one of the most popular destination for people looking for budget holidays, though it also features some truly opulent resorts.
In 1702, English Admiral Benbow was forced to regroup his men and fleet after suffering a shattering sea battle with the French under the command of Admiral DuCasse. Then again in 1814, just over 200 years later, the English brought together 50 warships in Negril for provisions with approximately 6,600 men onboard the vessels then set sail to put down the uprising of the American rebels in the Battle of New Orleans.
And let's not forget the pirates.
Anne Bonny and Mary Read were two female pirates who sailed with and made John "Calico Jack" Rackham famous. They raided and plundered smaller vessels throughout the West Indies. After capturing a ship anchored off Nassau the Governor of Jamaica sent two ships under the command of a Captain Barnett to capture the pirates. It was while anchored off Negril, that Barnett caught up with them.
Negril was hardly accessible by land for many years, and to reach there you'd have to cut through swamplands. It was only during the administration of Norman W. Manley that the swamp was drained and a road built in the 1950's.
During the late 1960's and the early 70's Negril became quite popular with the "hippies" or "flower children" as they were known. Negril, Jamaica became known as a tourist destination for these free spirited young people and haven for the weary Vietnam War veterans.
Negril did not offer much in the way of accommodation for these visitors. The "hippies" in particular were not that welcome by the local authorities. Nevertheless, they sought abode with the locals in their homes, renting a room and sometimes just a space, oftentimes sitting down and sharing a meal with them too.
Negril then started to thrive with the ever-increasing number of visitors, creating a boom for the inhabitants of the town particularly on the west side of Negril - Lighthouse and Redground Roads. The hospitality offered by the locals drew more and more visitors, the only drawback being the use of ferries to get to Negril.
The road between Negril and Montego Bay has been upgraded and provides a pleasant drive for those wishing to hire a car and travel the island. More and more visitors have joined the keen throngs that flock here. Careful town planning has helped to maintain the status of Negril as being a prime tourist spot with its white sandy "7 Mile Beach"being touted as the tops in the Caribbean.
Here's an interesting fact...
In the light of the boom a law was passed in Negril, Jamaica that to this day does not permit any building to be constructed higher than the height of a palm tree. There has been a concerted effort on the part of the authorities to maintain the ecological environment in a pristine state and is relatively free from over commercialization.
There are a number of stunning resorts that have been developed over the last 10 years, but within keeping of the conservation concerns.
Fantastic cuisine is on offer at restaurants that provide a great dining experience and if you are close enough to the cliff end of Negril, you may even get to see the cliff divers or even try it out for yourself.
The most beautiful and tropical part of Jamaica. This area was considered remote until a few years ago because of the very bad roads and visited mostly by movie stars and people wanting to get away from it all.. This where the movies "Blue Lagoon" and " Cocktail were filmed.
Port Antonio has a beautiful castle and is also near Boston. This is the birth place of "Jerk" in Jamaica.
Jerk is cooking process used in Jamaica simular to barbeque in the US. It is an outdoor slow cook process using pimento wood.
Be aware this area gets a lot rains, always check the weather it can rain for days here.
This is least popular area of Jamaica but is also very beautiful. It is well known for its bubbling natural mineral baths with their healing powers, and tours of historical Great Houses and Lovers Leap.