Montego Bay, Jamaica - Stein Travel
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Montego Bay

The north coast of Jamaica is the island's popular 'Riviera' area, and at the centre of this resort paradise is Montego Bay, known affectionately as 'MoBay' to locals and regular visitors. The area has a sparkling 10-mile (16km) shoreline, fronted by coral reefs and aquamarine lagoons, backed by green hills shrouded in sugar cane, banana palms and lush tropical vegetation.

Christopher Columbus was the first European tourist to step ashore at Montego Bay in 1494. Now, the Spanish settlement that was founded in 1510 has grown into Jamaica's second city, but it is first choice for holidaymakers. The beaches in the area are picture-perfect and visitors can choose from a variety of recreations, from bird watching to music festivals, golfing to riding down the river on a bamboo raft.

The Montego Bay area also has some fascinating historical perspectives, not all of them pleasant, that live on in the legends and stories surrounding the few remaining great plantation houses belonging to dynastic families that grew rich from slave labour in past centuries. Several of these are open to the public.

Information & Facts

Climate

Located in the Caribbean, the tropical climate of Montego Bay ensures it is warm and sunny year-round, making it a great holiday destination. There is little seasonal variation in temperatures, with the average high being 91°F (33°C) and the lowest temperature generally only falling to 69°F (21°C). There are frequent rain showers in Montego Bay, but these are brief and the weather usually turns sunny again afterwards.

Language

The official language of Jamaica is English but a local patois is also spoken, a mixture of English, Spanish, and various African languages.

Money

The Jamaican Dollar (JMD) is divided into 100 cents. The island is well supplied with ATMs, banks and bureaux de change. Banking hours are usually Monday to Thursday from 9am to 2pm, and Friday from 9am to 4pm. Cambio exchange offices are found throughout the country, open later than banks and often offering better exchange rates. Retain receipts as proof of legal currency exchange. Exchange bureaux at the airports and hotels also offer better rates than banks. Major credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Both cash and travellers cheques are best taken in US Dollars.

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