The Best Day Trips from Montego Bay
Traveling to Jamaica will never be complete without visiting Montego Bay. Known as the capital of Jamaica’s northern coast, Montego Bay boasts golf courses, beach resorts like the famous Sandals Montego Bay, and enormous cruise ship ports.
From Walter Fletcher Beach to Doctor’s Cave Beach and an outstanding amusement park, you can never go wrong when visiting Montego Bay. It’s packed with tourist destination spots, cultural centers, and dining options, ideal for all kinds of travelers.
Plus, with its prime location, you can easily travel around Jamaica and be involved in various day trips. Visiting multiple places from Montego Bay gives you the best way to appreciate and experience Jamaican culture.
If you’re planning to explore Montego Bay and entire Jamaica, we’ve got you covered. This guide gives you the best day trips you can check out when staying in Montego Bay. Plus, we’ll also provide helpful tips when planning excursions and trips in this beautiful capital.
Beach Horseback Riding and Swimming
A unique excursion you can try while exploring Montego Bay is horseback riding and swimming in the Caribbean Sea. The entire day tour takes around 30 to 45 minutes, allowing you to discover jungle trails, farmlands, and an obligatory photo stop at the end.
Divers and swimmers train beach horses professionally, so the tour should be safe and fun. Plus, you also get to wear a flotation device for added security. And tour guides will accompany you to ensure no one gets harmed, not even the horses!
The tour commences after the guides pick you up from your hotel in Montego Bay. Tour guides are responsible for choosing the horse that matches your riding ability. From the Sand n’ Saddle Private Beach, you will pass by scenic countryside to reach lush forests and green landscapes nearby.
What’s even more remarkable is that your tour guides will share stories about the rich Jamaican culture. Just don’t forget to wear a wetsuit underneath your long pants for the ride. Remember to bring a towel as well, together with a pair of trekking shoes or sneakers. Joining the list of things you must bring are the following:
- A waterproof camera
- Sunblock or sunscreen
- Extra pair of clothing
- Drinking water
Complete your excursion with some Jamaican lunch by visiting Grill by the Beach or Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Sports Bar. You can also check out shops at the Craft Market for some boutique shopping.
Mystic Mountain Jamaican Adventure
The Mystic Mountain Adventure has always been famous because of Cool Runnings, a famous John Candy movie. Everyone remembers how Candy narrated the adventures of the first Jamaican Bobsled team in the 1988 Calgary Olympics.
Several tourists became interested in the mystic mountain adventure thanks to the Jamaican Bobsled team. It’s currently a famous Caribbean tourist attraction, where you will ride a chairlift to reach the mountain peak and explore the Olympic Museum. This cultural place highlights the following:
- Usain Bolt, a Jamaican superstar
- Donavon Baily, a Canadian favorite
- The history and journey of the Jamaican Bobsled team
The adventure starts when the tour guide pickles you up from your hotel in Montego Bay. Once you reach the adventure park, the staff will provide a Sky Explorer Chair as you proceed to the Bobsled starting point. This is also a great way to catch stunning views of the Ocho Rios as you soar up.
And for the main event, it’s one wild ride, so get your gear ready! The Jamaican Bobsled Olympics team inspires the ride as it whooshes down a thousand-meter track on the mountainside. You fully control the ride’s speed while sliding through dense tropical landscapes.
After the extreme Bobsled ride, there are other free amenities you can enjoy, including the following:
- Mystic Pavillion and Lookout Tower
- An infinity-edge pool
- Mystic Waterslide
- Hummingbird Garden
- Nature Trail
- Dining at Mystic Dining Restaurant
Bamboo Rafting at Martha Brae River
A romantic honeymoon on Montego Bay calls for bamboo rafting down Martha Brae River. It’s a famous excursion for couples as the river is only twenty miles from the heart of Montego Bay. Tourists enjoy beautiful jungle sceneries and old plantations while they enjoy their sweet alone time.
Friendly tour guides will accompany all bamboo rafting tours to protect you from rocks and trees that can cause unfortunate injuries. There are also shops, dining bars, and rope swings along the way. Remember to bring your wallets for a beer while enjoying your time on the river. While you’ll unlikely get wet, bringing a dry bag can 100% keep your essentials dry.
Moreover, concrete pier boards all bamboo rafts, with a licensed dispatcher as the supervisor. You can guarantee smooth rafting experiences with professional rafters, swimmers, and divers.
Rafter’s Village is the embarkation area, where you will encompass at least six acres of lawns on a horseshoe island. Witness a unique recreational facility with picnic grounds, a swimming pool, a full-service bar, and two souvenir ships. Modern restrooms are also available.
The embarkation area also features a “Miss Martha’s Herb Garden,” where guests can enjoy a walking tour before bamboo rafting starts. The garden features famous Jamaican herbs, believed to possess healing and other medicinal properties.
Bamboo rafting at Martha Brae River has been famous to several celebrities, including Queen Elizabeth II, Spike Lee, Patric Ewing, and Usain Bolt.
Montpellier is a famous destination for various tourist attractions and outdoor activities. It’s home to unique canopy tours and long zip lines, perfect for adventure-seekers who love to add spice to their vacation.
The tour runs for two hours, with five flights through trees and over rivers. You can also discover more about Jamaica’s rich fauna and flora. Plus, you will need to stand on ledges and hike up ladders. Rest assured that you’re safe with the safety straps attached to your body.
Ziplining provides speeds of at least 35 miles per hour, immersing you through tall trees and tropical landscapes. And after the pulse-pounding experience, relax and recover with a river tubing experience. Float along the Martha Brae River as you breathe in the fresh air and cold breeze.
Cruise and Sail to Negril
Cruising and sailing have always been top favorites when tourists visit Montego Bay. With its surrounding pristine white sand beaches and crystal blue ocean water, tourists can enjoy scenic coastal views before snorkeling.
Snorkeling takes place in Montego Bay Marine Park. And because marine life is preserved and protected, it should be fun to witness a variety of trumpetfish, pufferfish, and barracuda.
After a snorkeling adventure, swim to reach Pirates Cave, a tourist destination with clear and shallow water depths. As its name suggests, pirates were known to hide their treasures in this spot before it became a swimming site.
After an entire day of fun-filled adventure, don’t leave with an empty stomach! Visit Rick’s Cafe, a popular island near Negril, to dine with a view. Catch famous cliff divers right before sunset, and enjoy local Jamaican dishes to satisfy your appetite.
Braco Hike and Bike Excursion Tour
The next adventure is perfect for tourists who enjoy sightseeing activities. It begins with picking you up by private transportation at your hotel, which will drive you to the site.
Start strolling up the inclined Braco Hill, where you’ll witness canopied tropical forests filled with lush landscapes and tall trees. It’s definitely a paradise for tourists who enjoy looking at butterflies and birds.
The view from the Look Out Point is one you should not miss. It’s spectacular, allowing you to take a moment to enjoy panoramic views of the coastline, valleys, and sun-kissed hills. From the Look Out Point, continue walking until you reach Pimento Walk.
Pimento Walk features fragrant All-Spice that sweetens the air and abundant wild orchids. As you continue to pass through the trails, you’ll witness soft ferns and tranquil pastures.
The entire two-mile hike will take an hour, approximately 300 to 400 feet. Don’t worry; friendly guides are available to accompany you to ensure you’re safe. Plus, you can ask limitless questions about the tour.
After the one-hour hike, tone your muscles through a cycling activity. It’s a thirty-minute experience that will take you past the stables through vibrant bougainvillea, sun-drenched hedgerows, and local farmland.
After the entire excursion tour, ride back to your accommodation in the comfortable transportation provided.
Exploring Dunn’s River Falls
Dunn’s River Falls is situated near Ocho Rios, just a few mile-distance from Montego Bay. The 600-foot long and 180-foot high landmark is one of the world’s most famous waterfalls that attracts several visitors yearly.
Reaching Dunn’s River Falls begins with a hike for an hour and a half. Trekking allows you to witness lush surroundings and natural swimming pools. But getting to the base is the best part. The falls land straight into the sea of Little Dunn’s River Beach, making it one of the world’s travertine waterfalls.
There are two climbs tourists can choose from when visiting Dunn’s River Falls: dry climb and wet climb. Dry-climbing is best for travelers who are not fans of getting wet. The wet climb involves walking through the water and within the falls. We suggest wearing a wetsuit or swimsuit, so it’s not a hassle when you get drenched in water.
Dry-climbing means you’re waking alongside the falls. There’s a trekking trail you can traverse, and it’s as fun as the wet climb. However, you can only reach the summit with the wet climb.
We know it’s a lot of fun but always practice caution. This is especially when you’re climbing toward the peak of the falls. The rocks can get slippery, so bringing trekking shoes or sandals is best.
Sandy Bay ATV Tours
ATV tours have always been one of the adventures tourists seek when visiting Montego Bay. And one of the best ways to explore the city is by riding an ATV to reach Sandy Bay. The four-wheeler can take up any steep climb, giving you stunning panoramic coastal views.
We recommend Chukka Tours for the most budget-friendly and price-worthy ATV and Dune Buggy tours. The oldies can always become passengers instead of riding on a Dune Buggy. Plus, all the tour guides are friendly and approachable, ensuring you get the best experience!
Discover the Green Grotto Caves
It’s always nice to know more about a country’s culture and history through its tourist attraction spots. The Green Grotto Caves is a famous filming scene of Live and Let Die, a James Bond hit movie. It showcases a beautiful cave system, which also plays a major role in the country’s history.
The Green Grotto Caves is 1.5 kilometers long and served as a hiding place for the Spanish and enslaved people during the 17th century. But today, it became a famous tourist destination site near Montego Bay.
This cave excursion takes you to both Green Grotto and Runaway Cave. Walk around 65 steps to reach the underground lake, the exact place used in the James Bond movie’s submarine scene.
Remember to take caution because the cave is home to at least ten million bats!
Rare St. Mary’s Anglican Church
Off-the-beaten paths are common near Montego Bay, especially when touring hiking trails and unique bodies of water. After an excellent river tubing experience in Montpelier, why not take a side trip and stop by St. Mary’s Anglican Church? The road is a bit narrow, but the scene is definitely worth it. You’ll also see St. Mary’s School, a historical area with a tranquil scene.
St. Mary’s Anglican Church is on the Montpelier Estate, a common ground where slave uprising occurred in the 1800s.
The Bottom Line
Montego Bay is definitely a location worth visiting, especially when you want to immerse yourself in true Jamaican culture. But if you want a complete experience, taking day tours around the city is one of the best ways to unwind and relax!
From ATV tours to hiking trails, bamboo rafting, and cave explorations, you’ll never run out of day trips to try from Montego Bay! These once-in-a-lifetime experiences will let you appreciate Jamaican nature more with stunning panoramic views and relaxing landscapes.