Montego Bay is the capital of the parish of St. James and is also
Jamaica's only other officially incorporated city, referred to as The
Second City or more widely known as MoBay in local lingo and sometimes
Bay by the locals. The city is however the fourth largest urban area
by population after Kingston,
Spanish Town and Portmore, all of which
form the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area, home to over half a
million people. As a result,
Montego Bay is the second-largest
Anglophone city in the Caribbean, after primate city, Kingston.
Montego Bay is a popular tourist destination featuring duty-free
shopping, a cruise line terminal and several beaches and resorts. The
city is served by the Donald Sangster International Airport, the
busiest airport in the
Anglophone Caribbean, which is located within
the official city limits. The city is enclosed in a watershed, drained
by several rivers such as the Montego River.
7.1 Fixed voice and broadband
7.2 Mobile voice and broadband
8 In popular culture
10 Notable people
11 See also
13 External links
Montego Bay c. 1820
Christopher Columbus for the first time visited the island in
1494, he named the bay Golfo de Buen Tiempo ("Fair Weather Gulf"). The
name "Montego Bay" is believed to have originated as a corruption of
the Spanish word manteca ("lard"), allegedly because during the
Spanish period it was the port where lard, leather and beef were
Jamaica was a colony of
Spain from 1511
until 1655, when Oliver Cromwell's Caribbean expedition, the Western
Design, drove the Spanish from the island.
Montego Bay Civic Centre. The building was formerly a ballroom and
courthouse during the height of the country's colonial period.
During the epoch of slavery, from the mid-17th century until 1834, and
well into the 20th century, the town functioned primarily as a
sugarcane port. The island's last major slave revolt, the Christmas
Baptist War (1831–1832) took place in the area around
Montego Bay; the leader of the revolt, Samuel Sharpe, was hanged there
in 1832. In 1975, Sharpe was proclaimed a national hero of Jamaica,
and the main square of the town was renamed in his honor.
Montego Bay's city status prior to British rule was debated, however,
it had its city status revoked during Jamaica's British colonial. In
1980, it was re-proclaimed a city by act of parliament, but this has
not meant that it has acquired any form of autonomy as it continues to
be an integral part of the parish of St. James.
Cruise ship at Montego Bay
Montego Bay is known for its large regional hospital (Cornwall
Regional Hospital), port facilities, second homes for numerous upper
class Jamaicans from Kingston as well as North Americans and
Europeans, fine restaurants, and shopping opportunities. The coastland
Montego Bay is occupied by numerous tourist resorts, most newly
built, some occupying the grounds of old sugarcane plantations with
some of the original buildings and mill-works still standing. The most
famous is the White Witch's Rose Hall which now features a world-class
The infrastructure of the city is going through a series of explosive
modernizations which once completed, aims to keep
Montego Bay as a top
destination in the region. The
Montego Bay Convention Centre, built on
a large site near to the Rose Hall estate, was opened by Jamaican
Bruce Golding on 7 January 2011.
The majority of the city's population is of African descent. The city
is also home to sizeable minority ethnic groups such as the East
Indians and Chinese, who came to the country as indentured servants in
the mid-to-late 19th century. The Chinese especially occupy important
roles in the city's economy especially in retail where Downtown
Montego Bay is home to many shops and supermarkets owned by Chinese
immigrants. The city's East Indian population also play a key role as
they operate many gift and jewelry shops in the city which are mostly
geared to tourists.
There is also a minority of Europeans, some descending from immigrants
from Germany (the city is a 90-minute drive from German settlements
such as German Town in Westmoreland) and Great Britain (who own most
of the land in the city from as far back as the days of the slave
The city is also home to many immigrants from Hispanic countries such
as Mexico, Cuba and
Spain as well as many French, Russians and
Italians (who mostly own homes or beachfront properties in the area).
Due to the heavy influence of Tourism and BPO, the city is also home
to many Americans and Canadians, who either work in Tourism or BPO.
There are a wide variety of Christian churches in the city. Most are
Protestant, a legacy of British colonisation of the island. The chief
denominations are Church of God, Baptist, Anglican, Methodist, Roman
Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist and Pentecostal. Afro-Christian
syncretic religions such as the
Rastafari movement also have a
significant following. The city also has a unit of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The city also has communities of Buddhists,
Hindus and Muslims.
The well-known Doctor's Cave Beach
Montego Bay is pivotal to Jamaica's economy. The city holds most of
the weight of the country's tourism sector. Most of the country's
visitors arrive and depart from Montego Bay's Airport or Port. Many
international companies have resorts in the city including Hyatt,
Hilton Hotels, Holiday Inn, RIU Hotels, Royalton and Iberostar.The
city is the home to the headquarters of international resort chain,
Sandals. Recently, the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of
Tourism, has begun to focus on bolstering the city's entertainment and
gastronomic offerings. Though the city's airport hosts a number
international chains like Auntie Annie's, Quiznos, Nathan's, Dairy
Queen to name a few, the city itself does not have access to these
restaurants. By virtue of this new focus, the city has become home to
a newly established
Hard Rock Café
Hard Rock Café and became home to Starbucks'
first Jamaican location, at Doctor's Cave Beach, in November
2017. The city also serves as the Head Office for Starbucks'
operations in Jamaica.
View of the Caribbean Sea from the
Iberostar Hotel and Resort
The city is also home to a thriving BPO sector. The city has call
centres which cater to many Fortune 500 companies such as Delta,
Netflix and many others. In addition,
its only call centre in
Montego Bay which located in the city's up and
coming tech park. Most of the city's business is done in the downtown
area, however, as of recent, the CBD has begun to migrate to the
suburb of Fairview/Bogue which is home to the Fairview Town Centre,
which is a five-minute commute from Montego Freezone, the city's
dedicated area to BPO activity. The area is mostly populated with
retail & banking, most notable are Scotiabank's new Fairview
branch, The G-West building, FLOW's first & Flagship store in the
Caribbean - redesigned by retail experts, Shikatani Lacroix, and
Fontana Pharmacy's flagship store. The town centre also holds
important to the city as it hosts places such as Digicel's Corporate
offices for Western
Jamaica as well as many auditing, law and
insurance firms. Most stores in the town centre feature modern
architecture and beautiful landscaping. The town centre continues to
expand at a rapid pace today and will be home to more businesses soon,
some only found in Montego Bay.
National Commercial Bank's branch in Sam Sharpe Square, bordered by
Union Street, St. James Street and Corner Lane.
The city hosts many financial institutions such as Scotiabank, FCIB,
National Commercial Bank,
Jamaica National Commercial Bank (JN Bank)
and many others. The city also has offices for many auditing firms
KPMG and PwC.
The city is home to many health institutions such as the Cornwall
Regional Hospital as well as the recently opened, Hospiten, a
Spanish-owned, private hospital located in Rose Hall.
Education in the city can be found from Pre-K up to Tertiary. The city
has many Pre-K and Basic Schools. Beyond this, the city has many
Primary and Preparatory Schools. Secondary Education is also provided
in the city most notable of which are the
Montego Bay High School for
Girls, Mount Alvernia High School—a Roman Catholic High School for
Girls which shares the same crest, motto and wears a uniform similar
to that of sister school of Immaculate Conception High School in
Kingston, Herbert Morrison Technical School and the oldest school in
the city, Cornwall College.
Tertiary Institutions in the city are namely the University of West
Indies (UWI) – Western
Jamaica Campus, The University of Technology
Montego Bay Campus and the
Montego Bay Community College
(MBCC). Most tertiary institutions in the city are accredited.
The North Coast Highway runs through the city of Montego Bay, with 2
lanes in each direction within the city, terminating at the Queen's
Drive and resuming at the intersection of the Alice Eldemire Drive and
Barnett Street. The North Coast Highway connects
Montego Bay with
the North-South section of Highway 2000 (called T3), which begins at
Mammee Bay in Ocho Rios, St. Ann and terminates at an interchange
which leads onto the Mandela Highway in St. Catherine and into the
nation's capital, Kingston.
Another major road within the city is the B15 (
Montego Bay to
Falmouth) road. The city is also well served by buses, mini-busess
and taxis, which operate from the
Montego Bay Transport Centre.
The Government of
Jamaica announced that a tolled bypass to the city
has been planned to be built in order to reduce traffic congestion and
travel times. The bypass is to begin at Westgate and end at Ironshore.
The bypass will cost around USD $200 Million.
The now disused
Montego Bay railway station
Montego Bay railway station served the Kingston to
Montego Bay main line. The railway station opened c. 1894 and
closed in October 1992 when all passenger traffic on Jamaica's
railways abruptly ceased.
Montego Bay is served by Jamaica's largest airport, the Sir Donald
Sangster International Airport. The airport has the distinction of
being the busiest airport in the English-speaking Caribbean, serving
3.95 million passengers in 2016.
The airport was the hub of Jamaica's former national airline, Air
Jamaica. The airline also had its Reservations, Western Jamaica
Sales & Ticketing office, as well as its Vacations division in the
city until its purchase by
Caribbean Airlines in 2011, when they moved
their offices to Kingston. The site is now the headquarters for Island
Routes, a company owned by the Sandals-ATL Group, which in the past
was affiliated with the airline.
The airport is served by several North American and European airlines,
connecting the island with the United States, the United Kingdom,
Europe and South America. The southern U.S. city of
Miami can be
reached within 70 minutes. The southern U.S. cities of Charlotte,
Houston, Atlanta and Tampa can be reached by non-stop flights in less
than three hours. Other locations like Philadelphia, New York City,
Toronto, Washington D.C. and
Montreal can be reached in under four
hours. The airport is also one of two airports in the Caribbean (other
being Havana), that has a non-stop flight to Los Angeles, allowing
passengers the ability to connect to flights to Asia,
Oceania. The airport has undergone major expansion since 2003, and has
won awards including the coveted World Travel Award for being the
Caribbean's Leading Airport, beating airports like Punta Cana
International Airport and Grantley Adams International Airport.
There is a free port and cruise line terminal on a man-made peninsula
jutting into the bay.
Fixed voice and broadband
Fixed voice and broadband services in
Montego Bay is provided by FLOW.
FLOW uses a Hybrid Fibre and Coaxial network to provide IPTV, VoIP
& POTS and cable broadband capable of speeds up to 100 Mbit/s.
FLOW also uses a Copper network to provide POTS and
ADSL capable of
speeds up to 12 Mbit/s. This copper network is currently being
upgraded to VDSL2, which will allow speeds of over 50 Mbit/s over
existing copper lines as well as provide a migration path for the
provider to Fibre to the Home. FLOW also has a fibre-optic network in
the neighbourhood of Rhyne Park which provides up to 100 Mbit/s as
well. There are several other small cable companies such as Cornwall
Communications, that provides cable broadband and voice over its cable
network; however, they are vastly incomparable in subscriber numbers
Mobile voice and broadband
Mobile voice and broadband services in
Montego Bay is dominated by
both incumbents, FLOW & Digicel. Both carriers provide GSM, EDGE,
3G HSPA & HSPA+ connectivity in and around the city.
Currently, FLOW offers HSPA+ of up to 21 Mbit/s on 850 MHz and
1900 MHz with speeds of up to 21 Mbit/s. FLOW also offers LTE
data in Montego Bay. The company is the currently the only carrier to
provide comprehensive LTE coverage within the city itself. Coverage
also extends out towards to the adjoining rural areas surrounding
Montego Bay such as Liliput to east and Hopewell (in the parish of
Hanover) to the west. FLOW's LTE network uses LTE Band 4, commonly
known as AWS. Users can avail themselves of speeds of up to 150
Mbit/s down and 50 Mbit/s up.
Digicel, Jamaica's larger mobile network, also offers 21 Mbit/s HSPA+;
however, they also offer
DC-HSDPA (commonly known as DC-HSPA+)
allowing capable devices speeds of up to 42 Mbit/s on paired
850 MHz spectrum. Digicel's LTE network is also available in
Montego Bay; however, it is currently only accessible in and around
Sangster International Airport
Sangster International Airport and along the Northern Coastal
Highway and out to the parish border of St. James and Trelawny.
Digicel, in its commitment to provide an islandwide LTE network, has
committed to offering LTE in the city for its subscribers. The network
is theoretically capable of speeds up to 75 Mbit/s on 10 MHz of
Band 17 spectrum.
In popular culture
The city was the subject of the namesake song by
Bobby Bloom in 1970,
which became a Top Ten hit in the United States for Bloom. It was
Jon Stevens in 1980 and by Amazulu in 1986, becoming minor
hits for both.
Several scenes from the 1973
James Bond film Live and Let Die (in
Roger Moore appeared as Bond for the first time) were filmed
around Montego Bay.
The 2002 song "Montego Slay" from the album O.S.T. by American hip-hop
People Under the Stairs
People Under the Stairs is about the city.
Climate data for Montego Bay
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source: Deutscher Wetterdienst
Megan Domani (id), actress
Ian Goodison, Jamaican footballer
Donovan Ricketts, Jamaican footballer
Musashi Suzuki, Japanese footballer
Ruby Turner, singer and actress
List of cities in the Caribbean
Railway stations in Jamaica
^ Population and Housing Census 2011 Findings
Montego Bay Marine Park
Jamaica Observer. "
Montego Bay — a city making progress
in some areas, but struggling in others - News".
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 July 2011.
Retrieved 2011-03-06. Jamaican Tourist Board news report.
^ Hard Rock Cafe Coming to MoBay
Starbucks to Open in Jamaica, Further Expanding its Presence in the
Caribbean Archived 4 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine.
Starbucks First Store in
Jamaica Honors Country’s Rich Heritage
^ North Coast Highway
^ "North/South Leg of Highway 2000 to be Completed Early 2016 -
Jamaica Information Service". 21 April 2015.
Directorate of Overseas Surveys 1:50,000 map of
Jamaica sheet C,
^ "Wikimapia - Let's describe the whole world!".
^ "US$200 Million Bypass to be Built in
Montego Bay - Jamaica
Information Service". 17 June 2016.
Montego Bay Railway Station Archived 8 September 2009 at the Wayback
Jamaica National Heritage Trust.
^ The rise and fall of railways in Jamaica, 1845-1975 - Pg18 Journal
of Transport History - March 2003
^ "Facts & Statistics -
^ "MONTEGO BAY TO BE HUB FOR AIR JAMAICA".
^ "Sangster International Airport,
Jamaica on World Travel
^ TeleGeography. "FLOW
Jamaica begins 4G deployment".
^ Live and Let Die (1973) - Filming locations
^ "Montego Slay - P.U.T.S. - The Point Of The Rhyme".
^ "Klimatafel von
Montego Bay / Jamaika" (PDF). Baseline climate means
(1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher
Wetterdienst. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Montego Bay.
Montego Bay travel guide from Wikivoyage
Panoramio - Photos of the World
Settlements in Jamaica
For the definition of city, town, etc., see: Settlements in Jamaica.
Old Harbour Bay
Portmore (conurbation of Kingston)
Saint Ann's Bay
Hopewell, Saint Andrew
Hopewell, Saint Ann
Hopewell, Saint Elizabeth
Forest Hills Garden
Half Way Tree
Mountain View Gardens
Three Oaks Gardens