Montego Bay, Jamaica – Caribbean
Prices Start At ₹ 36,700 INR / 526 $ USD
Columbus anchored in Montego Bay in 1494 and called it Gulf of Good Weather. In 1655 a settlement appeared on Spanish maps: Manterias, after the Spanish word manteca, or lard, from the days when the Spanish shipped ‘pig’s butter’ derived from the herds of wild hogs that flourished in the nearby hills. Following the British takeover that year, the parish of St James was established. As sugar was planted, Montego Bay took on new importance, and St James became the most important sugar-producing parish on the island. Wealthy planters and merchants erected lavish townhouses and a parish church. Many original buildings perished in fires and hurricanes, which also destroyed valuable records in the western part of the island, obscuring this early history.
Montego Bay and its hinterland were the setting for the slave rebellion of Christmas 1831, when estates throughout St James were put to the torch. Militia and regular troops stationed in Montego Bay quickly quelled the revolt, and the courthouse became a center for savage retribution.
After emancipation in 1834 the sugar trade slipped into decline. The city once again languished until it was revived by the development of the banana trade, and by the tourist trade that developed in the late 1880s when Dr Alexander G McCatty founded a sanitarium at what is today Doctor’s Cave Beach. Rich Americans and Britons flocked onto the banana boats to ‘take the waters.’ Many later bought homes here, adding luster to Montego Bay.
During WWII the US Air Force built an airstrip east of town, which in the postwar years served to open up Montego Bay to tourism on a larger scale. Round Hill and Tryall resorts were built west of town, cementing MoBay’s chic reputation.
In the late 1960s the bay was dredged, and Montego Freeport was constructed (the port is now a center of light industry). Later, a separate cruise-ship terminal appeared, launching a new breed of visitor.
Portland was named for the Duke of Portland who was a Governor of Jamaica between 1722 and 1726. Portland is a combination of the parish of St. George and a part of St. Thomas. At one time Port Antonio was renamed Titchfield, but since the old name continued to be used the new one was abandoned.
In 1723, in an attempt to populate the parish, the Governor offered a grant of 30 acres of land to every white protestant wishing to settle in Portland and to every free mulatto, Indian or Negro a grant of 20 acres.
When people did not respond to the offer the Governor increased his incentive to include provisions of beef and flour and an offer to free them from taxes and arrest for three years.
These attempts failed as the immigrants from the British Isle were unable to withstand the rigors of cultivating high up on the mountainsides. Also the maroons who lurked in the Blue and John Crow Mountains were adamant that Europeans would not settle Portland.
Most of the white settlers were useless against the maroons. The only force seemingly able to withstand them was the “blackshot” Negro slaves, freed men and mulattos. The maroons got all their firepower through raiding plantations or purchasing from the enemy.
The 1730s saw a series of battles between the maroons and the British. When it seemed that the maroons were about to destroy Portland, the British captured Nanny Town, the maroon settlement whose leader was the woman who was later to become Jamaica’s first National Heroine: Nanny.
The Titchfield Hotel, built by the United Fruit Company in the mid 1800s, was the hotel of Port Antonio. During the early days of Portland tourisms, the rail service was the convenient way of travelling from Port Antonio to Kingston and even on to Montego Bay.
With the arrival of tourism and the export of bananas, Port Antonio and Buff Bay thrived. However, misfortune struck in the form of hurricanes and Panama disease, which virtually destroyed the banana plantations. Despite the decline in banana exports, and the subsequent decline in Port Antonio’s economy, the capital town has bounced back and today is the hideaway of some exclusive tourist accommodations
Ocho Rios History
Like most Caribbean island settlements, Jamaica’s Ocho Rios has a history that includes indigenous tribes, European colonists, slavery and modern day tourism.
From the day the famous explorer Christopher Columbus set foot on Jamaica, the tide quickly turned against the native people. Though no European power ever saw Ocho Rios as important, today it is one of the island of Jamaica’s most popular beach resorts.
Jamaica was originally the home of the Taino people, a subgroup of the Arawak Indians who once inhabited so much of the Caribbean and areas of Latin America. The Taino are believed to have arrived in Jamaica roughly 3,000 years ago, calling the island Xamayca, which literally translates as ‘Lands of Water and Wood’. In the town of Falmouth, within the neighbouring parish of Trelawny, the Outameni Experience interactive tour showcases the rich history around Ocho Rios and the rest of Jamaica.
THE ARRIVAL OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
During Christopher Columbus’s famous voyage to the New World, he stopped at Jamaica in the year of 1494. By all accounts, the first place where he set foot on the island was Ocho Rios, which is commemorated today at Columbus Park with its Spanish colonial buildings and maritime relics on display. At the time, Columbus named the bay Chorreros, which means ‘Rapid Rivers’ in the Spanish language.
SLAVERY ON THE ISLAND
The Tainos were all but erased from the island by war and disease, as well as slavery, all of which was brought to Jamaica by the Spanish. Slaves from Africa were first introduced to the island in 1517, being brought here to work on sugar cane plantations throughout Jamaica, a dark chapter in the history of Ocho Rios.
THE BRITISH ARRIVE
In the first half of 1655, the power struggle for the resources in the Caribbean turned in favour of the British, who seized Jamaica from its Spanish control. The English mistranslated the name Chorreros into Ocho Rios, but the name stuck.
A series of fierce battles took place in the latter part of the 1650s, between the Spanish and British, with history favouring the British. Neither the Spanish nor the English, however, ever saw much importance in the town, although roving pirates made good use of the bay as a strategic base for their activities.
AN END TO SLAVERY
When slavery was officially abolished on Jamaica in the year of 1834, the town entered a period of poverty and rebirth. With colonial interests removed, the history of Ocho Rios was crafted by the newly freed slaves, who embraced their new-found freedom and slowly turned the town into a stable and peaceful fishing village.
A GREAT BEACH RESORT
By the late 20th century, the beautiful beaches of Jamaica had been discovered by holiday makers from North America. Ocho Rios was no exception, quickly growing into one of the island’s top beach destinations, thanks in no small part to its appealing soft sand and crystal clear water.
One of Jamaica’s top natural attractions is sited right on the edge of Ocho Rios. Dunn’s River Falls is a magical cascade of waterfalls, swimming pools and sea views from the top of the cliffs roughly 185 metres / 600 feet above. This is the top tourist spot around the town for the cruise ships and visitors who stop at this once-sleepy fishing village, which is now nothing short of a world-class resort.
With a deep water quayside built in Ocho Rios, this is a popular stop for cruise ships doing the rounds of the Caribbean. When berthed, the ships quickly offload thousands of tourists, who swamp this enticing resort for no more than a few hours, and then leave for the next part of their holiday.
- Excellent value for money
- Flexibility to customize your itinerary to your own preferences
- Breakfast included
- Informative, friendly and professional guide
- Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
- Perfect introduction for first-time visitors
- Departure Time: 8:15 AM
- Departure: Tour departs from Deja Resort in Montego Bay or depending on your
- location we may be picked up
- Departure Details:
- Times are subject to change due to local traffic conditions.
Hotel pickups commence approximately 30 – 60 minutes prior to this time, exact
- pickup time will be advised on reconfirmation.
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- A current valid passport is required on the day of travel
- No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
- If you are staying in Negril or elsewhere in Jamaica we can assist with travel
- arrangements to get to Montego Bay for departure
- Minimum numbers apply. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if
- there is not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund
- A current valid passport is required on the day of travel
- Children must be accompanied by an adult
- Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required
- Accommodations are double occupancy and therefore single Travelers will share
- room with another Traveler of the same gender. If a Traveler would like single an occupancy accommodation the option would cost an additional USD180.00, payable directly after booking. Please contact us directly to arrange this option
- Accommodations may also include rustic cabins with share bathroom facilities
- Oversized or excessive luggage (e.g. surfboards, golf clubs or bikes) may have
- certain restrictions, please inquire with the operator prior to travel to confirm if your excess luggage is acceptable
- Many optional activities are available at an additional cost. Please contact local tour operator to find out more information.
- Comfortable walking shoes are recommended
- Due to the nature of this tour and the safety of all guests, the tour operator reserves the right to refuse service to passengers who are intoxicated or show signs of intoxication or who are violent to other Travelers, Tour staff or Locals. If, as a result, your tour is canceled, you will not be entitled to a refund
- Two (2) night double occupancy accommodations with breakfast in 3*Hotel or Guest House
- Private vehicle transfers to all destinations and to all included activities
- Tour leader/driver
- Additional food and drinks
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Transportation to/from optional attractions
- Hotel for pick up
- Weights for helicopter tours
- Choice of times for tours
- Special dietary requirements, meal choices etc.
3-Day Sightseeing Tour of Portland and Ocho Rios