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Montego Bay Travel Guide

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Doctor's Cave Beach © Jamaica Tourist Board

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 to horse riding trails, from 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.

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