Bay is a city in Jamaica that contains Jamaica's largest airport,
Sangster International Airport.
Montego Bay is known for its duty free shopping and cruise
line terminal at its Free Port on a beautiful peninsula jutting
into the bay. Its sheltered Doctor's Cave Beach with clear
turquoise waters is one of the most famous beaches on the
island. The bay is surrounded by picturesque low mountains.
The whole island of Jamaica is quite hilly, culminating on
the other side of the island near Kingston in the 6000+ ft
Blue Mountains, known for their coffee beans which many say
are the world's best.
Bay is second in population to Kingston with about 120,000
people and lies in St. James Parish on the northeast coast
of the island. Air Jamaica and several American and British
airlines run their Caribbean hub in "MoBay" (Sangster
International Airport) connecting the island with the US,
England, Germany, and recently Canada with flights to Toronto.
The southern US cities of Houston, Atlanta, Tampa, and Miami
are reached by nonstop flights in less than three hours.
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 exported. 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. Christopher Columbus, when he first visited
the island in 1494, named the bay Golfo de Buen Tiempo ('Fair
the epoch of slavery, from the mid-17th century until 1834,
and well into the 20th century, the town functioned primarily
as a sugar port. The island's last major slave revolt, the
Christmas Rebellion or Baptist War (18311832) 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 honour.
1980, Montego Bay was 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 St. James parish.
Today, the city is known for its large regional hospital
(Cornwall General), port facilities, second homes for numerous
upper class Jamaicans from Kingston as well as Americans and
Europeans, fine restaurants, and shopping opportunities. The
coastland near Montego Bay is occupied by numerous tourist
resorts, some newly built, some occupying the grounds of old
sugar cane plantations with some of the original buildings
and mill-works still standing. The most famous of these are
the "White Witch's" Rose Hall and Tryall, both of
which now feature world-class golf courses.