Hello Montego Bay
No one really knows how Montego Bay got its name, some speculate that it is a corruption of the Spanish word Manteca. No doubt the original inhabitants (the Tainos) also had a name that did not survive, neither did Golfo de Buen Tiempo (Fair Weather Gulf), the name given by Christopher Columbus in the 1400s.
Montego Bay is Jamaica’s second city and though much smaller than Kingston in terms of population, but it is the centre of the island’s tourist industry. Consequently, most vacationers enter Jamaica through Montego Bay.
Since Montego Bay hosts a of significant portion of tourists to the island, there is much to enjoy beyond the beaches of all-inclusive hotels. Here are a few examples:
- For art lovers, visit the National Gallery West and Cultural Centre to see contemporary Jamaican fine art and to learn about the island’s cultural heritage. There are also a variety of private art galleries. Ahhh…Ras Natango’s art studio offers a delightful display of intuitive art in a beautiful garden setting and spectacular views.
- Downtown Montego Bay is a bustling commercial zone; there you will find Sam Sharpe square. Samuel Sharpe was a slave who led the last rebellion against slavery. At the square is a monument made by the sculptor Kay Sullivan, dedicated to Samuel Sharpe and Paul Bogle; two of Jamaica’s freedom fighters and national heroes.
- As you leave the square take a stroll down St. James street and visit the stores, where you will find gift items worth buying.
- Visit St James Parish church on Payne Street; constructed in 1782 and reconstructed in 1953 after an earthquake. It is known for its beautiful interior, including a sculpture depicting the Crucifixion by James Bacon an 18th century English sculpture
- To get really close the Jamaican way of life, sign up to Jamaica Tourist Board Meet the People Program. This service provides a unique opportunity to meet Jamaican who share your profession or interests.
Click on the link below to learn more about the Program: https://www.visitjamaica.com/feel-the-vibe/people/meet-the-people-program/