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Kingston to Montego Bay and everything in-between

Sunny Day in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Discover the ultimate vacation experience at The Tryall Club in Jamaica. If you are looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is the perfect destination for you. Our luxurious resort is situated in the serene Montego Bay and boasts a rich history, from pirates to movie stars to revolutions. Kingston offers a varied experience that easily showcases the metropolitan side of Jamaicans with its eclectic range of restaurants and cafes, juxtaposed against the pungent flavor of the island’s rich culture; while the city buzzes with the sound of industry. In contrast, Montego Bay, one of the popular tourist towns on the island, combines a more laid-back life of beach and sand with a slower paced city life. The Tryall Club is situated in Montego Bay, so you can explore the town’s beaches, relax, and soak up the sun, or take part in thrilling activities such as swimming with dolphins, visiting Green Grotto Caves, or even river tubing in the Rio Bueno. If you have been to one city and not the other, or have been to neither, I have you covered. Let me walk you through the journey.

How Far Is Kingston From Montego Bay?

Well, that depends on how fast you can run, swim, or fly! If you are a world-class sprinter, you might be able to cover the distance in record time since Kingston and Montego Bay, we call it ‘Mobay’ for short, are on opposite ends of the island. If you are like the rest of us mere mortals, you will have to rely on more conventional forms of transportation, like a car, bus, or plane. Kingston and Montego Bay are located about 171 kilometers (106 miles) from each other which is only a three-hour drive away, or a quick 20-to-30-minute flight. For those who wish to travel independently, Google Maps provides recommendations for places to eat and seek thrills. Take the North South Highway into Ocho Rios, driving through historic towns such as Discovery Bay and Falmouth. If you are feeling adventurous, you can even take the more traditional route, which avoids tolls completely and takes you through the heart of Jamaica’s interior, where you can experience the famous Flat Bridge in the Bog Walk Gorge.

Getting to Kingston From Montego Bay

Although the majority of tourists arrive at Jamaica’s “second city,” Montego Bay, Kingston is a bustling, lively city that is well worth a visit. Are you ready to hit the road from Kingston to Montego Bay? This journey can be straightforward as the primary means of traveling from Kingston to Montego Bay or vice versa is to drive. Sure, you can catch a flight, from your airline of choice between Sangster’s International Airport and Norman Manley International Airport, but where is the fun in that? There are better options to make your journey a memorable one.

First up, there are guided tour companies that can manage all the planning for you. They will take care of transportation, meals, and any stops along the way. This is a great option if you are new to Jamaica or just want to sit back and relax without worrying about a thing. If you want to do the Kingston to Montego Bay drive in style and comfort, there are available private charter companies that will take you where you need to be. JUTA Tours is of course a mainstay in the country as one of the best guides to tour Jamaica, specifically in high-traffic tourist areas, but the largest one has to be Knutsford Express. Like JUTA, Knutsford Express runs routes across the island. You will be able to travel between parishes and return to your starting point with zero hassle.

A frequently asked question by visitors to Jamaica is is it safe to drive from Kingston to Montego Bay? Do not worry, it is safe! Stick to the main roads, keep your phones charged, and follow the outlined route and you will be in Kingston before you know it.

What about taking a taxi? Taking a taxi from Kingston to Montego Bay is also an option but be sure to do your due diligence and take the necessary safety precautions. Private hires from smaller companies are a safer choice, but if you are adventurous and want to experience the most authentic route possible, public passenger taxis are also available. However, this is the least advised and least safe of all the ways to travel between the cities since tourists can be easy targets for delinquents. Please take all the necessary due diligence and safety precautions you need before making this trek and just make smart decisions as you travel on this route.

Street party in ghetto.

Sights Along the Route From Kingston to Montego Bay

The route from Kingston to Montego Bay takes you through some of the most beautiful and scenic areas of Jamaica. Here are a few of the sights you might encounter along the way: 1. In Kingston, there is the famous Bob Marley Museum that is dedicated to the life and music of the legendary reggae artist Bob Marley. For refreshments and relaxation, you can stop at Devon House, which is a historic mansion that offers, ice-cream and pastries, tours, and a beautiful garden for relaxation. In addition, there is Hope Botanical Garden and Zoo, the National Gallery, Hollywell Recreational Park, the Blue Mountain, and Worthy Park Estate or take a trip to Hellshire and Port Royal. 2. St. Catherine is along the journey of the traditional route which avoids the tolls and takes you into more of Jamaica’s interior. You can explore Spanish Town, located approximately thirteen miles west of Kingston, which was once the capital of Jamaica and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its historic architecture and rich cultural heritage. The Spanish Town Heritage Walking Tour is a unique way to explore the history and culture of Jamaica. The tour takes visitors on a walking journey through the city, exploring its colonial past and vibrant present, including the Old Courthouse, St. Catherine Parish Church, and the Spanish Town Cathedral. Also you can drive through areas such as Linstead and Bog Walk. Crossing the famous Flat Bridge in the Bog Walk Gorge is a memorable experience. Even the most skilled drivers must be a little more alert in that space. Jamaican legend speaks to appeasing spirits with white rum, so it would not hurt to pour a little through the window to ensure a safe and event-free passage. Nevertheless, the Bog Walk Gorge is a must-see experience. It is a picturesque valley that is home to the powerful Rio Cobre River. 3. St. Ann is famous for several scenic locations. You will drive through historic towns such as Discovery Bay, where Christopher Columbus is believed to have landed in 1494, and visit our Green Grotto Caves. Make a stop in the town of Ocho Rios, which is a popular tourist destination and is home to several attractions, including Dunn’s River Falls, Dolphin Cove, Blue Hole, Konoko Falls and Park, Mystic Mountain Rainforest, and Margaritaville just to name a few. Visitors can also explore the local markets, sample Jamaican cuisine, and take part in cultural activities such as dancing and music. 4. Falmouth is another historic town located on the north coast of Jamaica, and it has a rich cultural heritage and a variety of attractions to offer to visitors. You can visit Falmouth Historic District, Good Hope Estate, Martha Brae River, Burwood Beach, Hampden Estate, and Glistening Waters. 5. Finally, you will arrive in Montego Bay, a bustling tourist town that is famous for its beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts, and vibrant nightlife. Do not miss the chance to explore attractions like Doctor’s Cave Beach, Harmony Beach Park, Rose Hall Great House, and the Montego Bay Marine Park. You will see what I mean once I expound further in the article. There is so much to see, so much to do, and so much of Jamaica to experience and explore.

Green Grotto Caves

A perennial favorite based on the north coast of the island in the parish of St. Ann; the Green Grotto Caves Jamaica is known worldwide due to being a movie location for the James Bond films (we have a whole blog about that little fun fact). The Green Grotto Caves are a must-see for tourists visiting Jamaica. The Green Grotto Caves are a network of underground caves and passages that were formed over millions of years from limestone. The caves are known for their natural beauty, historical significance, and fascinating geology. Visitors to the Green Grotto Caves can take a guided tour through the cave system, which includes a walk-through of various chambers, tunnels, and crystal-clear underground lakes. The tour provides an opportunity to learn about the history of the caves, which were used as hideouts by the Spanish during the 17th century and later by runaway slaves and smugglers. The caves are also home to a diverse ecosystem of fish and other wildlife. Visitors can observe these creatures in their natural habitats as they explore the cave system.

Regardless of being in the dark of a subterranean cave system, it is quite the eye opener as it puts centuries, maybe even longer processes right before you, through the stalagmites, stalactites, underground river system, and of course, the bats. Many, many bats. The bulk of Jamaica’s indigenous species of bats are found within the Green Grotto Cave network.

Martha Brae River

Rafting in Trelawny is something every visitor must do at least once, and the Martha Brae River provides quite the experience. The Martha Brae River in Jamaica is a tranquil and scenic waterway that is popular with tourists seeking a relaxing and immersive experience of the island’s natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the river on a traditional bamboo raft, known as the Martha Brae River rafting experience. The tour lasts about 90 minutes and provides a unique opportunity to take in the lush vegetation, exotic wildlife, and rich culture and history of the area while enjoying the peaceful and serene ambiance of the river. Overall, a visit to the Martha Brae River for bamboo rafting is a must-do activity for anyone looking to explore the stunning scenery and culture of Jamaica.

Things to Do in Kingston Jamaica

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I have admittedly spent a lot of time talking about getting from Kingston to Montego Bay and a little bit about what to do in Kingston while you are there. Kingston offers visitors a range of activities and experiences that showcase the city’s rich history, culture, and natural beauty. Some of the top things to do in Kingston Jamaica, as previously mentioned above, include visiting the Bob Marley Museum, exploring the city’s vibrant art scene, and taking a guided tour of the historic Devon House. Visitors can also enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking in the Blue Mountains or exploring the Hope Botanical Gardens and Zoo. Visit Port Royal and take the tour and learn about the history of the “Wickedest Place on Earth” and afterward eat some fish at Gloria’s Seafood City, Hellshire, or any of the other restaurants present. Safety in Kingston can never be overstated; thus, visitors should always exercise caution. Keep to the main streets, travel with trusted people, and keep your wits about you. It is easy to get swept up in Kingston’s vibrant streets. Therefore, it is recommended to stick to well-lit, heavily trafficked areas and to avoid carrying valuables or large sums of money. By taking the necessary precautions, you will have a safe and enjoyable time exploring all that Kingston has to offer.

Montego Bay

Welcome to Montego Bay where your adventure will begin at Sangster International Airport with a reception at Club Mobay. Imagine arriving in the sunny paradise of Jamaica and being enthusiastically welcomed like a VIP immediately after stepping off the plane or after checking in with your airline. Plan ahead with Club Mobay’s welcoming hospitality and excellent facilities. This top-class airport lounge allows you to fast-track your arrival and start your journey on a high note. From there, venture out to the major resort town, where the nightlife, the beaches, the thrills, the food, the waters, and the waves await you. Mobay is a paradise within a paradise and anyone asking what to do in Montego Bay will have that question answered quickly. Harmony Beach Park is a great spot for family visits with basketball, soccer, and other courts readily available, with clear access to the beach. Care for a spot of golf, pickleball, or classic Jamaican tennis? The Tryall Club offers a range of activities for guests, including golf, pickleball, and tennis. The golf course at Tryall is a championship course that has been ranked among the top courses in the Caribbean. Designed by Ralph Plummer, the course offers breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea and challenging holes that will test even the most experienced golfers.

If you are into a bit of colonial history with a splash of the paranormal, it is a good time to visit the Rose Hall Great House. This colonial house museum is rich with history, and if you believe the locals, the spirit of the White Witch “Annie Palmer” still haunts the grounds. If you are adventurous, you can book the Rose Hall Great House Night Tour and immerse yourself in the spine-chilling historic tale of the 19th century European bourgeoisie. In addition, Croydon Plantation, a working plantation with stunning views, exotic fruit trees, and a coffee bean demonstration, offers guided tours and cultural experiences.

The Montpelier Estate is another large plantation with a rich history dating back to the 18th century. Now managed by Chukka’s Jungle Outpost, the property offers a mix of adventure and history. You can go hiking up the Montpelier waterfall, zipline over the jungle, or go river tubing down the Great River led by well-experienced tour guides.

Montego Bay is also known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it a perfect destination for beach lovers. Doctor’s Cave Beach is a popular tourist destination in Montego Bay. The beach is known for its crystal-clear water, white sand, and vibrant atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and the available water sports activities. The beach is also home to a beach club with restaurants, bars, and amenities such as umbrellas and loungers for rent. With its stunning scenery and lively atmosphere, Doctor’s Cave Beach is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Montego Bay.

Like Doctor’s Cave Beach, Cornwall Beach is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. With calm waters and soft sand, it’s perfect for swimming and relaxing with several restaurants and bars nearby. Other popular Montego Bay activities include snorkeling and scuba diving, shopping for handmade crafts at the local markets, and trying traditional Jamaican cuisine.

We have come to the end of our journey and I must say that the trip between Kingston and Montego Bay was a scenic one, with plenty of natural beauty and cultural attractions explored along the way. Now that we have arrived in Montego Bay, you might be wondering where to stay in Montego Bay. Our recommendation is to settle into The Tryall Club to enjoy the rest of your luxurious and unforgettable vacation. The private villas at the Tryall Club are the ultimate luxury accommodation, featuring stunning views of the Caribbean Sea, private pools, and all the amenities you could ever need. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, the Tryall Club in Montego Bay has something for everyone. So, there you have it. Come and experience the best of both worlds, from the tranquil beaches of Montego Bay to the bustling city of Kingston. Whether you want to kick back and let someone else handle the details, travel in style, or hit the open road yourself, there are plenty of fun ways to get from Kingston to Montego Bay and memorable experiences to make in between. Book your stay at The Tryall Club today and start your journey to the ultimate vacation experience. Happy travels!

About the author

Juanita Grizzle is a Jamaican-born Sales and Marketing Associate for The Tryall Club. Using her deep-rooted cultural understanding and global travel experiences she crafts vibrant articles about Jamaica’s unique offerings and exceptional allure.