Top 12 Questions We Get Asked About Discovery Bay Jamaica
There are some questions that we get asked about Discovery Bay Jamaica almost all the time. So, we thought we would share these questions and answers with you.
If you have a question about Discovery Bay Jamaica that you don’t see here, drop us a line or leave a comment.
Table of Contents
Where is Discovery Bay in Jamaica?
Discovery Bay is a small, quiet town on the northern coast of Jamaica. It is the most western portion of the Ocho Rios tourist region, which spans from Discovery Bay to Oracebessa, a few miles east of Ocho Rios.
Discovery Bay is just under an hour east of Montego Bay and 20-30 minutes from Falmouth. Ocho Rios is about 30 minutes going further east.
Is Discovery Bay in Ocho Rios? No, it isn’t. It is in the tourist area designated as the Ocho Rios region; but, Discovery Bay is its own town and is not in Ocho Rios.
Discovery Bay is in St Ann’s parish and is the closest town from the border of St Ann and neighboring Trelawny parish.
The town spans about 8 or 10 miles. The next town over going east from the center of town is Runaway Bay, which is about 4 miles away. Going west, the next town is Rio Bueno, which is in Trelawny.
Which airport do you fly into to go to Discovery Bay Jamaica?
If you are coming to the Discovery Bay area, your airport destination will be the Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay – Airport code MBJ.
This is the airport that serves the northern side of the island from Negril (west) all the way over to just beyond Ocho Rios in the east.
Discovery Bay is just under an hour from Montego Bay’s airport.
With the opening of the North-South toll road, access to Kingston has been improved significantly. If you don’t mind paying the high-priced toll, you could fly into Kingston if that’s your only option. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive from the Norman Manley airport in Kingston to Discovery Bay. And yes, you will pay more for your airport transfer.
Clearly, Kingston’s airport would not be your first choice but I wouldn’t turn down a trip to Jamaica if Kingston was my only option!
The Ian Fleming International Airport in Boscobel, St. Mary, is about 6 miles east of Ocho Rios. This airport offers limited flight options and is about 2 hours from Discovery Bay.
What’s the weather like in Discovery Bay Jamaica?
Temperature-wise, there isn’t much day-to-day variation of temperature in Discovery Bay compared to that of Montego Bay or Ocho Rios.
The sea in Discovery Bay is just as warm as you would expect.
Discovery Bay tends to be much drier than Ocho Rios with less chance of rain.
Is Discovery Bay Jamaica safe?
Discovery Bay has traditionally been a very safe area.
Both the bauxite and tourism industries have been instrumental in creating jobs in the area. The bauxite company, formerly known as Kaiser, supported many community initiatives which had a lasting impact on the town.
Read our blog post about safety in Jamaica.
Why stay in Discovery Bay?
A key advantage to staying in Discovery Bay is its location.
Its central location means that you can take advantage of attractions in the local area (Discovery Bay – Rio Bueno), as well as enjoy the best of Ocho Rios, Falmouth, Montego Bay, and all areas in between, without having to drive too far.
True there is lots to do in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, but chances are high that if you choose either of those locations you won’t venture much beyond either, and so would miss out on the diversity of what is Jamaica.
Plus, as an added bonus, you are under an hour’s drive from the airport – closer than if you were staying in Ocho Rios or Negril!
Read our blog post on other advantages of staying in Discovery Bay Jamaica.
Who would not like Discovery Bay Jamaica?
Discovery Bay is a quiet town with a very laid-back lifestyle. Relaxation is the order of the day.
This is not the place for active nightlife. So, if you are looking for non-stop partying, you would be disappointed.
Read our post on Why Discovery Bay is not for you.
How are the beaches in Discovery Bay?
You will find one of the most beautiful and family-friendly beaches in the entire Jamaica – Puerto Seco. This beach is almost a national landmark and a place that many Jamaicans, both at home and abroad, will have fond memories of family, school, or church outings, which invariably included a stop there. It has undergone a major upgrade and is the top beach club in the area. And, guess what? Guests at Mais Oui Villa can use our membership for free!
There are at least five separate beautiful beaches in and within a short drive of Discovery Bay. Read about them here.
What are the top things to do in and about Discovery Bay Jamaica?
Even though Discovery Bay spans only a few miles, and is known for its peaceful and laid-back lifestyle, there is really quite a bit to do here … beaches, historic sites, caves, local food, movie set locations, plus more. Read the blog post – Top Things to Do in Discovery Bay Jamaica.
You won’t find adrenaline-pumping activities in Discovery Bay – unless you count holding your breath during a cricket match. Find out all the adventurous things to do in Rio Bueno, just beside Discovery Bay.
Places to stay in Discovery Bay Jamaica: what are the options?
Accommodations for tourists in Discovery Bay have largely been in the way of villas or guest houses, ranging from budget-friendly to luxury.
Starting in the ‘80s and ’90s, Discovery Bay used to be known for the luxury beachfront villas on Fortlands Road, called Millionaires’ Row by locals, referring to the fact that most of the properties were owned by some of Jamaica’s wealthiest families such as the late Butch Stewart who owned Sandals Resorts. The villas are of varying levels and the better villas start at about US$3000 and up per night.
Now, there are other properties, including non-beachfront properties, that are giving them a run for their money.
If you want an experience that marries privacy, luxury, high-touch personalized service, unparalleled amenities, and sustainability, look no further than our 8-bedroom staffed villa, Mais Oui, the perfect choice for family vacations and celebrations.
Are there hotels in Discovery Bay Jamaica?
Portside Resort was the only hotel in Discovery Bay for years. After being closed for many years, it was finally bought, refurbished, and reopened as Lux Beach Resort. The resort has one and two-bedroom suites, a pool, and direct beach access. The resort is not all-inclusive.
Are there all-inclusive hotels in Discovery Bay Jamaica?
No, there aren’t any. Large-scale resorts never took root in Discovery Bay, thankfully. The closest hotel to Discovery Bay is Bahia Principe, 10 minutes east of town.
Read our blog post about why you shouldn’t waste time searching for hotels in Discovery Bay
Can you rent an Airbnb in Discovery Bay?
Yes, you can. Many villas and vacation rentals, staffed and unstaffed, are available on Airbnb, VRBO, TripAdvisor, and Google.
Click here for AirBnb in Discovery Bay Jamaica – AirBnB
Click here for VRBO in Discovery Bay Jamaica – VRBO
Click here for villas and vacation rental in Discovery Bay Jamaica on TripAdvisor – TripAdvisor
Why haven’t I heard about Discovery Bay in Jamaica before?
Discovery Bay is a top Jamaica vacation destination but is not well known to the mass market. You kind of have to be “in the know” to have heard of it.
There are six “tourist” regions in Jamaica that are regularly marketed by the Jamaica Tourist Board – Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Port Antonio, Kingston, the South Coast, and Negril.
Discovery Bay is a part of the Ocho Rios region; however, there aren’t any specific marketing efforts for the individual towns within the region.
Thankfully, you came across our site and blog and now you know about the hidden treasure called Discovery Bay, Jamaica!
How did Discovery Bay in Jamaica get its name?
Here is a little bit of history about Discovery Bay Jamaica.
The area was originally called Puerto Seco, supposedly named by Columbus, when he landed in 1494.
Puerto Seco, is Spanish for Dry Port or Dry Harbour, and in fact, the area was called Dry Harbour at one point, supposedly in honor of the Dry Harbour Mountains which are in the area. An alternate reason could be because there is no river in or near the town.
The name was changed to Discovery Bay in 1947 in honor of the presumed site of the landing of Christopher Columbus. I guess we are lucky it wasn’t named Columbus Town! That would so not be politically correct.
Thankfully, all we have is Columbus Park, an open-air-museum with many relics from Jamaica long ago. Unfortunately, the park has been closed since COVID.
Did Columbus really land in Discovery Bay?
Well, we know he landed for sure. The site of his landing is hotly debated.
Three places lay claim to the event – Discovery Bay, Rio Bueno which is about 4 miles west, and Seville which is about 10 miles east of Discovery Bay.
My bet is on Rio Bueno, which has a similar horseshoe-shaped harbor as Discovery Bay and has a river that would have been very attractive to early European explorers.
Columbus was in dire need of fresh water and would have been looking for a river to determine where he set anchor.
The version of the account that sounds most plausible given the current geography is that he saw the river, landed, and called the river “Rio Bueno”, Spanish for “Good River”.
So, what other questions do you have about Discovery Bay Jamaica?
Drop us a line so that we can answer them.
Til next time.
Think and dream Jamaica!
Sherry, Darrell, and Darrian
Considering a visit to Jamaica with a group? Contact us today for more information about, Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families and groups, retreats, and intimate destination weddings and vow renewals.
Visit our website: https://MakeItJamaica.com
Give us a call: 833.624.7684 (toll free) or 914.709.0457
Like us on Facebook: https://facebook.com/MakeItJamaica
Follow us on Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/makeitjamaica
Subscribe to our You Tube channel: https://youtube.com/MaisOuiVilla
Follow us on Instagram: @MakeItJamaica
Sign up for our newsletter and immediately get our Free Discovery Bay Insider Guide to discover what you won’t find in the guidebooks.