Montego Bay , Transportation, airplanes

Airplanes at busy Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay

Montego Bay Transportation


Montego Bay’s Donald Sangster International Airport (MBJ) is served by 29 air lines. More than 95% of passengers arrive on international flights to this Caribbean award-winning airport. Major airlines include American, Delta, JetBlue, Spirit, TUI, Westjet, and United. Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Charlotte, Washington-Dulles, Minneapolis, Baltimore, NYC JFK, Newark, Chicago ORD, Detroit, Boston, Toronto and Montreal international airports have many direct flights to MBJ Airport. Cancun, Grand Cayman and Panama City also have many direct flights.

From MBJ Airport, you can book a commercial shuttle bus, resort shuttle bus, tour operator or licensed taxi to Ocho Rios, which takes 90 minutes to 2 hours to reach. Some nearby resorts arrange transfers from Sangster Airport; check their website. So people fly in Kingston then take a one taxi ride on the new highway to Ocho Rios.

The small Ian Fleming International Airport in Ocho Rios serves domestic and chartered flights. That makes it very appealing to wealthy visitors arriving on private jets from North America or other Caribbean islands.

Ground Transport

Private shuttles used by hotels and tour operators are a good option to reserve before you fly to Jamaica. When you think of hiking in backwood Jamaica however, only choose a highly-rated tour operator who advertises that use a 4-wheel drive vehicle for times when they encounter unpaved roads. Ask how safe and paved the roadway is to drop-off before booking a reservation.

An internet search will reveal many taxi providers who will meet you at MBJ Airport. You can quickly identify licensed taxis by their red license plates and the letters “PP” or “PPV” on them. They must also have Jamaica Transport Authority driver identification in the vehicle. Licensed taxi drivers are very knowledgeable about the island. If traveling away from the coastal tourist zone (between Montego Bay and Falmouth) or day-tripping to Negril, consider asking the taxi driver for the safest route to your destination.

Avoid taking unlicensed taxis and public buses as a Montego Bay Transportation option.

Cruise Port

Montego Bay is one of Jamaica’s major ports of call for Western Caribbean cruises, which keeps it busy with visitors and merchant vendors. The cruise port Jamaica’s second largest and can accommodate up to four major cruise ships. Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian, Princess, Viking, Cunard and MSC cruise lines have Montego Bay as a port-of-call. Disney and Celebrity cruises have Falmouth as a port-of-call.

Cruise ships dock in what is known as Montego Bay Freeport, which is around 3 miles west of Montego Bay, the second largest city in Jamaica. The Port receives usually receives 2 ships per day, but may rarely go as high 4 cruise ships in a day. There is only one large Terminal building that could use an upgrade in amenities as compared to the recently redeveloped ports of Falmouth and Ocho Rios. Unlike those cruise ports, attractions in Montego Bay are several miles away.

Montego Bay Transportation, cruise ship

Cruise ship docked in Montego Bay with Doctors Cover Beach in foreground; credit Graham Purse

If its your first time flying to Jamaica, consider not renting a car. Hire a tour operator, shuttle, or official taxi service ahead of time to first learn the dos and don’ts of visiting Jamaica. If you’re flying into MBJ Airport, they will have sign waiting for you airport arrivals. If you don’t pre-book a taxi, inquire about official taxi rates to island destinations at the cruise port Tourist Office in the cruise terminal. Just outside the Terminal, you will see licensed taxi drivers to all major attractions. For example, a ride to Montego Bay costs about US$5 per person and rates sale up to US$25 per person for distances like Negril and $30 to Ocho Rios.

You can charter Deep Sea Fishing with an experienced captain who knows where the biggish hang out. One reputable charter service is


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