Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Why Did Jamaica's First European Visitors Stop Here?

What is the big deal... about Discovery Bay, Jamaica?

On the north coast of Jamaica, situated between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, you'll find beautiful, scenic Discovery Bay.

It's a peaceful, relaxing and quiet area... and displays one of the most picturesque series of gleaming blue bays... perfect white sandy beaches... and vibrant, lively fishing villages. If traveling to Jamaica, Discovery Bay is definitely a stop you'll want to make - not only for the scenery, but the historic value as well.

The history books will tell you that Christopher Columbus (while on his second voyage) landed in Discovery Bay, Jamaica on May 4, 1494 when he supposedly "discovered" Jamaica, hence the name Discovery Bay.

However, recently conducted research has suggested that Christopher Columbus sailed into the Harbor of Discovery Bay only because he and his crew were in search of fresh water.

After searching the bay and not finding any fresh water Columbus named the area "Puerto Seco", which means "Dry Harbor". He and his crew then continued westbound where they found a river, and he then named that river "Rio Bueno".

It's believed that the original people who inhabited Jamaica were the Arawaks (Taí­nos), and they put up a fearless fight against Christopher Columbus and his crew members. Eventually, Columbus was able to overpower them and subsequently claimed the land of Jamaica for the Queen of Spain.

Click here to read more about the history of Jamaica.

However, nowadays most visitors to Discovery Bay focus on its nearby point of interest - Puerto Seco Beach. As a matter of fact, this is one of my favourite beaches ;o)

Frankly, Puerto Seco Beach near Discovery Bay is among the most beautiful beaches you'll find anywhere in Jamaica!

(Puerto Seco Beach is adequately maintained and offers changing rooms, very clean bathroom facilities, as well as a snack bar.)

Interestingly, this part of Discovery Bay, Jamaica offers extremely calm waters... probably because of a natural shallow shelf on the floor of the ocean. As a result, the bay is a popular weekend retreat for visitors and locals alike.

And, oh yes, let's not forget...

...there are many villas available for visitors to rent and enjoy that are located on the tranquil shores of Discovery Bay, Jamaica.

You can bask in white sand as fine and bright as sugar, and the Caribbean Sea is usually so clear and calm, it's hard to find a better place to snorkel and enjoy the sights of tropical fish and coral. (The coral reefs found in Jamaica are some of the most studied coral reefs in the world, and worth taking a snorkeling trip to see.)

Discovery Bay is also among the most historic sites in Jamaica, making any history buff happy. The area is so steeped in history... you'll easily find sites to explore and artifacts to admire.

For instance, in the 1800s the first missionary from Jamaica to sail to Africa left from the beach of Discovery Bay.

Also, did you know that the first Jamaican Bobsled Team (yes, you read that right... Jamaican Bobsled Team!) is a part of the history of Discovery Bay?

The team made history in the Olympics, and made it to the Olympics by practicing on a hill near Discovery Bay...

...even in the steady warm temperatures of 70-88°F!

(In case you missed it, the team gained fame during the 1988 Winter Olympic Games that took place in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. They were also the inspiration for the 1993 movie, Cool Runnings.)

(To grasp the significance of this event, read about Jamaica weather.)

In a nutshell, aside from the reggae music and friendly locals associated with many peoples perception of Jamaica, there are dozens of other reasons worth visiting this enchanting island.

From an historical perspective, to the breathtaking scenery and picture perfect beaches of Discovery Bay, you'll have a hard time getting bored... and no doubt you'll be planning a Jamaica vacation again next year!