Jamaica Travel Guide
Traveling to Jamaica? Here’s everything you need to know.
Jamaican dollar, but the US dollar is widely accepted
Jamaica is the third largest island of the Caribbean. It is located 145km (90mi) south of Cuba and 191km (119 miles) west of Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic). Its area is 10,992 square kilometers (4,411 square miles).
Jamaica is known as the birthplace of reggae music. It is also known for its natural beauty like rainforests, mountains and gorgeous beaches.
Montego Bay is home to many resorts, Negril is known for diving and snorkeling and Kingston is the birthplace of reggae and the home of the Bob Marley museum.
Usain Bolt and Shelly Ann Fraser, some of the fastest sprinters in the world, call Jamaica home.
Climate and weather in Jamaica
Jamaica has two seasons, dry season (Dec – April) and rainy season (May – Nov). Average temperature range from 25C (77F) – 30C (86F).
Getting to Jamaica:
There are three international airports in Jamaica, Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Ian Fleming International Airport in Boscobel, and Saint Mary Parish and Sir Donald Sangster Airport in Montego Bay. International flights arrive into Jamaica from North America, UK, and Europe.
Getting around Jamaica
Uber operates as a ride-share company in Kingston. It is also possible to get around via route taxis and official taxis.
Things to do in Jamaica
Snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, and deep sea fishing are all popular activities in Jamaica.
- Hike up the Blue Mountains to Blue Mountain Peak which is the highest peak in Jamaica at 2,256 meters (7,402 feet). It is the home of Blue Mountain coffee.
- Take a tour of the Bob Marley Museum, which used to be Bob Marley’s home. His wife, Rita Marley, converted his home into a museum six years after his death.
- Visit Tuff Gong Records, one of the Caribbeans largest recording studios. Artists like Shaggy, Ziggy Marley, Beanie Man, Snoop Dogg, Lauryn Hill and many others have used the studio for recordings.
- Dunns River Falls is one of the most beautiful and popular waterfalls in the Caribbean. The waterfall is 180 meters (600 feet) high. There are tours for those who want to take a climb, which takes 1 – 1.5 hours.
- Head to Mystic Mountain for a rainforest adventure. Attractions to choose from include bobsledding, zip-lining and birdwatching.
- Tour the Rose Hall Great House, which was built in 1770. This was a plantation house and most known for its most famous resident, Annie Palmer, who was thought to have murdered many slaves and husbands.
- Visit YS Falls, a seven tier waterfall complemented by natural pools which are perfect for swimming.
- Head to Rick’s Cafe in Negril and view the sunset. Rick’s cafe is located on a cliff in the west of Negril. It is also known for cliff diving.
- Go on a boat or a rafting tour of Blue Lagoon in Port Antonia, which is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Events in Jamaica
- Bob Marley is honored during Bob Marley Week, the week of his birthday (Feb 6) every year. The week is filled with concerts and other various events that celebrate his life and career.
- Celebrate Jamaican culture with street parades, parties and more during Jamaica Carnival.
- Ocho Rios Jazz Festival is an eight day festival which celebrates all things jazz at various venues throughout Ocho Rios. The festival is held annually in June.
- Celebrate Emancipation Day on August 1. In 1838, Queen Victoria announced all British Empire slaves were free. Every year, this day is filled with celebrations, dancing and more.
- Celebrate Jamaica independence on Aug 6. Jamaica declared its independence in 1962.
- Run to the sounds of reggae during the Reggae Marathon, which takes place every year in November or December. There are two runs to take part in, either 13.1 miles or 6 miles.
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