Jamaica - Travel Guide

Jamaica is one of the most popular travel destinations in the Caribbean, and it’s easy to see why. It offers stunning white sand beaches and endless sunshine, as well as, a unique culture that is flavoured with Bob Marley’s reggae legacy, spicy African-influenced cuisine, and thrilling nature experiences, including: whitewater rafting, surfing, and caving. Come and experience the laid back island vibe!

Jamaica Hotel View

Cruise Port: Jamaica is a popular cruise port, and the cruise lines that stop here include: Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruises, Disney Cruises, and Celebrity Cruises.  Many different cruises to choose from!

Nearest Airport: There are two airports in Jamaica, Norman Manley International Airport in the capital of Kingston and Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. They both receive many international flights daily.

Prime Attractions

  • Dolphin Cove - Check an item off of your bucket list in Ochos Rios h, where you can fulfill your dream of swimming with dolphins.
  • Bob Marley Museum - Visit the home of the “King of Reggae” and see his former recording studio.
  • Rick’s Cafe - Sip on a happy hour drink at this famous cafe while you gaze at the sunset and watch the brave divers as they make daredevil leaps off of a100 foot cliff into the water below.

Scenic Places

  • The Blue Hole - This hidden swimming spot in Ochos Rios is the perfect activity for a hot afternoon.
  • Dunn’s River Falls - A stunning 600 foot cascading waterfall that you can also climb.
  • Mystic Mountain - A hotspot for adventure-seekers with: a bobsledding ride, zip lining, a water-slide, and an aerial tram.

Natural Wonders

  • The Black River - Delve deep into the wild jungle on a river safari complete with crocodiles and birds.
  • Green Grotto Caves - Explore these amazing limestone caves that were once used to hide runaway slaves.
  • The Blue Mountains - Hike through one of the wildest and greenest natural parks in the Caribbean.

History and Culture

  • Bellefield Great House - This 300-year-old plantation house will give you a glimpse into Jamaica’s history.
  • Port Royal - During the late 17th century, it was one of the largest towns in all of the English colonies, and it’s history is rich with tales of pirates and buccaneers.
  • Falmouth - The coastal town of Falmouth was once known as the “Paris of the Indies” and has the largest collection of Georgian-era buildings in the country.

Cuisine (Dining Choices)

  • The Houseboat Grill - (Caribbean-French Fusion) - Feast on French-inspired Caribbean seafood as you cruise on a houseboat in Montego Bay.
  • Fireman’s Lobster Pit (Seafood) - In this casual lobster shack you will find some of the most succulent lobster you could ever imagine.
  • Patrice’s Restaurant (Jamaican) - This humble eatery in Kingston offers fantastic local cuisine, such as, spicy jerk chicken and tender curry goat.

Travel Notes

Who is it for:

  • Weddings/Honeymoons - Jamaica is quickly becoming a hotspot for destination weddings.
  • Families - With a laid back vibe and plenty of family-friendly attractions, Jamaica is an awesome getaway for the kids.
  • Nature Lovers - Whether you are snorkeling, hiking, or going on a rainforest safari, Jamaica is a great place to appreciate the beauty of nature.

Best Time to Visit Jamaica: December - March

Cheapest Time to Visit Jamaica: April - November

Health and Safety Information

  • You might be approached by locals, who will attempt to sell you drugs; simply tell them right away that you are not interested, and they will leave you alone.
  • Marijuana is illegal on the island, and foreigners can be arrested and jailed for drug use.
  • Unfortunately, Jamaica is not yet a safe destination for LGBT tourism, and same sex couples are not treated with tolerance or acceptance.

Quick Facts

  • Language: English is the most commonly spoken language in Jamaica, but the locals also have their own patois.
  • Currency: The currency in Jamaica is the Jamaican Dollar.
  • Electricity and outlets: Most places use electrical voltage of 110, same as the USA. Some establishments still operate on 220 volts, so if your hotel does you should ask for an adapter.
  • Passport and Immigration: Citizens of the USA are required to provide photo identification to enter Jamaica, no VISA is needed. Canadian citizens need to display a passport, or an ID card and a birth certificate.
  • Drinking Water: All tap water in Jamaica is treated to international standards and is the same quality that you would find in North America.
  • Time zone: UTC - 05:00 - One Hour Behind New York

Interesting Facts:

  • The Manchester Golf Club in Jamaica, which was established in 1868, is the oldest golf club in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Jamaica has more multiple births (twins or more) than anywhere else in the world.
  • Jamaica was the first tropical country to enter the Winter Olympics, and the Jamaican bobsleigh team inspired the film “Cool Runnings”.

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