Jamaica

Jamaica

In the Caribbean sea, south of Cuba and west of Haiti, sits a little island with a great big heart. A trip to Jamaica isn't easily forgotten, but what will spring to mind most when you remember your trip? Will it be the long stretches of white sandy beaches? The adrenalin-rich experiences? The spectacular scenery? Or will it be the people? So warm, friendly and welcoming you'll wonder if you must have met before...

 

What to see

Kingston

The capital of Jamaica is well worth a visit wherever you're staying on the island. Highlights include the Bob Marley Museum, the old Pirate haunt Port Royal and for delicious icecream – Devon House.

Negril

Perched on the west tip of Jamaica, Negril boasts the legendary white sands of Seven Mile beach. The Negril Cliffs are a popular choice for daring cliff divers while Rick's Cafe offers the best place to watch them.

Montego Bay

The second largest city by area and a popular tourist destination. Hit the beach or head to the golf course with some of the best views in the world – White Witch Golf Course.

Port Antonio

The perfect destination for couples, Port Antonio, on the eastern tip of Jamaica is more often known for its royal and celebrity visitors than hoards of tourists. Have a swim in the Blue Lagoon for a truly romantic experience.

Top experiences / sites of particular interest

Blue Mountains

The lush mountains are named for the blue mists that can often be seen rising from the dense tropical forest. Drive or hike up Blue Mountains for spectacular views over Kingston.

Dunn’s River Falls

Located in Ocho Rios these 180 metre falls are a sight to behold. You can even climb right up to the top, if you dare.

Floyd's Pelican Bar

This rustic wooden bar stands on stilts about a mile off the Negril shore. Hop on a boat and enjoy gorgeous views (possibly with added dolphins) and a dip in the warm water before relaxing in the bar with a beer and a freshly caught lobster meal.

When to go

Weather and seasons: The climate in Jamaica is tropical, with hot and humid weather, The hurricane season runs from June to November.

Important dates and festivals: Autumn in Jamaica features the Coffee Festival and Heritage Fest – a celebration of the diversity of the country. The week before Easter, catch the most renowned Caribbean festival – Carnival. Expect parades and partying for a whole week.

Getting there / around

Flights: The cheaper end of return tickets to Jamaica are close to the £600 mark and you'll need at least one stop. The flight takes about 10 hours.

Local Transport: Local buses are the best way to get around, you could drive but the roads aren't the best. Taxis are another option, seek out 'route' taxis for the best value.

Potential itineraries

Short Trip: If you're island-hopping in the Caribbean and you're only in Jamaica for a few days, try to coincide your visit with a festival. Jamaica is at its best when it's partying.

Longer Trip (Backpacker Trip): If you have all the time in the world, circumnavigate the whole island starting with Kingston and heading west to Negril, ending in the relaxing seclusion of Port Antonio.

Cheaper Trip: Jamaica isn't a cheap place to visit but hostels are available. Plan as much as you can before you go to avoid unexpected spending.

More Expensive Trip: Jamaica is a popular honeymoon destination so they are no strangers to providing luxury resorts.

Our Recommendations

Guides
Best For Title Publisher RRP. Our Price Buy
  1. Backpackers Jamaica Frommer's £12.99
    BUY
  2. Comprehensive Coverage Jamaica Lonely Planet £14.99
    BUY
Maps
Best For Title Publisher RRP Our Price Buy
  1. Backpackers Jamaica Reise-Know-How Verlag £9.50
    BUY

Local Dishes

Typical Jamaican cuisine consists of jerk chicken – marinated in a hot, spicy mixture – accompanied by rice and peas. Curried goat is another popular dish. The favourite local drink is Jamaican Rum made from sugar cane, normally mixed with cola or juice. You'll also find Guinness and Jamaican export, Red Stripe.

Nightlife

Follow the reggae beats in any of the big towns and you'll find beach-front bars with cocktails flowing and live music playing until the early hours.

Pre-Trip Practicalities

Language

Jamaican Creole or 'Patois'.

Currency

Jamaican Dollar (J$).

Visas

British nationals don't need a visa to enter Jamaica.

Health issues

It is mandatory that you are vaccinated against Yellow Fever. It is also recommended that you are vaccinated against Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Tetanus and Polio.

Safety, FO travel advice

Robbery and violent crime, especially in Kingston. It's always a good idea to check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before you travel.

Useful Telephone Numbers

Jamaican country representatives can be found

In the UK:

1-2 Prince Consort Road, London. SW7 2BZ. Tel:- 0207 823 9911

In the US:

1520 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036. Tel:- 202 452 0660.

There is a tourist board

In the US at

5201 Blue Lagoon Drive Suite #670 Miami, Florida 33126. Tel:- 305 665 0557

For more information visit: www.embassyofjamaica.org , www.jhcuk.org and www.visitjamaica.com.

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