35 Best Things To Know Before Visiting Jamaica – Jamaica Travel Tips For First Timers
We will write about Jamaica travel tips and all the cool facts about Jamaica and things to know before visiting Jamaica for first timers. This post will be your go-to guide to get to know more of Jamaica and what awaits you from amazing beaches, places to visit, how to move around to delicious food to try in Jamaica.
Jamaica is the largest island in the Caribbean. When you are planning your Jamaica vacation, there are plenty of things to think about. When it comes to nightlife, one is Ocho Rios and Negril. And when it comes to family or traveling with kids in Jamaica Montego Bay will be your favorite one.
Jamaica Travel Tips And Best Things To Know Before Visiting Jamaica For First Timers
1. IS IT SAFE JAMAICA?
Is it safe travel to Jamaica? If you are traveling from a Western country to Jamaica. If you will be vigilant and act accordingly and responsibly you will not have any problem, just use common sense. Try to be cautious when withdrawing money in the ATM take a look around, avoid walking around at night and take a taxi instead. So yes! It is safe to travel in Jamaica.
2. EASY VISA IN JAMAICA
Easy Visa for Jamaica US Citizens and European countries have visa up to 90-days for tourist without visa. So you will have enough time and no hassle about visa concerns for Jamaica. You can apply easily for a Jamaica immigration card!
3. CASH AND ATMS IN JAMAICA
The currency of Jamaica is called Jamaican Dollars and as of now, $1 USD is worth 150 JMD Jamaican Dollars. Do not exchange your currency at the airport because you’ll get less than what you’ll get with the city’s exchange. Anyway if you are bringing USD you can use them while traveling around Jamaica no need to exchange them.
Bank or debit cards in an ATM are the recommended way to access your funds while traveling in Jamaica. Know real-time currency exchange here!
4. BEST TIME TO VISIT JAMAICA
In Jamaica their summer (December to April), there are fewer rains than normal. In their winter (May to November), rains are almost non-stop. For most tourists best time to visit Jamaica is from December to April because of easier transport.
5. HEALTH TRAVEL INSURANCE
Things to know before visiting Jamaica we recommend always bringing travel insurance when traveling abroad just in case you have any problems. You can always have food Poisson, fever or any other kind of disease. Just make sure you are ready since it can be really expensive if you get a big surgery or problem in Jamaica.
BOOK YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE
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FACTS ABOUT JAMAICA
6. JAMAICA IS EXPENSIVE
Facts about Jamaica if you are thinking Central America and South America is not so cheap for travel you are right. Jamaica isn’t as cheap as Bolivia and Ecuador. You will have to pay entrance fee for Natural Parks, around $5-6 USD for a dish in a local restaurant. We will tell you below the accommodation, food budget and general entrance fees and tour prices in Jamaica.
ACCOMMODATION BUDGET TRAVEL IN JAMAICA
There are dormitory rooms in Jamaica where you can rent a bed for as low as $20 USD a night if you want the cheapest option. Double-room hostels can cost up to $30-40 USD a night while mid-range hotels cost more or less $80 USD a night.
FOOD BUDGET TRAVEL IN JAMAICA
You can find local meals in Jamaica for around $3-4 USD per person. At lunch, you might want a chicken sandwich for $5 USD salad, burger and pizza with a fresh fruit drink for $7-10 USD. You can have a budget of $15-20 USD a day and it can already get you more than enough decent meals in Jamaica.
7. WI-FI AND INTERNET CONNECTION IN JAMAICA
Internet in Jamaica works great in big cities and you will have an internet connection in most of the places you will have 4G except in remote areas. You can access free WiFi at hostels and hotels and there are lots of restaurants that are offering free WiFi.
SIM CARD AT MONTEGO BAY AIRPORT
I wouldn’t recommend you to buy a sim card at Montego Bay airport. If you wish comfort you can buy eSim online and if you aren’t in a hurry just go around phone shops in the city and compare prices to buy the cheapest sim card in Montego Bay.
You can find the cheapest Jamaica eSim with Airalo Jamaica eSim prepaid for $8 USD with 1 GB data valid for 7 days (USING DISCOUNT CODE GAMINTRAVELER 10%).
Holafly Jamaica eSim for $34 USD if you use our code GAMINTRAVELER coming with 3 GB data valid for 7 days. For $47 USD with 7 GB data valid for 15 days and for $59 USD with 15 GB data valid for 30 days.
8. ADAPTER IN JAMAICA
In our Jamaica travel tips you should know they use 110 V and the frequency the American (United States and Canada) will fit. A few places make it possible to fit your European adapter in the plug because they provide adapters. If you are coming from European countries, we recommend you to bring an adapter to be able to charge everywhere.
9. LOCAL TRANSPORTATION IN JAMAICA
For local transportation in Jamaica. If you are going on a budget you can use public buses for long distance and inside the cities for less than $1-2 USD. If you wish for more comfort Uber or taxi will charge you around $3-5 USD for a ride inside the city. If you are staying at all-inclusive resorts most of the transportation will be expensive joining day tours.
If you want to rent a car and driving around Jamaica prices are around $40-50 USD per day. You can explore on your own and park next to the beaches and enjoy the nature of the country
10. Jamaican History
Jamaican History is rich and it was Spanish and British colony thanks to that they speak English. And there are also West African influence that you can see in the music and food. Jamaica got the Independence from British on 6th of August in 1962.
11. ENJOYING THE NIGHTLIFE IN JAMAICA
The nightlife is great at Jamaica. Parties start late in the evening and everyone just loves to drink and dance the night away. Plenty of locals go out to bars and clubs with parties. Prices of drinks are around $3-4 USD. Most of the bars with Reggae music next to the beach will end so late the party.
12. REGGAE EVERYWHERE IN JAMAICA
Reggae music is everywhere in Jamaica you will see people dancing and listening to the music at day and night time. It doesn’t matter if you are in the market or in the bus. Jamaican people are so happy and love dancing and listening to Reggae. Bob Marley is an icon in Jamaica and you will see every day!
13. TAP WATER IS SAFE IN JAMAICA
Tap water is safe in Jamaica. It’s a concern always for tourists when traveling to South America or Central America about the tap water. In this case, you can feel safe with tap water in Jamaica in most of the areas. You can always buy water everywhere you will find supermarkets or small shops in Jamaica.
14. ISLAND TIME AT JAMAICA
Have you ever heard about Island time? When meeting locals in Jamaica you will hear about island time. It means they aren’t usually on time as many other tropical countries in the world like Costa Rica and Philippines. And maybe you will be waiting for a few minutes or who knows. Just make sure you know about this or you will learn in Jamaica.
15. SUNBLOCK DURING THE DAY AND MOSQUITO REPELLENT AT NIGHT
Make sure you are bringing your sunblock during the day in Jamaica when going to the beach. The weather is so hot and the sun is strong at Jamaica. At night make sure you are bringing mosquito repellent around sunset time when the sun goes down mosquitoes are appearing.
FACTS ABOUT JAMAICA FOOD
16. Jerk Chicken
Jerk Chicken is the most traditional food in Jamaica. Jerk chicken is made with ginger, garlic, pepper and more spices. Jerk chicken is served with salad and rice in local restaurants. Prices are around $6 USD.
17. Ackee and Saltfish
Ackee and Saltfish is the national dish in Jamaica. Ackee is the national fruit in Jamaica and cooked with saltfish boiled with onions, tomatoes, pepper and more species. Ackee and Saltfish is usually served for breakfast but you can eat anytime of the day in Jamaica.
18. Jamaican Goat Curry
Jamaican Goat Curry is a dish to try in Jamaican coming from Indian influence. Goat meat cooked with species and curry and is served with rice. Prices are around $6-8 USD in locals restaurants.
Oxtail is a popular soup in Jamaica. Oxtail is a stew made with vegetables like carrot, onions, mushrooms and potatoes. Oxtail is usually cooked in local houses and restaurants in Jamaica.
20. Jamaican Patties
Jamaican Patties is the most popular snack in Jamaica. Jamaican patties is a pastry baked and filled with beef, vegetables and adding curry or turmeric to give them the yellow color.
21. Jamaican Rum Punch
Jamaican Rum Punch is the most popular drink in Jamaica with fruits like orange, lime or pineapple mixed with grenadine and rum. When partying in Jamaica you will see the red drink everywhere!
22. Red Stripe Beer
Red Stripe Beer is the most popular one in Jamaica. You will find in the bars when partying and prices are around $2-3 USD for small bottle in Jamaica.
23. Coconut Water
Coconut water is a must to try in Jamaica. You will see street vendors at the beach passing by with coconut water and when you under the sun is so refreshing plus so healthy.
24. Sugar Cane
Sugar Cane you will find with street vendors as well in Jamaica. Sugar cane isn’t my favorite but it’s so refreshing. Be careful not having a few of them since is full of sugar.
25. Mangoes in Jamaica
Mangoes are so delicious if you like sweet taste. Mangoes season in Jamaica is from May to July and you will find everywhere in the streets for an affordable price.
FESTIVALS IN JAMAICA
26. Jamaica’s Carnival
Jamaica’s Carnival is celebrated from 15th to 23th of April. Jamaica’s Carnival is celebrated in Ocho Rios and Montego Bay but the most popular is at Kingston. You will see colorful parades with people dancing wearing costumes everywhere in the streets. As a tourist, you’ll love the cultural immersion in this Carnival.
27. Reggae Sumfest
Reggae Sumfest is the largest festival in Jamaica celebrated in Montego Bay in mid July. You will find locals and visitors all around dancing and enjoying the music since is the most popular in the Caribbean.
More Jamaica Travel Tips And Things To Know Before Visiting Jamaica For First Timers
Places To Visit
28. OCHO RIOS
Ocho Rios is full of entertainment, outdoor activities and also has an active nightlife. In Ocho Rios nightlife is all about reggae and the beach. You will find a relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy music, have great food and drinks. During the day there are many activities in Ocho Rios swimming, surfing, scuba diving and sailing.
29. MONTEGO BAY
Montego Bay has a much more urban feel. You will find everything from nightclubs to bars and restaurants. There are a lot of luxury resorts ideal for families traveling with kids but also a few places if you go on a budget and you prefer staying calm and relax in Jamaica.
30. Port Antonio
Port Antonio is a relaxed fishing village. Port Antonio is a great place for hiking, rafting and swimming in waterfalls. You can also stay at the white sand beach, practicing snorkeling and even scuba diving.
Kingston is the capital of Jamaica. Kingston can be busy if we compare it to relaxed areas like Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. You will find a lot of bars, restaurants to try local food, and museums to learn about history and reggae in Jamaica. Also, you will find great nightlife in Kingston.
32. Bob Marley Museum
Bob Marley Museum is located in Kingston the capital city of the country. Bob Marley museum shows his home and studio. Bob Marley Museum entrance is $25 USD for adults and $12 USD for children from 4 to 12 years old. The opening schedule of Bob Marley Museum is from 9 30 am to 4 pm. The tours last around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Negril is the party place in Jamaica where you will find Reggae’s Bars. During the day you can enjoy beach life one of the best in the Caribbean with beautiful sunsets. At night time the nightlife will be all over the place in Negril.
34. Dunn’s River Falls
Dunn’s River Falls is a perfect place if you love adventure. You can enjoy hiking and later you relax swimming in the pools at Dunn’s River Falls. Make sure you are bringing proper shoes for hiking and climbing between the rocks.
35. Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park
Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park is one of the most popular places to visit in Jamaica. 4. Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park is a UNESCO Site where you can explore hiking the mountains, waterfalls and visiting coffee plantations. If you like wildlife there are plenty of birds and butterflies.
Hope you liked our Jamaica travel tips. Let us know if we missed things to know before visiting Jamaica and facts about Jamaica in the comments below.
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