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Discover The Island Of Jamaica

Discover Jamaica Fun Things To Do

Fun Things To Do In Jamaica

Don’t know Jamaica or want to know Jamaica better?  Below is a collection of fun things to do across the island.  Discover the major cities, what to do and how to get there.  Jamaica is over 4000 square miles, has 345 mountains and has 120 rivers.  The main language of Jamaica is English and Jamaica consists of 14 parishes (states). 

Jamaica has 3 international airports named Sangster International Airport (Montego Bay), Norman Manley International Airport (Kingston), and the Ian Fleming International Airport (Ocho Rios).  There are five cruise ports that serve large ships in Jamaica.  They located in the cities of Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Falmouth, Port Antonio, and Kingston. 

General Map Of Jamaica:

Discover the island of Jamaica through this Google Map.  Have a look at the major cities and figure out just what your going to do in Jamaica!  What are the Counties and Parishes of Jamaica?  The island of Jamaica is divided into three main areas or counties which are Middlesex, Cornwall and Surrey.  Those counties are subdivided into 14 parishes called Saint Andrew, Saint Anne, Saint Catherine, Saint Elizabeth, Saint James, Saint Mary, Saint Thomas, Clarendon, Hanover, Manchester, Kingston, Portland, Trelawny & Westmoreland. 

US Consulate & Embassy Jamaica:

U.S. Embassy Kingston

142 Old Hope Road
Kingston 6
Jamaica, West Indies
Telephone:
 +(876) 702-6000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(876) 702-6000
Fax: +(876) 702-6018
Email: 

Consulates

U.S. Consular Agent – Montego Bay
Whitter Village, Ironshore
Unit EU-1 (across from Burger King)
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Telephone:
 +(876) 953-0620
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica: +(876) 702-6000
Fax: +(876) 953-3898
Appointments are made by phone or email
Email: 

You do not need a visa for tourist travel up to 90 days. All other travelers will need a visa and/or work permit.  Visit the Jamaican Passport, Immigration, & Citizenship Agency of Jamaica or the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington D.C. websites for the most current visa information.  

Have a look at the video and learn a clever song which will help you learn the different parishes of Jamaica.

Weapons & Jamaica:

Jamaica strictly forbids tourists to have firearms in Jamaica without prior authorization from the Firearms Licensing Authority of Jamaica.  A United States conceal & carry permit/license does not allow you to bring a firearm into Jamaica.  If you bring a firearm, firearm parts or even a single bullet; you will go to jail!  Do not bring mace, pepper spray or knives into Jamaica.  That will also lead to arrest.  If someone attempts to rob you, do not resist.

General Questions & Answers:

Basic Information About Jamaica

In Jamaica they live by the motto – Out of Many, One people. This motto epitomizes the diverse cultural groups that exist in the island and the coming together of this diverse group of people is often referred to as “the melting pot” on the island. The melting pot is where ideas and cultures are bonded together to create an inclusive culture. 

Jamaican culture is often considered to be very laid back. This can be heard in our expressions of ‘Irie Mon’ or ‘No problem mon,’ despite this concept, Jamaicans are very industrious people who take pride in their work. 

How did Jamaica get its name?

The name was derived from the Arawak word Xaymaca which means ‘land of wood and water’.

Do they speak English in Jamaica?

Yes the official language is English; however, they also speak a dialect known as patois.

What is the weather like in Jamaica?

Tropical

Is Jamaica an independent Country?

Yes, Jamaica gained independence from Britain on 6th August 1962.

How many people live in Jamaica?

Approximately 3 million people live on the island of Jamaica.

How big is Jamaica?

Jamaica is about 146 miles (235 km) long and varies from 22 to 51 miles (35 to 82 km) wide. It is known as the third largest island in the Caribbean Sea. 

How many parishes are in Jamaica?

Jamaica consists of 14 parishes.  They are:  Saint Andrew, Saint Anne, Saint Catherine, Saint Elizabeth, Saint James, Saint Mary, Saint Thomas, Clarendon, Hanover, Manchester, Kingston, Portland, Trelawny & Westmoreland. 

Tell me some interesting Facts about Jamaica.

Jamaica has the fastest runners on earth, Jamaica produces the most music per capita, Jamaica has the most churches per square mile, Jamaica has the most rum bar per square mile, Jamaica is the top consumer of cranberries per capita, Jamaica has a bobsled team, The James Bond Series were written in Jamaica, Jamaica was once a Spanish speaking country, Jamaica is the home of beautiful women, having won Miss World 3 times.  Jamaica supports equal rights for all Humanity.

What time zone does Jamaica use?

The time zone in Jamaica is Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5). The country does not have daylight savings time. 

Do I need a passport to go to Jamaica?

Yes, all persons travelling to Jamaica must present a valid passport at immigration.

What currency does Jamaica use?

The currency used in Jamaica is Jamaican Dollar (JMD). 

Can I use USD or GBP currencies in Jamaica?

Yes, the island does recognize other currencies. 

How long can a non-Jamaican citizen stay in Jamaica?

Commonwealth citizens are allowed a maximum of 12 months stay on the island and Non-Commonwealth citizens are allowed a maximum of 6 months stay on the island as a visitor.

What should I pack if I am coming to Jamaica?

Jamaica is a tropical island therefore it is warm most times of the year. Temperature tends to drop only slightly during winter. Pack light clothing that will keep you cool. In addition you can pack:  Swimwear, Water shoes, Camera (professional and waterproof), Suntan Lotion, Mosquito repellent & Personal Medications.  The above list is not exhaustive. It is best to consider your length of stay, as well as the adventures you’ll be undertaking. This will determine what additional items you need to pack. 

What food must I try while in Jamaica?

Jerk Chicken is the most popular Jamaican dish tried by tourists. This type of cooking is native to Jamaica and delicious. Please bear in mind that Jerk is very spicy so you might need to be cautious as to how much you eat. In addition, other favorites include ackee and saltfish (national dish) and patties. 

Safety Questions about Jamaica

Is Jamaica Safe?

Travelers are rarely victims or targets of crime in Jamaica, but there are some areas in Kingston, Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios that are considered high risk. Always ask your trusted Tour Guide before venturing out of your hotel. 

Petty Crime in Jamaica

To avoid theft, keep valuables and jewelry out of sight, don’t walk with mobile phones out and ensure to check your hotel before you book and ask if they provide a safe to keep your valuable items. 

Are there a lot of Drug crimes in Jamaica?

While it is unlikely you will be a victim of drug trafficking in Jamaica, it is important to be careful to keep an eye on your bags and belongings at all times.  As a visitor, you’re more likely to be offered marijuana (locally known as ganja or weed), than you are to be used to smuggle drugs.  

However, contrary to popular belief, the use of ganja is merely decriminalized in Jamaica. 

According to Jamaica’s Dangerous Drug Act:

Persons are allowed to possess a maximum of two ounces of marijuana, and anything exceeding this amount can result in a fine or jail time.   You cannot leave Jamaica with these two ounces.  

If any amount of marijuana is found in your possession at the airport, it will be confiscated, you will be fined or jailed, and you will most definitely miss your flight.  Other drugs are illegal in Jamaica and penalties are severe, including jail time.  Your best option is to simply not do drugs.

Are Police Officers visible?

The government has stepped in to help enhance security in the travel and tourism sector by assigning special police to patrol on foot and bicycle. These police can be seen around major tourist sites.

There has been an extended state of emergency, since January 2020, in several parishes important to tourism. These “zones of special operations” (ZOSO) are often in inner-city communities, away from high tourism areas. The extended state of emergency is to ensure increased levels of security for both locals and visitors.

Tell me about gang violence in Jamaica?

Jamaica has a high crime rate, but much of it is focused on gangs in inner city, areas that are not unlikely to be travelled by visitors.

Is Jamaica LGBTQ+ friendly?

An important rule to follow is to limit all public display of affection in Jamaica.  Jamaica is conservative, and despite having a large gay population, there is no noticeable LGBTQ+ tourism scene. There are, however, some hotels and tours in Jamaica that are LGBTQ+ friendly.

Is Jamaica safe for families?

Jamaica is a great destination for families. There are lots of family-friendly accommodation options to choose from, but ask before you book to ensure that they are kids friendly facilities.

Is Jamaica safe for solo female travelers?

Jamaica is relatively safe for women to travel alone, but unfortunately, sexual harassment and sexual advances are not uncommon – especially towards female travelers. 

Am I safe in Jamaica after dark?

Jamaica has a vibrant nightlife, especially in major towns such as Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. There are numerous nightclubs and outdoor parties that showcase our dance and music culture every night.

But, be aware that walking around, especially alone, after dark is not recommended. If you must walk somewhere, stick to main roads and more populated areas.

It’s better to use a chartered or registered taxi (indicated by a red license plate) instead of walking or using public transportation at night.

What are some natural dangers in Jamaica?

Hurricane Season – The official hurricane season is from June to November but the month of September is more active month for the season for Jamaica.

Rainy Months – May and October are normally wet months.

Weather warning: local weather forecasts give adequate warnings and evacuation procedures, however if there’s a hurricane during your visit, make sure to stock up on non-perishable foods (like canned food) beforehand, and stay away from windows during the storm.

Earthquakes: Jamaica is located near two tectonic plates. However, the island does not usually experience many major earthquakes. The last major earthquake was in 1993. However, on January 28, 2020, there was a 7.7 magnitude earthquake that occurred 86mi (139 km) north of Montego Bay, which was felt all over the island. No major damages were reported.

Is Kingston a Resort Area?

Kingston is not a beach resort area. It is the industrial hub for government, industry, shipping, banking etc. It is the capital city of Jamaica. 

Are there hotels in Kingston?

Yes, there are hotels in Kingston to choose from. 

Where can I stay in Kingston?

There are quite a few hotels to stay but the popular hotels are Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Knutsford Court Hotel, Courtleigh Hotel, Spanish Court Hotel, The R Hotel, Strawberry Hills and AC Hotels, just to name a few. 

What else is there to do in Kingston?

Kingston offers a variety of things to do including golfing, fine art galleries, a bustling nightlife and colorful markets. A visit uptown Kingston will take you to Hope Botanical Gardens and Bob Marley Museum.   Kingston is a few Km away from Port Royal, once dubbed the ‘wickedest city in the west’. In Port Royal you can visit spectacular Lime Cay beaches or eat at any of the best seafood places.

How close is the nearest beach to Kingston?

The nearest beaches to Kingston are Fort Clarence Beach or Hellshire Beach in Portmore. 

Fort Clarence is 20.7 km from Kingston. Travel time to Fort Clarence beach by driving is approximately 28 minutes depending on traffic.

Hellshire Beach is 23 km from Kingston. Travel time to Hellshire beach by driving is approximately 35 minutes depending on traffic.

What is Kingston Known for?

It is famous for its fine natural harbor, which is protected by the Paliseadoes, a narrow peninsula that has been developed as a recreational and tourist resort. Kingston is also backed by the famous Blue Mountains. 

Are there lots of places to dine in Kingston?

Kingston is the place to sample every type of food Jamaica has to offer. It’s also home to Usain’s Bolt Tracks and Record Restaurant. No matter your craving, you can find a restaurant in Kingston to satisfy your appetite.

Is it safe to travel around in Kingston?

There are some communities namely Cassava Piece, Tivoli Gardens, Downtown, Trench Town, Arnett Gardens, Denham Town and Mountain View that are sometimes prone to crime but are limited to locals and not targeted to travelers.  Tivoli Gardens, Downtown, and Trench Town, have sites of historic cultural importance in Jamaica, and have reputable organized tours that take visitors into the community and are safe so long as you stick with your guide and follow their advice. 

Kingston Creative Art walk offers monthly walking tours around Downtown Kingston, highlighting its colonial history and art influences, and is guided by local volunteers.

Culture Yard in Trench Town guides visitors around the community where reggae legend Bob Marley lived, and showcases the influence of Trench Town on reggae music.

Negril  –  The ‘Capital of Casual’

What is Negril Famous for?

It is the epitome of relaxation. It is famous for beautiful sunsets, a 7-mile stretch of bright white sandy beaches and picturesque cliff overlooking the sea.

Where is Negril located in Jamaica?

It is located on the far western side of Jamaica and is one of the most popular tourist hotspots in Jamaica. 

How long is the longest beach in Negril?

It stretches for more than 6km. It is sometimes known amongst tourists as the “7-mile beach” although it is slightly more than 4 mi (6.4 km) in length.

What should I buy in Negril?

Time Square Shopping Mall offers a nice collection of watches and jewelry including  Chaumet, Patek Philippe, Mikimoto and Chopard. There’s also plenty of accessories and gift stores if you plan to bring some souvenirs home such as pens, crafts, books, cigarettes, perfumes, cigars, dresses, liquor and more. 

Why is it called Bloody Bay Negril?

Bloody Bay got its name because it was used by 19th-century whalers who butchered their catch there. The whales were towed in to be disemboweled and it is said that the waters of the bay frequently ran red with their blood.

Is Negril nicer than Montego Bay?

The fact of the matter is, both are great places. If short airport transfers and a buzzing nightlife are important to you, Montego Bay is your pick. Looking for a more quaint and laid back destination, with some of Jamaica’s best beaches? Negril is the vacation destination of your choice.

Which is better, Ocho Rios or Negril?

Whether you’re looking to slow down or party up, Negril’s white-sand beaches can adopt you and give you a fun-filled time. On the other hand, Ocho Rios is best for outgoing and adventure-seeking people. If you enjoy luxury paired with adventure, there’s no better place to go than Ocho Rios.

Is 7 Mile beach in Negril safe?

Jamaica’s Seven Mile Beach Negril is a safe beach to visit. There are security guards who patrol the shores night and day near the resorts. In terms of swim safety, there are always lifeguards on duty monitoring swimmers and action on the shore.

Are there sharks in Jamaica Negril?

Tiger, hammerhead, Caribbean reef, nurse and bull sharks can all be found in Jamaica’s warm waters – but don’t worry. These sharks are not aggressive and are unlikely to attack unless provoked.

Can you drink the water in Negril Jamaica?

The tap water in Jamaica is safe to drink.  Travelers need not spring for bottled water when eating out, worry about brushing teeth with water from the faucet, or avoid raw veggies for fear of getting sick. Unless visiting a very remote area with questionable water filtration, go ahead and drink the tap water.

How far is Negril from the airport?

Yes, the driving distance between Montego Bay Airport (MBJ) to Negril is 80 km. It takes approximately 1h 18m to drive from Montego Bay Airport (MBJ) to Negril.

Is Negril cheaper than Montego Bay?

Overall, the resorts in Negril are more affordable than those in Montego Bay. You could book a room for two in a hotel for as low as $45! So, if you are on a budget but are desperate to visit Jamaica, then you should consider booking a place in Negril.

What part of Jamaica is best for couples?

Negril in Jamaica is considered to be the best place for couples and people above 18 years of age. The beaches are absolutely gorgeous (and mostly secluded) and the Seven Mile Beach is home to several bars and clubs, which makes it one of the most popular places to visit in Jamaica.

What airport do you fly into to get to Negril Jamaica?

The best way to get to Negril is by flying into Montego Bay Airport and taking a transfer to your hotel/resort.

Is Negril Jamaica close to Montego Bay?

Negril, located on Jamaica’s west coast, is about 90 minutes’ drive from Montego Bay. Many resorts offer airport transfers, but you may spend time waiting for other guests to arrive before your group transport departs for Negril.

Is Negril Safe?

Considered to be more popular than Kingston, Negril is a small resort town on the North West side of Jamaica. Stick to the well-travelled areas, such as West End, which are generally safe. Take particular care at night in Negril, and take taxis to avoid walking alone.

What is the best time to visit Negril Jamaica?

The best time to visit is between December and March when the weather is most settled. The hottest month of the year is July with an average daily maximum of 32 C and an average low of 26 C. The coolest month of the year is February with an average daily maximum of 28 C and an average low of 23 C.

What is the meaning of Negril?

Negril, a shortened version of “Negrillo”, meaning ‘little black ones‘, was named by the Spanish in 1494. There are two theories as to how it got its name: firstly, the black cliffs south of the village, and secondly, the large amount of black eels along Negril’s coast.

Montego Bay  –  ‘Complete Resort’

What is Montego Bay most known for?

Montego Bay, located at the north shore of Jamaica, is a popular tourist destination with plenty of hotels and restaurants as well as a port for cruise ships. The city is known for its beautiful beaches, notably Doctor’s Cave Beach, in addition to outdoor attractions like gardens, golf courses and adventure tours.

Why is it called Montego Bay?

Columbus named the bay of Montego, Golfo de Buen Tiempo (“Fair Weather Gulf”). The name “Montego Bay” is believed to have originated as a corruption of the Spanish word Manteca (“lard”), allegedly because during the Spanish period it was the port where lard, leather and beef were exported.

Is Montego Bay a city or parish?

Montego Bay, commonly referred to as MoBay, is the second largest city in the island nation Jamaica. It has a population of 428,000 people (2018). Montego Bay is the capital of St. James Parish, one of the 14 parishes of Jamaica.

When did Montego Bay become a city?

Montego Bay was granted city status on October 9, 1980 by an act of parliament and in 1982 it officially became Jamaica’s second city.

How are the beaches in Montego Bay?

Montego Bay is one of those places that can boast having crystal clear water at the majority of its beaches. This is one of the things that make it a popular location for people looking for the best beach vacation in the Caribbean, or couples looking for a tropical honeymoon escape.

What is Montego Bay airport code?

MBJ (Montego Bay Jamaica – Sangster International Airport).

How many airports are in Montego Bay Jamaica?

There is one airport in Montego Bay – Sangster International Airport.

How many terminals does Montego Bay airport have?

There is only one terminal at Montego Bay Airport.

Is Montego Bay worth visiting?

It’s lively, colorful, and a tourist hotspot that’s here to stay. In Montego Bay you can go duty-free shopping, beach hopping, or visit popular sites like the Montego Bay Marine Park which is great for snorkeling and scuba diving. 

What is the weather like in Montego Bay?

Daily high temperatures are around 85°F, rarely falling below 82°F or exceeding 88°F. Daily low temperatures are around 75°F, rarely falling below 72°F or exceeding 78°F.

Can you go out in Montego Bay?

While Montego Bay is a relatively safe city, reasonable precautions should be observed. Stay in groups, and stick to tourist areas. The rural areas are especially dangerous. Most locations close to the resorts are safe.

Ocho Rios  –  ‘Centerpiece of Jamaica’

What is Ocho Rios known for?

Ocho Rios is known for its breath-taking beaches, beautiful views, and a wide selection of shopping options great for high-class brands to charming souvenirs and special mementos.

Why is it called Ocho Rios?

Ocho Rios, a town and Caribbean port on the north coast of Jamaica, northwest of Kingston. The Spanish name, meaning “eight rivers,” refers to the number of rivers in the area.

What do Jamaicans call Ocho Rios?

Ocho Rios (Spanish for “Eight Rivers”) is a town in the parish of Saint Ann on the north coast of Jamaica, and is more widely referred to as Ochi by locals.

Does Ocho Rios have an airport?

No. However, Ian Fleming International Airport (IFIA) (previously Boscobel Aerodrome) is an international airport located in Boscobel, Saint Mary Parish, Jamaica, 10 km (6.2 mi) east of Ocho Rios, in northern Jamaica.

How far is Ocho Rios from the airport?

Ocho Rios is approximately 58 miles/93 kilometers. Distance from Montego Bay Airport and Ocho Rios is 1 hour 30 minutes.

Which parish is known as the Garden parish?

St. Ann was named after Ann Hyde, wife of James II, King of England and is recognized as the largest of all the parishes. It is known as ‘The Garden Parish’ for its bauxite, agriculture and livestock production and – perhaps most notably – its tourist attractions (Ocho Rios).

Does Ocho Rios have nice beaches?

Since Ocho Rios is a cruise port, you can often find tourists flocking to Ocho Rios Bay Beach to dip their toes into the calm Jamaican water. The clear, blue water and shallow areas for swimming make it a nice beach to visit. It is small, but a few eateries and shops are nearby.

What is the average temperature in Ocho Rios Jamaica?

In Ocho Rios, the average annual temperature is 24.8 °C | 76.7 °F. The annual rainfall is 960 mm | 37.8 inch.

Does it rain all day in Ocho Rios?

Ocho Rios receives around 37 inches of rain per year, with September and October being the wettest months. Keep in mind Jamaica seldom sees a full day of rain. Being a tropical destination, rain often falls in one part of the day – making way for sunshine the other part of the day.

Does Ocho Rios have a cruise port?

Yes. Ocho Rios Cruise Port has been a top cruise port destination for many years.

Where can I shop in Ocho Rios after coming off a cruise?

The closest shopping is Island Village right by the cruise docks. It is a large shopping, dining and entertainment development. It has an outdoor concert venue, reggae and Jamaican art museums, a casino, water sports and of course plenty of shopping.

Is it always windy in Ocho Rios?

The windiest month of the year in Ocho Rios is June, with an average hourly wind speed of 13.7 miles per hour. The calmer time of year lasts for 8.9 months, from August 12 to May 7. The calmest month of the year in Ocho Rios is October, with an average hourly wind speed of 10.1 miles per hour.

What are the best things to do in Ocho Rios?

Ocho Rios is known as the adventure capital of Jamaica. According to Trip Advisor (2022), these are the top 10 best things to do in Ocho Rios:

Dunn’s River Falls and Park, Blue Hole, Konoko Falls & Park, White River, Dolphin Cove, Rainforest Adventure, Ocho Rios Bay Beach, Shaw Parks Garden & Waterfall, Turtle River Park, James Bond Beach

Have you been to Jamaica and had a blast? Tell us what you did, where you stayed and the companies that made your trip awesome.

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