Jamaica Travel Tips
With its slow pace of life, long sandy beaches, and great music scene, Jamaica is exactly what the doctor ordered. Jamaica has plenty on offer travelers of all kinds. Be it the baking sunshine, crystal waters, spectacular views. Although it would be very easy to spend most of your time on beaches, try to spend time experiencing the local music scene and Rastafarian culture. Also avoid going during spring break when college students swarm the island and prices skyrocket.
- Accommodation: A night in a shared hostel dorm will cost from $15J, while a single room will cost around $20J. Budget hotels start from $25J.
- Food: Lunch and casual meals cost around $8J, while dinner comes in at $12J.
- Transportation: Buses are extremely inexpensive at around $2J for a 50 mile trip. Taxis on the other hand are expensive at around $20J for a 10 mile journey.
- Activities: Expect to pay $40 – 80J for snorkeling and $20J for the Bob Marley museum.
Money Saving Tips
- Shop around - If you’re going snorkeling, shop around for the best price as they can vary widely even along one beach front.
- Route Taxis - These taxis are shared between many people, all following the same route and work out much cheaper than private taxis.
- Bargain - If you are taking a private taxi, always agree the fare before you leave as drivers rarely use their meter. Always start at half the price the driver has offered.
- Avoid Spring Break - If you visit during the American spring break season in March, you’ll pay 25% or more for everything.
Top Things to See and Do
- Go rafting - Head to the Port Antonio area and take a trip down the Rio Grande River on a bamboo raft. Rafting is definitely one of the best ways to see and enjoy the numerous caves, waterfalls and crystal springs that are tucked away throughout the island.
- Bob Marley Museum - Without a doubt, Bob Marley is one of Jamaica’s biggest exports. Make the pilgrimage to his museum to learn more about the iconic Rastafarian’s greatest influences and then after all that, head to the Bob Marley Cafe were tenderloin kebabs and jerk wings are but only some of the delicious things on the menu.
- Snorkeling – Put on that suncream and spend a couple of blissful hours uncovering the deep blue on a snorkeling trip. Go to the Northern coast where you can see a wide array of sea life, coral reefs, sponges and caves.
- Swim with dolphins - Ocho Rios gives you the chance to swim with dolphis. Don’t want to swim with dolphins? Go to Oracabessa where you can swim with stingrays instead.
- Rum Tours - Rum is another one of Jamaica’s best enjoyed exports. See where the foundations of rum were created and take a tour of the Appleton Sugar Plantation and the Appleton Rum Factory
- Caving - For the budding explorers amongst us, take yourself off on an intrepid exploration of one or more of the 1,000 caves which are dotted around the island. Head to the Green Grotto Caves on the north coast to start with.
- Plantations Tours - Go to the Sun Valley Plantation in Ocho Rios which has been in operation since the slave days of the Colonial period. You will have the opportunity to take a tour down the Crescent River and have an authentic experience of real plantation life, something not to be missed!
- Montego Bay - Montego Bay is the center of tourism in this country. Take a trip here to load up on your shopping and souvenirs. Visit the City Centre Plaza or the main Crafts Market for some good buys.
- Kingston - Witness history at your fingertips with a trip to Kingston to view historical houses such as Devon House, King’s House and the prime ministers’ house. Go to the shopping malls in Kingston to find some of the best coffee in the world and find deals on European and American clothes and luxury items too.
- Dunn’s River Falls – Located in Ocho Rios, these falls are 600 feet up, and are absolutely stunning. For those that are adventurous enough, you can actually climb up them—but for everyone else, this is at least a must see.
- Cockpit Country – Just southeast of Montego Bay, is an area known for birds as over 70 different species have been found here. It is very scenic, as there are interesting pockets and sinkholes of dissolved limestone, and many rivers.
- Rick’s Cafe – This is a popular place for locals and visitors alike. There are huge cliffs to jump off and many people even jump from the trees. It’s about 35 feet to the water, so if it is too much for you at least enjoy the sun and watching everyone.
- Port Royal – This used to be the pirate capital of the Caribbean. Now, visitors are free to check out Fort Charles, the St. Peter’s Church, and the naval cemetery. Additionally, there are potential plans for a tourist redevelopment, which will include a theme park, pier, arcade, museum, and more.