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Jamaica - Planning your trip

Jamaica is a land of unique culture, breathtaking landscapes, and welcoming people. Known as the ``birthplace of reggae,`` the favorite Caribbean getaway offers travelers natural jewels and a colorful African vibe. From the lively resort town of Montego Bay to the Jamaica's edgy capital Kingston, visitors will find plenty of things to do between luminous lagoon to turquoise seas. Much more than the lyrics from Bob Marley, “Everything’s gonna be all right” is a Jamaican philosophy and I guarantee you will love to add this country in your list.

What you need to know before you go

Transportation - Jamaica is an island of 10,992 square kilometers and if you choose to stay in a resort it's easy to book day trips from the main cities - most tours offer pick up from the hotel areas. Public transportation is available in all major towns buses and taxis. If you prefer to explore the entire country, Jamaica has over 17,000 kilometers of roads and there are car rental agencies in most major towns and cities. Drivers must be at least 25 years old to rent a vehicle.

Accommodation - Jamaica offers an impressive range of hotels from all-inclusive luxury resorts to plantation-style hotels in the lush mountains. Montego Bay is one of the most popular places to stay if you want to explore the top attractions on a day trip from your hotel. Many high-end all-inclusive resorts and sightseeing are in this area. Negril typically attracts a younger crowd seeking for beautiful white sands and a laid-back beach vibe, while Ocho Rios has a solid tourism infrastructure.

Food - Rustic, satisfying, and rich with spiciness, you can always find authentic Jamaican dishes on the menu of hotels and restaurants including modern variations of the original homestyle comfort food. Jerk Chicken, Ackee & Saltfish, Coconut Drops and Oxtail are some of the favorite dishes in the country.

Bob Marley Museum
Bob Marley
Bob Marley room

Suggestion to enjoy your trip

If you’re the type of traveler who feels more secure in an all-inclusive resort (there are plenty good ones in Jamaica), make sure you spend some time in some town to experience the real Jamaica and the country is best known for. A trip to Kingston shows all that makes Jamaica a Caribbean hub for arts, culture, and good cuisine. You can arrange several great tours and day trips easily from your hotel.

TIps for first visit

1. Try the jerk pork – Jerk pork is one of Jamaica’s most iconic dishes. Cooked in oil drum grills by street vendors, you can find this tradicional food smoked in roadside cookshops or high-end restaurants.

2. Visit the Bob Marley Museum – No trip to Jamaica is complete without visiting Bob former home where the legendary reggae singer lived from 1975 until his death in 1981. You can see the gold and platinum records lining the walls, his authentic bedroom and the bullet holes in the back wall from an assassination attempt in 1976.

3. Watch the Sunset in Negril – One of the best beaches in the Caribbean, Negril Beach, also known as Seven Mile Beach is the perfect spot to see the sunset. Beach resorts and restaurants are spread out along the misnamed, white-sand Seven Mile Beach (which is over four miles long only) and home to beach parties and he famous  Cliffs. Jumping off these cliffs is also one of the top things to do in Negril.

Bob Marley Museum in Jamaica

Essential Information

Passport and visa– All visitors are required to travel with a return ticket, a valid passport and present a valid document as evidence of their identity and nationality. Check the details here.

Currency  – The official currency is the Jamaican dollar. Licensed cambio centers and commercial banks are accessible in all resort areas. The official currency exchange rates vary daily, so it’s advisable to shop around for the best rate. Most Jamaican ATMs accept international credit cards.

Language  – Officially, the country speaks English but they mix it up with their own island version of patois. English was introduced into Jamaica in 1655, because of the colonisation by Britain. However. there are several language varieties that have significantly impacted their dialect of English.

Tipping  – Jamaicans always expect tips in the restaurant even though a service charge was already included in the bills. 10-18% is recommended.

Population – The current population of Jamaica is ~3M.

Eletricity The electrical supply in Jamaica is 110 volts and electrical appliances use plugs that are two-pronged and flat (similar to the United States and Canada).

Economy – The economy of Jamaica is heavily reliant on services-  70% of the country’s GDP. The country has natural resources and a climate conducive to agriculture and tourism. Sugar, and bananas are the main products.

Time Zone – – Jamaica falls within the Eastern Time Zone (UTC/GMT -5 Hours) and does not observe Daylight Savings Time. Year-round, the island averages between 11.5 and 12.5 hours of sunlight per day and does not experience drastic seasonal changes in sunrise and sunset times.

DRUGS – In Jamaica, the use, sale and possession of drugs such as ganja (marijuana), cocaine, crack, ecstasy, heroin and any other controlled substance is illegal.

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