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TRAVEL GUIDE TO JAMAICA

WHY TRAVEL TO JAMAICA?

To many, Jamaica is the heart of the Caribbean, and it certainly is. 🙂 The birthplace of reggae icon Bob Marley and the fastest man on earth Usain Bolt. Jamaica is known for its reggae and dancehall music. The Rastafari movement, picturesque beaches, food, all-inclusive resorts, unique culture are some of the reasons why many travellers are anticipating a visit to the island.  Most who travel here don’t leave the comforts of their all-inclusive resort; those who do typically don’t venture too far outside their immediate area. And that is sad because there is a lot of uniqueness about Jamaica that they don’t get to experience. For example, Portland and St Elizabeth is pack with so many hidden gems that will leave you wanting to remain on the island forever.  As the third-largest island of the Caribbean, Jamaica is hard to cover in one trip. Instead, it’s best to choose your activities and vacation priorities, then make your hotel plans accordingly.  Jamaica is a destination the is the most loved and perhaps most misunderstood. A simple remedy for clearing the confusion! Come to the land of Sugar Cane, Blue Mountain Coffee,  Red Stripe Beer, Jamaica Rum, Majestic Waterfalls and limestone, and form your own opinion.  Your new ideas are bound to be shrouded in white sand, clear water, cool breeze, the luscious rainforest and delicious food. Bordered by the rugged Blue Mountains and anchored in foamy waterfalls.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL TO JAMAICA?

Jamaica’s peak season runs mid-December through mid-April. The tourist crowd is at its highest from December through February, thanks to the coolness of nights and plenty of entertainment options. Discounts abound during summer and hurricane season when crowds are few and temperatures are only slightly higher. Room rates can get slashed up to 50 per cent during this slow season, and it is such a fun time to visit.  Whatever time of year you choose to venture to Jamaica, you simply can’t go wrong because Jamaica is the island that never sleeps, always pack with some sort of entertainment. 

HOW TO GET TO JAMAICA?

There are three international airports in Jamaica Thus, very convenient to travel by air and land close to your chosen destination. 

1. Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay:  Most tourists land here. It’s the better entrance port if you’re headed to Montego Bay, Ocho Rios or Negril. This airport also has a domestic terminal with local flights that depart regularly to Kingston, Negril, Port Antonio, and Ocho Rios. Taxis, hotel shuttles and car rental companies are available there to help you get to your final destination.

2. Norman Manley International Airport: Located in the country capital of  Kingston. It is best to use this airport when visiting the capital city, Port Antonio, or head to the beautiful Blue Mountains. Also available are car rentals, taxi services and tour operators located in the Arrivals Ground Transportation Hall to help you get to your destination safe and happy. 

3. Ian Fleming International Airport in Ocho Rios:  This is the newest international airport on the island. It is a convenient entry point to Jamaica’s north coast that is suitable for small aircraft. Many of Jamaica’s renowned villas and resorts are only minutes away, and car rentals, taxi services and shuttles for your convenience are easily arranged.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRY INTO JAMAICA

All visitors must have a national passport or other acceptable travel document establishing nationality, identity and bearing a photograph.  Your passport or other travel documents must be valid for at least six (6) months from the intended date of travel.  Visitors are also required to show evidence of sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay and have a return or round trip ticket to another country to which they are admissible.

LANGUAGE 

Jamaica is English speaking country in the Caribbean. But we like to mix it up with our island dialect call patois. Many foreign nationals love to hear our dialect and are willing to take a try at it. The primary phrases visitor try to say is “Wah Gwaan Jamaica.” It takes a little getting used to, but you’re sure to have lots of fun trying out a few of our expressions.

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN JAMAICA? 

Jamaica Carries a hot and humid tropical climate all year round, which is precisely what you want for a relaxing vacation.  The temperatures typically range from 19 degrees Celsius (66 Fahrenheit) to 32 degrees Celsius (99 Fahrenheit). Even though this small island is known for its sunshine, Jamaica does have two rainy seasons a year, from May to June and September to November. Hurricanes may pass over the island during the month of June to November, so keep an eye on the news for the weather update. 

BANK / CURRENCY:

Jamaican Dollar is the official currency. You can exchange your currency for Jamaican currency before arrival. Don’t worry, as Licensed Cambio centres and commercial banks are accessible in all resort areas if you don’t get to do it. The exchange rates vary daily, so it’s advisable to shop around for the best rate before converting your cash. Most of our ATMs accept international bank cards with Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, and Plus logos. Banks also give credit card advances, change traveller’s checks and other financial services.

TOURIST HUB

The three main tourist hubs on the island that most visitors venture to are: Negril, the western part is famous for its beaches and upscale accommodations;  Montego Bay, the north coast is well-liked by golfers; and Ocho Rios in the northeast appeals primarily to adventurous types who might be interested in climbing waterfalls like Dunn’s River. Some (but not many) visitors choose the eastern area of Port Antonio to try the top-notch surfing at Boston Beach, the hiking along the Blue Mountains and the river rafting along the Rio Grande. If you want to explore the island’s authenticity not often seen by tourists, plan your trip to Port Antonio and St Elizabeth. Here you will enjoy the absolute authenticity, uniqueness and culture of Jamaica.   

THINGS TO TRY IN JAMAICA

Ackee & Saltfish

You can not visit Jamaica and don’t try the Country national dish. It is usually served with boiled food such as dumplings, yam, green bananas, or pumpkin.  It is also great with roast breadfruit and fried dumpling.  It is something that you must try if you never tried it before, it is super good. You will love it.

Curry Goat

Curry goat is a dish with Indian influence, and if you never had goat before, this is probably one of the best dishes to be introduced to it. Curry goat was a dish prepared only on special occasions, but now you can enjoy it any time. This meal can sever with anything, but Jamaican love it with white rice. Nothing says curry to Jamaicans if it is not served with white rice.   

Oxtail 

There is no oxtail like Jamaican oxtail. The oxtail was considered scrap meat, and only low-income families would eat it. Now, it became an expensive delicacy all over the world with its delicious taste.

JAMAICAN STREET FOOD

Jerk Pork 

Jerk Chicken is one of the most known Jamaican cuisines worldwide, but nothing can compete with the natural, authentic Jerk Pork you will get in Jamaica. Though the Jerk Chicken is good, it is the Jerk Pork for me. If spicy food is not your thing, Jerk Pork is not for you as it is not for the faint-hearted. The best place to eat Jerk pork in Jamaica is Boston Bay in Port Antonio, but it is still just as good as anywhere else on the island. 

Boiled Corn 

There is only one way to cook a typically tough Jamaican corn, and that’s to boil it. It became tender by long periods of cooking in seasoned water with thyme/green onion/scotch bonnet peppers or my favourite, in a soup – served in its sheath – costing less than a dollar – you’ll go through at least three ‘til you’ve had enough.

 Conch Soup 

I love Jamaican soup, especial Mannish Water and Conch Soup. Any kind of soup in Jamaica are great, but these two are my favourite. You can typically get this the same thing with the boiled corn. 

 

Roast Fish   

You will not thoroughly enjoy Jamaican street food until you tried the Roast Fish. It is wrapped in a foil paper roast and stuffed with veggies, usually Calaloo. You can enjoy it just as it is or serves with two Festivals or Crackers. 

Fried Fish and Bammy

You would best enjoy fry fish and bammy on the coastline where the fish is fresh and typically cooked to order throughout the day – so it doesn’t sit and get cold. Lovely drench in vinegary escovitch sauce, hot peppers, and all soak up. Serve with the fried bammy made from cassavas. You can grab a cold red stripe beer to go along with it. 

Iced Cold Jelly Water 

Young coconuts have the sweetest water. Make sure to ask the vendor to cut it open so you can scoop out the flesh (jelly) inside for dessert!

Enjoy your stay in Jamaica and comment your experience of Jamaica below 🙂 🙂

 

 

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