With an area of 4,240 square miles and a population of about 3 million people, Jamaica is an island country in the Caribbean Sea. The country has always been rich in several items such as sugar, coffee, and other products produced in the numerous plantations of the country. Ever since 1494, when Christopher Columbus came to the islands, they have been under Spanish or British rule. Evidently, both nations were looking to take advantage of these exports. This has led to an increase in the number of Africans brought to work on the plantations. All of these men were freed in the 19th century, and in the 20th century, the country gained independence. As of today, the descendants of the Africans and the native Taíno peoples have inherited this rich land and turned it into a paradise for traveling and relaxing.

Why Visiting Jamaica?

First and foremost, one of the most famous things about visiting Jamaica is discovering the reggae music that is part of their culture. The locals are known to have the most laid-back attitude on the planet, which adds to the sensation of listening to local music. Add some rum to the mix, and it is a complete and beautiful new experience.

While enjoying life and relaxing on the endless beaches and the nature of this country, their food is also a very good reason to visit. The best Jerk Chicken to ever taste exists in the place Jerk Chicken was born. Their food is generally delicious all over the county, making it a great place for some food tourism as well as other reasons.

Speaking of nature and beaches, it has limitless beauty in between the sandy beaches and the lush green forests deep inside the island. All around the environment, there are more beauties like rivers, waterfalls, cliffs, and anything that will make it one of the best places to go adventuring.

Natural elements are not just limited to the island itself. The world under the waters is also a wonder. Diving and other watersports are very popular among the tourists and near the beaches. Surfing, diving, and all other exciting visits to the sea and marine life are possible at almost all resorts near the sea.

The mesmerizing landscape also has great weather all year long, perhaps even better climate during Winter. This makes it ideal for a holiday or family vacation, especially since the sun never goes away.

Aside from the marvelous things about the land itself, the locals are extra nice as well. It is as if they are ready at all times to make new friends and share their good times with others. Evidently, this makes their culture one of the other top reasons for a visit.

All the beauties and tasty foods plus the great people can make Jamaica a romantic place for couples. To this end, it is also a great destination for honeymooners or even people looking for a paradise for planning their wedding. Whether it is for fun or for romance, this amazing island has it all, even more than the things mentioned here.

Jamaica Top Destinations

Best Time to Visit Jamaica

Spring (April – June)

Temperature: 21.8°C (71.4° F) – 30.8°C (87.6° F)

Features

Spring is the best time for families as most travelers go back to their countries, but the weather is still very suitable. Some special offers can be found during this time as it is less crowded, but still, there are travelers around the island. The only bad thing about Jamaica during Spring would be the increase in rainfall, and as it gets closer to Summer, chances of hurricanes increase. But at least there will be some discounts in most places and the festivals that make it enjoyable.

Tips

Because of the rain, it is better to stay away from the beach as it can get difficult to catch some sun and have fun in the sea. Finding resorts is much better, which means discovering the local culture and making friends in towns and cities is a great option. Depending on the weather, most inland activities are very great options for having fun. These options are good no matter the group or age.

 

Summer (July – September)

Temperature:  23.1°C (73.6° F) – 31.3°C (88.5° F)

Features

It is hot, rainy, and has occasional hurricanes. If you plan your trip carefully, you will have everything to yourself; possibly only a few other travelers. But make sure to have traveling insurance in case things do not go according to plan. Since Summer is the low season, it is ideal for backpackers and people who travel on a budget. At times  there is suitable weather for all kinds of activities, but that is difficult to determine without checking the forecast.

Tips

Because of the rain, it is better to stay away from the beach as it can get difficult to catch some sun and have fun in the sea. Finding resorts is much better, which means discovering the local culture and making friends in towns and cities is a great option. Depending on the weather, most inland activities are very great options for having fun. These options are good no matter the group or age.

Autumn (October – November)

Temperature: 22.7°C (73°F) – 30.3°C (86.7° F)

Features

It can be the best time of the year or the worst, depending on the weather conditions of the time you pick for traveling. November will definitely have lots of rain and difficulty, but there are times when traveling gets suitable at this time. In late October or near Winter, there are some days or even weeks when everything gets ideal for traveling with some great chances for a trip. Everything depends on the temperature and the amount of rain.

Tips

Everywhere and nowhere. If you pick the right spot depending on rainfall and the conditions, it will still be a paradise. If not, hell would be the word to describe it. The prices are still low everywhere, but in case the climate is not suitable, there will not be any good places to travel to. In any case, hope for the best but also prepare for the worst.

Spring (April – June)

Temperature: 21.8°C (71.4° F) – 30.8°C (87.6° F)

Features

Spring is the best time for families as most travelers go back to their countries, but the weather is still very suitable. Some special offers can be found during this time as it is less crowded, but still, there are travelers around the island. The only bad thing about Jamaica during Spring would be the increase in rainfall, and as it gets closer to Summer, chances of hurricanes increase. But at least there will be some discounts in most places and the festivals that make it enjoyable.

Tips

Because of the rain, it is better to stay away from the beach as it can get difficult to catch some sun and have fun in the sea. Finding resorts is much better, which means discovering the local culture and making friends in towns and cities is a great option. Depending on the weather, most inland activities are very great options for having fun. These options are good no matter the group or age.

Best Jamaica Tours

0
Add to compare
Jamaica Travel Guide 1
0
Add to compare
From: $80.00
0
Add to compare
Jamaica Travel Guide 2
0
Add to compare
From: $180.00
0
Add to compare
Jamaica Travel Guide 3
0
Add to compare
From: $155.00
0
Add to compare
Jamaica Travel Guide 4
0
Add to compare
From: $115.00
0
Add to compare
Jamaica Travel Guide 5

Montego Bay Highlights & Culture

3 Hours
NOT included
0
Add to compare
From: $60.00
0
Add to compare
Jamaica Travel Guide 6
0
Add to compare
From: $130.00
0
Add to compare
Jamaica Travel Guide 7

Blue Hole Secret Falls Adventure

8 Hours
NOT included
0
Add to compare
From: $115.00
0
Add to compare
Jamaica Travel Guide 8
0
Add to compare
From: $155.00

Things to Do in Jamaica

Jamaica is like the coolest gift the Earth can offer to humans. It is full of things to do outdoors like adventure, thrilling experiences, relaxing with laid-back people, and learning about a new way of life. It is where a legend of reggae lived and died, and a place with exotic things to try and eat all around the country. Jamaica can be a fun adventure or a relaxing vacation that suits all ages, groups, and tastes. As a result, all you have to do is to discover your preferences and enjoy yourself.

Take Pictures at the Dunn’s River Falls

Jamaica may have more than one waterfall, but the most beautiful to visit is the Dunn’s, River Falls. One of the best things to do in Dunn’s River Falls is to take an amazing picture near this stunning part of nature. It is one of the most popular attractions in the country where you can just relax or slide down the falls with a tire. Dunn’s River Falls is also a place to enjoy the time while walking on the slippery stones climbing up or down the falls. To make the scene even more impressive, the waters from Dunn’s River Falls move toward the ocean, which means following the river will lead to more scenic spots.

Note: To visit Dunn’s River Falls, you should pay an entrance fee.

Have the Coolest Rafting Experience of Your Life on Martha Brae River

Martha Brae river offers a very unique rafting experience near its rafter’s village. All the rafts are made of bamboos and operated by the most laid-back people on the planet. And the 32 kilometers of the Martha Brae river adds to the experience as the bamboo raft crosses through the rainforest. The calm turquoise waters and the woods all around the Martha Brae river can also make this trip a very romantic one. What is certain is that rafting on the Martha Brae River is a must-try activity for all tourists as it will move through a scenic route and show the environment and the wildlife of Jamaica. 

Photo by Barney Bishop via Flickr

Visit the World of Reggae in the Bob Marley Museum

Since Bob Marley is a legend of reggae and lived in Jamaica until his death, it is essential to visit the Bob Marley Museum as one of the top things to do. The Bob Marley Museum is basically his own residence since he became an adult. Ever since his death in the late 20th century, his household items and records are preserved for all reggae lovers to see. The Bob Marley Museum is one of the most popular highlights of the city of Kingstone. This marvelous site is located near other attractions, which makes it a must-see place.

Swim in the Waters of Luminous Lagoon During the Night

Swimming in the Luminous Lagoon is perhaps one of the top swimming experiences on the planet. The Luminous Lagoon is just an ordinary beach during the day, but it glows blue and looks magically beautiful at night. The blue glow at night is due to the millions of dinoflagellates living in the waters near this coast. Hence, the Luminous Lagoon is a very exotic yet rare natural phenomenon that attracts numerous travelers just to swim there at night. Or, in case swimming is not part of the plan, just seeing the Luminous Lagoon is amazing on its own.

Go on a Safari on the Waters of Black River

Going on a safari tour on the Black River is a top experience of Jamaica because the freshwaters of this wetland and its species of birds are great to see. Just be careful not to go alone and without a guide, as these lovely waters of Black River are also home to crocodiles. To nature lovers and all other travelers, it is a wonderful experience to see the wildlife and discover the local flora and fauna of the forest around Black River. To ordinary travelers, it will be a beautiful and educational experience while passing through the rich nature of this country. Despite having crocodiles, the tours of Black River are perfectly safe, even to the point that it is a popular family activity.

Explore the Rose Hall Great House and Discover its History

The Rose Hall Great House is a very famous attraction in Montego Bay with a spooky legend. Rose Hall’s building itself is a Georgian mansion with some elements of Jamaican architecture. The entire structure and the grounds around it are part of a large plantation. It is said that the marvelous structure and plantation of Rose Hall belonged to a woman called Annie Palmer, AKA the “White Witch”. The stories are just legends, but they talk about how cruel a woman this White Witch was. True or not, the Rose Hall has a history, and beyond that, it is a beautiful part of history that is well preserved to be visited.

Float on the Waters of the Rio Grande River

Another thing to do in Jamaica is rafting on the Rio Grande River. Using bamboo rafts on the Rio Grande was initially a way of transporting bananas from plantations. Nowadays, it is a 2–3-hour relaxing experience on the Rio Grande, which shows more of the living environment of the country. It is possible to tour the area around the Rio Grande on a raft and learn about its history, or just get a good drink and lay back to enjoy the ride. Since rafting is one of the popular things in the country, it is best to seek out better places like the Rio Grande for a better experience.

Have Fun in Any Way You Like in Mystic Mountain

Get out of the forest adventure and enter a theme park in Mystic Mountain. It is better to go on a mixed tour of the area. A mixed tour makes it possible to feel the thrill of different rides and have fun on the ziplines. After all of that, find a great view in the Mystic Mountain to rest and relax. Having a camera and taking some pictures is also a great idea. There are many ways to have fun in Mystic Mountain, and it’s a good chance of pace after spending time in nature. But that does not mean the natural environment of Mystic Mountain is not suitable for exploration. If the thrilling alternative does not sound fun, sticking to the usual adventure in the woods is also an option.

Photo by Abir Anwar via Flickr

Photo by Jeremy T. Hetzel via Flickr

Hike Through the Blue Mountains and John Crow Mountains National Park

The Blue Mountains and the John Crow Mountains National Park, AKA Blue and the John Crow Mountains, are among great hiking destinations in Jamaica. The Blue Mountains and the John Crow Mountains are UNESCO Heritage Sites of the country that is covered with lush green forests, hiking trails, waterfalls, coffee plantations, and the two mountains. It is basically another of the marvelous natural areas of the land that is perfect for touring. This time, it is advised to have a guide in the Blue Mountains and the John Crow Mountains since the trails can get a bit difficult at times. It is not an impossible trip, but it has its challenges along with its beauties.

Reach Falls

Reach Falls is a remote and quiet waterfall near John Crow Mountain, which is in the middle of lush green woods and has clear waters. The Reach Falls is quiet as the Blue Mountains, and John Crow Mountains National Park is rather difficult to explore for ordinary travelers. It takes effort to reach, but reaching the Reach Falls is worth it.

Try the Local Jerk Chicken and Fall in Love

Trying the local cuisine of Jamaica is one of the things to do while traveling, but something that should be considered a top activity is having some of their famous Jerk Chicken. The Jerk Chicken and its special method of seasoning and cooking originated are said to have originated in Portland. This makes the Jerk Chicken of this region something to seek out and try. There is even a special Portland Jerk Festival where the best Jerk Chicken on the planet can be eaten. Besides the Jerk Chicken, there are other meats as well, which are spiced and then cooked to perfection.

Photo by danbruell via Flickr

 Live Like a Local at the Treasure Beach

Treasure Beach, AKA Treasure Bay, is a general area with four beaches and countless amazing locals. This Treasure Beach is actually not even a tourist destination, but rather a visit to the locals to meet their local culture. It is a beautiful part of the country filled with fishing villages and simple bars and restaurants. Rick’s Café is a great place to enjoy reggae music, drink rum, and chill, but there is a closer experience of spending time with locals in Treasure Beach. Just do not expect to be treated like a tourist; this place is just for relaxing and feeling the vibe of Treasure Beach.

Try the Local Food and Ride the Waves at Boston Bay

While traveling around Jamaica, going to Boston Bay or Boston Beach is inevitable. First, because it is near numerous other attractions mentioned above. Second, it is where one can try the famous Jerk Chicken. Third, it is paradise and ideal for surfing and water sports. Going to Boston Bay is mentioned at the bottom, not because it is less fun than the rest of the things to do; it is the final item as it is something everyone will eventually do. But visiting Boston Bay is also something that must be done for the three mentioned reasons; therefore, it is something that should be included on the list.

What to see in Jamaica

Local Transportation in Jamica

Bus

The buses are common and very reliable, and more than that, they charge much less than taxies. Finding the stops may be the only problem, but locals can help in that case. These public buses can even connect the cities as well as local areas inside a city or town.

Minibus

Every region in the country has its own minibus system for traveling. Using minibusses is one of the best methods of transportation. They usually have stations or fixed routes, but they are very reliable right after the taxis. They are expensive but reliable like the taxis, and they will only depart once they have enough passengers.

Photo by sphoto33 via Flickr

Photo by Jason Lawrence via Flickr

Metro

There are currently only two cities with metro systems that are still developing. The first with and best metro in the country is in the Capital city of Kingstone. The only other city with metro is Montego Bay which is not bad and can help in some cases.

Taxi

The best method of transportation inside the cities and between towns are taxis in Jamaica. Despite having high prices for taking you around the island, taking a taxi is still considered a cheap way of traveling. Just remember to travel by taxi that has a red license and has “Route Taxi” marked on its door.

Car

Having a car in Jamaica means you will be able to move around freely and at your own preference. The cost of renting a car can be higher, but it has its benefits as well. The major problems with renting a car are the high costs and the roads that may be terrible in some areas.

Bicycle

Where the roads are suitable and if you are up for some cycling, renting a bicycle or bringing your own mountain bike are also great options for traveling.

Intercity Transportation in Jamaica

Air

If you are willing to pay the high price of a domestic flight, the fastest way of traveling long distances in the country is flying. But this kind of traveling will only be possible between major cities.

Boat

Traveling by boat does not have a major and reliable system. But if you can find a ferry, they can be suitable and fun transports between cities that have a port.

Photo by mtaphotos via Flickr

Photo by Paul Nelhams via Flickr

Bus

The very same public bus network that travels inside the cities also connects the cities and towns with regular rides. They are the cheapest method of traveling, and they are comfortable and air-conditioned.

Route Taxis

As odd as it may be, the route taxis can also take you from one city or town to the other. This will not be cheap, but it is a continent way of getting around.

Hitchhiking

In case you can trust the local rides, hitchhiking is a very common way of traveling in Jamaica. Locals and tourists travel like this in many cases, but it better to be careful when hitchhiking.

Car

There is no need to describe this method. It will not be cheap, but at least the main highways are good for driving your own car.

Flight Deals to Jamaica

Jamaica Travel Costs

Food

Eating and drinking in Jamaica will not be costly, not even the special and traditional foods. Sticking with street food and Jerk Meat is also not very expensive, but going easy is also advised. On a budget, you can spend from $8 to $12 US Dollars on daily meals.

Accommodation

Depending on traveling time, it is possible to find budget accommodation at lower prices of $20 Dollars per night. This price will not rise so drastically during peak season, but an increase in accommodation costs is expected. It is also possible not to find any rooms or resorts during peak season, so booking is very important in Jamaica.

Transportation

It does not make much of a difference which type of transport is used; the lowest possible cost for getting around will not be lower than $1 Dollar per day. Sticking to a budget can make it possible to keep the spending on transportation to a minimum of about $5 per day. That highly depends on the distance and the type of the ride as well as how many times you take a taxi.

Expect the flights to be very expensive. More expensive than most other countries in some cases.

Average Daily Costs

LevelFeatures
Low-end (US $100/day)Legendary budget travelers can save a lot of money, especially if they time their trip right. But generally speaking, a budget experience in Jamaica will require about this much money with cheap rooms, the staple cuisine of the locals, and cheap transportation. This does not mean it is not fun, but it is far from ideal in this country.
Mid-range (US $100-250/day)To enjoy the meals and have a good room and enjoy yourself while in the country, it is preferable to spend more than $100 per day. Less than that is not so much fun, and more than that will just add to the experience. With this budget, watersports, good meals, and comfortable transportation will become much better. And more than that, traveling with a mid-range budget allows site-seeing as well.
Top-end (US $250/day)If money is not an issue, neither is transportation. You will only eat the finest meals in the best establishments, and stay in the better-suited hotels and residences.

LevelFeatures
Low-end (US $100/day)Legendary budget travelers can save a lot of money, especially if they time their trip right. But generally speaking, a budget experience in Jamaica will require about this much money with cheap rooms, the staple cuisine of the locals, and cheap transportation. This does not mean it is not fun, but it is far from ideal in this country.
Mid-range (US $100-250/day)To enjoy the meals and have a good room and enjoy yourself while in the country, it is preferable to spend more than $100 per day. Less than that is not so much fun, and more than that will just add to the experience. With this budget, watersports, good meals, and comfortable transportation will become much better. And more than that, traveling with a mid-range budget allows site-seeing as well.
Top-end (US $250/day)If money is not an issue, neither is transportation. You will only eat the finest meals in the best establishments, and stay in the better-suited hotels and residences.

Best Hotels in Jamaica

Find the best hotels in Jamaica using our best price search engine, or go with one of our All-inclusive tours with 4 Star hotels included. You can book our guaranteed hotels for your extra accommodation; before or after your tour days.

Jamaica Travel Tips

Booking

If traveling during peak season, even getting a ride will be difficult. Therefore, it is best to book everything in advance.

Family Travelers

In case your group gets too large, make sure to keep your money and IDs in a separate place. This is only to keep track of everything and stay out of trouble.

Exchange into Local Currency and Bring Lots of Change

Tourists from the United States can use their own US Dollars, but it is better to change into the local currency. Also, it is better to have lots of change in both cases. The US Dollar and the Jamaican Dollar are both accepted, but small bills and changes are always necessary.

Money Tip

If you see the prices in US Dollars, it would be better to reconsider staying there. This just means they are charging a bit more than other places. In case you think the services are not worth it, it is better to leave.

Jamaicans drive on the Left Side

If you are driving or just crossing the road, keep in mind that the drivers drive on the left side of the road in Jamaica.

Tap Water is "Mostly" Safe

In most areas, tap water is perfectly safe but has some bottled water with you if tap water is not drinkable. If you are not certain the water is safe or not, either use a filter or boil the water first. Preferably, use bottled water.

Prepare for the Heat

It is very important to stay hydrated and fight the heat of the sun at all times. Three items are very important all year round: Water, Sunblock, and Sunglasses.

Expect the Unexpected

Rain is always a possibility in this county. Therefore, having an umbrella is always advisable. Also, it would be safer to have waterproof cases for your electronics. If that is out of the question, it is better to stick with cheap devices; or not bringing any electronics altogether.

Forget the Budget Experience

Jamaica is a place where you will not want to go on a budget. It is still enjoyable, but plan this trip when you want to make the most of it, it will be much more enjoyable, and the expenses will be worth it.

Jamaica is a Place to Relax

The country is basically a place to let go and enjoy. If it is possible to even leave social media behind, doing it is advised.

Watch Your Belongings

Sure, it is a place to chill out and relax, but you should still mind your belongings. There are mishaps all over the world, which can easily be avoided by following common sense.

Marijuana is Legal, LGBTQ is Not

If there is one thing you have to hide in Jamaica, it is not Marijuana; It is your sexuality. It is getting better, but know that locals will not treat gays very well.

Bargain

When shopping, a little bit of polite haggling will not hurt. More than that, make sure to check the quality of the item. And do not buy things that were made in China.

Emergency Calls

EMERGENCY NUMBERS IN JAMAICA
Police119
Fire & Ambulance110
Hurricane Update116
General Information114
Jamaica Red Cross876-984-7860

Currency & Money Tips

The local currency is the Jamaican Dollar which is less valuable than the US Dollar. To this end, it is always advised to exchange into the local currency to avoid complications. Also, before traveling altogether, it is essential to check the exchange rates.

But: Do not exchange more than you need; this is for avoiding paperwork when going back home.

Currency

It is already mentioned the currency is the Jamaican Dollar. These dollars use a similar sign to the US Dollar, so always ask. Unless they have a “J” next to the “$” sign.

  • Banknotes: J$50, J$100, J$500, J$1000, and J$5000
  • Coins: J$1, J$5, J$10, and J$20

Note: Travel checks are accepted, but they will have extra charges for cashing in most places.

Banks

The best place to exchange money in this country is the bank. There are exchange offices as well, but the rates are much better at the banks. ATMs are also used, but they are not very common in all places and may sometimes have extra charges.

ATMs

Using an ATM is not very convenient as they are not always available. They are found in cities and major areas but not all places. The same problem with additional fees applies here as well. In case of emergency, gas stations are also reliable for using their ATM and getting some cash.

Credit Cards

Visa and Master Card are accepted in tourist places but be warned, not all places accept these cards. You will only be sure of resorts, restaurants, and hotels to accept cards. There might be more places, but do not expect that to be very common.

Food & Drink (Jamaican Food)

Like numerous countries with rich land, Jamaica has a very delicious cuisine with lots of food and drinks to try. Some of these amazing foods are inspired by other countries and people and adapted with local ingredients. The innovation and creativity of the locals make their dishes some of the best foods one can eat during traveling. This list of 15 items is only several of the new and fantastic things to eat while touring the country, but there is always more.

Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken or basically any other kind of meat is a traditional and authentic dish of Jamaica. They are so famous among travelers that anytime the name Jerk Chicken is mentioned, it reminds them of this country. The special spices or the sauce covers the meat and then slow-cooked into the Jerk Chicken that will magically attract people to the scent of this delicious food. This unique and magnificent food is easily found as the Jerk Chicken is seen in restaurants and roadsides all over the country. Do not resist and treat yourself to a wonderful and tasty meal that you will never forget.

Ackee and Saltfish

Ackee and Saltfish is a traditional and national dish of Jamaica made with the popular Ackee fruits and Saltfish (cod). The Ackee fruit was imported into Jamaica during the 18th century along with slaves from Africa. Ever since that time, it has remained a favored fruit and a special part of the Ackee and Saltfish dish. Ackee and Saltfish is a simple and lovely breakfast that can be served with several other cooked vegetables. Just be careful if you are planning to cook some Ackee and Saltfish yourself. If the Ackee in your Ackee and Saltfish is not ripe and yellow (the flesh of the fruit inside should be yellow), it is poisonous.

Callaloo

Callaloo is a local vegetarian dish made with local vegetables as a side dish that tastes great. This dish may look like cooked spinach and onions, but it is far better than that. The similarity is just in the appearance and texture. Callaloo being a vegetable side dish, can also turn into a full meal. That can happen by adding fish to the mix, which means it will no longer be a vegetarian option. In any case, Callaloo is a must-try of Jamaica that anyone will love despite being vegetarian or not. Both the veggies and the special sauce added to the mix are rich and flavorful. Therefore, all locals love it.

Bammy

Bammy is another odd yet very delightful side dish made with cassava root. The cassava root is dipped into coconut milk and deep-fried until it looks golden and a bit crispy to make Bammy. Alternatively, it can be baked or steamed to be less crispy, but the taste is not as perfect. Sometimes is made with spices or Bonney peppers that work magic.

Jamaican Curry Goat

Curry dishes remind most people of Indian cuisine but, the Jamaican Curry Goat is a specialty food to seek in Jamaica. The tender texture of meat in a Curry Goat is found in no other food. For its texture alone, this food is a must-try. It may not be dubbed a national dish, and it is a bit hard to find, but the effort of having some Curry Goat is totally worth it. Despite having roots in Asian cuisine, the Curry Goat is a very popular food in this country, and with the spices and vegetables found in this region, it is just irresistible. Served simple or along with some rice and vegetables, it will always be a top choice for a meal.

Oxtail

It’s amazing how so many dishes that were originated from the poor are now luxurious and exotic parts of the cuisine like the Oxtail. Oxtail is literally the tail of a Jamaican Ox that is fried in local spices and herbs. It is slowly cooked in a pressure cooker and served with vegetables. Some people might not like the idea of the Oxtail as it sounds like an undesirable part of the animal. The same people will end up recommending this dish as a great thing to eat. If it helps, keep in mind that Oxtail is now a food for the rich all over the world that is probably served in fancy restaurants as well.

Escovitch Fish

Escovitch Fish of Jamaica is actually an invention of the Spanish Jews with few local modifications. The Escovitch Fish is not a type of fish, but rather the style of cooking the fish. In this way of cooking, the fish (King Fish or Snapper) is marinated overnight. The mix of Escovitch Fish marination includes vinegar, onions, and Jamaican spices. This marination takes some time to be absorbed into the meat before cooking. Then, the fish is cooked whole and served with various kinds of pickled vegetables. The end result is called Escovitch Fish which is popular during national events. Escovitch Fish uses unique pickled vegetables with vinegar and spices. Carrots, onions, peppers, and such vegetables are the most common mix of pickles for an Escovitch Fish.

Run Down

Run Down (locals call it run-dun) is a mouthwatering and tender fish stew. The delightful Run Down stew of Jamaica is cooked with onions, garlic, pepper, tomatoes, and local spices. The mix is slow-cooked to the point that the fish will melt in your mouth. To make it even more magical, the process of slow-cooking is done in coconut milk. Run Down is then served, sometimes with extra dumplings and vegetables, and it looks are it is ready to break apart or “Run Down”. If you like seafood, Run Down will touch your soul and leave a great and tasty memory for you.

Rice and Peas

Right after oxygen and water, the Jamaicans live off Rice and Peas. They are very simple and served with almost anything edible in the country. The simplicity is because Rice and Peas are made with just rice and kidney beans. There are seasonings and coconut milk used in cooking, but the mix is basically just the two main ingredients. The Rice and Peas can be used for all meat foods, and it goes great with vegetable dishes. To get a perfect traditional and local sensation out of this food, order some Rice and Peas for dinner at some of the more traditional and simple restaurants and cafés.

Festival

Festival is like a kind of fritter that tends to be more savory-like rather than sweet. Cornmeal, sugar, milk, and spice are used as basic ingredients for the Festival, which really does taste like a Festival. These tasty traditional side dishes are usually served with Jerk Chicken, and they are fried until they look golden on the outside. Crispy and tasty, the Festival is a fine addition to any dish with meat or perhaps a bowl of soup.

Jamaican Patties

Jamaican Patties looks just like any other crispy pastry with vegetable and meat fillings. But these rich Jamaican Patties can be richer than usual with much more meat and spices. Meat and vegetable along with cheese and a touch of special spices, can make simple Jamaican Patties into a full meal of the day.

Photo by watashiwani via Flickr

Sweet Potato Pudding

One of the best parts of a meal is the dessert, and there is no better dessert in Jamaica than the Sweet Potato Pudding. Sweet Potato Pudding is made with the country’s local and very popular sweet potatoes that sometimes have lots of nuts and raisins mixed inside. These delicious Sweet Potato Puddings are baked into the best dessert ever when they are prepared over hot coals. They are both tasty and rich, and there is nothing harmful to your health about the Sweet Potato Pudding either.

Coconut Drops

Coconut Drops are another dessert made with coconuts, sugar, and sometimes spices. The process of making Coconut Drops is not very complicated, and it should be served and eaten as soon as it is ready and takes form. In case your Coconut Drops are served with some peanuts, it will become the ideal thing to have after a meal.

Red Stripe Beer

Red Stripe Beer is a drink to have on the table with your meal or something to just help you fight the heat from the sun. In case the main dish has lots of meat, or it is spicy food, the only thing to have with that food is a cold Red Stripe. Red Stripe Beer sometimes comes with flavors like lemon and can be ideal in many situations. It is a must-try local drink that is favored by all Jamaicans and tourists alike.

Rum

Rum may not be as popular as beer for most travelers but make no mistake, Rum in Jamaica is even more of a priority, but only if you like it. The rum made in this country is one of the best choices for drinking. It can even be called the number one drink of Jamaica.

Blue Mountain Coffee

It really is odd that Jamaicans are not big fans of coffee (they probably prefer their rum) and produce some of the best coffee in the world, called the Blue Mountain Coffee. If you enjoy coffee, make sure to try some Blue Mountain Coffee and buy some for when you return.

Note: Make sure to try the famous Blue Mountain Coffee right at Blue Mountain itself. Being at the source of this drink means fresher and better quality. It is also easier to find in this region.

Mobile & Internet

Digicel Jamaica and Flow are the two major providers in Jamaica, with Digicel Jamaica being the older one. Purchasing a SIM Card in this country will cost less than $15 US Dollars and will require a Passport as identification.

The Best Company

As long as you are in Jamaica and the Caribbean, Digicel is the best option as it is cheaper (only a little bit) and more common than Flow. But Flow is an international SIM Card and can be used in more countries. In any case, since the coverage and offers are better, Digicel is more recommended.

Where to Buy It?

There are three places to purchase a SIM Card with ease. The first one is purchasing online. The second option would be at the airport as soon as you arrive. And third, at the local Digicel Stores all over Jamaica.

Costs

  • Digicel Jamaica SIM Card (J$ 500-700 – ~$5-10)
  • J$20 per 1 MB of data.
  • J$5000 for a 30-Day Package
  • 1 GB data
  • 60 mins call for 30 Days

Holidays & Festivals

NameDate 2021Date 2022
New Year’s Day1-Jan1-Jan
Ash Wednesday17-Feb2-Mar
Good Friday2-Apr15-Apr
Easter Monday5-Apr18-Apr
Labor Day / May Day23-May23-May
Labor Day / May Day observed24-May 
Emancipation Day1-Aug1-Aug
Emancipation Day observed2-Aug 
Independence Day6-Aug8-Aug
National Heroes’ Day18-Oct17-Oct
Christmas Day25-Dec25-Dec
Boxing Day26-Dec26-Dec
Day off for Boxing Day27-Dec27-Dec

Shopping in Jamiaca

Wood Carvings

Basically, any piece of art and handicraft is a good buy in this country. But as souvenirs and gifts, wood carvings are more popular.

Jamaican Rum

Rum is one of the best things to buy in Jamaica. It is also worth mentioning that Jamaican rum is one of the best in the world, making it a top thing to buy.

Blue Mountain Coffee

They might not be the biggest fans of their own Blue Mountain Coffee, but it has great quality. If you love coffee or know someone who loves coffee, this is an ideal souvenir.

Jamaican Root Tonic

Speaking of drinks, something exotic and healthy to purchase is the Jamaican Root Tonic.

Jamaican Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil

Caring for the body is possible with drinks like Jamaican Root Tonic to improve health conditions and the Jamaican Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil to care for hair and skin. It is not a famous option, but it is rather popular among some travelers.

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

The experience of eating the best Jerk Chicken on the planet only happens in Jamaica, but buying some Jamaican Jerk Seasoning helps imitate the experience at home. It is one of the most popular things to buy and an ideal choice for anyone.

Jamaican Cookbook

The ingredients for making Jamaican food are important, but without a Cookbook and recipes, it is impossible. If you cannot bring back the food, bring a Cookbook to make some local dishes in your home country.

Coconut Wine Glasses

Coconut Wine Glasses are famous all over the world, but some of the best ones are made here.

Jamaican Dolls

Since it is basically a great place for families, Jamaican Dolls can be great things to buy for children in the family.

Authentic Reggae Music

Reggae Music is cool, but have you tried the Authentic Reggae Music from the country it was born in? Since it is part of the local art and culture, it would be great in case you have a taste for Reggae Music.

Trip Ways
Logo
Register New Account
Reset Password
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Compare
0
Shopping cart