This palm-fringed oasis really packs a punch (and we don’t just mean the rum variety). Irresistible Caribbean flavour oozes from every corner – from reggae rhythms and spicy plates of jerk to the sing-song sound of locals bantering in Patois. Whether you want to scuba dive among tropical fish, hike to the top of Blue Mountain Peak, or simply soak in the sun on Negril’s famous Seven Mile beach, this adventure-seekers playground has a little something for everyone. Add year-round good weather and a refreshing Red Stripe beer and you’ll soon see why everything is always ‘irie’ in Jamaica.
Jamaica experiences beautiful, warm weather all year round, although the risk of tropical storms tends to deter tourists during the summer months. Hurricane season tapers off around November, drawing most travellers to Jamaica between December and March, when the weather is consistently warm and sunny and there is little rainfall. Rainfall begins to increase in April and May, but shouldn’t hinder travel plans. Travel is cheapest between July and October when increased rainfall and sporadic heavy storms become common.
Australia: No – not required
Belgium: No – not required
Canada: No – not required
Germany: No – not required
Ireland: No – not required
Netherlands: No – not required
New Zealand: No – not required
South Africa: No – not required
Switzerland: No – not required
United Kingdom: No – not required
USA: No – not required
Travellers from most nations do not require a visa to visit Jamaica for stays of up to 90 days. Most travellers that do require a visa can obtain one on arrival. Check with your local consulate or embassy for up-to-date information.
It’s recommended that your passport is valid for at least six months past your departure date and that it has a few blank pages for stamps.
It is customary to leave a 10% tip at hotels and restaurants. Some will automatically add a 10 or 15% service charge, in which case there is no need to leave an additional tip.
The Internet can be accessed at internet cafes and hotels in large cities but is limited in rural and remote areas.
Mobile phone coverage is good in major cities, but may not be available in rural and remote areas. Ensure global roaming is activated with your service provider before leaving home.
Western-style flushable toilets are the norm in Jamaica. Most restaurants charge a small fee to use their restrooms.
Bottle of local beer = USD 1.20
Plate of jerk = USD 3.50
Simple meal at a local restaurant = USD 20
Sit-down dinner at a nice restaurant = USD 30+
Tap water is safe to drink in tourist areas and major cities though should be avoided in more rural parts. Regardless of where you are, it’s a good idea to avoid ice, as there is no guarantee the water used to make it was not contaminated. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, pack a reusable bottle. If you are in doubt about the quality of the water, your guide or hotel can tell you where to find filtered water.
Major credit cards are generally accepted by medium-sized and larger businesses, particularly in tourist areas, but may not be accepted by smaller vendors or in more rural parts. It’s a good idea to always carry some cash in case credit cards are not an option.
ATMs are widely available at airports and in larger towns and hotels, although they have a reputation for being unreliable. Many banks will give credit card cash advances if the ATM is not working. For safety reasons, it is recommended that you only use ATMs during business hours and avoid using them after dark.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1: New Year’s Day
March 1: Ash Wednesday
Apr 14: Good Friday
Apr 17: Easter Monday
May 23: Labour Day
Aug 1: Emancipation Day
Aug 7: Independence Day
Oct 16: National Heroes Day
Dec 25: Christmas
Dec 26: Boxing Day
For a current list of public holidays in Jamaica go to: https://www.worldtravelguide.net/guides/caribbean/jamaica/public-holidays/
A high amount of discretion is recommended for LGBTQI-travellers in Jamaica. Some of the country’s most prominent reggae and dancehall artists have been known to espouse anti-gay speech. Sexual acts between men are illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and homophobic-related violence is almost never prosecuted. Public displays of affection should always be avoided. That said, there is a large local gay population and an underground gay scene exists in Kingston.