Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antillies, located in the northwestern Caribbean Sea, about 145 kilometers (90 miles) south of Cuba and 191 kilometers (119 miles) west of the island of Hispaniola, where Haiti and the Dominican Republic are located.
Jamaica boasts beautiful weather year round due to its location. The hottest month is July with temperatures averaging around 29 Celsius and the coldest is January at 25 Celsius. The summer months can be wetter, all the way up until October however rain comes and goes quickly and due to the mountains different parts of Jamaica experience different types of weather at the same time.
When travelling as a part of an all inclusive package your transfers to and from the airport are included and a few resorts also offer complimentary transfers. It is not recommended to rent a car while in Jamaica as the rules of the road are much different than in North America and they drive on the opposite side of the road. If you are hoping to do some exploring booking an excursion is the best way of getting around. Taxis are also a great option; look for taxis with JUTA (Jamaica Union of Travellers Association) emblem on the side of the vehicle.
The official currency is the Jamaican Dollar however US Dollars are widely accepted for tipping and shopping.
English is the official language however you will hear Jamaicans speaking a dialect called Patois amongst themselves and you are sure to pick up a few words.
The standard electricity supply in Jamaica is 110 volts, therefore you will not need convertors unless you are bringing 220 volt devices (hotels will often offer convertors).
There is no shortage of excursions to choose from while in Jamaica. Depending on where on the island you are staying that may be a deciding factor in which excursions you choose to book as some may just be too far of a drive. Below are the most popular excursions broken down by tourist area –
This is just a sample of the many options available to you while in Jamaica. Check with your tour operator or resort for a more detailed list as well as sample pricing.
Most resorts offer shopping right on property if you choose not to venture off. They also will often bring in local artisans to sell their goods if you are looking for a more unique souvenir. Ocho Rios offers shopping excursions to where the cruise lines dock; this gives you a large variety of items. Whenever you are at a tourist destination there will be small shops on site where you can pick up souvenirs as well.
Most of the off resort nightlife is found in Montego Bay and Negril. Due to the nature of Ocho Rios being where cruise lines dock the population swells during the day and then slows down in the evening. Most resorts offer on site discos and bars which are usually enough to satisfy most tourists.
There are many golf courses to choose from in Jamaica – many attached to resorts which can be very convenient if you are staying there and want to golf! Jamaica is home to some of the top golf courses in the world and some of the most beautiful as well with designers taking advantage of the natural aspects of the island and incorporating them into the course. If you want to golf while in destination find out which courses are attached or closest to your resort and book tee times ahead if possible.
Moon Palace Jamaica Grande
Riu Ocho Rios