Jamaica is an island southern of Cuba and best known for Bob Marley and his reggae music. But of course this country is more than just reggae. This way you also have the beautiful nature and breathtaking (excluded) beaches. But also the bright sun and a very nice vibe that you will only encounter here. Shortly, Jamaica is highly recommended and especially very easy to reach from Belgium and the Netherlands.
BEST TRAVEL TIME
Although you never have really cold temperatures in Jamaica, it is still recommended to avoid the rain- and hurricane season for the best holiday experience. It is therefore best to travel to Jamaica in the months of December, January, February, March, April, June and July.
Flying to Jamaica is easy. The only thing is you need to fly 11 hours from Europe. The average price is 250 euros for a single ticket. In June this price is even around 160 euros. You can also make this trip during the school holidays from the Netherlands, but then you pay an average of 600 euros per ticket. Is there no direct flight on the desired date? You can try to get here via a transfer in America or London. These prices start at 400 euros for a single ticket.
Of course, the price of an accommodation depends on where you book on the island. This way you always pay a little more in the tourist areas. But in Jamaica you can already find a decent hotel room for 30 euros a night and 120 euros for an all-in hotel. Not bad because you no longer have to buy food or drinks. You can also find a decent Airbnb from 20 euros per night. Although in some regions this is already possible from as little as € 15. A hostel may be a bit expensive compared to a hotel or Airbnb because you easily pay 14 euros per night for it.
You can easily recognize the taxis in Jamaica by the red number plate. You can therefore be sure that these taxis are safe and reliable. The driver also often takes the role of guide in your journey. A nice extra for which you should also tip a little bit.
The bus network is excellent in cities such as Montego Bay and Kingston. Outside these regions, you often rely on smaller buses that are often privately owned. You can take these buses by simply stopping them on the road as there are not many bus stops. The destination of the bus is often indicated in the front with a sign. Do you want to travel longer distances by bus? Then you can go to Knutsford Express. This bus company connects almost all cities. The buses are also not that expensive at all. For example, you only pay 24 euros for a ride from Kingston to Montego Bay. Which is not too bad for a ride of almost 4 hours. The buses are also very comfortable and safe. You can also take large suitcases without problems.
RENT A CAR
Nothing more fun than a roadtrip. Still, there are some things to keep in mind. For example, you must be at least 21 years old and have had a driving license for at least 1 year before you can rent a car in Jamaica. Jamaica is also driven on the left as this used to be an English colony. Renting a car is possible from 35 euros per day for the smallest model. You can also book this through the Dutch company Sunnycars, but then you pay 120 euros for a day. The big advantage of this is that you are well insured and that problems are solved for you on the spot.
WHAT TO DO IN JAMAICA
If you are going to Jamaica for less than 3 months you do not need a visa. However, you will need an international passport that is valid for at least 6 months upon arrival in the country. A return or transit ticket and proof of enough financial resources for your stay can be requested from customs.
For Jamaica, a vaccine against Yellow Fever is only mandatory if you have been in a country with Yellow Fever 7 days before your departure to this country. In addition, vaccines against DTP and Hepatitis A, and with a longer stay Hepatitis B, are recommended. Of course, these regulations can change regularly. So checking a reliable website is recommended.
FOOD IN JAMAICA
Jamaica is a fairly inexpensive country to eat and drink. You should be on a budget of 10 to 20 euros per person per day. If you cook yourself, you can even halve this cost. The Jamaican cuisine mainly consists of simple dishes that are often seasoned well. In addition, the exotic fruits are of course delicious! Some of the must-try dishes in Jamaica are undoubtedly jerk-pork, jerk-chicken and pepperpot. For dessert, you should definitely taste the fried banana!
Internet in Jamaica
Most hotels and resorts have an excellent WiFi network with which you can even stream some episodes of your favorite series. In addition, there are also some internet cafes where you can access the internet. Buying a SIM card is also an option, although in our opinion this is not the best option in Jamaica. And that is mainly due to the quality and price of the subscriptions.
You can pay with your credit card at many places. However, it is recommended to carry some cash in your pocket. Because not every restaurant is equipped with this modern payment method. It is also useful to pay your taxi and tip. You can pay here with both the local currency (Jamaican Dollar) and the US Dollar. Some sellers even prefer US Dollars to their own currency.
Tipping is not mandatory in Jamaica but is appreciated! So give a tip according to your experiences and do not be fooled by a guide who thinks he gets too little tips! Because the guides dare to ask more. The restaurants often uses the 10 percent rule, even if it is not mandatory. Be aware that this 10 percent is little for us, but can make a world of difference for the employees of restaurants and bars!