9 Things To Know Before Traveling To Jamaica

1. Choose Your Stay Wisely

Jamaica is one of the largest Caribbean islands, so where you stay depends on your interests. For beaches and water sports, head to Negril or the north coast. Montego Bay and Ocho Rios offer great dining, natural attractions, and nightlife.

2. Bring a Mosquito Net

Although Jamaican mosquitoes don t carry malaria, there are occasional dengue fever outbreaks. Some accommodations may not provide mosquito nets, so bring your own. For protection against no-see-ums (tiny biting insects), Avon Skin So Soft works best.

3. Carry Some Cash

Credit cards are accepted in most hotels, shops, and restaurants in tourist areas. However, cash (Jamaican dollars) is essential elsewhere. ATMs and currency exchanges are common in Montego Bay, Kingston, and Ocho Rios, with cambios offering the best rates.

4. Travel During Hurricane Season

Jamaica is vulnerable to hurricanes from June to November, especially from August to October. If traveling during this time, get travel insurance covering hurricanes, use a hurricane tracker app, and plan your response.

5. No Need to Hire a Car

Jamaica s main towns are well-served by buses, minibuses, and route taxis. Public transportation is a viable option, but exploring remote areas may require a car. Car rentals are available at Kingston and Montego Bay airports for road trips.

6. Enjoy the Nightlife

Casual summer wear is acceptable, but some upscale venues expect smart casual attire. In Kingston and Montego Bay nightclubs, women often wear batty riders (tight shorts) and men wear jeans and shirts.

7. Stay Up for the Nightlife

Jamaica s nightlife thrives in Kingston, Negril, Montego Bay, and Ocho Rios. Negril is famous for beach parties, while Kingston has top nightclubs, music events, and street dances.

8. Talk to Strangers

Unlike in many big cities, talking to strangers in Jamaica is common. Some may want to do business, but many are genuinely interested in you. Politeness is key; say good morning, good afternoon, and good night frequently.

9. Respect Rastafarianism

Rastafarianism, practiced by about 1% of Jamaicans, combines Biblical teachings with Ethiopian ideals, using ganja for spiritual connection and promoting natural lifestyles. Some communities are secluded and require permission to visit.