Jamaica Travel Experiences

Things to know before you go:

Getting here and getting around:

Daily flights arrive from major cities worldwide at out two international airports: the Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay and the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. If you are in a hurry to get to your favorite beach or resort, a network of domestic air shuttles awaits. Taxis, buses and rental vehicles are also available. Remember, in Jamaica we drive on the left.

Places to stay:

Accommodations in Jamaica are available to suit any budget or taste from luxurious to standard, active to quiet, athletic to restful. Seaside to mountaintop, in the proud tradition of Jamaican hospitality, we have accommodations to cater to your every whim and fancy. Visit our Jamaica hotel or Jamaica villa pages for more details.

The island boasts a colorful assortment of delightful inns and charming small hotels, many located off the beaten track. Enjoy freshly cut flowers on your bedside table and coffee served on the veranda. In a world of refinement, your host remembers your name and your favorite dessert and will remind you to kick back in the shade with a cool planter’s punch, or send you rafting down river, picnic basket in hand.

You may choose from an extraordinary collection of condominiums and apartments. They range from cozy and comfortable to stylish and sophisticated and are particularly alluring for the family vacationer. Then, for activities in abundance, we have carefree all-inclusive resorts. Some are couples-only, designed for lovers, where the sea and the sand are perfect for romance. Others are for families with children, and there are those that cater especially to singles.

For and enticing experience, we have elegant resorts. Here, accommodations are extravagant and dinner is amidst candlelight, white linen and old silver. We also have very private places – a spectacular array of hillside and beachfront villas where the staff is efficient and discreet, and the décor is sumptuous.

Convention hotels with the most modern facilities and amenities are complete with business and computer centers, helpful staff and a range of activities to keep the family happy.

Whatever your fancy – a delightful small hotel or and exquisite elegant resort, a charming country inn or a magnificent convention property, a captivating condominium colony or a sparkling apartment, and award-winning all inclusive or a luxurious villa estate – Jamaica has it all.

Currency:

The official rate of exchange fluctuates daily depending on foreign exchange markets. Foreign currency may be exchanged for Jamaican dollars at banks or licensed exchange bureaus in airports and hotels. Purchases may be made in any currency recognized by the Jamaican government. Jamaican dollars may be reconverted to foreign currency at the airport upon departure by presenting a foreign exchange receipt. Foreign currency or Jamaican dollars may be taken into or out of Jamaica. However, amounts exceeding us $10,000 (or its equivalent in any other foreign currency) or JA $150,000 must be declared to Jamaican customs.

Banking:

Banking hours island-wide are 9:00am to 2:00pm, Mondays to Thursdays, and 9:00am to 4:00pm Fridays. Very few business offices are open on Saturdays.

Credit Cards:

All major credit cards are accepted at established businesses, resorts, airlines and car rental agencies.

Language:

The official language of Jamaica is English, but Jamaican patois, a combination of several languages, is spoken throughout the island.

Children:

Most hotels welcome children and there are some that have kiddies’ centers with all-day play and classroom activities. There are playgrounds island-wide, a zoo in Kingston and petting zoos elsewhere on the island. Most hotels and villas also provide baby-sitting services. Ask your travel agent for details.

Clothing:

Lightweight, tropical clothing is best throughout the year. A light sweater is suggested for evening, especially in winter months. Some hotels require casual eveningwear for women, and a jacket for men when dining. Laundering and dry cleaning facilities, hair salons and barbers are available throughout the island.

Getting married in Jamaica:

If love and romance are a part of your Jamaican adventure, getting married on the island is as easy as ever. Your Jamaican wedding can be as extravagant or as simple as you want it to be. You can get married by the spray of a waterfall or at the altar of a church.

You need to be on island for at least 24 hours to exchange vows, and many hotels will make all the arrangements for your nuptials in you alert them in advance. A few hotels offer the wedding free if you book for a week. Jamaica has dozens of marriage officers island-wide who will preside over your wedding for a small fee.

Even the paperwork is easy. If you are an adult and have not been previously married, all you need is a proof of citizenship – a certified copy of your birth certificate which includes your father’s name. If you are under 18, a written consent from parents is required. If you are divorced, you will also need to provide an original certificate of divorce. A widow or a widower will require a certified death certificate of deceased spouse.

Italian nationals getting married in Jamaica must notify their embassy and a certified copy of the marriage certificate must be forwarded to the embassy to be translated and legalized. French Canadians celebrating their marriage in Jamaica need a notarized, translated English copy of all documents and a photocopy of original documents in French. No blood tests are required.

For more information, please contact us at 1.888.898.3628.

Communications:

International cables and e-mail can be sent from most hotels. Post offices are located throughout the island. Direct international telephone service operates 24 hours a day.

Electrical systems:

110 volts/50 cycles is standard, 220 volts is used in some hotels. Adapters are available where applicable for clothes and irons and blow dryers.

Cruise Shipping:

About 10 cruise lines call on the Jamaican ports of Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, and to a lesser extent, Port Antonio. Most cruise lines sail from Miami and passengers may choose from a number of tours and attractions while in port.

Gaming:

While there are no casinos, a number of resorts have game rooms with slot machines. Horse racing is available at the Caymanas Race Track just outside of Kingston and the national lotto can be played island-wide.

Medical Facilities:

There are regional hospitals and clinics in all major resorts. Doctors are on call at all hotels and some hotels have resident nurses.

Pets:

No pets can be brought into Jamaica.

Departure Tax:

JA $1,000 (approximately $27 U.S. Dollars) or its equivalent in foreign currency is included in the cost of airline tickets. US $15.00 per person is payable for cruise ship passengers, subject to change without notice.

Customs:

An adult 18 years or older is allowed to bring in the following duty-free items: up to 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes or one and a half pounds of tobacco, one quart or one liter of spirits, cordials or wine, 6 fluid ounces of perfumed spirits and 12 fluid ounces of toilet water. For more information, contact Customs House at (876) 922-5140/9. Incoming restricted items include fresh flowers, plants, honey, fruits, meats and vegetables (except canned). Coffee (in any form), firearms and explosives are restricted as well as dangerous drugs, including marijuana and cocaine. Kosher foods require special documentation. Outgoing U.S. visitors returning from Jamaica may take back US $800 in purchases after each 48-hour visit. U.K. visitors may carry 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, one liter of spirits, plus goods valued at under €45. Canadian and Japanese visitors should call the Jamaica Tourist Board office, Embassy or Consulate for details.

Proof of Citizenship:

The United States has issued new requirements for travelers going to and from Jamaica. Effective January 23, 200 under the new immigration low known as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all persons including U.S. citizens, will be required to present a passport as mandated by the United States Department of Homeland Security for entry and re-entry to the United States. Foreign nationals entering or transiting to Jamaica through the United States must present a passport. For more information on the Initiative and how it will affect your travel, please visit the U.S. State Department’s consular website at www.travel.state.gov. Canadian born citizens (not in possession of a passport) may travel on their original birth certificate and two government-issued photo identification documents. Nationalized citizens may travel on their citizenship card plus one government-issued photo identification document.

Citizens of the United States and Canada do not require a visa to visit Jamaica as tourists, and are permitted to visit the island for a period not exceeding six months. Commonwealth citizens need a valid passport but require no visas.

In addition, all visitors are required to travel with a round-trip or onward airline ticket for entry to Jamaica.

Tax-Free Status:

a 1981 treaty between the U.S. and Jamaica makes expenses for a meeting or convention held in Jamaica tax-deductible.

Time Zone:

Eastern Standard Time. Jamaica does not observe Daylight Saving Time.

Tipping:

Most hotels have a service charge from 10 to 15%. The same amount is generally accepted at restaurants.

Popular Destinations in Jamaica:

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