Jamaica travel information

Below is a bunch of useful tips for people who would like to travel around Jamaica. All information provided is based on our experience.

Getting there

Since Jamaica is an island your travel options are mainly limited to airplanes or cruise ships. As a flying-related website we recommend of course the first one 🙂 Flying to Jamaica will allow you to spend more time on the island than 1-day trip offered during cruises. And believe us – the island is worth staying much longer!

The most popular airport is Montego Bay (MBJ) and you can get there easily from US for little over 100$! The second largest airport is in the capital city of Jamaica – Kingston (KIN).

Moving around

Renting a car
On many travel-related websites you will be advised not to rent a car on Jamaica. You will read about people driving like crazy and roads in terrible shape. Not to mention the left-hand traffic.

As always in such cases the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Many Jamaican roads are horrible and bumpy. You can’t drive too fast there without losing your wheels. However, they also have nice, relatively new roads, where you can safely drive over 100kmh. These are mainly coastal roads between bigger cities. There is also 1 paid highway, which has 2 lines each direction and is brand new. However, this one is very short.

The only road to Germaican hostel

The only road to Germaican hostel

When you decide to take less popular roads you never know what to expect, but assume the worse. Asphalt can end without any warning and even if it doesn’t end it’s covered with holes. That is why when renting a car ensure you have good tires and at least 1 spare.

When it comes to driving style of locals we must say opinion are exaggerated. If you are not scared of left-hand traffic you should be fine. Traffic on Jamaica is not even close to what you see in Asia.

Route taxi
If you don’t need a car all the time the good option to commute are route taxis. These cheap taxis are mainly used on short, local routes, but you should be able to negotiate good deal if you need to travel further. The price is usually very low. You can recognize these taxis by red letters somewhere on the front of the car’s body.


Jamaica isn’t the cheapest country you will ever visit. If booking over Internet you can expect hostel prices similar to US. We were using dorm rooms in hostels, always booking on-line day before. You have to count 25$ on average per night.

Here are top 3 hostels we stayed at:

  • Montego Bay – Bird’s Nest

    Pool and very nice view. They also own a kitesurfing school, so you can get direct transport to the kiting spot and hang out with instructors in the evening.

    Pool at the Bird's Nest hotel

    Pool at the Bird’s Nest hotel

  • Port Antonio – Germaican

    Ran by a nice German couple, who renovated an old house. Very hard to get there, no Sat-Nav will guide you. Couple kilometers of driving through woods on bumpy roads without asphalt. You better contact owners before you try to get there on your own. The view and atmosphere is worth the effort.

  • View from the Germaican hostel

    View from the Germaican hostel

  • Kingston – North Light

    Spectacular view at Blue Mountains directly from the porch. From the other side you can see the entire Kingston. Very friendly house-keeper. You’ll need a taxi/car to get to Kingston city center.

    Chillout area with spectacular view at the North  Light hostel

    Chillout area with spectacular view at the North Light hostel


In the home of reggae music you should expect nothing else than positive vibes. And that is what you will find on Jamaica! Jamaicans are very open and friendly. You can easily joke around with strangers, chat to Rasta-mans, ask for directions etc.

Rasta-man having fun

Rasta-man having fun

It’s also very easy to communicate with them, because they all speak English (well, kind of 😉 ).

Most commonly use phrases are:

Ya mon
One Love
Jah Bless

… so all positive, don’t you think? It tells a lot about Jamaicans 🙂

Omar - owner of a little shop. He wants to meet some European girls ;)

Omar – owner of a little shop. He wants to meet some European girls 😉

What I like is that they are not too insisting, even if they try to sell you something. Of course, as in every other region of the world, you will find places where you shouldn’t go alone after dark (e.g. old Kingston from what I’ve heard). However, we’ve never felt threatened during our stay.


While visiting Jamaica there are some traditional dishes that we recommend you to try:

  • Jerk pork/chicken

    It’s actually a usual BBQ dish served with a “spice” called jerk. It is usually a little spicy, but you can get the mild version if you want. If you can only try it once we recommend chicken, as it’s hard to find a real juicy and tender pork. We can recommend “Scotchies” in Montego Bay or Kingston.

    Jerk chicken with festival bread

    Jerk chicken with festival bread

  • Ackee & Saltfish

    This is a really traditional Jamaican dish, that is usually served for breakfast. The Ackee fruit is a bit mild in taste and it has consistency (and color) of well-done scrambled eggs. It’s mixed up with pieces of salted cod, which gives more flavor to the dish

    Ackee & Saltfish

    Ackee & Saltfish

  • Goat Curry

    Goats are very popular on Jamaica and you have to actually watch for them while driving. The favorite way to prepare their meat on Jamaica is a goat-curry

    Goats are everywhere

    Goats are everywhere


  • Blue Mountain Coffee

    The world famous coffee comes from the heart of Blue Mountains. It’s very tasty but more expensive than regular coffee. If you decide to buy some you can find it in supermarkets – it will be cheaper.

    Cafe in Blue Mountains

    Cafe in Blue Mountains

  • Jamaican Rum

    Jamaican rum comes in several flavors. It’s very popular alcohol beverage among locals. If you don’t like it straight up we recommend mixing it with a local, grapefruit-taste soda called “Ting”.

  • Red Stripe beer

    The most popular beer on Jamaica is a local brand “Red Stripe”, which also comes in less popular (and more expensive) “Light” version. Only small bottles and cans available (341ml)

    Red Stripe beer

    Red Stripe beer


We get a lot of questions about the total price of our trip. Well, Jamaica is not very cheap, but on the other hand nothing very expensive there. Their currency is Jamaican Dollars (JMD) and the exchange rate for USD is more or less ÷100 i.e. 100 JMD = 1USD.

Here is the summary of prices for most popular products and services:

  • Flights from US: start from 100 USD
  • Renting a car for 1 week: 300-400 USD
  • Fuel: 1.3 USD per liter
  • Dorm bad in hostel: 25 USD
  • Entrance to attractions (waterfalls, caves, etc) – 20 USD each
  • ½ jerk chicken with festival bread at Scotchies: 10 USD
  • Ackee & Saltfish for breakfast: 7 USD
  • Red strip beer: 1.5 USD in a supermarket / 3 USD and more in a bar

As you can see it’s not that bad 🙂 And the island visit is worth every penny!

Million dollar view :)

Million dollar view 🙂

Top 10 tourist attractions

Make sure to read about our favorite things to do on the island:

One Love to all our Readers! 🙂

3 thoughts on “Jamaica travel information

  1. Pingback: Jamaica top 10 tourist attractions | My Sky Map Blog

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