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Jamaica: Travel Tips
One of the most densely populated nations in the Caribbean, Jamaica lies approximately 90 miles south of Cuba and 100 miles west of Haiti. This vibrant island encourages endless outdoor adventures, with sugar-sand beaches, rivers, waterfalls, and the jungle-like Blue Mountains. Caribbean weather is generally good year round. The Caribbean high season spans Christmas and spring break and offers the driest weather of the year. To get the best rates, visit in the late spring or summer months—or get even better rates by traveling in the fall (September–October).
Getting To Jamaica
If you are traveling from the west coast, plan on leaving as early as 7 a.m., or take a red-eye flight to Miami, Atlanta, or New York and connect from there. Coming from New York, you can expect to travel approximately five hours, from Atlanta or Miami it can be approximately three hours and as long as eight hours from Seattle. In any case, plan on leaving early or on a red-eye flight from the West Coast.
Flight times to Montego Bay
- 2.5 hours from Atlanta
- 3 hours from New York City
- 3 hours from Chicago
Flight times to Kingston
- 1 hour from Miami
- 3 hours from Newark
Staying In Jamaica
Montego Bay, Negril, and Ocho Rios on Jamaica’s northern coast are home to many of its finest resorts. A gateway to adventure, this area is also a great departure point for touring Dunn's River Falls, rafting the White River, and golfing Jamaica’s newest courses. At dinner, sample a local specialty such as tongue-tingling jerk chicken. Top off your meal with a cool aged Jamaica rum drink or steaming cup of Blue Mountain Java.
- Climb Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, a 590-foot cascading waterfall.
- Near Kingston, take a guided tour among the majestic peaks of Blue Mountains National Park.
- Visit Montego Bay and tour The Great Houses, 18th-century colonial plantation houses. Rose Hall is the most famous great house in Jamaica.
Traveling In Jamaica
Classic can arrange convenient and comfortable transfers at the time of booking. You will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel via taxi or shared transfer. In some locations, a private car transfer can be arranged to avoid the stops. Classic can also arrange friendly and fast car-rental service on many of the Caribbean Islands; with an availability of the most popular car rentals, from convertibles to minivans to four-wheel-drive jeeps. Be prepared to drive on the left side of the road on many islands.
While traveling in Jamaica we recommend:
- Private transfers at time of booking - Private transfers include a meet-and-greet by English-speaking drivers, luggage assistance, and bottled water in modern vehicles.
Things to Know
- A valid passport is generally required for entry into the Caribbean and return to the United States.
- Some countries may also require you to present a return airline ticket.
- It is the traveler’s responsibility to obtain the proper documents.
- U.S. currency is accepted nearly everywhere you go in the Caribbean.
- Currency can be exchanged at banks and island hotels (although for slightly more than the standard exchange rate).
- Most major American and European credit cards are accepted throughout the islands.
- ATMs are widely available throughout the Caribbean.
- The islands that make up the Caribbean span several time zones.
- Most Caribbean islands lie in the Atlantic Standard Time zone, but a few are in the Eastern Time Zone.
- Many of the islands do not observe daylight savings time.