Jamaica

Jamaica: When to Go

Consistently warm tropical weather ensures Jamaica is a popular destination year-round. On the coast, temperatures range from 22°C (72°F) and 31°C (88°F). Mid December - mid April is High Season. May, June, October and November are Shoulder Season in terms of climate but also Jamaica's rainy and hurricane seasons (it rains for a short spell most afternoons, but isn't a big deal). Low Season is from mid-April to mid-December - fewer crowds but less reliable sunshine.

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TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

Getting There

Note: flight, boat, train and bus timetables change constantly, and airlines come and go, so please do not rely solely on this information for your travel planning. Check with relevant companies, or a flight search engine like Skyscanner, first.

There are 2 airports in Jamaica: Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston in the south of the island, and Sangster International Airport aka Montego Bay on the west coast.

Other smaller airfields around the island can accommodate helicopters and smaller domestic flights. (Ken Jones Aerodrome near Port Antonio on the east, Norman Manley Boulevard on the west coast near Negril).

FROM THE UK:

Direct and indirect flights to both Kingston and Montego Bay are available from various London and regional UK airports.

FROM THE US:

jetBlue have direct flights to Norman Manley from New York JFK, Los Angeles and Portland, and Montego Bay from Orlando, Salt Lake City, Portland and Buffalo.
Air Jamaica have direct flights to Norman Manley from New York JFK and Fort Lauderdale International, and Montego Bay from Philadelphia.
Delta have direct flights to Montego Bay from Atlanta, Minneapolis and Memphis.

FROM EUROPE:

There are no direct flights to Jamaica from France, Austria, Italy or Sweden.
Air Berlin flies directly from Dusseldorf to Montego Bay. Condor flies directly from Frankfurt to Montego Bay.

Getting Around

Jamaican Taxis
There are 2 official types of taxi in Jamaica: Charter Taxis (officially licensed and insured, for sole use of passenger) and Route Taxis (a collective taxi, with red license plates). 'Robots' are also collective taxis, but are often not licensed / insured, and therefore not recommended.

By Car
The minimum age to hire a car is 23, and rental often requires a $1,500 deposit (which may max out your credit card). When we visited in 2010, some roads were still closed due to damage caused by the last hurricane several years ago, and the eastern coast road from Kingston was badly eroded by landslides. In general, a 4x4 is advisable if you plan to explore - see our car rental recommendations.