Varied landscapes, beaches, music and the highest number of endemic birds of any one island in the Caribbean
Here is a little practical information about the destination to help with your planning, but please do contact us with any questions that you might have.
Kingston is the capital of Jamaica. English is the official language of Jamaica. However, Patois (Creole), a combination of English and some African languages, is spoken in rural areas and is used increasingly in urban areas. Most Jamaicans can speak or understand Patois, but it is not a written language
Please consult your own doctor’s surgery for up to the minute advice. Although not compulsory, it is advisable to make sure that your inoculations particularly tetanus are up to date and at times a vaccination for Hepatitis A is also advised. No treatment is required to prevent malaria, but you should use insect repellent as a precaution.
The health and hygiene standards in Jamaica are generally high and tap water is considered safe for drinking. However we do recommend drinking bottled water if possible.
British nationals do not need a visa for a visit of up to 90 days. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.
Money can be changed at cambios, which are found island-wide, with late opening hours and competitive exchange rates. Money can also be obtained from ATM's and exchanged at most banks, and currency exchanges are found at both airports, offering rates that are slightly lower than the banks. Alternatively, all the hotels will change money for you and will of course accept Credit Cards to pay for any extras.
The local currency is the Jamaica dollar. The US dollar is also widely accepted in Jamaica. Importing and exporting of Jamaican currency is prohibited, however there are no restrictions on foreign currency, as long as it is declared.
Coastal temperatures average a near-constant 80F to 86F year-round. Temperatures fall steadily with increasing altitude but even in the Blue Mountains average 65F or more. A “rainy season” begins in May or June and extends through November or December, with the heaviest rains in September and October. Rain can fall at any time of year, however, and normally comes in short, heavy showers, often followed by sun.
Although Jamaica lies in the Caribbean “hurricane belt”, relatively few hurricanes touch it. Officially the hurricane season lasts from 1st June to 30th November; August and September are peak months.
Our country specialists can advise on any safety concerns you may have. For current information, please refer to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website.