Jamaica, the third largest island in the Caribbean, lies 90 miles south of Cuba and 100 miles west of Haiti in the West Indies. Geographically diverse, the island features the Blue Mountains, numerous rivers and waterfalls, a lagoon, and dozens of white- and black-sand beaches. On top of its natural beauty, the island is famous for its reggae music and cuisine. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder so many travelers make Jamaica their destination.
2,758,124 (2006 Estimate)
English is the main language of Jamaica but many Jamaicans speak their own dialect or Patois which includes words of Spanish, Portuguese and West African origin.
The official currency is the Jamaican dollar, but you can pay for any goods in U.S. dollars as well. Just be careful – insist on knowing whether a price is quoted in Jamaican or U.S. dollars. The Jamaican dollar is far less valuable than the U.S. dollar. If you choose to use Jamaican currency, keep exchange receipts from a bank or other official change bureau – you’ll need to show them in order to change any leftover Jamaican dollars back to U.S. currency. ATMs dispense Jamaican dollars. Avoid using ATMs at night.
Entry requirements vary for each destination; it is your responsibility to verify you have the correct documents prior to travel. After 31 December 2006 a valid passport is required for travel to all the Caribbean and Mexico.
As in any country, store hours vary. As a rule, most establishments are open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 or 5 PM Monday through Friday. Some shops are open Saturday mornings.
Most places add a service charge to your bill, but a little extra (3-5%) is customary for good service. When a service charge is not included, tip 10% or 15%.
In general, men may want to bring button-up shirts and nice shorts or pants, and women should consider long shorts or skirts. The culture is slightly more conservative than in the U.S. or Europe. Shorts and bathing suits should be kept on the beach. Cover up if you’re in town.
Most places use standard U.S. voltage (110V); however some establishments still operate on 220V.
Drive on the left-hand side of the road, with steering wheels on the right.
Jamaica follows Eastern Standard Time, but does not observe daylight savings time (so they are one hour behind in summer).
Jamaica Villa Specialists
If you are interested in visiting Jamaica and renting a private Jamaica villa for your vacation, please search our extensive collection of villas located in Jamaica. If you prefer to speak directly with a Jamaica villa specialist, please call Caribbean Days, toll free at 1-800-942-6725.
Complementary Concierge Service
To ensure the ultimate villa rental experience, Caribbean Days offers complementary concierge service to all its guests renting villas in Jamaica. This exclusive service saves you time by allowing our concierges to arrange for car rentals, airport transfers, personal chefs, private spa treatments, reservations at the finest restaurants, yacht charters, baby sitters and much, much more. Our guest service coordinators make it their priority to ensure that your needs are met from the time you make a reservation until you return home – relaxed and rejuvenated. We call it concierge service … you’ll call it exceptional!