First some basic facts about Jamaica. It’s under the Commonwealth of Nations and it’s a bilingual country. The official languages are Jamaican Standard English and Jamaican Patois, an English-based creole language. Kingston is the capital and home of the 7th largest natural harbor in the world, but visitors usually start their vacations in Montego Bay. If you’re sensitive to spicy foods, you’ll want to be mindful of jerk spice. Jamaican jerk spice is Jamaica’s number one culinary contribution to the world and a main ingredient is Scotch Bonnet Peppers, one of the hottest peppers on the market. It’s delicious, but spicy. The weather runs from lows in the 70s to highs in the 80s and low 90s all year. The rainy season runs from April to October, which usually takes the form of afternoon showers. There’s a noticeable spike of rain in May and October. The heart of tourist season is typically between mid-December and mid-April.
The Ocho Rios Jazz Festival in June is comprised of 30+ events celebrating all things Jazz. Don’t let the name fool you. There are activities across the island for this festival.
Carnival in Jamaica essentially runs the entire first quarter of the year and then some, January to April. This a fury of activity filled with music, dancing, and rum (there are other beverages in Jamaica, but rum rules!). Carnival is an explosion of the island spirit and sense of joy.
When you’re not busy with a festival, you won’t want for fun things to do. Jamaica offers treetop tours, rainforest tours, water tours, zip lining, and guided hikes on Blue Mountain. You can even hike up a waterfall at Dunn’s River Falls, in Ocho Rios, a popular destination spot for tourists. Want to slow it down a bit? You can take in some shopping at artisan and luxury boutiques, finish a few rounds of golf, take a dip in bioluminescent waters in Luminous Lagoon, or relax on one of the many stunning beaches. The beaches have soft pale sand and crystal-clear blue water. Even during the rainy season, the island averages 8 hours of sun per day.
Whether you attend a festival or relax with some rum and jerk chicken, Jamaica has something for you. Let us help you find your perfect vacation. Please check out our Vacation Planning Resource Center for information to guide you on your next trip!
- Rainforest Tours
- Treetop Tours
- Culinary Tours
- Naval Station Guantanamo Bay
- Naval Air Station Key West, FL
- Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico