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Jamaica is one of the favorite Caribbean destinations for many travelers, offering stunning beaches, warm local regions and, jaw-dropping waterfalls. Tourists can head to the Bob Marley Museum and Good Hope Plantation to learn and discover Jamaican history, or they can feast on fresh mango and jerk chicken. Let the Caribbean heat warm up your cold winter bones or cliff jump into the water there. In order to help you prepare and maximize your fun, listed below are the top 6 things you should know before visiting Jamaica.
1. Driving in Jamaica is itself an experience
Jamaican cities and towns have rough traffic. Jamaicans are always in a hurry, and you will most likely see drivers driving at breakneck speed. Therefore, you should take only legal taxis having a red license plate for the sake of your safety. It is safer and smarter to travel only with taxis authorized to carry tourists by the Jamaica Tourist Board.
Another tip is to negotiate the price before you ride in a taxi. British driving style is followed in Jamaica. They drive on the left side of the road. Caribbean roads are twisty and might pose a challenge to some tourist drivers.
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2. Jamaican Currency
The currency of this country is the Jamaican dollar. Its value is not linked to the current rate of the American dollar. ATMs can be easily found throughout Jamaica. But it’s recommended to withdraw enough cash that can last a few days. US currency is also accepted in Jamaica which makes it easier to deal with the local currency. Western Union is one of the easiest and quickest ways to transfer money to Jamaica for no transfer fee. Hence, Americans don’t need to exchange money at a bank beforehand or withdraw local currency.
3. Local food is delicious
You’ll see a lot of street-side vendors selling local meals like peppered shrimp, fried fish, curried goat, saltfish, and roasted yams as you drive along the local highways in Jamaica. Most of the local Jamaican food is spicy. While you can easily find the regular dishes in most of the tourist resorts like cheeseburgers and pizzas, you should also try the local flavors of Jamaica. Local Jamaican food is delicious. Ramshackle jerk shacks and the oxtail stew are some of the most mouthwatering local dishes. Don’t forget to try the ackee (a fruit) and Jamaican coffee for breakfast.
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4. Jamaican beaches are beautiful
No matter where the visitors stay along the coast in Jamaica, there will always be a beautiful beach nearby. Seven Mile Beach in the Negril is the most popular that spreads over two bays lined with small houses and big resorts, and dozens of restaurants and bars. There are some attractive beaches in Montego Bay as well. Ocho Rios has even prettier beaches. Head to Treasure Beach on the South Coast for experiencing a unique stretch of black sand. Tourists also rave about the stunning beaches and lush landscapes of Port Antonio.
5. The right time to visit Jamaica
The climate of Jamaica remains consistent throughout the year. The state features a tropical marine climate, and the temperatures range from 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, December to April is the peak season when most tourists visit Jamaica. During this time, airline and hotel rates are usually higher. So, the right time to visit Jamaica is May to November which will turn out to be more cost-effective. In these months, you are likely to encounter fewer crowds and lower airline and hotel rates, which makes it a perfect trip.
Also, keep in mind that May to June and October to November are the rainy months. You can expect to see a daily sprinkle of rain during these months. Hence, the months of July and August are the right time to visit Jamaica, which is not rainy nor the peak season.
6. Activities to do in Jamaica
Jamaica is home to some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world and has stunning waterfalls and unspoiled mountains. There are so many activities you can do outdoors like deep-sea fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and horseback riding. Therefore, Jamaica has something to please everyone.
You can simply relax by the pool or the ocean or soak in the hot tub when you don’t really want to do something too active. You can head to the resorts of Montego Bay for family fun. Kids can enjoy fun activities like river tubing and zip-line adventures. If you are a party lover, Negril is the hotspot for parties. Head to the West End Cliffs and party hard. Party people rave about the Jungle Club and Rick’s Café to have some real party kind of fun.
You may be on a budget and can’t decide whether to spend the money staying at a resort for a week. If you want to visit Jamacia to get a quick glimpse of what it’s like without committing to a long stay, try taking a cruise. Many cruise lines in the Caribbean visit Jamaica. This is a great way to learn a little bit about the country by just coming in for a day to visit. Try the food, see the beautiful beaches, enjoy some horseback riding and get a feel for where you might like to stay when you come back for a longer visit.
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