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Jamaica - Frequently Asked Questions

Table of contents

  1. When is the best time to go?
  2. Do you need a visa?
  3. How can I get there?
  4. What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
  5. What is there to see and do?
  6. What is the time difference between the UK and Jamaica?
  7. Where are the best beaches?
  8. What resorts would you recommend?

When is the best time to go?

Jamaica is a sunny year-round destination with warm temperatures that oscillate between 26 and 30 degrees Celsius. The busiest period for tourism in Jamaica is between December and April. This is outside the rainy season, which lasts from May to November and broadly coincides with the hurricane season in this part of the Caribbean.

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Do you need a visa?

As a commonwealth country, British citizens don't need to apply for a visa ahead of travelling to Jamaica and are granted one upon arrival to the island. Likewise, citizens from most EU countries don't need to apply for a visa in advance of travel to Jamaica and are automatically granted one at the port of entry. Your passport needs to be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of entry to the country.

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How can I get there?

There are several airlines offering direct flights to Jamaica from the UK, including British Airways, Thomson and Virgin Atlantic. The average flight time from the UK to Jamaica is around nine hours.

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What is the local currency and what currency should I take?

The local currency is the Jamaican dollar, although the US dollar is also widely accepted on the island. Major credit and debit cards are also accepted in many restaurants, shops and bars in the main cities and beach resorts, although it's worth noting that only the local currency is usually accepted in rural areas.

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What is there to see and do?

Jamaica is well known for its wonderful beaches, but there are many other attractions on this Caribbean island to keep you occupied during your holiday. There is a wide range of water sports available on the coast, including scuba diving, snorkelling and sailing, while you can also go river tubing on one of the waterways inland. There are some beautiful areas of jungle in Jamaica that you can explore on a hiking tour or by going horseback riding. For those seeking an adrenalin rush, joining a zipline canopy tour is a great option. Alternatively, head to Dunn's River Falls to see one of the island's top natural attractions, where you can climb the waterfall itself, or, for a totally different experience, play a round of golf on one of Jamaica's excellent courses. Jamaica is also home to some interesting heritage sites, such as Devon House, Bellefield Great House and Port Royal. The island also many colourful markets where you can pick up distinctly Jamaican souvenirs to bring back home.

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What is the time difference between the UK and Jamaica?

Jamaica is five hours behind GMT, although this increases to a six-hour difference during British Summer Time.

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Where are the best beaches?

Jamaica is home to many stunning beaches, with a lot of the best located close to its main tourist resorts like Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Seven Mile Beach in Negril is one of the most famous, although Bloody Bay is also worth a visit. For families, Doctor's Cave Beach Club in Montego Bay is a great choice due to the range of amenities and water sports by the sand, while near Ocho Rios you can relax by the sea in secluded stretches of sand at the likes of Turtle Beach or Runaway Bay.

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What resorts would you recommend?

The most popular resorts in Jamaica are Negril, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, each of which is well established and set up to cater for a wide variety of tourists. Montego Bay is close to wonderful beaches - like the picturesque Cornwall Beach - and interesting towns like Falmouth. Stay in Ocho Rios and you'll be near Dunn's River Falls as well as the stunning Runaway Beach. Negril, meanwhile, is the perfect place to watch an outstanding sunset and is home to lovely beaches like Seven Mile Beach and Cousin's Cove.

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Visitor arrivals in Jamaica up by five per cent in first nine months of 2016

Jamaica has recorded a 5.4 per cent increase in tourist arrivals during the first nine months of 2016. The latest figures from the Jamaica Tourist Board reveal that the Caribbean island received 2,876,220 visitors during this period, and gross foreign exchange earnings was also up by five per cent. The country also received a positive rise in travellers from Canada, with a 7.2 per cent increase.

Chief Executive of Sandals Resorts International awarded Order of Distinction in Jamaica

Adam Stewart, the Chief Executive of Sandals Resorts International, has been awarded the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) by the government of Jamaica. During the National Honours and Awards Ceremony at King’s House last month, Stewart was given the award for his outstanding services to the tourism and hotel industry in Jamaica. Sandals Resorts owns and operates a collection of luxury all-inclusive resorts throughout Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica to add 12 more Overwater Bungalows

The popularity of the brand new overwater bungalows at Sandals Royal Caribbean resort in Montego Bay has been so great that Sandals Resorts has announced plans to construct a further 12 to keep up with demand. The first five unique bungalows with glass floors in Jamaica have not yet opened to the public, and will be the first of their kind in the Caribbean. The resort will add 12 more that are scheduled to open in February, 2017.