Call us today on 020 7644 1755

A practical guide to Jamaica

National holidays and celebrations

If you're not sure when is the best time to go to Jamaica, ask one of our travel advisers. We'll make sure you make the most of your time, whether you're looking for a Reggae festival, or just a bit of peace and quiet.

Besides the usual Christian holidays at Easter and Christmas, Jamaica enjoys several national holidays and key events throughout the year:

  • New Years' Day: 1st January.
  • Polo Season: From January to August.
  • Accompong Maroon Festival: 6th January. Commemorates the birthday of the national hero, Captain Cudjoe.
  • High Mountain Coffee 10k: January. A popular annual road race.
  • Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival: January or February.
  • Bob Marley Birthday Celebrations: 5th February.
  • Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival: February. Week-long mountain biking extravaganza.
  • Fi Wi Sinting: February. Celebrates African history and Jamaican traditions.
  • Labour Day: 23 May.
  • Emancipation Day: 1st August.
  • Independence Day: 6th August.
  • National Heroes Day: 18th October.

Eating Out

Jamaica's cuisine is popular across the world and has been influenced by the many cultures and cuisines that have converged here, including Spanish, African, Indian, Chinese and British.

Most hotels have Jamaican themed restaurants where you can sample local fare. For authentic dining, we love Jamaica's local restaurants where specialities such as 'callaloo' (fried dumplings), curry goat, ackee and salt fish are some of our favourites.

The 'Jerk spiced' flavouring used in meat and fish, is particularly popular with international visitors but we also recommend trying the lesser known 'Pickapeppa Sauch' and stopping at local street vendors for delicious pasties and roast breadfruit.

Money

The currency in Jamaica is called 'dollar' (JMD).

  • US dollars are also widely accepted in tourist areas, particularly in all inclusive resorts.
  • Local vendors tend to offer better value for your money if you pay in Jamaican dollars.
  • We advise converting the majority of your money into US dollars and a smaller amount into Jamaican dollars. If exchanging British pounds into US dollars, do so from home for the best conversion rate.
  • We recommend converting your money into Jamaican Dollars on arrival to the island at a Cambio exchange for the best rates.

Weather

Jamaica has a humid, tropical climate with warm to hot temperatures all year round but the weather is usually cooler in central areas.

  • Jamaica's coast enjoys the cooling effect of trade winds, known locally as "doctor's breeze" in the day, and "undertaker's breeze" in the evening.
  • Temperatures in Jamaica stay constant throughout the year, oscillating between 25°C and 30°C in the lowlands and 15°C to 22°C at higher elevations.
  • Rainy season runs between May and November or December, with heaviest rains in September and October.
  • Lying in the Atlantic Hurricane belt, Jamaica's hurricane season runs between 1st June to 30th November with August and September being the peak months.

Meterological information

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Average °C 282727272829303030292928
Minimum °C 232222232425262626252524
Maximum °C 323131313232333333333332
Sunshine (hours) 888899899977
Rain (cm) 432321055612159

Jamaica Holidays Browse all

Best Value

From £729 per person
rooms on the beach negril

Rooms on the Beach Negril

Spoil yourself with a week of sun and sand at one of Jamaica's most beautiful beaches. Your eight days in Rooms On The...

From £929 per person
club ambiance

Club Ambiance

Club Ambience is set on the shoreline in Runaway Bay, a small town in the parish of St Ann on the north coast of...

From £969 per person
Sunscape Splash Montego Bay

Sunscape Splash Montego Bay

Treat yourself to Jamaican sunshine perfectly paired with all-inclusive delights. Located on the white sand beaches of...

From £989 per person
mangos jamaica

Mangos Jamaica

Enjoy the perfect setting for a romantic honeymoon or tropical wedding at the all inclusive Mangos Jamaica. This adults...

From £1019 per person
seagarden beach resort

Seagarden Beach Resort

Located upon Montego Bay, the 4* Seagarden beach resort provides the most tranquil hideaway with stunning panoramas....

From £1029 per person
holiday inn sunspree resort montego bay

Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Montego Bay

Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Montego Bay offers a magical location on the beachfront nestled amidst luxury tropical...

Talk to a specialist

daniela

Call 020 7644 1755 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

Opening hours 09:00 - 21:00 GMT

Excellence Oyster Bay the new adults-only resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Excellence Group Luxury Hotels and Resorts has announced that it will open a brand new all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay in Jamaica. The luxury adults-only resort will break ground in the Caribbean in the near future, and is scheduled to open to guests in 2018 with 325 spacious suites offering views of the turquoise sea, and some with direct beach access.

Two million cruise passengers expected to arrive in Jamaica in 2017

Cruise passengers in Jamaica are expected to reach two million by the end of 2017, according to the Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett. The Minister said that in 2016, more than 1.8 million cruise passengers visited the Caribbean island, and if the country reaches two million this year, it will rank in third place in the region in terms of visitor arrivals.

Grand Lido Negril clothing-optional from Blue Diamond Resorts will open soon

Blue Diamond Resorts is opening the Grand Lido Negril in February, a clothing-optional, all-inclusive resort. The Jamaican resort will feature 26 luxury suites, each with ocean views. Though guests at Grand Lido will have access to the services of neighbouring Royalton Negril and Hideaway at Royalton Negril, the resort’s developers have made seclusion a priority, giving guests privacy as well as luxury.