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.
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.
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.
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.
Jamaica Holidays Browse all
Surround yourself in the heart of negril soaking up the sun by day and enjoy the buzzing nightlife
- Activities at the resort includes windsurfing, sailing,water skiing and much more
- Trip Advisor Winners of Excellence
- Rooms with stunning views of the caribbean
Explore the area and enjoy an easy access to all attractions around Falmouth at Mangos Jamaica
- Within 30 minutes by car from Montego Bay International airport and downtown Montego
- Fully equipped fitness centre, watersport activities, tennis court, golf and themed dining evenings to enjoy
- Located on Trelawny Bay and its beautiful beach
With a waterpark, onsite Robert Von Hagge Championship Golf Course and a spa for the ultimate in wellbeing, Hilton Rose Hall offers a dream holiday
- Indulge in a spa treatment or play a round of golf at Cinnamon Hill Golf Course
- Book and save over £500 per family with discounted rates for 2017 and 2018 and up to 2 Kids stay FREE
- Bask on the 2,500 foot private beach or enjoy Sugar Mill Falls park - The biggest aquatic park in the Caribbean
- Experience great all-inclusive options at 7 fantastic restaurants, bars and grills
Luxury and romance at Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay
- Catamaran for the exclusive use by Secrets Resorts & Spas guests
- World-class Spa by Pevonia®
- Exclusively situated on Montego Bay’s breathtaking Peninsula, surrounded by the Caribbean Sea
- Huge savings when you upgrade to a Preferred Club room or Preferred Club Junior Suite
Immerse yourself in a vareity of complimentary activities, excursions and spa treatments
- Relish complimentary perks including a bottle of red wine upon arrival, spa treatments, tours, activities and much more
- Kids Stay, Play and Eat free!
- Incredible resort credit upto $2500 FREE to be used to swim with dolphins, upgrade your wine, spa treatments and much more!
Luxury accommodation made for your comfort
- Selections of amazing dining options combined with a romantic atmosphere
- Benefit from facilities such as water sports, scuba diving, snorkelling and much more
- Spoil your mind, body and soul with fabulous spa treatments
Enjoy the perfect setting for a romantic honeymoon or tropical wedding at the all inclusive Mangos Jamaica. This adults...
Treat yourself to Jamaican sunshine perfectly paired with all-inclusive delights. Located on the white sand beaches of...
Experience firsthand the enchantment of Jamaica's magical Montego Bay as you enjoy the holiday of a lifetime. The Hilton...
An exclusive, romantic Jamaican holiday awaits you at the Secrets St. James Montego Bay on a secluded beach with a...
Montego Bay is simply a postcard made real. It is one of Jamaica's premier resorts, covered in fine white sands and...
Spoil yourself with a week of sun and sand at one of Jamaica's most beautiful beaches. Your eight days in Rooms On The...
Take a sun-kissed break from the stresses of everyday life whilst on a getaway to the Caribbean. Nestled one mile away...
Bringing the essence of all things Jamaican to life, the Shaw Park Beach Hotel and Spa is the quintessential Caribbean...
Found in the heart of Jamaica in Montego Bay and the popular "Hip Strip", Deja Resort is the best base for you to...
Club Ambiance's All Inclusive Resort & Spa is an adult's only resort offering 85 bright and spacious rooms. Each room...
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Jamaica NewsBrowse all Jamaica News
The Excellence Group has announced that it will open a brand new hotel in Montego Bay in Jamaica. The Excellence Oyster bay resort will be the first adults-only hotel of its kind in the area, and the Victorian-style luxury property will have 325 guest suites, as well as upscale facilities including a rooftop lounge with swimming pool, eight restaurants, nine bars, two beachfront swimming pools and modern fitness centre.
The Caribbean island of Jamaica celebrated a milestone recently after it recorded its one millionth visitor since January. It’s the first time, the nation reached this number of visitors in the first six months of a year, and it indicates ongoing positive growth for Jamaica’s tourism numbers and the economy. During this period, the country earned over $1.2 billion in revenue.
Karisma Hotels and Resorts has revealed that it is planning to develop a brand new luxury resort, entertainment and retail complex in Jamaica. The Sugar Cane Jamaica project is estimated to cost $1 billion and it will be located near Ocho Rios. The complex will have seven hotels with 5,000 guest rooms, including Nickelodeon and Margaritaville-branded properties, and it will open in stages over the next decade.