Things To Know When Traveling To Jamaica – In addition to warm reggae and dancehall, Jamaica’s natural beauty (beautiful beaches, forested mountains and tropical waterfalls) and world-renowned food scene sets it apart from the Caribbean.
The island’s reputation as a music venue goes hand in hand (sometimes) with a reputation for gun violence. As someone who worked in Jamaica for a year as a paralegal for an NGO, and someone who spends a lot of time in the slums and prisons of Kingston, there are many things I want to do. know before I can.
Things To Know When Traveling To Jamaica
Knowing the unspoken rules of the country will help you understand what makes Jamaica such an amazing place. Here’s everything I think you should know before you go.
Jamaica Budget Travel Guide (updated 2023)
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Jamaica is one of the largest islands in the Caribbean, so it depends on where you decide to live. For beaches and water sports, Negril and the North Shore are your best options.
Montego Bay and Ocho Rios combine excellent dining options with natural scenery and vibrant nightlife, even when it comes to Jamaican music, the flagship, Kingston, reigns supreme.
Treasure Beach (south coast) and Port Antonio (north coast) offer a low-key taste of Jamaica, while those interested in traditional maroon culture can visit Charles Town on the east coast. The summit of Blue Mountain and the remote Cockpit Country are well organized trips from Kingston or Falmouth.
Jamaica Travel Advisory: What You Should Know
The Jamaica mosquito does not carry the virus, but it does sometimes carry dengue. Some hostels and hotels do not provide mosquito nets, so bring your own. The price is between 23 and 60 USD.
The best defense against non-see-ums (mosquitoes), tiny skin insects that live near water, is Avon Skin So Soft.
Jamaica’s major cities are served by a combination of air-conditioned buses, large minibuses and buses.
It’s possible to get around Jamaica using public transportation, but to explore more remote areas, you’ll need time and patience or your own wheels. Car rental is available at Kingston and Montego Bay airports.
What Is Jamaica Known For?
Credit cards are generally accepted in high-end hotels, shops and restaurants. Elsewhere in Jamaica, the currency (Jamaican dollars) is king, although you can get away with US dollars in tourist areas.
Give you the best prices. Airline fees are not bad and you get ATM fees for cash withdrawals. Small change is good for buying from street vendors and using public transport.
Jamaica is prone to hurricanes during the Atlantic monsoon season (early June to late November); Most storms occur between August and October. Traveling to Jamaica in bad weather is possible if you follow some basic rules:
Casual summer clothing is acceptable for most occasions, although some high-end hotels and expensive restaurants recommend casual clothing and attire.
Important Things Every Traveler Should Know Before Visiting Jamaica
In nightclubs in Kingston and Montego Bay, “batty riders” (skin-shorts) and cropped blouses are a popular choice for women, while men wear jeans and T-shirts. . Remember that the mind is relaxed and unpunished, so no observation or judgment is allowed.
If it’s more easy and low-key your speed, find out what you’re up to. This is a party after all.
If you are new to the dance hall, it can be quite a sight. The dance is very expressive and the locals try to outdo each other when it comes to ‘alachilan’ – moving their hips/body in a silly way.
You can probably push yourself into melee and then swim away. If you’re good at dancing, you’ll get compliments from the locals, and they might even offer to teach you how to dance like a local.
Best Places To Visit In Jamaica
Jamaica never sleeps. This is true for Kingston, Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Negril is great for beach parties, while Kingston has the best night clubs, great music events and street dancing.
Things can’t start before midnight and party until dawn. The reggae and dance concerts feature about a dozen artists, and people show their joy with chants of “bullet bullet” and two salutes. It’s messy, but usually it’s fun.
Unlike other big cities where talking to foreigners is a big deal, in Jamaica, the opposite is true.
Some Jamaicans will start talking to you in hopes of doing business (see “How to deal with violence and harassment”), but many people really want to learn more. about you and see how bad it is.
Things First Time Visitors Must Know Before Traveling To Jamaica
You will receive “good morning”, “good evening” and “good night” (with love and affection). The elderly are respected. Exchanging a friendly smile with vendors trying to sell you fruit or souvenirs is better than ignoring people trying to alive.
About 1% of Jamaicans practice Rastafari, a political-religious group that combines biblical teachings with the recognition of Ethiopia as the promised land, using ganja to communicate with Ja ( God), and living in a “natural” way of eating i-tal (free. ). ). from artificial additives), and men grow locks and beards.
Some Rastafarians live in small, isolated, self-contained communities; Foreigners can visit if the elders approve. An easy (and less touristy) experience is the indigenous Rastafari village outside Montego Bay.
Expect a soft trade at the markets, but elsewhere you’ll pay the price © iStockphoto / Getty Images
Things To Know Before Visiting Jamaica
Haggling is common when buying souvenirs from vendors or shopping at local markets. Elsewhere, you are expected to pay the listed price.
Jamaican society is largely homophobic, the gay scene in Kingston is underground, and expressions of love between same-sex couples are frowned upon.
Shops, restaurants and cafes charge for the use of their equipment, they do not always meet the highest standards of cleanliness, and woe betide you if you need a hotel room.
Tap water in Jamaica is drinkable in most parts of the island. Avoid tap water in remote rural areas and ice is sold at street stalls as “stomach wash”, “ice cones” or “sky water” (ice creams flavored with water fruits). Although bottled water is available, plastic is a problem, so it’s best to take reusable bottles with you.
Top Things To Do In Jamaica — Anna Round The World
The plant i-tal (“vital”) food, a mainstay of Rastafari, is widely available and delicious. Expect fresh juices, fried potatoes, steamed callaloo (Jamaican’s answer to spinach), fruit and more. In non-rasta restaurants, arroz con faixóns (rice and beans) is the standard side for most dishes.
Tourists, especially those traveling from the main tourist centers or from Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios, will also encounter regular shopping offers. Some might argue strongly, suggesting that you buy whatever they’re selling and leave it alone; Be firm but gentle in your rejection.
A common scam is people offering a trip to a popular tourist spot (waterfall, swimming pool) and then saying you only paid a toll. The selected “guides” may come with different add-ons at the end of the trips, so in both cases, be sure to understand the agreed fee before accepting theirs. service.
If you’re a single woman, you can find yourself on the receiving end of anything from flirting to serious requests, and it can be exhausting in general. Feel free if you don’t like it.
Where To Stay In Jamaica: Our Favorite Places In 2023
Over the years, there have been many attacks on female tourists by staff at some of Jamaica’s major beaches, serving or covering up complaints or returning trips for signing non-disclosure agreements.
Organized crime in Jamaica includes gang violence. In the 1970s, Jamaica’s two political parties consolidated their support in suburban Kingston, rekindling deadly conflicts that had been going on for generations.
Residents of communities affiliated with the PNP should not be safe in the footsteps of the JLP and vice versa. Today, communities are controlled by local dons, who do not rely on politicians for guns or money because most of their money comes from the international drug trade, and the gang members are better than the police.
Poorer sections of the population receive less support from the government. For young people growing up in impoverished communities, low school education and limited job opportunities mean becoming foot soldiers, the better way to earn money.
Why Travel To Jamaica?
Bad behavior doesn’t affect strangers unless you’re wrong at the right time. Scams and pickpockets do happen, but it’s best to be careful (return to the bus at night, take as little cash as possible).
“The Holy Herb” Smoking is an important part of life not only for Rastafarians, but for a large number of Jamaicans. Weed is available everywhere and easily, and you may be approached by people selling it.
Since 2015, cannabis has been decriminalized and smoking weed is not allowed in public.
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