Jamaica Travel Facts

By | May 1, 2022

Based on map by DigoPaul, Jamaica is located in the Caribbean Sea south of Cuba and west of the island of Hispaniola. The island state is famous for its rum, for beautiful beaches, a relaxed life and of course its beautiful nature. Jamaica is considered the greenest island in the Caribbean and has, among other things, magnificent waterfalls and beautiful lagoons.

Capital City kingston
Size 10,991 km²
Resident 2,900,000
Official Language English
Currency Jamaican Dollar
Time Zone UTC-5
Telephone Area Code +1

Fast facts to know

  • Jamaica has gorgeous sandy beaches on turquoise sea bays.
  • Beautiful colonial buildings.
  • The national language is English.
  • Traffic drives on the left in Jamaica.
  • The international driver’s license is required and only valid in conjunction with the national German driver’s license.
  • Entry is possible with a German passport that is still valid for 6 months.
  • The market price per kg of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee is around USD 100.
  • Smoking cannabis is common. While technically illegal, it is not prosecuted as a criminal offense.
  • Sugar cane plantations determine the landscape of the coastal regions.
  • The country is considered the home of reggae, its most famous representative being Bob Marley (1945-1981).
  • The Rastafarian movement began in Jamaica.
  • Jamaica is located in a seismically active zone and is also regularly hit by hurricanes.
  • Due to the high crime rate, increased caution is required, especially in Kingston, but also in the urban districts of the tourist centers of Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios. Hints
  • After dark, you should avoid walking alone if possible. You should not show your camera or valuables, especially in cities and markets.
  • Sexual intercourse between same-sex partners is a criminal offense in Jamaica.
  • Standard vaccinations are recommended, Zika virus infection, dengue fever, malaria and chikungunya are among the high-risk diseases.
  • Medical care is underdeveloped.
  • The voltage is 110 volts/50 hertz, power adapter recommended.
  • Drinking water quality is mostly excellent.

Exciting cities in Jamaica

  • Negril
  • PortAntonio
  • kingston
  • Mandeville
  • Old Harbour
  • Montego Bay
  • Spanishtown

History of Jamaica

  • 7th century B.C. The first Taíno people from South America settled Jamaica and practiced agriculture and fishing.
  • 15th century Caribs colonize Jamaica and live in coexistence with the Taíno.
  • 1509-1655 Spanish colonial rule after discovery by Columbus.
  • 1655-1962 British colonial rule.
  • 17th century Thanks to the protection of the island governor, the island is considered a pirate stronghold.
  • 18-19 Century several uprisings are bloodily suppressed.
  • World War II: Jamaica serves as a naval base for Britain and the United States.
  • Declared independence from Great Britain in 1962.
  • 1962-1972 Sovereign State
  • 1972-1980 Democratic Socialism
  • 1983 US invasion of Grenada to overthrow communist government.
  • 1988 Hurricane Gilbert wreaks havoc on Jamaica.

Climate & travel weather in Jamaica

  • Tropical with only slightly fluctuating temperatures all year round.
  • Blue Mountains: significantly cooler.
  • Two dry seasons (July – August, December – April) and two rainy seasons (May – June, September – November).
  • Recommended travel time:
    • Beautiful all year round.
    • Best travel time: December to April.
    • Hurricane season: officially June – October (probability of severe storms highest in August and September).

Ideas for trips in Jamaica

  • Seven Mile Beach
  • Rick’s Cafe
  • Swimming in the Luminous Lagoon
  • Rafting on the Martha Brae River
  • Swimming in the Blue Hole
  • Snorkeling & Diving
  • The Blue Lagoon of Port Antonio
  • River cruise on the Black River
  • Margot’s tours
  • Bob Marley Museum

Food & Drink in Jamaica

  • Known for exceptionally good cuisine.
  • Characterized by African, Asian and European elements.
  • Local cuisine is often spicy and hearty.
  • Ginger, pepper, curry mixtures and other aromatic spices are often used.
  • Jerk food is a typical Jamaican specialty that is prepared in barrels or in food stalls.
  • Healthy and delicious cuisine with lots of fresh ingredients.
  • There are top restaurants at star level.
  • Yams, sweet potatoes, green bananas are popular side dishes.
  • Fresh fish and seafood often used.
  • Desserts: sweet creams made from fresh fruit, caipirinha sorbet with pineapple or baked bananas.
  • Vegetarians get their money’s worth in the valley restaurants (often run by Rastafarians).
  • Popular drinks: ginger beer, fruit juices and of course the famous Jamaican rum.
  • Excellent tasting local beers: Red Stripe and Dragon Stout.
  • Famous for its great tasting Blue Mountains coffee.
  • Typical dishes:
    • Rice and Peas (spiced rice, beans).
    • Ackee and Saltfish (cooked ackee fruit with small chunks of stockfish).
    • Jamaican Pepperpot (beef or pork, okra root, calaloo leaves).
    • Jerk Chicken (Marinated chicken pieces grilled over an open fire).
    • Bammy (fat-fried flatbread made from cassava root flour).
    • Curry Goat (goat ragout with small pieces of bone in curry sauce).
    • Escoveitch Fish (Baked Fish with Pickled Vegetables).
    • Janga (crayfish soup).
    • Johnny Cakes (fried dough balls).
    • Pumpkin Soup (pumpkin soup with corned beef and yams).
    • Rundown (spicy mackerel stew cooked in coconut milk).
    • Solomon Grundey (spicy pickled herring).
    • Stam and go (crisp fried cod pieces).

Particularly scenic

  • Magnificent Waterfalls:
    • St Elizabeth: YS Falls
    • Mayfield Falls
    • Dunn’s River Falls
    • Reach Falls
  • Blue Mountains
  • Fantastically beautiful beaches:
    • Frenchman’s Cove Beach
    • SanSan Beach
    • Winnifred Beach
  • Glen Fern Gully
  • Green Grotto Cave & Runaway Caves

Jamaica Travel Facts