Musical Jamaica sways from dawn to dusk to the rhythms of reggae. Life here is more than unhurried, and the main occupation is unity with nature. Excellent beaches and a variety of hotels, cities and resorts, “excursion” and festivals – all about Jamaica: tours, prices, photos.
Sunny and hospitable Jamaica receives more and more tourists from Russia every year. This is understandable: the island boasts beautiful exotic nature, beautiful beaches, places untouched by man, as well as good infrastructure – hotels and restaurants for every taste and budget. The main contingent is wealthy tourists who, as a rule, travel to Jamaica in pairs or small companies. Families with children are chosen less frequently due to the duration of the flight. A separate important plus is that Russians do not need a visa to this country for a trip up to 30 days. According to petwithsupplies, Kingston is one of the largest cities in Jamaica.
Not only nature, but also the unique Jamaican culture attracts travelers to this country. African, British and Caribbean notes mixed here, and it was here that the musical style of reggae arose – a synonym for harmony and peace.
The country’s monetary unit is the Jamaican dollar (JMD), in 1 dollar 100 cents. Current exchange rate: 1 JMD = 0.37 RUB (1 USD = 154.47 JMD, 1 EUR = 162.51 JMD).
Along with the local currency in Jamaica, the American dollar is in circulation, but change is still given out in Jamaican dollars. The most favorable exchange rate is in banks and exchange offices, you can also change money in most hotels. At the airport, the exchange rate is very disadvantageous. The reverse exchange of JMD to USD is possible only when leaving the country at the airport upon presentation of the receipt of the initial exchange.
If possible, take more small bills – it is more convenient with them. In Jamaica, there are coins with corners; tourists often bring them as gifts to fellow collectors.
Traveler’s checks are accepted for payment in many tourist shops (it is better to buy them in USD) and Visa, Mastercard and American Express bank cards.
Exchange offices (cambio) in Jamaica are located at airports, banks, hotels and on city streets. It is best to change money in city banks, most of them have round-the-clock ATMs. ATMs dispense mostly Jamaican dollars, but some can also dispense US dollars.
Currency can also be exchanged on the “black market”, but this is a risky business, as they can give counterfeit banknotes or cheat. The difference compared to the official rate is only 10%, so the benefit is rather doubtful.
Banks in Jamaica are open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and Fridays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Major banks in the country: Bank of Jamaica, JMMB, Jamaica National, NCB, Scotiabank. The exchange rate is about the same everywhere.
As a rule, tips are already included in the cost of staying at a hotel if it operates on an all-inclusive basis, so any cash rewards are not accepted at Jamaican resorts. Tipping in restaurants is 10-15% of the bill – if they are not included in it. Tipping is prohibited at Sandals and SuperClubs hotels.
How to avoid problems
The security situation in the country is ambiguous. On the territory of large tourist areas, travelers do not have to worry: the work of their own security services is well established there and, moreover, there are special police units. But outside the resorts, you should be especially careful in communicating with the locals. It is better to leave original documents, large amounts of cash, expensive jewelry and equipment in the hotel safe.
In order to avoid unnecessary trouble in Jamaica, it is better not to go into areas where locals live: many of them are not particularly friendly to visitors. Photographing local residents without permission is also not worth it, most often such situations end in a conflict. It is better to refuse the offers of local residents to “show the real non-tourist Jamaica”. Most likely, it will be a brothel, a brothel of smoky “musicians” or they will simply try to “divorce” you for money.
The Jamaican State Commission recognized marijuana as part of the local culture. Everyone here smokes weed everywhere, although it is officially forbidden by law to trade and smoke in public places.
The level of insolation is very high on the island – for the adaptation period (2-3 days), serious sunscreen and light clothing are needed. Sunscreen is generally recommended to be used constantly, especially from 9:00 to 15:00.
Do not eat unwashed fruits and vegetables. Cooked meat, poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables are generally considered safe, but many local dishes are unfamiliar and can upset an unprepared Russian stomach. It is recommended to drink only bottled water. No vaccinations are required before visiting Jamaica, it is better to remember instead that the country has a high level of sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS.
It is strongly recommended to have insurance as medical care in the country is very expensive.
Mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects pose some danger, so you should always have repellents on hand.
Useful numbers just in case: police – 119, ambulance – 110, fire department – 110.
- Is it safe for girls to go on holiday to Jamaica?
The beaches in Jamaica are sandy, wide, the water is clean and transparent, and its temperature is the same almost all year round – +24 ° C. There are free and paid beaches, paid ones have better infrastructure, sometimes they even have their own open-air cinema and golf courses. But the standard set is an umbrella and a sunbed, showers, beach bars and water entertainment rentals. Some hotels have their own beach, usually guests can visit it for free. The entrance fee to the paid beach is 650-2000 JMD, depending on the set of services, sometimes a couple of drinks are included in this amount.
- Negril Beach is located in the western part of the island and is not only considered the most beautiful on the island, but also one of the ten best beaches in the world. This coast is popular not only among lovers of swimming and sunbathing, but also among divers: the water here is absolutely transparent, visibility is up to 25 m, and the underwater world is very diverse.
- Ocho Rios (a resort in the northern part of the island) is also famous for its gorgeous beaches with beautiful views. The first James Bond film was even filmed here, and the local beach, James Bond beach, was named after him, where the filming took place. 20 km away is the former residence of the writer Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels, today there is a hotel. The beaches of Ocho Rios are preferred by Hollywood stars and other famous personalities. Another popular beach in this resort is Turtle beach, loved by families with children, and in windy weather by surfers, the entrance to it is paid.
- The beaches of Ocho Rios and Negril are considered the best on the island, but the most popular resort is Montego Bay. It has the best infrastructure, the most restaurants, entertainment centers and nightclubs. The most famous private beach here is Doctor Cave: the best restaurants in the resort and rental equipment for diving and surfing. Walter Fletcher Beach is loved by families with children.
- Long Bay is one of the most picturesque beach resorts, although its infrastructure is inferior to those listed above. It is not crowded here compared to popular resorts, you can rent inexpensive accommodation from local residents, and there is pink sand on the beach itself.
Nudist beaches are worth special attention. Jamaica is known for its loyalty to those who like to swim without clothes, but it is better to do this in specially designated areas. The main “wild” beaches of Jamaica are located in the nudist hotels “Hedonism II” and “Hedonism III”. The first one is in Negril, a 1.5 hour drive from Montego Bay, and the second one is in Ocho Rios. There you can not only sunbathe in the nude, but also play volleyball, walk around the pool without clothes, watch erotic shows and participate in various frivolous contests.