| Jamaica Travel Information
When To Go
Regardless of when you visit, you’re almost always assured
of short-sleeve weather, balmy trade winds and plenty of sun.
Temperatures vary only about 10° between summer and winter.
The hottest months are July and August, when temperatures top
out at 85 to 90°; the coolest month is February, when highs
can reach 86-90° and nighttime can dip as low as the mid-60s.
The complete story
Adventure Guide - This travel guide walks with the adventurous
traveler to the heart of Jamaica, to the miles of sand beaches,
to the rugged Blue Mountains, to the country villages that provide
a peek at the real Jamaica|
tourist months constitute “high season” – the months between December
15 and April 15. During this time, rates are at their highest (and
really reach a peak during the week between Christmas and New Year’s).
TIP: Rooms can sometimes be difficult to come
by at top resorts during high season, so plan ahead.
The “shoulder seasons,” the months on each side of high season,
are very pleasant weather-wise, yet you’ll find prices much lower
during this period. The least expensive times to visit are during
the summer months and the peak of hurricane season (August through
October). Remember, hurricanes are forecast days in advance, so
keep abreast of conditions and you should have time to reschedule
in the event that a hurricane is visiting at the same time you are.
TIP: Recently, many of the largest resorts have
started instituting a “hurricane guarantee,” offering guests their
money back for days lost to bad weather.
Water temperatures dip slightly during the winter months, when
they average 80°. During the summer, the waters warm to about
84°, a balmy bath-like temperature that makes wet suits strictly
Immigration & Customs - Entry Requirements
US and Canadian citizens may enter Jamaica with a passport or other
proof of citizenship, such as an original birth certificate with
a raised seal, a naturalization certificate or a certificate of
citizenship along with a photo ID (all documents must bear the same
name). You’ll also need to show a return or ongoing ticket. A voter
registration card is no longer valid proof of citizenship.
Citizens of the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Germany, Ireland
and France will need a valid passport and a return or onward ticket.
US visitors can return home after a 48-hour visit with
up to $600 of duty-free purchases. If you buy Jamaican art, rum,
perfume, coffee or other locally made items, they are also duty-free.
Visitors can mail to the US an unlimited number of gifts worth up
to $100 without duty (cigars, liquors and perfumes are not included).
TIP: Before your trip, get a copy of the “Know
Before You Go” brochure (Publication 512) from the US Customs
Service at your airport or by writing the US Customs Service,
PO Box 7407, Washington, DC 20044.
When you leave the US then return home, you will pass through US Customs
at your point of US entry. You’ll complete a customs declaration
form, one per household, identifying the total amount of your expenditures
while out of the country.
Your duty-free allowance includes any items purchased in duty-free
shops, gifts presented to you, gifts you bought in Jamaica for other
people, and purchases you might be wearing (such as clothing or
The US Department of Agriculture allows you to bring back up to
one ounce of decorative beach sand.
Some items cannot be brought back to the US. These include:
Books or cassettes made without authorized copyright (“pirated”
Any type of drug paraphernalia
Fruits and vegetables
Meats and their by-products (such as pâté)
Plants or plant cuttings
Tortoiseshell jewelry or other turtle products (these are offered
for sale in Jamaica)
TIP: Keep your sales slips and pack so your
purchases can be reached easily.
With a seven-day absence from Canada, visitors may claim
a $500 exemption yearly, not including alcohol and tobacco. Exemptions
cannot be pooled with other travelers in your party.
UK travelers have the following exemption: 200 cigarettes, 50
cigars or one liter of spirits for visitors age 17 or over and
all other goods up to £36 value.
Japanese travelers have an exemption of up to Yen 200,000 and
three bottles of liquor for travelers age 20 and over.
Departure tax from Montego Bay and Kingston airports (not for
intra-island flights) is US $25. Departure from Ocho Rios and
Montego Bay cruise ports is US $15 per person. The tax is payable
only in cash.
With its strong British history, the citizens of Jamaica
are modest, conservative people who generally frown upon displays
of skin. Although nudity or topless bathing is permitted on some
beaches, it is typically not practiced by locals. Most islanders
follow a more conservative style of dress than seen in US beach
Bathing suits are appropriate only for swimming; when off the beach,
wear a cover-up. Bare chests are also frowned upon outside the beach
area. However, leisure wear – T-shirts, shorts, sundresses and sandals
– will be readily accepted in any Jamaican community.
High season (mid-December through mid-April) is the dressiest period,
the only time when jackets and occasionally ties will be required
at a few restaurants for dinner. Generally, “casually elegant” or
“resort casual” is the order of the day, an indication that it’s
fine to wear polo shirts, khakis and sundresses.
Leave the dogs – and the cats, ferrets, gerbils and every
other four-legged creature – at home. No pets are permitted entry
into Jamaica. The reason is simple: Jamaica has no rabies and
doesn’t want any.
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