US Dollar and Jamaican Dollar
Jamaica, often called a ‘jewel of the Caribbean’, is perhaps the most evocative island of the West Indies; an emerald of rainforests interspersed with hidden waterfalls, a sapphire in the famous coffee-producing Blue Mountains, spanning some twenty-eight miles of the island’s eastern side, and a ruby of a bright and vibrant culture, rich with music and flavoursome food.
Say ‘Jamaica’ to those who haven’t been, and the first thing they will mention is likely to be Bob Marley, who was born here in the now famous Nine Mile Village in St Ann Parish. Indeed, the reggae-infused spirit is one of the joys of Jamaica, emerging in food, music and way of life equally. However, once you get out and explore the wonders around you, you will truly understand the island’s motto – ‘out of many one people’. Once here, you will learn the true diversity of Jamaica; how beyond the beautiful beaches there is a miraculous rainforest eco-system, a deeply entrenched history and a ruggedly beautiful landscape, beckoning those with adventurous souls. Iconic in many ways, it is one of those places we recommend seeing for yourself, as you truly will be delighted at all it has to offer.
As a former colony of Spain and England, there are plenty of 17th and 18th century remnants to see for those with historic interests such as Bellefield Great House. Visit Greenwood Great House, where the original library of the Barrett family, known for their depiction in Rudolf Besier’s play, ‘The Barretts of Wimpole Street’, still remains, along with a collection of rare musical instruments. Take a trip to Firefly, the home of Noël Coward, the famously witty English playwright, where he welcomed guests including Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Queen Elizabeth II.
Beautiful Island Beaches
The beaches of Jamaica are the strongest attraction for many of those looking to relax. The carefree vibe of island life here lends itself fantastically to letting your hair down, and spending endless hours sipping on rum punch in a gently swinging hammock as the waves softly lap at golden, sandy shores. All our featured five-star luxury hotels have beachfront locations, and, from Round Hill on Montego Bay to GoldenEye in Oracabessa, the beaches along the northern shore are all beautiful.
With the impressive Blue Mountains looming over Kingston to the north and the world’s seventh-largest natural harbour to the south, the setting is truly magnificent. Kingston is a city of two halves: Downtown, home to historic buildings, banks, courts and one of the best art museums in the Caribbean, whilst Uptown holds the city’s best hotels and restaurants and its cluster of tall buildings around Emancipation Park. Devon House is worth visiting when in Kingston, and is a stately mansion with a fascinating history as the home of Jamaica’s first black millionaire, George Stiebel. Another highlight is the Bob Marley Museum, providing fascinating insights into the reggae superstar’s life.
There are countless ways to explore the Jamaican landscape and excitement is never too hard to find. Dunn’s River Falls is one of the most beautiful natural spots of Jamaica and was featured in the James Bond film, ‘Dr. No’, since Ian Fleming himself famously loved (and lived on) the island. The Blue Mountains is the most mystical landscape and is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural and natural value. The lush rainforest and cascading waterfalls are stunning, and its thriving eco-system makes it home to thousands of endemic plant, bird and insect species. Hiking and bicycle tours can be arranged here by hotel concierges.
Reggae is not just about music, it is also about food. An exciting prospect for any foodie, this beautiful setting is also home to a buffet of juicy plates, stacked high with, street-style, jerk-spiced chicken, glazed roasted pork and spicy goat curries. But this is just the start of your culinary journey, with a bounty of fresh, home-grown ingredients Jamaica produces a healthy number of acclaimed local chefs and on gourmet menus you will find many skilfully crafted fusion dishes.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
James Bond enthusiasts amongst you will be thrilled to know that you can stay at the place in Jamaica where Ian Fleming penned fourteen of his famous novels. The beautiful resort of GoldenEye is home to just twenty beach and lagoon cottages, suites and villas and is the perfect choice perhaps to begin your own literary masterpiece.
Witness the wonderful sight of hatchling turtles making their passage to sea at Jamaica Inn. Either on the property itself or at a nearby location, an average one-hundred turtles per nest make their way into the world between the months of August and October.
Guests staying at Round Hill Hotel and Villas can be transported to the famous Tryall Golf Club in Montego Bay, one of the most celebrated courses in the Caribbean, designed by Ralph Plummer and host to the Johnnie Walker World Cup Championship. Other courses nearby include Half Moon Course, Cinnamon Hill Golf Course and White Witch Golf Course.
Half Moon, a Rock Resort is the only resort in Jamaica to proudly offer the opportunity to swim with dolphins. With its own large ocean lagoon and trained handlers, encounters can be arranged for children and adults, including private swims and the opportunity to spend the whole day learning from a dolphin trainer.
From GoldenEye, join a local fisherman first thing in the morning, and bring your catch back to the hotel chef to have it cooked for you that day, a fantastic way to experience farm-to-table cooking for yourself.
Tropical climate all year round (temperate in the mountain areas). The rainy months are May and October, but showers may occur at any time.
There is a ‘hurricane season’ in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Central Mexico and South Eastern seaboard of America between June and November, the months of August and September being particularly susceptible.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Jamaica.
British Airways from London Gatwick to Kingston.
Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick to Montego Bay. Private charter flights available on request.
From London Gatwick to Kingston: 10 hours.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
British passports should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. You no longer need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. For up-to-date resort information, please visit www.fco.gov.uk
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.
For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website. View the travel advice in full here: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/jamaica