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About Jamaica (JM)


One of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, the island nation of Jamaica (JM) is situated south of Cuba and west of Haiti on the island of Hispaniola. Although primarily identified with beaches and reggae music, Jamaica’s climate supports a surprising diversity of nature, with variable ecosystems and abundant wildlife found across the mostly mountainous island. The primary entry points for travelers to Jamaica are Montego Bay on the north side of the island, and the city of Kingston on the southern side. The towns of Negril and Ocho Rios are renowned for their beach resorts, while Blue Mountain is home to some of top coffee plantations in the world. Many travelers come for the laid-back lifestyle and sunny weather, but adventure and outdoor sport enthusiasts have plenty of options to keep them busy.

  Getting around

Getting is most convenient for visitors who rent a car in Jamaica; however, driving on the island is universally regarded as challenging, to say the least. But there shouldn’t be anything too surprising about the lay of the land. As central Jamaica is dominated by a towering mountain range, the safest and most efficient method of getting around is to stay on the major highways. There’s basically one main route in Jamaica, Highway 2000 (aka T3, running parallel to the A1), which plots a fairly manageable course from Kingston to Montego Bay, cutting straight through a valley system in the middle of the island. The T1 extension runs west to destinations in the Four Paths region of Clarendon Parish. Otherwise, most major attractions are accessible by lesser A and B roads in variable condition.

  Choosing your car

Cheap car rentals in Jamaica are plentiful when you book a car hire with National, Sixt, Budget, Alamo, Hertz, or Thrifty. Choose from hatchbacks, economy and fullsize sedans, 7-12 seater minivans, specialty vehicles, and SUVs.

  Tips and advice

1

Drivers and passengers who suffer from motion sickness are in for an adventure when traveling on perilous mountain roads.

2

Traffic controls are common in the central areas of Kingston and Montego Bay, but rare in outlying areas. Fortunately, roundabouts have been installed a many intersections in smaller towns.

3

You will absolutely, positively, 100 percent want your Jamaica car hire to be equipped with GPS. Be advised that most providers charge an extra deposit for GPS on top of the standard rental amount, but depending on where you are going your mobile phone may be an option subject to coverage, and also legal compliance of having the phone secured while driving. Otherwise, you’ll need to rely on road signage and maps.

4

Many roads in Jamaica are not properly maintained. All-wheel drive or SUVs are highly recommended for both city and rural driving.

5

It’s recommended that foreigners avoid driving at night, especially on rural and inland roads. You can probably get away with short trips around Kingston and Montego Bay after sundown, but even in the smaller towns, you’re advised to park the car in a secure location and stay put for the evening.

6

Quick tips: Motorcycles, mopeds (scooters), and animals outnumber motorized vehicles on the roads in Jamaica. Congestion is predictably bad in central Kingston and slow-going at spots on Highway 2000. Service stations can be few and far between.

Urban Speed Limit

THE URBAN SPEED LIMIT IS

50 kph  | 31.1 mph
Rural Speed Limit

THE RURAL SPEED LIMIT IS

80 kph  | 49.7 mph
Motorway Speed Limit

THE MOTORWAY SPEED LIMIT IS

110 kph  | 68.4 mph
Fuel Price

THE FUEL PRICE IS

SEE PRICES
Currency

THE CURRENCY IS

JMD
Road Driving

THE ROAD DRIVING SIDE IS THE

Left
Driving Age

THE MINIMUM DRIVING AGE IS

18 years of age
21 years of age to RENT
Emergency Services

EMERGENCY SERVICE NUMBERS

199
Documentation requirements

DOCUMENT

License
IDP
Passport
Insurance
Registration

Jamaica Driving Ideas Guide


Jamaica is the fifth largest island in the Caribbean and covers an area of roughly 4,240 square miles.

Montego Bay is a very popular destination on the island. “MoBay” as it is known to the locals is one of Jamaica’s prime holiday destinations. Many cruise ships also dock in the harbour, and this leads to an influx of tourists, especially during the summer season. There is so much more to the island with a number of other beautiful attractions scattered throughout. So grab your car rental vehicle and head out into the countryside to find those hidden gems in the Jamaican Landscape.

Montego Bay to Kingston

2 hours 20 min (180 km) (112 miles) via A1

Kingston is the capital of the island. It is considered the cultural centre of the country and is divided into two distinct districts, “uptown” and “downtown”. Of course, the “uptown” area is where most of the tourist attractions can be found, although many other excellent activities and places of interest are dotted throughout the city.

Places of interest include the Bob Marley Museum, the National Gallery of Jamaica, the famous pirate city of Port Royal and both the Hope zoo and botanical gardens. Of course, the city has many famous beaches including those at Hellshire and Lime Cay.

Kingston accommodation is mostly found in the form of guest houses throughout the city. These are relatively inexpensive although for a more luxurious options you could consider a local resort or hotel, especially if you intend to extend your stay. Other choices include self-catering cottages or lodges.

Kingston to Negril

3 hours 10 mins (241 km) (150,6 miles) via A2

Negril is famous for both incredible white, sandy beaches that stretch on for 7 miles as well as its crystal clear, almost lukewarm sea water. The sea itself is almost always calm, making it the perfect place for a relaxing swim or snorkelling expedition.

The city is also home to Rick’s Café, rated in the top 10 bars in the world. Not only is the café set in a stunning location atop a cliff, but courageous patrons often jump off the cliff into the clear waters below! Negril sunsets are world renowned and are best watched while sitting in a glass bottomed boat on the Caribbean Sea. Other activities include numerous water sports, a tour of the Appleton Rum Estate and tourists markets selling local exotics. Be sure to try some local Jamaican cuisine at one of the many restaurants found in the city.

Kingston to Ocho Rios

1 hour  (76km) (54 miles) via Highway 2000

“Ochi” as the locals know it is the third largest city in Jamaica. It is filled with resorts and another favourite anchoring point for cruise ships entering the Caribbean. James Bond creator, Ian Fleming once lived in the area, and the aptly named James Bond Beach is an attractive place to visit. Of course, much like the rest of Jamaica, the beaches of Ocho Rios have numerous activities for the adventurous.

Ocho Rios, however, has many hidden attractions that offer something different. Every wanted to swim with dolphins, well you can at Dolphin Cove, although not for free. A trip to climb the waterfall at Dunn’s River is a must. These 900 feet falls are easily conquered when part of a human chain climbing them. For the very adventurous, a white water rafting experience awaits outside town on the White River.

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