We also have many "robot" taxis. These are taxis that does not yet meet all the state requirements but still 'hustle'. [The process of gaining approval by from the government is very cumbersome, I must admit].
Dollar for dollar though, the cost of transportation is cheap relative to, say the United States,for example, but you may run into some taxi drivers who may want to charge a little extra if they suspect you are a tourist.
Getting around Jamaica, taxis give you a great opportunity to 'rap' with our locals and learn even more about our country. However, I would only suggest taxis if you are familiar with the places and/or have a local friend to guide you.
If you are looking for the low-cost option that the approved shuttle/taxi provides but with an added level of security, the true Jamaican friendliness and lots of valuable insight from a local, talk with my personal friend Chester.
I actually first met him through his wife, and one of my best friends, Dione. Dione and I went to college together.
CLICK HERE to contact Chester directly. He will be elated to get back to you.
Moreover, outside of having a dedicated driver or local guide, it is perhaps the most efficient & economical way of getting around Jamaica; especially if you will be making some good 'rounds' or if you are going to be here for a few days. The car dealers are abundant too, so check around for the best price!
There is one credible company that has been around since 1973 that I would not hesitate to recommend to you though; Island Car Rentals.
Not only do they have the most respected name in vehicle rentals in Jamaica, they have a great staff. Ms Laura Lee in Kingston, comes to my mind. Moreover, they offer affordable prices too! If interested, you can get a quotation from Island Car rentals here. They will be happy to get back to you.
A little advise though, Always remember to drive on the left and watch your speed limit. The local police are merciless to a speeding motorist. Bear in mind also that some of our taxi drivers are perhaps not as disciplined as you are familiar with, so that may take a little getting to.
You may also hear a few horns hunking and see headlights flicker ever now and then, these are some ways our drivers say 'Hi' to each other.
Service stations are abundant and many open 24 hours, so can always replenish your fuel. Additionally, most, if not all, accept international credit cards as well, but I would recommend you keep some local cash for this.
And by the way, many of our popular attractions are right off the main road too, so you can't miss!
There are what we called authorized airport taxis. These are independent companies that have members forming an organization of taxi drivers that operate from the airports and cruise ports JUTA, Maxi Tours, and JCAL easily comes to mind.
They have been working in the tourism industry for years and have been very reputable. You will notice that many of the drivers are older too and such would know the ins and out of the attractions.
They have visible desks and banners at our major airports so you can't miss them.
It is more 'formal' I suppose as they will have set times to follow. Having said that though, they do take you to some of the very best places & attractions as well as for shopping.
Air Jamaica Express was the main air carrier responsible for shuttling vacationers -whose concern was getting around Jamaica really fast- to their final destination but it ceased its operations in 2005.
However, travelers can still take Air Jamaica flights between Kingston and Montego Bay, and then enlist a charter air service to reach the nearest point to their resort. TimAir Limited and International Air Link provides service to our airports.
Getting around Jamaica by boat is easy as there are also numerous charter brokers and charter companies at your disposal. In terms of activities, you have several options from glass bottom boating to deep sea fishing.
And please don't think I am speaking only of sea activities either, we have some unique river activities as well. More about Rivers in Jamaica here.
Whatever you choice of getting around Jamaica though, do have a grand time, and please don't leave your cameras, there will be lots to see.
I have compiled a beautiful list of unique and exciting things to do, while in Jamaica. Take a look.
...and even more informative pages about Jamaica below:
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