What do I need to know before I go to Jamaica?

doctors cave beach

Answered by Aneisha Dobson, Associate Writer

If you’re also asking this question, then I guess that a trip to Jamaica is on your bucket list of things to do - Congrats!

And I am here to help you! But just where should I begin? There is oh so much to share about this island paradise.

Should I start by giving you a list of our scrumptious cuisines? Or, should I tell you that we have some of the best beaches in the world?

This island is so diverse, so abundant, that there is too much to put in one article.

But never mind, I'll narrow it to the 'meat of the matter', the stuff you really need to know before you get here as a visitor, six (6) of them!

Ready? Let’s go!

Top 6 things you need to know before you go to Jamaica



  1. Jamaican History


    What we eat, how we prepare our food, the plants grown on our island, the way we build our homes, our religion, our recreational activities, our art and our music, can all be traced back to our early history.

    Whether or not you’re a lover of history, you'll still appreciate that what happened in the past has all come together to shape and mold our country and its people into what and who they are now.

    If you are into tobacco smoking then you should know that the Tainos, the indigenous people, brought it to Jamaica. And if you love cricket? You'll know we do too - and we thank the English for that.

    jamaican cricket in whitehouse

    playing domino with friends

    Do you love Escoveitch fish? Well, thank the Spanish for that, because they brought that culinary style to Jamaica.

    Read more on the Spanish contribution here.

    If you enjoy listening to reggae music then you should know that several aspects, such as the usage of drums, was inspired by Africans.

    You see, those of the past have helped to create the Jamaican culture that has drawn you to the island, and yes, to this website.

    In addition, the remnant of our ancestor’s existence can be seen in the various historical sites scattered across the island.

    As such, I highly suggest that you get to know the history of our Jamaica, learn about our foreparents and explore some of our historical sites.

    Here at My Island Jamaica we have a number of insightful articles about our history and historical sites, but you can also search books and other publications relating to Jamaica's history.

    Start by reading about the early history of Jamaica here.

    Knowledge about our country’s roots will give you a better understanding and appreciation of who and how we are.

  2. Jamaican Climate


    This popular line from the song “Hot, Hot, Hot” by The Merrymen gives you a synopsis of what the weather is like here in Jamaica.

    In fact, we heavily promote our tropical climate and deem it as an asset, a blessing. It is one of the reasons why tourists flock our island all year round.

    But, while we generally experience a tropical climate there are periods where it rains for several hours of the day.

    jamaican rainfall average

    Also, Jamaica is no stranger to cold fronts. During this time we dust off our sweaters and brace ourselves for the cooler weather.

    However, this cold is nothing compared to other countries and it only lasts for a couple of hours, a couple days, usually felt more in evenings/nights.

    But generally speaking, the temperature here in Jamaica is rather warm all year round.

    Be sure to read our article on The Jamaican Climate for more information - including average temperatures by month.

  3. Jamaican Currency


    Regardless of the type of activities you plan to engage in here, I’m pretty sure shopping for Jamaican souvenirs and apparel is also on your to-do-list.

    As long as you’re planning to buy things then it’s good for you to become familiar with the Jamaican currency, yep the medium of exchange, the money.

    jamaican 1000 note

    When trading in Jamaica, you will hear amounts like “Fifty Dollars” or “Two Thousand Dollars”, depending on the item that you are purchasing.

    But don’t panic, will gladly accommodate your US dollar - and pound, and Canadian too.

    Those are the three most popular and accepted currencies in Jamaica.

    In fact, some stores are geared toward tourists, thus their prices are quoted in US Dollars.

    So there it’s not a necessity to convert your currency to Jamaican dollars - although we recommend it because of its high value here in Jamaica. Read more on Jamaica's currency here.

  4. The Jamaican Language


    When we Jamaicans open our mouths; it doesn’t take long for someone to realize where we’re from. Lol.

    Many try to imitate our accent and pattern of speech. Big up former US President Barack Obama who proved to the world he can speak Jamaican. (If you haven’t seen it, check it out on YouTube).

    When visiting a new country, an understanding of the language of the people is very important for obvious reasons. So grab a book on Jamaican Patois, listen to Jamaicans speaking (whether in video or in person) and read some Jamaican literature.

    I’m sure you will be speaking like (or somewhat like) a Jamaican in no time. Read more on the language, and learn some new patios words here. Yah, mon!

  5. The Jamaican Food (Cuisine)


    Chances are, you have already fallen in love with the taste of Jamaican food at some Jamaican restaurant in your country of origin.

    But, let me kindly inform you that food prepared here is 1,000 times better :-)

    jamaican steamed fish

    With our home grown herbs & spices and exceptional culinary skills, Jamaican meals will surely leave your taste buds wanting more. Some popular dishes here, and what you should probably ask for are:


    1. Jerked chicken
    2. Ackee and saltfish (our national dish)
    3. Rice and peas with fried chicken (a popular dish usually prepared on Sundays)
    4. Roasted breadfruit
    5. Curried goat
    6. Red Peas soup
    7. Pumpkin soup and a host of others.


    And if you have a sweet tooth, then I’m sure you’ll surely love coconut drops, gizzardas, potato pudding, grater cake and Toto (which is actually coconut cake).

    And if, for whatever reason, you are craving some fast food while here, like KFC, Pizza Hut, Popeye’s and Domino’s Pizza, we got those as well.

    Chinese, Italian and Asian food? We have that too!

    Read more about Jamaican food here. Already familiar with Jamaican food? Try some of our free Jamaican recipes here.

    This leads to my final point.

  6. Must Visit Places & Things To Do


    There is never a dull moment, unless its your choice. Honestly, the possibilities here are endless. There is something here for every one, every time.


    • If you like history, we have scores of historical landmarks and museums.

    • If you love the beach, remember we have some of the best beaches in the world.

    • If you’re a foodie, we have loads of restaurants.

    • If you’re a party animal, we got loads of clubs and nightlife!

    • Love reggae music? Remember we are the home of reggae!

    • Are you into water parks and dozens of cascading waterfalls? Oh yes, we have those too!

    a day out at turtle river falls

    And I didn't mention all the watersports, from scuba diving and kayaking to snorkeling and fishing.

    Food festivals, sightseeing, sunset watching, cliff jumping and even volunteering, yes, we have them.

    Start here and follow the links from there. You'll see what I mean.


I hope this helps.

Until next time…

AD
P.S. Remember to click here get even more answers to frequently asked questions about Jamaica.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to JamaicaQuestions.

Read More ...

Recommended For You ...

And, Before You Go!

Here (below) are some sweet deals on matching products at Amazon that you might have otherwise missed.

Amazon.com, by the way, is the internet's most reputable retailer and usually showcases only the best products that are related to your search. Be sure to check them out.

Note: If link does not show, please click here to be redirected to our page at Amazon.com.


Great Articles You Might Have Missed

data-matched-content-rows-num="2" data-matched-content-columns-num="3"

Please help me get the message out by sharing this article with your friends on social media (links below). Thnx ;-)

Also connect with My-Island-Jamaica.com on Social Media: 
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

Thank You!

P.S. Didn't find exactly what you were looking for? Still need help?

Click Here to try our dependable and effective Site Search tool. It works!

Or, simply click here and here, to browse my library of over 500 questions and answers! Chances are someone already asked (and got an answer to) your question.


About The Author

wellesley gayle - booking link

A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' - since April 2007.  

To date, he serves over 8,300 unique readers / viewers per day.

His efforts have earned him featured positions in local publications, including the Jamaica Gleaner's Hospitality Jamaica, Carlong Publishers, as well as recognition from numerous prestigious international agencies and universities.

He invites you to join his friends list and stay updated on all the latest. You are also invited to join his exclusive patron community

copyscpe
Top Of Page
Wellesley Gayle

What's New? Click Here And See.

Trending Now

Site Sponsors

jamaica_click_down_here_visit_our_sponsors

Our Preferred Sponsors  & Friends (below)

(Our Sponsorship Policy)

Photographers in Jamaica
Wedding Photographers
NEW! JOIN MY PATREON COMMUNITY! Click Here For Details.
Cars For Sale In Jamaica
Cars For Sale

JamaicaSunshine Tours.com

Click Here to Visit Our Sponsors' Page

Top Articles

What's New?

Below is a list of the very latest articles I posted on the site.

Recent Articles

  1. When Is Hurricane Season In Jamaica?

    Sep 22, 18 11:11 PM

    by Devin Saunds-Dunkley, Associate Writer The hurricane season is usually between June 1 and November 30 in Jamaica. During this time we experience rainfall

    Read More

  2. 32 Car Dealers In Jamaica - The Best Auto Dealers in Jamaica

    Sep 21, 18 03:01 PM

    An alphabetic listing of the best ones, yes, the top car dealers in Jamaica

    Read More

  3. Jamaica's Northern Caribbean University - Where Learning Never Ends

    Sep 21, 18 12:22 AM

    Get an insight into one of Jamaica's most distinguished tertiary institution, Northern Caribbean University.

    Read More

  4. What is gypsum used for in Jamaica?

    Sep 20, 18 11:43 PM

    Answered by Aneisha Dobson, Associate Writer Rare metals and earth minerals have been long acknowledged to be precious commodities that adds to the overall

    Read More

New!  I've created a Welcome Audio. Just click the Play button below to listen.

Please subscribe here to get my latest updates.