What is the best time of year to go to Jamaica?
What is the best time of year to go to Jamaica?, Contributed by Nicola Fuller
So, you’re thinking about your next vacation - and Jamaica, the land of reggae, sea, sun and fun is on your radar?
Well, truth be told, the old saying "timing is everything” does play a key role in ensuring you get the best experience possible - depending on your style, taste and preferences.
If you press me hard enough though, I'd say the best time to visit Jamaica is... Christmas Time!
That said, here are a few things you may need to consider when contemplating the perfect timing for your Jamaican get-away.
If you want warm beaches and long sunny days, you need to be aware that Jamaica like many other places with tropical climates are prone to hurricanes, the hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30, with a historical peak within August.
If, you’re planning a trip between June 1st and November 30th, educate yourself on the any storm development that may affect the Caribbean and always opt for travel insurance. Read more about the Jamaican climate here.
Mid-December to mid-April is statistically the tourism peak period where visitor records is consistently higher but so are the hotel rates. It’s the time of year when persons want to escape the winter cold for sunny days and the Caribbean’s cool night breeze.
As there is higher demand, if booking a trip during December to April, I recommend that you do it months in advance to ensure hotel occupancy and secure plane seat - seriously.
Cost / Price
Coming to Jamaica doesn’t necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg, if you chose to visit Jamaica during the tourism off-season, where hotel occupancy is typically lower, you may be able to tap into better deals for air fare and hotels during the months of mid-April to mid-November.
Some hotels and tour deals can easily be less that 50% of the original cost. The off-season means no over-crowded beaches and greater access to restaurants, tours and available flights to Jamaica.
Keep in mind however that hotel staff may be reduced to match the reduced occupancy and there is a slight chance that the hotel may schedule renovations during the off season.
Jamaica is known for its beautiful beaches, but if you want more than the beaches and all-inclusive hotel experience, plan your vacation to bask in the rich Jamaican culture.
Below, is a list of most popular events (meaning, there is even more) in chronological order
The Accompong Maroon Festival
A cultural festival that celebrates the war and peace treaty between the maroons and the British.
Date: January 6, 2018
Location: Accompong Town, Saint Elizabeth
Reggae musical festival that started out as the birthday celebration of Reggae icon Tony Rebel. It is now in its 20th year drawing reggae lovers from all over the world.
Date: 2nd or 3rd week in January
Location: Richmond Estate Priory, St Ann
Bob Marley Celebrations
Weeklong celebration of the life of Robert “Nesta” Marley, the world renowned reggae music icon.
Date: February 1-6
Location: Bob Marley Museum Kingston. Jamaica
March Spring Break - sees students from American colleges converging in Jamaica, mainly Negril and Montego Bay to let off steam.
Jamaica International Kite Festival
Day filled with Kite flying of all shape and sizes and concert.
Date: April 2, 2018
Location: Grizzley's Plantation, Richmond, Saint Ann
Tmrw Tday Culture Fest
Seven-day journey of consciousness exploration and enhancement, through nature, wellness, music, dance and art.
Date: May 1-6
Location: Negril, Jamaica
Seven drink Inclusive parties over 5 days, which includes A Mardi Gras Beach Parade, featuring dancehall household name ‘Spice”
Date: May 23-30
Location: Jamwest Adventure Park Negril, Jamaica
Jamaica Ocho Rios Jazz Festival
Jamaica International Ocho Rios Jazz Festival showcases world renowned international and Caribbean musicians and artists and it a great avenue to new talents to be exposed to the world”
Date: June 3-8
Location: Ocho Rios, St Ann
Fun in the Sun
Jamaica’s biggest gospel concert showcasing local and international talent alike. Thousands of Jamaicans and international visitors flock this concert yearly.
Date: July 14, 2018
Location: National Heroes Park, Kingston Jamaica
Reggaue Sumfest - The Biggest Reggae Show In Jamaica
Annual 5-day music festival
Date: Mid July each year
Location: Montego Bay, Jamaica
Mobay Jerk Festival
Come experience the famous authentic Jamaican Jerk and reggae and dancehall music with an outdoor vibe, festival is family friendly.
Date: August 1, 2018
Location: Montego Bay, St James
World tourism day
A day to build tourism awareness within Jamaica and the world.
Date: September 27
Jamaica Food and Drink Festival
If you’ve never experienced a Jamaican food festival, you don’t want to miss this one, visit Jamaica to experience the heart of Jamaica through its food and spirits prepared by featured chefs and culinary artistes.
Date: October 28- November 1
Location: Hope Gardens Kingston, Jamaica
“This is an inaugural National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division Men’s Basketball Tournament”.
Date: November 17-19th
Location: Montego Bay, Convention Centre
Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k
Reggae Marathon & Half Marathon incorporates the reggae vibe into marathon running for sport veterans and beginners alike.
Date: December 1-2
Location: Negril, Jamaica
For more information use the below links:
- Jamaica Tourist Board www.jtbonline.org
- Meteorological Service of Jamaica www.metservice.gov.jm
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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.
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