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What To Expect When Arriving In Jamaica
9 Things To Expect!

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sangsters_international_airport_in_montego_bay_jamaicaWhat To Expect When Arriving In Jamaica | Sangster International Airport

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

This Caribbean gem I’m proud to call home is also a top vacation spot for many people. I live here and still, I marvel at the beauty, revel in the vibrant culture and savour all the delicious creations we have come up with throughout the years.

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These are all reasons for so many repeat guests but our hospitality is always mentioned at the top of the list as well. All this makes for an unforgettable experience that keeps people coming back.

But we all know how hectic travelling can be; from planning and packing to the long plane ride. To add to that an unfavourable experience when you first arrive! I know that could ruin your entire vacation.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that when visiting Jamaica. I hope I don’t sound too biased but I am truly grateful that complaints have been very minimal and I hope it is never so much that it ruins your trip or views about Jamaica.

So what can you expect when arriving in Jamaica? Let’s break it down.

1. Entry and Customs:

Ahh, Customs. The not-so-fun part. It all begins at one of our main international airports, the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston or Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. Both airports are equipped with modern facilities to ensure a smooth arrival process.

After disembarking, you'll proceed through immigration where you'll need to present a valid passport and, in some cases, a visa depending on your nationality. Make sure you have completed the immigration form provided during your flight.

Customs procedures in Jamaica are typically straightforward. You'll be required to declare any items you'll be bringing into the country and may be subject to a baggage check. The customs officers are generally friendly and can assist if needed.

2. Warm Welcome:

Once you clear customs, you'll be greeted with the warmth and friendliness that Jamaica is famous for. Airport staff, taxi drivers, and tour operators are often eager to welcome you with a smile and a helpful attitude. It's not uncommon to be offered a refreshing drink or a small snack as a welcome gesture.

3. Transportation Options:

There are various means to get from the airport to your accommodation. If you booked with a hotel or resort, it is standard to be picked up at the airport (barring a few). Even some AirBnb’s and guest houses will provide transportation.

Sometimes this is a courtesy or, the service is covered by the cost of accommodation. However, this is not always the case and you will be asked to pay for transportation in some places.

If these options aren’t available to you, then taxis are readily available outside the terminal. I highly advise you to use licensed and reputable taxi services. Alternatively, you can arrange for a private transfer or rent a car if you prefer to explore the island at your own pace.

4. First Impressions:

This may be when you truly fall in love with Jamaica. As you travel from the airport, especially if you are travelling from the Sangster’s International Airport, you'll be captivated by our lush scenery, the gorgeous view of the sea, and the lively music and you are sure to get a good laugh or two by just witnessing our people interacting with each other, we are quite a ridiculously hilarious bunch.

5. Accommodation:

As you know, we offer a wide range of accommodation options, from luxurious all-inclusive resorts to charming boutique hotels and budget-friendly guesthouses. Upon arrival at your chosen accommodation, you'll likely be greeted with a refreshing welcome drink, often a signature rum punch or tropical juice, to kickstart your relaxation.

6. Orientation and Amenities:

Many resorts and hotels provide an orientation session for new guests, taking you around the property to show you the available amenities, dining options, and activities.

Take advantage of this opportunity to familiarise yourself with the property and plan your stay. Most accommodations offer free Wi-Fi, so you can easily stay connected with loved ones back home.

7. Local Cuisine:

One of the highlights of any trip to Jamaica is the food. From jerk chicken and pork to fresh seafood and tropical fruits, our island's cuisine is a delightful blend of flavours and spices. You must try some of our traditional dishes like ackee and saltfish, curried goat, and patties. Street food vendors and local restaurants provide authentic culinary experiences that are not to be missed.

8. Music and Dance:

Jamaica is the birthplace of reggae music, and you’ll feel its influence everywhere. Many hotels and local venues offer live music performances, where you can enjoy the sounds of reggae, ska, and dancehall. So don’t forego… joining in the fun.

9. Exploring the Island:

Once you've settled in, it's time to explore. Jamaica is blessed with a plethora of natural attractions, from the stunning beaches of Seven Mile Beach and Doctor's Cave Beach to the natural beauty of Dunn’s River Falls and the Blue Mountains.

Adventure seekers can enjoy activities such as zip-lining, river rafting, and snorkelling, while history enthusiasts can explore sites like the Bob Marley Museum and Rose Hall Great House. And it won’t be a hassle to get there, you can book with us, and we will get you there to create memorable experiences that will last a lifetime.

While I gave you a bit more than just what you can expect when arriving, as you can now tell Jamaica is more than just a destination; it's an experience filled with rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and the warmest of welcomes. Deciding to visit is awesome but planning a trip can be costly, so use our guide, Jamaica On A Budget, to help you with planning your trip and book with us for even more savings.

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References & Sources For What To Expect When Arriving In Jamaica

  1. Sharing the uniqueness of Jamaica with the rest of the world (no date) My Island Jamaica. Available at: https://www.my-island-jamaica.com/ (Accessed: 10 June 2024).
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