Don't Leave Here Without...
Sampling the rum
Make a rum pilgrimage to the Appleton Estate. Set in the picturesque Nassau Valley, the beautiful views will blur as you sample the entire range of Jamaica's finest nectar.
Going adrenaline crazy up west
Jump off the cliffs at Negril's West End. If you can't take the 35ft drop, watch locals dive into the sparkling water from the clifftop bars dotted along the West End road.
Getting wet and wild
Wade in the YS Falls, a seven-tier cascading waterfall and pool on Jamaica's lush but less explored south coast. It feels like something from the 80s movie Cocktail, only mercifully free of Tom Cruise and the cheesy dialogue.
Ramping up the reggae
Jamaica and reggae go hand in hand and you'll find a massive party every night in Negril. Ask locals which venue is hosting the happening on each particular evening, and you'll soon be jammin' in the name of the Lord.
Hitting the caffeine highs
At the heart of Jamaica's coffee country lie the Blue Mountains. Climb their tallest peak to take in the sights of both north and south coasts, then stop at Mavis Bank plantation for another rush.
Capital City: Kingston
Currency: Jamaican Dollar, JMD
Time Zone: -6 GMT
Dialling Code: +876
How do I fit in?
'Yah mon', which basically means 'everything's cool', really is the mantra of Jamaicans both young and old. You'll look a bit of an idiot saying it yourself, but embrace the local attitude and chill.
Can I bend the rules?
The chances of you being offered ganja on a daily basis are as high as the chances of Usain Bolt beating you in a race, but be careful. Despite it being widely available, it's still illegal and even small quantities of marijuana can lead to imprisonment.
Will I find myself?
Given enough rum and reggae, yes. But you'll also find a lot of hawkers who'll act like your best buddy until you refuse to buy.
Which animals want me for lunch?
The crocodiles on the Black river have been known to chomp off a tourist's arm, so keep yours inside the boat.
Can I drink the water?
Maybe. Piped water is up to international standards, but most people are seen clutching a bottle of local brand Wata.
10,991 square kilometres
Voltage and Plug Info:
110 V. American-style plug with two flat blades above a round grounding pin. Japanese-style plug with two flat blades.
American, Canadian and British citizens do not need a visa to enter Jamaica and are free to stay for up to six months. The majority of other western countries can stay for 30 days without a visa and any nations that do need a visa can obtain one from the airport.
While Jamaica does have an extremely high murder rate, violence is rarely targeted at tourists. You'll need to keep your wits about you here but as long as you are careful, it is not a dangerous place to visit. Watch out for petty theft in crowded areas and you may experience locals trying to sell you drugs. Be firm but polite when you decline and let them know that you are not interested. Jamaican prisons are very basic and they are not a place you want to end up.
Vaccinations and Health:
If you are coming from an area with a risk of yellow fever you will need to have had a vaccination and a certificate to enter Jamaica. Other recommended vaccines include tetanus and hepatitis A. You may also wish to have diphtheria and hepatitis B vaccines.
Best Time to Visit?
Jamaica can be visited all year round as temperatures average 25-30°C throughout the year. There is more rainfall between September and October but it is likely to rain at any time of year. When it does rain it will usually only last for an hour or two in the late afternoon so will not ruin your holiday.
Getting There and Away
Montego Bay and Kingston are the main international airports with regular direct flights from the US, Canada, UK and Europe. Many cruise ships also dock at Jamaica and it is one of the world's largest cruise ship destinations.
One of the best ways to get around Jamaica is by taxi as they are cheap and reliable and can be hired for a single journey or for a whole day. Negotiate a price with your driver before leaving. Public buses can be quite an adventure and travel to most villages in Jamaica. They are the cheapest way to get around but can be unreliable and slow. Car rentals are available but the poor road conditions can make driving difficult. Air Jamaica and Timair are domestic airlines and provide frequent flights around the country.