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Jamaica is a Caribbean nation with its own soundtrack and global reputation. Crystal-clear waters lap at pristine beaches and banana groves head off up mountain sides, hiding secret waterfalls and swimming holes. And life is lived at a relaxed tempo all year round.
The best time to visit is between November to mid-December, when the island’s beautiful weather is at its most pleasant. If you visit before the Christmas rush, you can also take advantage of the cheap flights to Jamaica and more affordable hotel rates too.
It’s also cheaper in the high summer, although you do have to bear in mind that this is storm season and the weather could severely disrupt your trip.
January to March is considered peak season and room rates and flights can really spike in price during this time of year.
If you want to find the best deals on flights to Jamaica, then there are few tricks you can use when you search with Expedia.
Firstly, use the ‘Nearby Airports’ search function, which will let you see flights from other departure points. This often turns up better deals on the dates you wish to travel.
Similarly, you can see more options for your flight date by clicking ‘Show Flexible Dates’ to see what else is available on the days around your chosen departure. With some days of the week more popular for travel, it’s possible to save on flight costs.
There are numerous flights to Jamaica from London airports.
There are three international airports in Jamaica. These are Sangster International in Montego bay, Norman Manley in Kingston and Ian Fleming in the beautiful Ocho Rios. All three have good transport links, including car rental services for onward travel to your destination. Ian Fleming is the newest of the three, and suitable for smaller aircraft travelling to the northern coast of the island.
Direct flights from London to Jamaica are available from a number of different carriers.
Driving is a convenient way to get around but something of an experience. Roads are not always in great condition and often busy. So be alert at all times when you’re behind the wheel, especially on mountain roads. Like the UK, they drive on the left so at least this should be familiar to Brits.
Taking a local bus is the most fun way to get around, and they’re very cheap too. Make sure you tip the luggage handlers and be prepared to budge up, as they can get busy – but that’s all part of the fun.
Local taxis (as opposed to the tourist taxis) are also generally cheap and easy to use. These route taxis pick up several passengers on each journey but it’s a good way to meet locals and find out the best places to go first hand.
Few places on the planet are as naturally beautiful as Jamaica. With lush, tree-covered mountains tumbling down on to white sandy beaches, this is a real Caribbean paradise. Check out Negril beach, a seven mile stretch of sand and finish off your day at Rick’s Café for a sunset drink.
Bob Marley is probably Jamaica’s most famous son, and you can visit his birth and burial place at Nine Mile.
You can also get off the beaten track on a hike up into the hills, go snorkelling, horseback riding or scuba diving.
Dunn’s River Falls is another must-see, with 600 feet of cascading water that you can actually climb if you’re feeling adventurous.
British nationals don’t need visas for travel to Jamaica and are usually granted entry for up to 90 days on arrival. The date you need to leave the country by is stamped on your passport. If you wish to extend your stay, then you need to contact the relevant authorities. Overstaying can result in detention or a fine.
Crime levels are high in and around Kingston, especially in certain areas of the city.