The capital of Jamaica is Kingston.
It is 9 hours behind Moscow time.
The official language of the country is English. The Jamaican version of the language is very different from standard English – most of the words are of African or Spanish origin. Here, this dialect is often referred to as Airi or Patois.
The country’s national currency is the Jamaican dollar (JMD).
You can exchange currency at Kingston and Montego Bay airports at specialized exchange offices that operate around the clock.
Banks work on weekdays, except Friday, from 9:00 to 14:00, on Fridays, banks work from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:30 to 17:00.
All goods and services in Jamaica are subject to a 15% tax.
1 RUB = 3.10 JMD, 1 USD = 85.47 JMD, 1 EUR = 125.53 JMD.
GPRS roaming is not available to Russian mobile operators in the country. You can get access to the network in Internet kiosks located in shopping centers, or in numerous Internet cafes.
To call in every city, everywhere you can find pay phones that work with calling cards and coins. You can make an international call from post offices or telephone exchanges located in all major hotels.
The international dialing code for Jamaica is +1-876.
When calling to Jamaica, dial: 8 – 10 – 1876 – area code – number of the called subscriber (seven-digit).
The main mode of transport in the country are buses, which run between the main cities without following the schedule. Tourists are not recommended to travel on them. Hotel complexes organize special flights for foreign guests. In most cases, fares are accepted by the conductor.
City public transport is represented by buses, fixed-route taxis, express buses and taxis. Public transport is quite cheap, but most municipal buses run very irregularly.
There are no meters in local taxis, the fare between certain points is already set. JUTA licensed cars run between most hotels and airports. Taxi ranks are located near tourist areas and at hotel entrances.
A long-distance trip in a taxi is paid at double the rate. You can also use a private driver for a trip within the city, but you should agree on the fare before getting into the car.
Rent a Car
Renting a car in the country is quite simple. There are many international car rental companies in Jamaica. Renter must be between 23 and 70 years of age and must have a credit card and international driver’s license. When renting a car, insurance is required.
It is necessary to exercise extreme caution while driving on local roads – the driving style of Jamaicans is very extreme. In provincial areas, pets often walk along the roads, locals talk and children play, right on the side of the road there can be a trade in souvenirs or handicrafts.
Jamaicans also often do not have lighting in their cars, so they are used to showing signs of rebuilding on the road by sticking their hand out the window.
Traffic is on the left side of the road. There are practically no signs on the roads, most often in inland areas.
The main roads are in excellent condition, but dilapidated or washed out tracks are common. Roads in provincial areas are more often a well-trodden country road.
The speed limit on the highway is 80 km/h, in cities up to 50 km/h.
In cafes and restaurants, tips are up to 15% of the total order value, as a rule, tips are not included in the total bill. Tipping in most hotels already comes with a bill and is 10-15%. See liuxers for Jamaica customs and traditions.
When exchanging currencies on the black market, you must be extremely careful – local scammers have long mastered the technique of deceiving tourists.
You don’t have to worry about personal safety within the boundaries of large tourism areas – a special police unit operates here and the work of security services is well established.
In most stores, prices are fixed, bargaining is common in markets and street shops. While shopping, it is recommended to have small bills with you, due to the fact that the prices here are quite low and sellers simply cannot find change.
Outside the resort areas, one should always be vigilant when communicating with the Jamaicans, it is recommended to move only in groups.
You should be wary of Jamaicans who obsessively demonstrate knowledge in everything – as a rule, these are banal scammers. Women should be especially careful.
One should not expect much help from the police officers who abound on the streets, usually they are all members of the local communities, and therefore remain impartial.
Marijuana has been recognized in the country as part of the local culture, so you can often see locals smoking “weed” here anytime and anywhere. When smoking local cigarettes, one should be careful, as often instead of tobacco cigarettes are stuffed with “grass”.
Jamaica has a fairly high rate of AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. Blood-sucking insects, in particular mosquitoes, are also dangerous. Repellents needed.
Purchased fruits and vegetables must be washed before consumption. Dairy products are safe to consume. Poultry, local meats, seafood, fruits and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat, but the off-flavour of local dishes can cause stomach upset at first.
The level of insolation is extremely high in the country – for the entire time of adaptation, light clothing and sunscreen are needed. During the period from 9:00 to 15:00, ultraviolet levels are especially high, so it is recommended to use sunscreen.