Top events in Jamaica


The All Stages Rally Jamaica sees a field of 30-plus speedy motors tackling a wide variety of terrain across the countryside of Jamaica,...


Throughout Jamaica but especially in Kingston, people celebrate the life and music of Bob Marley, who died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 36....


For those who enjoy getting their feet wet, or just feeling the spray from the safety of a harbourside bar, Jamaica’s Easter Regatta held, in...

Sunset, Jamaica
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Sunset, Jamaica

© / Byron Moore

Jamaica Travel Guide

Key Facts

10,991 sq km (4,244 sq miles).


2.9 million (2013).

Population density

264.7 sq km.




Constitutional monarchy. Gained independence from the UK in 1962.

Head of state

HM Queen Elizabeth II, represented locally by Governor-General Patrick Linton Allen since 2009.

Head of government

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller since 2012.


Usually 110 volts AC, 50 Hz, though some places use 220 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style flat two-pin plugs (with or without a grounding pin) are mostly used.

The third-largest island in the Caribbean is also one of the most colourful. Idyllic white sand beaches and vibrant tropical blooms sit on a backdrop of blue mountain peaks. As the adopted home of the Rasta, Jamaica is also a riot of red, gold, and green.

Renowned as the birthplace of Bob Marley, reggae remains at the island's musical heart. Rice-and-peas, rum, coffee and cricket are its soul. Excellent tourist facilities and attractions range from leafy parks to handsome colonial towns and neon-lit nightlife. Negril and Montego Bay are Jamaica's two main coastal resorts, attracting tourists with exquisite sands, lively clubs, fine restaurants and world-class golf. Laid-back Negril boasts 7 miles of beach, while sizzling Montego Bay boasts the reputation as party-town.

Venture a short distance along the coast to discover 'the real Jamaica', amidst street markets of ackee, yam and breadfruit and vendors hawking kulu kulu rum. Explore the sleepy fishing villages of Treasure Beach, Port Antonio and Oracabessa which offer a glimpse of Jamaica's quieter side. Music is inherent to Jamaica, be it roots, rock or reggae and in Kingston, the island's spirited capital, grand Georgian plazas and elegant mansions are serenaded by soca rhythms and the pulsating buzz of the city. You’ll soon be seduced by the rhythm of life on this famous paradise island.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley's death on 11 May 1981, with many celebrations expected in honour of the iconic singer.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 30 January 2015

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit

Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in Jamaica and the number of reported cases in the region is increasing. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. For more details about this outbreak, see the website of the National Health Network and Centre.

The hurricane season in Jamaica normally runs from June to November.

Around 151,000 British nationals visited Jamaica in 2013. Most visits are trouble-free.

There are high levels of crime and violence, particularly in the capital Kingston.

There is a low threat from terrorism.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.