Jamaica is the 3rd largest and 3rd most popular destination in the Caribbean!
Jamaica is approximately 4,442 square miles yet only 150 miles long by 50 miles wide at its widest point. It is the third largest island in the Caribbean, behind Cuba and Hispaniola. Despite its relatively small size, Jamaica continues to be one of the top travel destinations in the Caribbean having earned the title of 3rd most popular place to visit.
Different than some of the other Caribbean islands, such as Aruba, Bonaire and the Turks and Caicos, Jamaica is very lush and mountainous with over half of the island having elevation levels higher than 1,000 feet.
The highest point on the island is Blue Mountain Peak at 7,402 feet. The Blue Mountain region of Jamaica is known for its coffee. There is something special about the elevation, the climate and the soil of this area that allows it to produce some of the world’s best tasting coffee. The temperatures in the Blue Mountains differ greatly from the warm beaches of Jamaica, with temperatures sometimes as low as the 40’s. With all this great coffee being produced on the island, the irony is that very few Jamaicans actually drink coffee.
Jamaica is not entirely known for its scuba diving, although it is still one of the favorite destinations for divers in the Caribbean. Many beginners earn their PADI diving certifications every year in Jamaica. Divers just love scuba diving Jamaica. It’s largely in part due to Jamaica continually being a top travel destination in the Caribbean year after year after year. In addition to the facts, top side activities on the island are second to none and that’s part of what makes Jamaica so special.
Travel and tourism account for about 90% of the Jamaican economy and it’s no surprise that Jamaica is home to some of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean.
Many world class dive operators call Jamaica their home. Diving at Sandals, Beaches or RUI all-inclusive resorts are sure to be some of the best scuba diving experiences and memories you can get. Anytime you can get under the water and experience the wonderful world of marine life, you should take advantage of it. Scuba dive, but more importantly; scuba dive Jamaica!
It may be difficult to choose just one area to visit during a trip to Jamaica, since each side of the island is unique in its own right. Why? Because Jamaica’s popularity is huge! Come see for yourself what makes Jamaica so great.
Remember, as they say about Jamaica… Once you go, then you know!
Depending on where you are, Jamaica is a fairly close travel destination for scuba diving adventures. Located just 600 miles South of Miami and only 90 miles South of Cuba. Jamaica is an easy 2 hour plane ride from Miami International Airport.
Be sure to plan your vacation wisely and perhaps check out the main tourist areas such as Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio.
Getting to Jamaica
The popularity of Jamaica has become huge and it continues to be one of the top travel destinations in the Caribbean. Because of this, airfare to Jamaica is relatively affordable.
As a popular destination with tourists, there are many airlines to choose from when traveling to Jamaica. Most offer direct flights to Montego Bay Sangster International Airport.
Flights arrive constantly all day long into Jamaica. With so many travelers choosing this destination, you’re sure to find a flight from almost anywhere in the world.
The 2 main international airports in Jamaica are located in Kingston and Montego Bay.
- Norman Manley International Airport (KIN) (Kingston)
- Sangster International Airport (MBJ) (Montego Bay)
Travel Seasons in Jamaica
Mid-December through mid-April is the peak season for visitors booking flights to Jamaica, and reservations need to be made a couple months in advance to secure your best pricing. This season is especially busy at Carnival, which is March and April in Kingston, Montego Bay, and Ocho Rios, and May in Negril. Jamaica being a very popular cruise ship destination, Montego Bay, Falmouth and Ocho Rios are the primary cruise ship ports on the island and can get somewhat busy during Jamaica’s cruise season.
Mid-April to mid-December sees rates cut by 20 to 50 per cent. However, it does get busy around the time of Reggae Sumfest, usually in late July or early August, and the annual Marlin Fishing Tournament held every October in Ocho Rios and Port Antonio.
Weather in Jamaica
Jamaica maintains a fairly constant temperature year round, with the average temperature in the high 70’s / low 80’s F during the winter months and reaching closer to 88-90 F during the summertime. Temperatures generally fall approximately 10 degrees F during the night.
Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, however, can get much cooler with 35-45 degrees F not unheard of. So, depending on your itinerary and travel plans, be sure to dress accordingly.
The average rainfall per year in Jamaica is about 80 inches. It varies considerably over the island with the mountainous areas receiving close to 300 inches each year while sections of the Southwestern island seeing sometimes only 30 inches or less.
The rainiest months in Jamaica are usually May / June and also October – December.
Being in the hurricane belt, Jamaica experiences hurricane season from June 1 through November 30. The most active months for hurricanes in Jamaica are usually August and September.