Best Time of Year to Visit Jamaica
A lot of people, when planning a trip to Jamaica, come across one question; WHEN is the best time to visit. Well, if you are thinking the same then you have come to the right place. I will not only share with you what are the best times to visit Jamaica, but also the popular events you might want to attend. Let’s start.
Months most visited by People
The best season to visit Jamaica is from November to March (cold to hot). This is the time when you see cloudy weather, more activities and visitor footfall.
Best Place To Take Relief in November & December
In these year-end months, the temperature falls down to mild cold (approx. 80-85 Fahrenheit). The weather is pleasant with sunny skies. If you want to explore beaches, parks, waterfalls and other famous and offshore places on a budget, this is the best time to go.
Here’s a tip: Try to make your bookings before the year-end holiday, because as soon as the peak season begins, the rents for rooms go high.
Enjoy Beach & “Nation in a Nation” Festival in January
From January to March, begins the season of beach lovers. Visitors from all around the world land Jamaica to enjoy the serene of water.
But, the same month is also famous for a festival called ‘a nation within a nation’. Every year, the rural town of Jamaica; Accompong; celebrates the historic peace treaty signed between the British and Maroon slaves. The local people celebrate this event on 6th January with partying, singing, storytelling, dancing, and the most popular Jerk Chicken.
Be a Part of Bob Marley Birthday Celebrations in February
Who doesn’t remember the legendary music artist, Bob Marley? One of the most important events of Caribbean comes in this month. The first week of this month is named as Bob Marley’s Birthday Bash.
The celebrations include music shows, art exhibitions, on the spot concerts, and more. I still remember that energy in Jamaica when I saw the Rastafarian flags in streets, those reggae beats calling out Bob Marley Fans from near and far.
Hub of Romantic Couples in March is Jamaica
March is the most expensive month in Jamaica. If you are not concerned with money, you can go in this month. This month is ideal for families going for a vacation in Jamaica.
The hurricane period is over, and the weather becomes breezy and honeymoon friendly. Also, March welcomes Saint Ann Kite Festival (28th March). The sky above the Saint Ann beach is filled with rich colored kites. You will see different sizes and shapes of kites all around the sky.
The end of this colorful day is enjoyed with a live music show, great for families to enjoy in Jamaica.
ISSA Athletics Championships of Jamaica are Great Source of Entertainment for Sports Fans
Held in late March, these championships can be a non-ordinary activity on a vacation. If you are an athlete on a holiday or love sports, National Stadium Kingston is your destination. This is a great chance to sight young talent of Jamaica, including Usain Bolt.
Enjoy Watching or Participate in “Easter Regatta – The Yacht Race”
This is one of my favorite events to attend at my favorite place – Montego Bay. I am a yacht lover who never misses any chance to sail those beautiful yachts.
So if you are a professional sailor, or just love watching yachts competing; you should attend the renowned Easter Regatta event. Numerous races take place from North coast. You can also participate in this vibrant event along with other local sailors. This event takes place from March 31 to April 2.
Average Months You Can Visit In
Join the Celebrations of Annual Carnival of Jamaica in April
April is the month of mist, which is why the natural places such as beaches, golf courses, and parks are usually quiet. But it doesn’t mean Jamaica loses its energy.
The Annual Carnival of Jamaica is celebrated with great joy in this month. It oscillates the cities of Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, and Kingston with energy. With sparkling costumes, cheerful dancers, and Soca sounds, this festival is a true representation of Caribbean culture.
It is celebrated from 15 to 23 April. Plus, hotels also offer discounts for accommodation in this season. If you are in search for true Caribbean experience, this festival is a must-attend for you.
Ocho Rios Jazz Festival is Great Nightlife Perk in May & June
If you are a party lover, then Jamaica calls you at Ocho Rios Jazz Festival; a festival arranged to encourage the “Classical Black Music and America’s First Art Form”. The event is participated by local Jamaican artists as well as artists from other Jamaican islands.
The energetic performances of Caribbean artists can enough to make you move on the beats. On the other hand, the smooth rhythms hold your soul well enough and take your imaginations sky high.
These musical days keep the heat high from May 28 – June 4.
Jamaica’s “Sumfest Reggae” Event is the Best Reggae show on the Globe
Another musical event which takes the craze for music to the next level, The Sumfest Reggae. Taking place in Montego Bay, it is said to be the ‘greatest reggae show on the planet’.
This event goes live from 16 to 22 July. Whenever I plan my visit to Jamaica, I always try to attend this vivacious event. Every evening is designed with a different party theme, and the best part is that every evening is entertained by some of the great reggae stars, from different parts of the world.
The Ocho Rios Jazz Festival and Sumfest Reggae are great if you want to enjoy the nightlife in Jamaica. The only issue that may occur is the heavy rains, which in turn makes flights and room rates to go at the lowest.
Feel the Jamaican Patriotism on the Independence Day Celebrations in August
The end of July and early August are days of free fun. The Emancipation and Independence Day celebrations bring the entire Jamaica closer, which means parades, more music, delicious eats, and blistering drinks. From 28th July to 6th August, you can’t resist staying comfy or alone.
The Blue Marlin Tournament is Best Aqua Activity in October
Apart from hurricanes, the autumn months are famous for some expert fishing competition. The most popular one is the Port Antonio International Blue Marlin Tournament, in which participants try to hunt the largest Blue Marlin. This is one of the best beach events I ever participated. Just Amazing!
Facts You May Not Know About Jamaica
1. Jamaica used to be a Spanish country. Yes, it’s true. From 1509 – 1655, Jamaica was under control of Spain. You can find Jamaican cities pronounced with Spanish names, for example, Ocho Rios. Not only that, the buildings constructed in Spanish reign, still stand and are good tourist attractions. Jamaica was taken from Spain by England, due to their loose control in this region.
2. Jamaica is the home of Ian Fleming and James Bond Series. Do you remember the first James Bond movie? It’s Dr. No. The alligator farm shot in James Bond is still there and heavily visited by tourists.
Not only that, Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond series, bought a 15-acre property in Jamaica and named it ‘GoldenEye’. Previously, this place was a donkey racecourse.
Ian Fleming was originally an English Spy, who came to Jamaica as a Journalist. He was given the name James Bond by an Ornithologist here in Jamaica.
3. Jamaica holds the world record for the most ‘churches’ per square mile. It is difficult to provide the exact numbers of churches since many are unauthorized. According to Guinness Book of World Records, over 1600 churches are there in Jamaica. Even there are churches in the living rooms and backyards of homes.
4. Jamaica means RUM. If there is one church, you will find two rum bars near it. Nobody is able to provide the accurate number of rum bars. Jamaica is the first country to produce rum commercially and for export.
The strongest rum available on earth is produced by Jamaica and called Jancrow Batty (English meaning: Vulture’s Ass). Not only it is the hardest one but also the most favorite one of hard-core alcoholics (highly NOT recommended for social and ordinary drinkers).
Did you know? The strongest variation of Jancrow Batty is Trelawny, which is produced at the same location from where the fastest people came.
Rum is not only used for drinking, but also for cooking (such as Rum Cake) and for first aid uses.
5. Jamaica is the first western world country to build a railway. They did it even before the US. Not only that, the Jamaican telecommunication system was well enough that it was copied by AT&T. Jamaica is also the first Caribbean country to have its own website launched in 1994.
6. Jamaican Flag is one of the two countries which have no colors in common with the US Flag. The other one is Mauritania.
7. Ackee and Saltfish. The National dish of Jamaica. It is often eaten for breakfast. Ackee is a locally produced fruit.
8. 3rd largest Olympic winners. Jamaica has the most Olympic medals after US and China, accordingly. When talked about Olympics, one can’t forget to mention the fastest man and woman on earth are from Jamaica. Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell.
9. Christopher Columbus on his second voyage, he sighted the tip of Blue Mountains as the first land. Those Blue Mountains are in Jamaica.
10. The Second largest butterfly in the world, the Giant Swallowtail, is found in Jamaica.
11. Snakeless Jamaica. You will rarely find snakes on the island of Jamaica. The mongooses were brought in to get rid of huge cane fields of rats. Not only did they removed rats but also killed all the snakes.
NON-Ordinary Things You Can Do in Jamaica
Many people when think of visiting Jamaica, they normally plan about the things common among every visitor, or those which you do on almost every holiday destination.
But I would like to share some of the uncommon things you can do in Jamaica. Here are they:
Try Cliff Diving at Rick’s Café
You see that beautiful cliff; it is not only beautiful but high too. Although it doesn’t look that high from pictures but it is. Rick’s Café is popular for the cliff diving. I am not that good diver to jump off the cliff but they have even higher points to jump from only for professionals and experts.
If you are a good diver, you should try it.
Try Cooking a Jerk Dish
Although Jerk Chicken is the famous delight of Jamaica, you can even try to put your hands on it. At Jakes Treasure Beach, you can try to cook a jerk dish yourself. It is not only delicious but great fun too.
Do take a Catamaran Tour
Catamarans are usually seen in commercials ads or alike. But they do feel awesome when you are on board. Luckily I got a chance to enjoy a ride of a catamaran in Negril. I was very pleased how the staff served me to ensure I experience the novelty.
I enjoyed sitting at the front, watching the beautiful island approaching for snorkeling. Except for alcohol, I was provided everything to eat before snorkeling.
Sight Crocodiles in Black River
Danger but an amazing adventure. Book a tour of Black River Safari and enjoy watching crocodiles in their natural habitats. The guides are with you so nothing to worry about. You can sight these reptiles as they swim by in the river, lie on the banks of the river. It is a great activity for adventure lovers.
Party or Relax Pelican Bar in St. Elizabeth
If you want to enjoy some relax time with your partner, this Pelican Bar is a place exactly for you. You can enjoy watching the sunset here with a cold beer, relax in shallow waters, and party at the night.
This place is in the middle of Caribbean Sea and only accessible by a boat. From Jakes, South Coast, it will take 20 -30 minutes approx. to reach Pelican Bar.
Try Bamboo Rafting
Another off the road activity is to try bobsledding. It’s the prime attraction in rainforest adventures. Slide down on a bobsled from the mountain and explore the rainforest in a unique way. Though the brakes of the bobsled are in your control (which means you can go slow) but fast is fun.
Go to waterfalls
Other than the beautiful beaches of Jamaica, there are waterfalls which you must visit. I love them because the water is not salty (the biggest benefit for me). It is great enjoyment in waterfalls. Whichever waterfall you decide to go, the guides there will take you to the safest spot, where you can freely swim, play, sit, and jump.
The guides were very helping at the waterfalls, setting up rope swings, taking us through the waterfalls, and taking our photographs.
Regardless of the time you visit Jamaica, you will be welcomed by a peace-loving nation, beautiful locations, and delicious treats. With the information I shared above, you can easily choose the time to visit the beautiful country.
So whenever you see someone asking the same question, do share this stuff with them. Have a happy Trip!