Tips

Beach walking
Allowed from 6am until 6pm.  Nearest restaurant is Boardwalk Village which has a restaurant, bar and shopping.  Our Past Time is right next door featuring a limited variety of lunch and breakfast options.  Walking time varies based on your pace – 15 to 30 minutes. Next good stop is another half hour walk and worth it, Cosmos.

Climate
Jamaica enjoys a tropical climate, characterized by high temperatures and humid conditions year-round.  Average temperatures range from 72F to 89F (22C to 32C).
 Though we’re known for our warmth and sunshine, the island sees two rainy seasons from May to June and September to November.  On average, October is the rainiest month. Also, hurricanes may pass over the island primarily during the months June to September. Will it rain during your holiday?  If it does, don’t worry.  Most times, the short tropical showers provide a welcome break from the afternoon heat – just look at it as liquid sunshine, not rain!

Communications
Jamaica is well connected to the rest of the world.  Direct international telephone service operates in all areas 24 hours a day, and telephone operators will gladly facilitate collect, third-party or credit card calls.  International faxes, cables and telegrams can be sent from most hotels and post offices.  Some apartments at Point Village have landlines while others may provide complimentary cell phones and Internet access.  Internet access is available at many different “wifi hot spots” and Internet Cafes along the beach and cliff side.

Driving
The most important thing to remember when driving in Jamaica is that here, we drive on the LEFT, although some flexibility is required to avoid collisions with pedestrians, cows, goats, chickens and other domestic animals.  We have over 17,000 kilometers of road networks connecting all major towns and cities; the speed limit is 50 kmph (30 mph) in built-up areas, and 80 kmph (50 mph) on highways.  All drivers are required to carry a valid licence.  Jamaica recognizes valid International Driver’s Licence’s, but visitors from North America may use their country’s licence for up to three months per visit.  Car rental is available in most major towns and cities, and usually, clients must be no less than 25 years old to rent.

Drugs
 In Jamaica
The use, sale and possession of drugs such as ganja (marijuana), cocaine, crack, ecstasy, heroin and any other controlled substance is illegal.  Violators are subject to severe punishments – specifically arrest, fine and imprisonment.

Electricity
The electrical supply in Jamaica is 110 volts/50 cycles standard, and electrical appliances use plugs that are two-pronged and flat (such as those used in the United States and Canada).  If your appliances do not use 110 volts or flat two-pronged plugs, bring the requisite adaptors and converters with you.  Although adaptors and converters are available in Jamaica, they may not be easy to come by.  Most laptop computers have built-in converters and can be used with an adaptor.

Holidays
Officially, Jamaicans celebrate ten public holidays per year:
– New Year’s Day (January 1)
– Labor Day (May 23),
– Emancipation Day (August 1),
– Independence Day (August 6),
– Christmas Day (December 25)
– Boxing Day (December 26)
– Ash Wednesday (varies)
– Easter (varies)
– Easter Monday (varies)
– Heroes Day (third Monday in October)

On public holidays all government agencies, schools and most private businesses are closed, and much of the country “locks down” for the day.  On holidays, Jamaicans throng to beaches and parks for picnics, fun days and outings, the celebrations continuing way into the night.  Check the calendar of events for exact holiday dates this year, and if you’re here for one of these or for a public holiday, be sure to bring your dancing shoes!

Language
The official language of Jamaica is English, although most of us converse using ‘Patois’, a dialect as colorful and intriguing as our Jamaican personalities.  It may take some time for you to become accustomed to it. When that happens, though, you’ll have fun trying the local expressions.

Petcom
ATMs at PETCOM dispense Jamaican money.  You can use most VISA based ATM cards. Conversion rate is not all that favorable, but it is convenient and an easy walk.  Petcom also has basic groceries.

Time Zone
Jamaica falls within the Eastern Time Zone (UTC/GMT -5 Hours) and does NOT observe Daylight Savings Time.  At times in Jamaica, however, it seems as if we don’t observe any time at all, so for the least amount of stress on your vacation, you may want to think about leaving your watch behind!  At approximately 18 degrees north of the equator, the island falls within the tropics, and as such does not experience drastic seasonal changes in sunrise and sunset times.  Year-round, the island averages between 11.5 and 12.5 hours of sunlight per day – always enough time to do everything, or never enough for anything!

Water
“Xamayca” is the name that the first Jamaicans, the Tainos, gave to this country.  It means “Land of Wood and Water”, and for good reason; Jamaica has hundreds of spring and rivers, both above and under ground.  Over the years, we have developed extensive water treatment and supply systems island wide, so all drinking water in Jamaica is purified and filtered by modern methods.  Our water is safe for you to drink, clean your teeth, bathe and wash clothing in.  If you choose not to drink the water, rest assured; there are many brands of Jamaican spring water that meet or exceed the highest international standards, available at most shops and restaurants.

Travel-Smart Tips For Travelers
No matter where in the world you travel, it is always wise to read the news, stay safe and protect your property.  Here are some tips to make your Jamaican vacation safe as well as fun.
– Make sure you travel with a valid passport or visa (if required). Also, bring another valid form of photo I.D., and photocopies of both I.D.s. in case of loss or theft.
– Read up on local laws and practices before you get here.
– Give friends and family your contact information and itineraries in case of emergency.
– Keep luggage, handbags or backpacks in view at all times.
– Keep possessions close to your body.
– Don’t take around large amounts of cash.
– Avoid wearing expensive jewelry on road-trips or excursions.