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Travel Tips

LANGUAGE
The official language of Jamaica is English, but the Jamaican Patois is widely spoken.  A smile is the same in any language.

CLIMATE
Sea Breezes in the days and mountain breezes in the nights help moderate the temperature year round. Daytime temperatures average 80's in the winter and 90's in the summer; Nighttime, 70's. Traditionally our rainy season is May/June and September/October.   

CLOTHING
Tropical wear is highly recommended. Casual and comfortable is always appropriate.  

During a cool summer evening, gentlemen will be very comfortable in light cotton pants and a long sleeve shirt during a cool winter evening. Summer dresses are great for the ladies year round. Add a cotton sweater or wrap after sunset in winter months.

Footwear should include sandals, as well as, comfortable walking shoes or tennis shoes. Dunn's River is Ocho Rios' major attraction; bring water shoes for climbing the falls if you have them, also good for going to the beach.

Straw hats, baseball caps, and sunglasses are readily available in the craft markets and stores.

Depending on the length of stay, you may want to have shorts and t-shirts laundered for re-use. Washing, drying, and folding are available at a fee. Ironing is also available.

 

ADDITIONAL ITEMS TO PACK
Medication, pain killers, sun block, burn cream, mosquito repellent, anti-itch cream, adult and/or children pool floats, CD's/DVD's, favorite hard to find foods/snacks, film, batteries and addition cards for cameras, baby food, favourite DVD's and toys to soothe tired children, arm bands, beach toys,.

CURRENCY
US dollars are accepted island wide. Exchange rates vary if you choose to purchase Jamaican dollars. Most commercial establishments, including grocery and liquor stores, accept major credit cards. A major credit card is always advisable for unexpected emergencies. Taxis, staff and driver gratuities, however, must be paid in cash.

MONEY EXCHANGE
It is very easy to exchange US and Canadian dollars at local Cambios. It is much less hassle than going into a bank and their exchange rate is usually better than at the banks. If you must go to the bank, hours are 9am - 2pm Mondays thru Thursdays, 9am - 12 noon and 2:30 - 4 pm on Fridays. ATM Machines are easily accessible.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
US and Canadian Citizens do not require a visa to come to Jamaica as tourists, and are permitted to visit the island for a period not exceeding six months. Citizens, sixteen years and older of these countries may use the following documents for entry: valid passport (or passport which has expired for a period not exceeding one year), or an original birth certificate with raised seal plus a photo l.D. On Jan. 1st, 2007 U.S. residents will need a passport to leave and re-enter the United States due to changes in U.S. entry requirements. A raised seal birth certificate will no longer be valid for entry or departure from the U.S.

No Vaccinations required unless you have visited the following countries within the past six weeks: Gambia, Ghana, Sudan, Nigeria, Zaire, Burkina Faso, Trinidad & Tobago, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, South America. Please check with the Jamaican Consulate closest you.

DEPARTURE TAX
Jamaica has a departure tax that is payable in cash or major credit card at the airport upon your departure. Currently, the tax is JA$1000 or US$27.

TIME ZONE

Eastern Standard Time, Jamaica does not observe Daylight Savings Time.

TELEPHONE CALLS
The Jamaican wireless system operates on a TDMA network, so it is not compatible with CDMA, GSM or 3G networks. Cable & Wireless and Digicel, the major Jamaican providers, have roaming agreements with: AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless and Rogers Wireless. If you have roaming service with these providers, you may be able to "roam" while in Jamaica. Check with your wireless service provider.

CHILDCARE
Childcare can be arranged hourly or daily at a reasonable rate, depending upon the age and number of children involved. Night time rates are higher as you may have to pay for the entire night or pay the cost for a taxi for the nanny to go home.

MEDICAL FACILITIES
Spalding Hospital  is closest to Wild Cane Tours – a 30 mins drive.


WATER
Drinking water in Jamaica is purified and filtered by the most modern methods so is safe to drink.


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