Your Jamaican Vacation Information
The official language of Jamaica is English, but our Jamaican Patios is widely spoken.
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. 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. U.K. Commonwealth Citizens need a passport, no visa required. Japan Passport required. Visa required for stay of over 30 days. All other countries, please contact the Jamaica Tourist Board office near you for requirements. Press personnel on assignment will require a work permit, contact a Jamaica Tourist Board office near you. All visitors are required to travel with a round trip or onward airline ticket for entry into Jamaica. 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. Note: For more information visit the US Government's Bureau of Consular Affairs website at www.travel.state.gov.
US Embassy:935-6044 (Kingston) 935-6000 (Kingston Duty Officer after hours & emergencies), 952-0160, (Consular Agency , Montego Bay)
Tourism is Jamaica's leading industry, so reserve flights early. Book to arrive at Montego Bay airport. Air Jamaica/Caribbean Air, Air Canada, American, Continental, Delta, Jet Blue, AirTran, British Airways, Southwest, Spirit, United, US Air and Virgin Atlantic fly into Donald Sangster International Airport (MBJ). Several charters operate from the East Coast, the Midwest and Europe. The Residences at Briarwood is 33km/20.5 miles away. For a complete list of flights click here
CURRENCY & CREDIT CARDS
US dollars are accepted island wide, but confirm in advance whether the item is priced in US or Jamaican Dollars. Exchange rates vary if you choose to purchase Jamaican dollars. Most commercial establishments, hotels & restaurants accept major credit cards and travelers checks. A major credit card is always advisable for unexpected emergencies. Taxis, staff and driver gratuities, however, must be paid in cash.
To ensure hassle free purchases during your trip, you may want to contact your credit card company and let them know you will be travelling abroad.
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.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS:
Air/Sea Rescue: 119
Hurricane update: 116
There is a 16.5% General Consumption Tax on most goods & services.
Sea breezes in the day and mountain breezes in the night 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
Tropical wear is highly recommended. Casual and comfortable is always appropriate. During a cool summer evening, gentlemen will be very comfortable in light weight cotton pants or shorts 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. Also good for going to the beach. Straw hats, baseball caps, sunglasses and sarongs are readily available in the craft markets and stores.
ADDITIONAL ITEMS TO PACK
Medication, pain killers, sun block, burn cream, mosquito repellent, anti-itch cream, adult and/or children pool floats, favorite hard to find foods/snacks, additional cards or batteries for cameras, baby food, favorite DVD's and toys to soothe tired children, arm bands, beach toys,.
TIME ZONE Eastern Standard Time, Jamaica does not observe Daylight Savings Time.
TELEPHONE CALLS The Country code is 876. Local phone numbers have seven digits.
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.
We recommend Digicel or C&W cellular phones which are available at local outlets in Jamaica. Expect to pay about US$5 per day for rental and access charges. A deposit is required for International calls: this should be applied to your credit card, not paid in cash. Any unused amount of your deposit will be refunded. All charges are computed in Jamaican dollars, so the exchange rate at the time charges are incurred will affect the exact US dollar amount. DigiCel Jamaica: http://www.digiceljamaica.com/home/ C&W Jamaica: http://home.cwjamaica.com/index.
Electric current is: 110 volts, 50 cycles (US is 60 cycles). Converters are not necessary for US-made appliances.
OK to bring your laptop. We offer complimentary Wifi Internet access. Please be aware that Jamaica experiences occasional power surges, brownouts, blackouts and phone spikes.
There is also a computer with internet access in the social room available for registered guests.
Falmouth Hospital is closest to The Residences At Briarwood. Mo Bay Hope Diagnostic Medical Center is recommended for major emergencies as it is a relatively new state-of-the-art medical diagnostic and treatment center with a link to a hospital in South Florida should you need to be transported off the island. The Residences At Briarwood has a doctor on 24 hour call. A US$200 charge applies for a house call including medication and follow up visit if necessary. Before your visit, please check with your insurance company so you know what procedure to follow just in case you do develop a medical emergency.
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.
Driving in Jamaica can be a challenge to say the least! Driving is on the left.
The easiest, most economical mode for airport transfers is to let us arrange transfers for you from the Montego Bay airport.
Local taxis in Falmouth are readily available. If you are a frequent traveler to our Island and can navigate our roads, car rentals are available at the airport. We instead recommend the hire of a private and professional driver to ensure that you focus simply on enjoying your vacation. Rates includes dedicated licensed driver/tour guide. Full time service includes airport transfers.
Mostly Protestants, including Anglican, Baptist, Brethren, Church of God, Jehovah's Witness, Methodist, Moravian, Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist, Roman Catholic and other Spiritual faiths represented..
January 1 New Years Day
March (varies) Ash Wednesday
March/April (varies) Good Friday
March/April (varies) Easter Monday
May 23 Labor Day
August 1 Emancipation Day
August 6 Independence Day
October (Third Monday) National Heroes Day
December 25 Christmas Day
December 26 Boxing Day