How to Get to Jamaica

There are no direct flights to Kingston from Russia, you will have to fly with one or two transfers in Europe. The journey will take about 16 hours + waiting at the airport.

Jamaica has two international airports: Norman Manly in Kingston and Sangster in Montego Bay. Negril, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio also have their own airports, but they only accept domestic flights. Lufthansa and Condor airlines jointly operate a flight on the Moscow-Montego Bay route via Frankfurt. British Airways operates transit flights through London to Kingston – but there is a nuance: a change of airport in London, and some flights have an overnight stay in London.

Note: according to allcitypopulation, the population of Jamaica is 2.973 million (2021).

Virgin Atlantic Airlines also flies to Kingston and Montego Bay via London, and changing the airport in London (from Heathrow to Gatwick) is also unavoidable.

If you have to change airports in London, you will need to apply for a transit visa.

A flight from Moscow to Kingston and back will cost from 830 USD, a flight to Montego Bay will be a little cheaper: from 580 USD round trip.

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Public transport is represented by buses, express buses, fixed-route taxis and taxis. The fare in public transport is low, but tourists are advised to use taxi services. Jamaican buses are in no hurry, they never run on schedule, they stop not only at stops, but also on demand; There are no air conditioners in the salons, everyone drives with the windows open. So buses in this country are good as an attraction to feel the local flavor, but not as a regular transport.

Local taxis do not use meters – instead, a fixed fare is set between certain points. Taxi ranks are located at the entrances to large hotels and other tourist areas, most often owned by a particular company. Cars of large companies are maintained in a better technical condition than those of small carriers, which is important in local conditions. The average cost of a taxi ride around the city (7-10 minutes) is about 250 JMD.

Most taxi drivers will be happy to agree to a long-distance trip – because in this case double payment is charged. For trips within the city, you can use the services of private drivers, but the price should be negotiated in advance, even before getting into the car.

Sandals & Beaches hotels provide free transfers from Montego Bay and Kingston to Ocho Rios. SuperClubs hotels offer free pickup from Kingston and Montego Bay airports (some restrictions apply), Couples hotels only from Montego Bay Airport.

Rent a Car

The conditions are simple – you must be between the ages of 23 and 70, have a driver’s license obtained at least a year ago, and a credit card on which the deposit will be frozen. Russian citizens can use a national (Russian) driver’s license for 1 year, after which (if you suddenly stay in the country for a long time) you need to get a Jamaican driver’s license.

The traffic is left-handed, the speed in cities is limited to 35-50 km/h, on the highway – 80 km/h. Road signs are practically non-existent, especially in inland areas. The main roads are in good condition, but you can often find washed out or dilapidated tracks. “Highways” in the provinces are often just well-knurled tracks. Most of the roads are free, but there are also paid tracks with a particularly high quality surface; often these are roads connecting major resorts, for example, the Kingston-Negril highway, the average fare is 80-250 JMD for the entire journey, depending on the size of the car.

In large cities and at airports there are paid parking lots, the cost is about 100 JMD per hour. The average price for gasoline AI 95 is 130 JMD per liter, for diesel fuel – 110 JMD per liter.

When driving on local roads, you should be as careful as possible – the driving style of local residents is quite extreme.

Many people drove by car through Cuba. And in Jamaica, which is only a hundred kilometers away, it seems that I am alone… But during this trip I managed to see: fields of cane sugar, a cave where Bob Marley sang and… fields of cane sugar. My driver lit up a goat’s leg before turning on a reggae tape. The grass lay in his glove compartment. I refused – in Jamaica it is enough not to smoke to be original. “Rispekt, Maine,” the driver approved of my choice…

Alexey Boldinyuk

Communication and Wi-Fi

Roaming in Jamaica is expensive, so it is recommended to purchase a local SIM card for calls and mobile data. There are two mobile operators on the island – Digicel and LIME, both have a wide coverage (interruptions in communication can only be in remote mountainous areas), but Digicel is the leader in terms of communication quality. A SIM card can be purchased at any mini market, there is also a counter at the airports of Kingston and Montego Bay. Payment cards are also sold everywhere, the basic package costs about 10 USD. The account will have about half of this amount, you will need a passport for the purchase. Keep in mind that card activation takes up to 72 hours, often faster, but if not, there is no way to speed up the process.

The cost of a call to Russia is about 140 JMD per minute, mobile Internet will cost 100 JMD for 500 MB per day or 600 JMD for 2 GB per week.

Call centers are also used for calls, accepting phone cards for 100, 200 and 500 JMD, you can buy them at post offices. Calling from a hotel is expensive, the rates are 3-4 times higher than usual.

Mobile Internet in Jamaica is poorly developed, the 4G network is just emerging and available in Kingston and other major cities. You can count on free Wi-Fi in cafes and restaurants only in the capital, in other cities it is either not available, or it is paid. Free Wi-Fi in hotels is also still rare.

Jamaica Transport