What is the population?
Jamaica's estimated population in July 2004 was 2,713,130.
How big is the country/island?
Jamaica is 146 miles long and 58 miles at its widest point for a total of 4,244 sq miles.
Can I drink the tap water?
The tap water is safe to drink.
What are the best things to buy here?
Duty-free items include designer accessories, watches, crystal, gemstones and gold jewellery, perfumes, cosmetics and local liqueurs. Cuban cigars are also available.
For souvenirs with local flavour look for jewellery, paintings, musical instruments, hand-carved mahogany items, straw baskets and floor mats, wicker and wood furniture, reggae music, embroidery, silkscreened items, hand-loomed fabrics, leather sandals and shoes, jams and spices, Blue Mountain coffee, Jamaican rum and rum liqueur.
Are there nude beaches?
Jamaica abounds with private and public nude beaches, particularly in Negril. They include SuperClubs Hedonism II and Grand Lido, Bloody Bay, and the nudist island of Booby Cay, Negril; Reggae Vibes and the small Tower Isle cay offshore from Couples, Ocho Rios; Time & Place, Trelawny; SuperClubs Hedonism III, Runaway Bay; SuperClubs Grand Lido Braco; and James Bond Beach, Oracabessa. Smaller resorts along Negril's Seven Mile Beach also provide nude bathing areas.
What are the main industries?
The main industries are tourism, mining of bauxite/alumina, textiles and apparel, agriculture (sugar, bananas, coffee, citrus, cocoa, coconuts, pimento/allspice and various root crops), light manufacturing, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products and telecommunications.
What native dishes should I try?
The national dish is salt fish (codfish) and ackee (the large red and yellow fruit of the ackee tree, which is also the national fruit.) Other dishes to try include rice and peas (white rice, kidney beans, coconut milk, yams, hot peppers and scallions), rock lobster, curried mutton or goat, jerk pork or chicken, pepperpot soup (salt pork, salt beef, okra and spinach-like callaloo), ackee soup, fried or boiled green bananas or plantains, sweet potato pudding and patties (pastries filled with ground meat). For breakfast try rundown (mackerel cooked in coconut milk).
Can I use my calling card from here? Directory assistance:
US and English-speaking Caribbean enquiries, 555-1212
Local enquiries, 114
AT&T: Service is available from pay phones and/or select hotels for calls to the US using AT&T Calling Cards, AT&T Corporate Cards, American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Dial 1-800-872-2881 + area code + local number and follow the voice prompts. To place calls using your AT&T calling card from select hotels dial 872 and from public phones dial 1.
BT: no service available
Canada Direct: Service is available from public pay phones with calling cards from Bell, MTS, Aliant, SaskTel and Telus. Dial 1-800-222-0016 to reach a Canadian operator directly. From hotels dial 876.
MCI MinutePass: no service available
Sprint: Dial 875 and follow the voice prompts.
How should I dress to go out?
Dress in Jamaica is casual. Still, it is unacceptable to wear bathing suits, short shorts and short tank tops in public. More formal attire is suited for evenings at upscale resorts where restaurants may require men to wear jackets and ties. You may want to bring a light sweater/jacket for evenings.
Can I use my hair dryer and electric shaver?
Electricity is generally 110 AC, 50 Hz with flat, two-prong plugs like those used in North America.
How much should I tip?
Tip waiters and taxi drivers about 15%. Most hotels and restaurants automatically add a 10% service charge to the bill, so check first as it is not necessary to leave more unless you feel the service was above average. You should also tip chambermaids, porters and bellboys. Many all-inclusive resorts discourage tipping.
Is Negril safe?
Negril Beach is perhaps one of the safest places in Jamaica. You may walk the beach day or night and feel free to move about all of Negril without a problem. Common sense is all that is necessary, keeping in mind not to do something you wouldn't do at home. There are in-room safes in which to put your valuables you do not wish to carry with you.
What documents do i need to enter the country?
Either a passport, or if you don't have an passport, an original birth certificate, social security card, and a state issued picture ID
What current does Jamaica use, and do we need a converter?
Jamaica is on 100 volt / 50 cycle; American small appliances will work without an adapter.
Should we bring our own dive gear?
There is rental gear available at the Negril Scuba Center, next door, however, you may wish to bring your own mask, snorkel and fins.
Can we pay for things in US currency or by credit card?
Yes, but be aware that it is easy to overpay when paying in US funds. Exchange your money in increments rather than converting it all to Jamaican, and then back to US again, you may loose money in doing this.
Is Ganja (marijuana) legal?
It is illegal to possess marijuana in Jamaica.