Jamaica is a country and an island in the Caribbean. It is known for Bob Marley and Reggae.
Impressions from my Vlog
In the capital Kingston is the Bob Marley Museum. His former house has been converted into a museum and there are guided tours of 1.5 hours. Photography is not allowed in the house.
Dunn River Falls (Ocho Rios)
The Dunn River Falls are a cascade of waterfalls. The climb took over an hour and was a lot of fun. The stones are slippery and slip-resistant shoes are sold on site. Starting point is the town of Ocho Rios with beaches for snorkeling.
The city Montego Bay (MoBay) offers a few beaches such as the Doctor Cave Beach. While snorkeling, I saw a few fish.
The city Negril is known for the Seven-Mile Beach, which is actually only 4 miles long. I snorkeled on the beach and barely saw any fish. With a glass bottom boat, I went spontaneously to snorkel at coral, but these were not very impressive. Highly recommended is a provider with good reviews.
I was in Jamaica for 9 days.
Day 1: Flight from Nassau (Bahamas) to the capital Kingston.
Day 2: In the morning I went to the Bob Marley Museum and then by bus to Ocho Rios.
Days 3-4: I was at the Dunn River Falls and snorkeling at the beaches. One day is enough, I used the time to do a lot on the laptop.
Day 5: In the morning I took the bus from Ocho Rios to Montego Bay. In the afternoon, I snorkeled at Doctor Cave Beach.
Day 6: In the morning I took the bus from Montego Bay to Negril and in the afternoon, I snorkeled at Seven Miles Beach.
Day 7: Relaxed in Negril.
Day 8: Bus from Negril to Kingston.
Day 9: Morning flight from Kingston to Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic).
Other travelers liked the green and unspoiled Port Antonio.
While snorkeling on the beaches in Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, and Negril I saw only a few fish. Maybe I was not far enough outside or on the wrong spots.
Budget transport from the airport in Kingston to the city:
From the airport in Kingston to the city are public buses.
When I arrived, the taxi drivers aggressively turned me on. It was said that the former president had died and that the city center was closed for the funeral. The buses would detour. Then they became racist and said I will not be easy as a “white” guy. The Wi-Fi at the airport was bad and the lady from the tourist office was completely unmotivated and could not answer a question at all. I was extremely unsettled, especially after the racist statement. Then I negotiated a taxi for 2800 JMD (18.60 €). In fact, no one had died and as a “whiter” I never had any problems during my time.
Budget transport in Kingston:
The public buses from Kingston are on Google Maps.
A bus trip costs 100 JMD (0.65 €).
The times were not always right and once the bus did not show up. As a backup plan, I had another stop with another bus number.
Budget transport between the cities:
The most budget option is minibuses, that the locals take. I had one from Ocho Rios to Montego Bay and paid 500 JMD (3.25 €). In no other country, I drove so unworthy bus. Even chickens have more space in their barn. They squeezed 4 people in a row. Put 4 people in the back seat of a car and you know how tight it is. At the departure, I was told the price of 500 JMD, on arrival I had to pay double because of my big backpack. I suspect because he also had a “place”.
More comfortable and equipped with Wi-Fi are the large coaches of Knutsford Express. Boarding felt like in an airplane. My travel backpack was loaded on the bus. The bus driver introduced himself as a “Transportation Officer”. The ticket can be purchased locally or on knutsfordexpress.com. Schedule time, numbers of free seats and price are displayed during the booking process. On Saturday and Sunday, most seats of the buses from Negril to Kingston were booked. Therefore, it’s best to book on the weekend in advance.
There are hostels on HostelWorld in all major tourist spots.
I was satisfied with the hostel chain Reggae Hostel. Prices vary and are dependent on demand. The best way to see if it is the cheapest on HostelWorld, Booking.com or on their website https://www.reggaehostel.com/.
Kingston: I stayed at the “Reggae Hostel Kingston” (Booking.com,HostelWorld) and “Ragamuffin Hostel” (Booking.com, HostelWorld). Ragamuffin Hostel opened in 2019 and everything is modern like curtain and light on bed, large lounge area and clean. It’s also right next to the Bob Marley Museum and closer to the Knutsford Express bus stop.
Ocho Rios: I stayed at “Reggae Hostel Ocho Rios” (Booking.com, HostelWorld) as it was the cheapest and a few minutes walk from the Knutsford Express bus stop. It felt like a hotel. There is plenty of space and the Wi-Fi was strong.
Montego Bay: Stayed at the “Reggae Hostel Montego Bay” (Booking.com, HostelWorld) as it was convenient and a few minutes walk from the Knutsford bus stop.
Negril: I stayed at “Drifters @ One Mile Hostel” (Booking.com) as it was convenient and a few minutes walk from Knutsford Station. The beach was only 20 meters away. The room felt more like a jail cell, but the Wi-Fi was good.
You can hear everywhere reggae music.
The possession of grass is punished only with a small fine and there is no police entry. It smelt grass often and everywhere.
Food & Drinks
The supermarkets in Jamaica were very expensive, about twice as much as in Germany.