Electrical current is 110 volts, 50Hz. Flat two- and
three-pin plugs are in use.
The official language of Jamaica is English but a local
patois is also spoken, a mixture of English, Spanish, and various
Outside the all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica, where tips are
part of the package, visitors should tip 10-15% for taxis, personal
services, room service and restaurants where a service charge is
not already included in the bill. Parking attendants, bellboys and
porters also expect a tip.
There are high levels of crime and violence in Jamaica,
especially around Kingston, and tourists should be alert, not
resist in the event of attempted robbery, and avoid walking or
using public transport at night. If you are self-driving do not
give lifts to strangers. When travelling to or from the airport in
Kingston avoid the Mountain View route. Travellers on the
Hummingbird route should also be cautious at night. Avoid walking
alone in isolated areas or on beaches, even in daylight hours.
Jamaica is prone to hurricanes between June and November.
Contrary to popular belief, smoking
(marijuana) is illegal in Jamaica. Homosexuality is
Business in Jamaica is surprisingly formal, with proper titles
used and suits and ties the norm despite the tropical climate.
Introductions are usually made with a handshake and an exchange of
business cards. Punctuality is key, and socialising is an important
aspect of the business meeting. Business hours are usually from
8.30am to 4.30pm or 5pm on weekdays, and 8am to 1pm on
The international access code for Jamaica is +1, in common with
the US, Canada and most of the Caribbean, followed by 876. The
outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code (e.g.
01144 for the United Kingdom); the outgoing code is not needed when
calling the US or Canada. City or area codes are not required.
Direct international telephone services are available, and
operators can also facilitate calls. The local mobile phone
operators use various networks, including GSM, which is compatible
with most international networks. Internet cafes are available in
the main towns and resorts, and access is also available from most
hotels and parish libraries.
Travellers to Jamaica over 18 years do not have to pay duty on
200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 227g of other tobacco products;
946ml alcoholic beverages and wine; perfume up to 150g; and goods
for personal consumption to the value of US$500. Prohibited items
include products made from goatskin (e.g. drums, handbags and