If you’re dreaming of a romantic getaway to Jamaica, your first question will probably be, how much does Jamaica cost to visit? Is it expensive to visit Jamaica, or is it cheap to go to Jamaica? As with any vacation, your costs will vary depending on where you want to stay and what you want to do. Are you looking for a no-frills experience, or do you want luxury all the way?
The good news is, that Jamaica offers both. As one of the most affordable islands in the Caribbean, Jamaica has a wide range of options for travelers on every budget. The average traveler to Jamaica spends about $100 a day on their trip.
Since the cost of living in Jamaica is lower than on some other Caribbean islands, items such as food can be very inexpensive. Also, the Jamaican dollar offers great value against the American dollar, so you can really maximize what you spend here.
If you’re traveling to Jamaica on a budget, schedule your trip for the off-season. The best time to head to the island is from November to mid-December. The weather stays between the mid-’70s to high 80’s all year long. Hotel and flight deals are easiest to find during this time; while resort deals may be cheaper during the summer, there is the risk of hurricanes. January to March is the peak travel season for Jamaica; room rates during this time can climb upwards of $700.
How Much Does Getting to Jamaica Cost?
Average roundtrip flights from New York to Jamaica start at around $300-$400. From Miami, flights start at about $200-$300, and from Europe, about $800.
You can often find good deals on airfare to Jamaica, especially if you book in the offseason.
Tip: If you live near more than one airport, check fares from all the airports in your area—they will often vary widely. And if you live in a smaller town but are driving distance to a major airport that offers a significantly lower fare, it might be worth it to drive there, even if you have to pay to park.
How Much Does Getting Around Jamaica Cost?
Getting around Jamaica is fairly inexpensive. The average traveler spends $11 a day on transportation here.
When you arrive, you will fly into one of Jamaica’s three international airports, whichever is closest to your destination: Kingston, Ocho Rios, or Montego Bay.
If you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort, they will usually provide free transfers to and from the airport. If not, you can get a taxi or minibus and the cost will depend on how far your hotel is from the airport.
Tour companies offer airport transfers on buses, in minivans, and in private cars starting at $10 (one way). A taxi ride from the airport can average around $14.
Using a taxi or minibus is the safest and most stress-free way to get around Jamaica. Be sure to use only official taxis (operated by either JUTA–Jamaica Union of Travelers Association—or JCAL–Jamaica Cooperative Automobile and Limousine Tours) and agree on a fare before you get in the car.
An affordable option is to take a route taxi, which is shared and stops at certain locations around Jamaica. These have red and white license plates that start with P or PPV.
While the buses are cheap, they can be unreliable and unsafe, so it’s best to avoid them.
You can rent a car, but remember that they drive on the left side of the road in Jamaica. Also, road signs are not always clear, road conditions can be rough, and other drivers can be unpredictable. If you do decide to rent, you can choose from national or local chains. You will want to pick up and drop off at the airport. Car rental rates in Jamaica range, starting at about $20/day, depending on when you go and what sort of vehicle you reserve.
It is unclear whether rideshare services like Uber or Lyft are available in Jamaica; while they may say they are, the country’s board of transportation says they are against the law. Check for the latest information before you go if you’re interested in this option.
How Much Do Accommodations in Jamaica Cost?
When visiting Jamaica, the largest cost will be your accommodations, and it will vary drastically based on your budget and taste. The average hotel price in Jamaica is about $130/night. But for under $200 a night, your accommodations will be basic and usually won’t come with access to a beach. You can find some 3-star hotels on the beach for this price, but most do not have good reviews.
Jamaica is home to dozens of all-inclusive resorts, which can provide good value since all your meals, drinks, and activities are included in the fee. Here are some top-rated beachfront options:
There are several Sandals locations in Jamaica and two family-friendly Beaches Resorts. Sandals Resorts are adults-only all-inclusive. For a 5-night stay at a Sandals Resort in Jamaica, rates start at about $2,300.
Couples Sans Souci is another adults-only inclusive; rates here start around $3200 for a 5-night stay.
You will find that most of the better-rated Jamaican resorts fall in a price range between $300-$500 a night. However, ultra-luxe boutique resorts can run much higher, as can romantic rooms like the overwater bungalows with private plunge pools (available at Sandals South Coast or Sandals Royal Caribbean starting at around $1000/night).
As you can see, your Jamaica accommodations cost can vary greatly, but in general, for a 5-night trip it could range between $1200- $3,500 (or more if you want to splurge).
How Much Do Meals in Jamaica Cost?
Is it cheap to eat in Jamaica? Yes, it can be. The average traveler to Jamaica spends about $20 a day per person on meals.
If you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort, you won’t have to spend anything extra since all meals and beverages are included. But if you want to venture out, you’ll find a wide range of options, from super-inexpensive beach shacks selling delicious jerk chicken to luxury waterfront fine dining. These meals can range from $5 per person to hundreds of dollars.
For an unforgettably romantic meal, make a dinner reservation at The Caves, a gorgeous cliffside boutique hotel. You have the choice of being in the main dining room, where $100 per person will get you a gourmet three-course meal, welcome drink, and bottle of wine, or booking the private cave experience for $300 per couple. You’ll savor a five-course dinner by candlelight in a seafront cave, just the two of you. Pricey, but worth every penny for the memories!
How Much Do Activities in Jamaica Cost?
If you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort, you will usually enjoy tons of complimentary activities such as water sports, land sports, and entertainment. And of course, soaking in the sun on a gorgeous Jamaican beach is free!
But if you want to get out and see some of the wonderful attractions and activities Jamaica has to offer, that will add to your budget. The average visitor to Jamaica spends about $20 a day on activities, but your sightseeing costs in Jamaica will vary depending on what you want to do (and there is lots to do!).
You can book all sorts of packages with a local tour company. Here are some sample packages available: a nighttime cruise in Jamaica’s bioluminescent lagoon starting at $49 per person; a 3-hour catamaran cruise with snorkeling in Montego Bay for $110 a person; a day trip to Jamaica’s Dunn’s River Falls, starting at $129 per person; and a full day speedboat trip to Negril from Montego Bay for $250 per person.
Most tours include transportation to and from your hotel in their package cost. You can explore these options and more on www.getyourguide.com.
You can also venture out on your own. Located near Ocho Rios, Dunn’s River Falls and Park is a magnificent natural attraction. You can hike, swim, and even zipline over the falls here. General admission tickets are $25, and ziplining and guided hikes are extra.
At Montego Bay’s Dolphin Cove, you can have an encounter with a dolphin for $99 per person, or swim with them for $139 per person and up.
If you like history, tours of Devon House Mansion in Kingston, the beautiful 19th-century home and grounds of Jamaica’s first black millionaire, are $11 per adult; tours of the 18th-century restored masterpiece Rose Hall Great House are $25 per adult, and tickets to the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston are $25 per adult.
Tip: Check a discount travel site like Expedia for deals on tickets to attractions and tours.
Tipping Etiquette in Jamaica
Do you tip in Jamaica? Yes, it’s normal for tourists to Jamaica to tip at restaurants and bars, and it’s also a nice thing to do at hotels or any accommodation where you’re receiving service (cleaning, food delivery, etc.).
A general rule of thumb is to tip about 10% of the total bill, or 15-20% if the service is very good. You can tip bellhops about $1-$2 per bag if they are handling your luggage, and concierges $10-$25 if they give you extra help.
The exception might be if you are staying at an all-inclusive, as most of these resorts include gratuities in your stay so you don’t need to tip. Even if you’re not staying at an all-inclusive hotel, make sure that employees are allowed to receive tips—if not, they could be fired.
If you go on a tour, the tour guide will expect a tip. You can tip the guide 10-20% of the tour cost. If there is also a separate driver, they will appreciate a $5-$10 tip. You can tip taxi drivers in Jamaica 10-15% of the fare.