Calling to Jamaica
Making Calls while in Jamaica
Other Information about Long Distance Calling To/From Jamaica
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Information About Jamaica’s Telephone System
Jamaica has a fully digital telecommunications system, though its mountainous regions are not always well-served. Mobile services have greatly improved and expanded in recent years. Jamaica currently has over 400,000 land lines and 1.4 million cellular lines in use.
Important Phone Numbers To Know if Traveling to Jamaica
If you are traveling, you may want to keep your country’s embassy information on hand. Patience is required if you try to reach any embassies in Jamaica via telephone. Be prepared to wait for someone to answer your call and provide information. The embassy of the United States is located at the Jamaica Mutual Life Building, 2 Oxford Rd., Kingston 5 (tel. 876/929-4850). The High Commission of Canada is at 3 Wet Kings House Rd., Kingston 10 (tel. 876/926-1500). A Canadian consulate is located at 29 Gloucester Ave., Montego Bay (tel. 876/952-6198). The High Commission of the United Kingdom is found at 28 Trafalgar Rd., Kingston 10 (tel. 876/510-0700).
Other Important Information to Know About Jamaica
Jamaica Standard Time: GMT –5.00 hours. Current time in Kingston
1 U.S. dollar is equivalent to 67 Jamaican dollars. 1 British pound is equivalent to 135 Jamaican dollars, and 1 Canadian collar is worth 59.8 Jamaican dollars. Current exchange rates for the Jamaican dollar.
2,651,000 (African-Black 90.9%, Biracial 7.3%, East Indian 2.3%, White 0.2%, Chinese 0.2%)
Public holidays in Jamaica include: New Year's Day (Jan 1st), Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday, National Labour Day (late May), Independence Day (a Mon in early Aug), National Heroes Day (3rd Mon in Oct), Christmas Day (Dec 25th), and Boxing Day (Dec 26th). Banks and offices are closed on these days.
English is used for government and educational purposes in Jamaica, but most people speak an unofficial Jamaican Creole known as Patois. Most Jamaicans can speak and understand both English and Patois.
Jamaica has a varied climate for a small nation. Along the coast, the island is slightly cooled by northeasterly trade winds, and temperatures tend to range between 71°F and 88°F. The Jamaican winter is similar to late spring in the United States; early mornings and evenings can be chilly. Winter is usually dry, but northeastern Jamaica is often wet year-round. The rainiest times of year tend to be May and October-November. The latter is also hurricane season. Fortunately, Jamaica has an excellent hurricane detection system.
Fun Facts About Jamaica
- Jamaica is internationally known for its vibrant music scene. Reggae, ska, mento, rocksteady, dub, dancehall, and ragga all originated in the country.
- Jamaica is the birthplace of “jerk” cooking, grilling over a fire made from pimento wood.
- The most popular sports in Jamaica include cricket, dominoes, horse-racing, and soccer.
- Most hotels and restaurants add a 10% service charge to your bill. Most all-inclusive resorts have no-tipping policies.
- Renting a car is a near-necessity if you plan to explore Jamaica on your own. Remember to drive on the left side of the road!
- Jamaica’s scotch bonnet peppers are among the hottest in the world.
- Bananas are one of Jamaica’s top exports.
- Close to 1 million Jamaicans live outside of their home country. In fact, the population of London is 4% Jamaican or Jamaican-British.
- Of the Caribbean islands, Jamaica is the 3rd largest after Cuba and Hispaniola.
- Jamaica’s Blue Mountains are gorgeous but tricky to navigate. Be sure to hire a guide through a tour company.
- Try some of Jamaica’s most famous dishes like ackee and saltfish, curry goat, and Jamaican patty.
- Some Jamaicans regard marijuana as a healing plant. However, tourists should avoid it. Arrests are common, and penalties are stiff.
- Jamaica produces rich, delicious coffee. Drink up while you’re there, and buy some to bring home with you.
- A former British colony, Jamaica gained full independence in 1962.
- If you’d like to spend time with Jamaicans, contact the national Tourist Board’s Meet-the-People program. They can set you up with a Jamaican family for a few hours or an entire day.
- The most popular ice cream flavors in Jamaica are Grapenut and Rum& Raisin.
- Though bargains abound during the off-season (mid-April through mid-December), make sure enough tourist services will be open before you book a trip.