Save money, expedite your arrival, and help make your stay as enjoyable as possible.
Jamaica is a stunning and laid-back tropical haven. The natural beauty is breathtaking, the people are friendly, the food is delicious, the weather is breezy and mild. It’s easy to fall in love with Jamaica and Montego Bay in particular.
But just as when visiting other exotic locales, it’s a good idea to know something about the local customs here, what to do and what not to do, and how to save money.
As you enjoy Jamaica, you may find the following information and tips useful. We’re committed to making your stay unforgettable. So we’re happy to answer any questions; to share our favorite local spots for food, music, and shopping; and to help you with logistics.
Sign Up for Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
This free service allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. STEP provides information about how safe things are in the country you’re traveling to; and in case of an emergency, like a family emergency or a natural disaster (Jamaica’s hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30), STEP will help your family and friends get in touch with you.
Enjoy Montego Bay, Jamaica’s Stunning Beaches
In Jamaica, the difference between winter and summer is only about 10 degrees, varying at most from 71ºF to 91ºF. Although July and August are the warmest months, you can enjoy the dazzlingly white sandy beaches, bright blue skies, and mesmerizing turquoise water all year round.
With its lush tropical landscape and vibrant blue-and-green Caribbean waters, the entire Bay area offers an amazing setting. At Coconut Cottage you can see it all. Whether dancing to calypso under the stars or dining alfresco on freshly caught seafood, you will fall in love with our panoramic views of the sea and the evening lights of Montego Bay.
Your complimentary Round Hill membership also gives you access to the resort’s beaches, with all their sports and recreation activities and luxurious amenities.
Pack Lots of Sunscreen and Insect Repellent
Among other essentials you should bring, be sure to pack a few items to protect you against Jamaica’s strong sun and ubiquitous bugs: plenty of insect repellent, cream to provide relief from insect bites, and high-SPF reef-safe sunscreen (“reef-safe” because the beach at the Round Hill Resort has a coral reef). Sun hats and sunglasses also will also often come in handy. If you’re traveling with kids, consider bringing a medicine kit to deal with sunburn or serious bug bites.
If you forget any of this stuff, you can pick it up in Montego Bay. Just across the street from Coconut Cottage, the Round Hill Gift Shop & Boutique offers all the essentials you may need. There’s also a massive duty-free shopping mall in Ocho Rios called Taj Mahal. And Half Moon Shopping Village of over 25 shops is just a 15-minute drive from Coconut Cottage.
Consider Joining Club Mobay to Expedite Your Arrival at the Airport
With this personalized service, you can fast-track your arrival routine when you reach our airport. After making it through immigration, customs, and security as quickly as possible, you will be escorted to a VIP lounge with snacks, drinks, private restrooms, and large-screen TVs. There you can wait in comfort for transportation to your destination.
If you’re staying with us for five days or longer, you also have access to an air-conditioned 12-passenger van. Our driver will meet you at the airport, and both the van and the personal driver will be available to you throughout your stay with us.
Don’t Wear Camouflage
Avoid bringing anything with camouflage print with you to Jamaica. Except for members of the national army, wearing clothing with a camouflage print pattern is illegal in this country.
Learn Jamaica’s Rules of the Road
Jamaica is one of the largest countries in the tropics and great to explore. Road trips to mountains and coastlines are heavenly — so long as you keep in mind that in this country, driving is on the left side of the road. Both as a pedestrian and a driver, please remain aware of this big difference between driving in Jamaica and driving in the United States.
Although we provide a complimentary van and a personal driver to our week-long or five-day guests, it’s easy to rent a car if you want to. A passport is recommended when doing so, but it is not required; a driver’s license is enough. The minimum age to drive in Jamaica is 18, and the minimum age to rent a vehicle is 21.
Seatbelts, car seats, bans on cell-phone usage while driving, and speed limits are enforced in Jamaica just as they are in the United States. Jamaica also enforces a very low BAC limit, which means that even one drink is likely to take you over the legal limit. In Jamaica, the legal alcohol limit is 35 milligrams per 100 milliliters of breath or 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.
It may take some time, a few savvy tips from the locals, and a dash of common sense to get used to how things are done in Jamaica. But a little effort will make your trip stress-free.