Shopping and Eating in Jamaica

Shopping and shops in Jamaica

Shopping is not really about Jamaica. It is unprofitable and practically nowhere to buy expensive clothes, perfumes or accessories. Bargain shopping in Jamaica includes colorful cotton beachwear from local brands Cooyah, Zion and more, excellent rum and coffee, jewelry and handicrafts.

According to Wholevehicles, there are very few large shopping centers in Jamaica; small shops with souvenirs are much more common. There are duty-free shops not only at airports, but also scattered throughout the island, and the prices there are quite attractive, and according to travel documents they give additional discounts. The main shopping centers are the resorts of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.

It is worth bringing the famous Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica, it costs about 1500 JMD for 500 gr. The largest selection and lowest prices are in shops at coffee factories. Jamaican rum Appleton is better to buy in duty free (from 3200 JMD). The island also makes excellent spices and condiments, such as Walkerswood sauces, peppers, curries, paprika, ginger from Island Spice. The cost is from 250 JMD per pack.

The most popular souvenirs are handicrafts (sculptures made of wood, chasing, products made of semi-precious stones), bright handmade jewelry (from 500 JMD) and rastaman hats (from 600 JMD). Original acquisitions will be furniture and interior items made of bamboo Crazy Legs Originals and Original Bamboo Factory – unique handmade items made of bamboo.

Prices in large shopping centers are fixed, but in all street shops and markets it is customary to bargain.

Cuisine and restaurants

Jamaican culinary traditions are a mix of Caribbean, English, Spanish and African cuisines. Local chefs mainly lean on fruits, pork, poultry, seafood and vegetables, richly flavoring all this with a variety of seasonings. Local fruit exotics: “oranic” – a hybrid of orange and tangerine, “ugli” – a hybrid of grapefruit and tangerine, breadfruit.

The main national dish of Jamaica is “aki” and “saltfish” (tastes like an omelet). Grilled chicken is very popular, marinated in a special pepper sauce and cooked on the coals of a pimento tree. It is sold on every corner from home-made barbecues.

Traditional Jamaican juicy patties (“juicy pies”) with a variety of vegetable, meat and fish fillings are very popular in the country. The chain of cafes under the same name is a kind of Jamaican version of McDonald’s. At lunchtime, queues even gather here, but there are few tourists in them, mostly local residents.

Dinner in a seaside restaurant for two will cost about 15,000 JMD, lunch in an inexpensive cafe – about 4000-5000 JMD for two, breakfast with coffee and toast – about 400-500 JMD per person.


The most famous Jamaican beer is the light Red Stripe. Real Rock Lager is also popular – a light beer with a pronounced taste, brewed in the traditional way. Of the unusual, Jamaican ginger beer is worth trying.

Wines in Jamaica are mostly imported from Chile, Argentina, Spain or America. Their prices are quite low, and the quality is very decent.

Events in Jamaica

Jamaica hosts many musical, cultural and sporting events throughout the year. The most notable and popular are the Splashes of the Sun reggae festival in Ocho Rios and the Summer festival in Montego Bay. In March-April, a week after Easter in Kingston and other parts of the country, there are many carnivals no worse than those in Brazil. And the celebration of Christmas (“Jonkanu”) on the island is a special holiday. It is celebrated with a bright parade, all participants of which are dressed up in masquerade costumes.

One of the most famous yachting regattas, the Pineapple Cup, starts in Miami and finishes in Montego Bay in February. In April, Kingston hosts a Cable & Wireless Cup cricket match.

Other interesting events on the island:

  • May-June – tennis championship,
  • July – reggae festival,
  • September – beauty pageant “Miss Jamaica”,
  • November – jazz and blues festival,
  • December – regatta.

Jamaica Hotels

There are many hotels in Jamaica – from cozy small hotels to ultra-modern complexes and luxurious villas. All-inclusive clubs predominate, many of which are designed only for a certain category of clients. For example, some hotels are romantically oriented and only accept couples, while others will accommodate anyone without question. Some hotels have spas.

The island has hotels of various well-known “chains”, for example, Riu, Sandals, Superclubs, Sunset, Secrets and many others. Sandals caters to traditional and non-traditional couples, its Beaches hotels cater to families with children, and its Superclubs establishments cater to singles and couples.

Superclubs’ Hedonism hotels are tailor-made for strawberry lovers, Breezes hotels are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, and Grand Lido hotels are simply positioned as one of the best in Jamaica.

In addition, Couples hotels are very popular – for couples, more cozy and romantic than Sandals, Sunset hotels – for families (with slides or a water park). There are many hotels with a twist – boutique hotels – Caves and Country Country in Negril, Jakes on the South Coast, Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios and many others.

Villa holidays are also popular in Jamaica, with Tryall Club and Round Hill villas being especially good. The latter complex is interesting in that the villa does not need to be rented entirely, you can only take a room and get the same pleasure, but for less money.

Hotel accommodation is a fairly large expense item during a holiday in Jamaica. A night in a hostel costs from 15 USD per person, a standard double room in an inexpensive hotel during the high season is about 40-45 USD for two. In Montego Bay, prices are higher than the national average: “three rubles” – from 75 USD, 4 * – from 200 USD, 5 * – from 300 USD per day for a double room.

The voltage is 110 V, frequency 50 Hz, in some large hotels 220 V. American standard plugs with two flat prongs are used, so an adapter is needed.

Eating in Jamaica