ABOUT Nearly every race is represented here – African, English, Spanish, Irish, Scottish, Indian, Chinese, German and Syrian. They came – to conquer, colonise, unwillingly or in search of a better life, settling over time to call this island home. They've jumbled and fused, creating the most extraordinary racial and cultural medley, the Jamaican people. Montego Bay has much to offer to its visitors, from five world-class golf courses to the rich heritage of historic Falmouth. But perhaps one of the most relaxing features of this region is a glorious rafting trip down one of Montego Bay's gorgeous, tranquil rivers, the Martha Brae in Trelawny or Lethe's Great River. If you want to remember what it's like to be a bare-bottom kid playing on the shore, sun on your back, warm water tickling your toes and laughter jiggling your tummy, visit Jamaica. Wash away remaining inhibitions in our soothing waters and feel the warmth of our sun on your naked body. Thoughts of spring break immediately conjure up images of white sand beaches and turquoise seas filled with tanned, toned bodies, partying away their semester stresses. Spring Break in Jamaica is no exception. The island is one of the hottest Spring Break destinations in the world.
CLIMATE The average annual temperature is 82°, but expect temperatures to be hotter during afternoon hours and feel much hotter because of high humidity levels. Fortunately, the island is blessed with northeasterly trade winds that keep you from sweltering no matter what time of year. Rainfall varies with the season. Jamaica’s best weather can be enjoyed during the dry period that lasts from January to April. Jamaica doesn’t really have a real rainy season with rain for days on end. Most of the rain falls during the months of May-June and September-November. The lion’s share of the rain falls in the misty Blue Mountains, source of some of the world’s best coffee. Usually along the coast, rain showers are brief and heavy, coming in mid-afternoon and clearing up before you can run inside. The rainiest months are May and October. During the hurricane season that lasts from June to November the island has a fair chance of getting hit by hurricanes or tropical storms. Chances are highest during the months of September and October.
BEWARE Jamaica particularly the capital city, Kingston, suffers from a high crime rate – including violent crime. Gang violence and shootings are usually concentrated in inner city neighbourhoods, including West Kingston, Grant's Pen, August Town, Harbour View, Spanish Town and certain parts of Montego Bay. Public order incidents and demonstrations, sometimes violent, can occur in Kingston, Spanish Town and Montego Bay. The motive for most attacks on tourists is robbery. Although the Jamaican government has a system of mobile police patrols, there is a risk in walking alone in isolated areas or on deserted beaches even in daylight hours. Vigilance is particularly advised when drawing money from ATMs. Most hotels and resorts are well guarded. However, robberies can occur. Don’t walk or use buses at night. Only hire taxis authorised by the Jamaica Tourist Board usually operated by the Jamaica Union of Travellers Association (JUTA) or taxis ordered from hotels for your sole use not shared. Do not give lifts to strangers and keep car doors and windows locked. Avoid large crowds and demonstrations as criminals use the confusion of such events to engage in acts such as robbery. Do not carry large amounts of cash or wear eye-catching jewellery. Try to vary which restaurants you use. Frequenting the same place too often might make you a target for thieves. Unless you are fully acquainted with the route and are driving in daylight hours, you should not self-drive a car to or from Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport. Instead, take an official 'JUTA' taxi, or taxi recommended by your hotel or airport’s official taxi dispatcher for your journey to or from the airport. There have been outbreaks of violence in the Mountain View area on one route from the airport to the city. You should therefore avoid this route and use the alternative signposted Humming Bird route via South Camp Road.