Best time to visit Jamaica
The first week of February is Bob Marley week in Kingston – a draw for reggae lovers from around the world.
Temperatures vary little in Jamaica, averaging mid to high 20°Cs year round, although the wet and humid summer months of May to August are slightly warmer. Peak season in Jamaica starts in the week or so before Christmas and carries on until mid April. Weather-wise, this is the best time to go to Jamaica, and it also lets Europeans and North Americans dodge the miserable winter back home. Book well in advance, however, and expect higher prices. Late November to early December provides a quieter, and better value, alternative.
Jamaica Weather Chart
Jamaica, month by month
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Festivals and events in Jamaica
If there’s any one thing that defines Jamaica to the rest of the world, it’s reggae music – and Reggae Sumfest is the country’s biggest reggae celebration, held in Montego Bay in July each year. You can catch reggae legends as well as up-and-coming local acts, and there’s top food and all night beach dance parties to ramp up the fun.
For a quieter, more cerebral experience, the bi-annual Calabash International Literary Festival features Jamaican writers like Marlon James, who got his big break here, as well as international stars like Zadie Smith and Salman Rushdie. Literati jet in from New York and London to join crowds of enthusiastic locals from across the country to hear readings, panel discussions and open mic sessions in sleepy Treasure Beach.
More about Jamaica
Kick back, crack open the rum and browse our Jamaica travel guide, to learn about an island that is so much more than Rastas, reggae, rice and peas.
Our Jamaica map and highlights page details some of the most rewarding destinations in the region, from low-key beach towns to mountain trails.
Jamaica has been described as the most homophobic country in the world, thanks to its archaic laws and cultural attitudes towards the LGBT community. Consequently, it’s no hotspot for LGBT vacations.
A small group tour in Jamaica will get you out of the resort bubble, but also free you from the hassle of negotiating frenetic roads, bus timetables and chaotic cities by yourself.
Our Jamaica travel advice has tips from our vacation companies and fellow responsible travelers on everything from the best time of year to come to discovering the best food and drink.
Tourism is Jamaica’s lifeblood, but the need to cater for the large numbers that visit each year has given rise to a range of tourism models, from the good, to the bad and the ugly.