Jamaica – traveling in the country
Airplane: There are four domestic airports in Jamaica: Tinson Pen in Kingston, Negril Aerodrome, Boscobel Aerodrome near Ocho Rios, and Ken Jones Aerodrome near Port Antonio.
Montego Bay’s Donald Sangster International Airport has a domestic terminal in addition to the international terminal. The terminals are not right next to each other, Air Jamaica Express offers a shuttle service.
In Kingston, most domestic flights use Tinson Pen, 2 miles west of downtown.
Air Jamaica offers a daily connection between Kingston and Montego Bay and, through its subsidiary Air Jamaica Express, between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.
TimAir has charter flights between Kingston and Montego Bay, Mandeville, Negril, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio.
International Air Link flies between Montego Bay, Kingston, Negril, Port Antonio, Runaway Bay and Ocho Rios.
Train: Although the first railways outside of Europe and North America ran in Jamaica, nothing is left of it. The rail network was shut down in 1992.
Car: There are around 17,000 km of roads in Jamaica, a third of which is paved. There is left-hand traffic.
Several large international car rental companies and numerous local companies offer vehicles in the country. High season prices start at around $ 45 per day and are cheaper in the low season. To rent a car, you have to be at least 21 years old (25 years for some companies). The national driver’s license is valid for one year in Jamaica. Especially in the high season you should book rental cars in advance.
Before signing the contract, you should check the vehicle for dents and scratches and make a list of the defects. Otherwise, you will likely be held responsible for the slightest scratch. Off-road vehicles are recommended for driving off the main roads. Island Car Rentals is one of
the largest and most renowned car rental companies in Jamaica. Other large companies are Avis, Hertz, Budget and Thrifty.
Local agencies often offer better prices than the international chains, but some of the cars are marked by the road conditions in Jamaica. Recommended local car rental companies include Triple-A-Car Rental, Beaumont’s Car Rentals Kingston, and Caribbean Car Rentals.
Bus : For adventurous travelers who want to get to know the country beyond the typical Jamaica pictures and who can / want to travel without comfort, buses are the cheapest way to discover Jamaica. Public transportation in Jamaica is very cheap.
There is usually no fixed schedule – buses start when enough passengers have gathered. However, bus travel between Kingston and Montego Bay is relatively reliable. In any case, protect your luggage against theft.
Change cannot normally be given on larger bills, so pay with smaller banknotes or coins if possible.
There are bus stops at road crossings all over the island.
Minibuses:All cities and almost all villages in the country are served by minibuses.
Licensed minibuses have red license plates with the initials PPV (public passenger vehicle) or a plaque from the Jamaican Union of Travelers Association (JUTA). JUTA buses are intended exclusively for tourists. The PPV buses are usually overcrowded
route taxis go to practically every corner of the country. Most route taxis are white Toyota Corollas. “Route Taxi” is also written on the door. You pay more in taxis without this label.
Taxi: Licensed taxis have red PPV license plates (without such license plates they are not licensed). Taxis are quite expensive, but you can share the cost with other passengers.
The Transport Authority in Jamaica has set fixed tariffs (depending on the distance and different for locals and tourists). Licensed taxis should carry these tariffs with them. Taxis should also be metered, but many don’t have one.
Bicycle: In tourist places there is usually at least one bicycle rental with mountain bikes. Keep in mind, however, that the road conditions are not the best and Jamaican drivers are not particularly considerate of driving.
For serious bike tours you should bring your own well-equipped and stable bike. There are definitely no bike repair shops in Jamaica, so you should be able to carry out repairs yourself.
Topography map of Jamaica
According to dentistrymyth, Jamaica belongs to the archipelago of the Greater Antilles. The island is around 235 kilometers long, up to 82 kilometers wide and about half the size of the state of Hesse. The Blue Mountains, a mountain range in eastern Jamaica, reach almost 2,300 m asl.
The foundations of the island emerge in the Blue Mountains and on the northwest corner. It consists of limestone layers that were folded in the tertiary period and then lifted above sea level.
The uplift of the earth’s crust continues to this day. Occasionally they manifest themselves in violent earthquakes that destroyed the Port Royal maritime settlement in 1692 and Kingston in 1909. Younger limestone layers lie above the folded subsoil, which are only weakly folded and broken into individual rocks. In the west of the island they build limestone plateaus 300 to 600 meters high, which take up almost two thirds of the island’s area. A typical karst landscape has developed herewith deep sinkholes (which are called “cockpits” here), river shrinkages (places where a river disappears underground) and the limestone cones characteristic of the tropical karst. Strong karst springs on the edges of the highlands and in the depressions in the interior of the island feed the short, but sloping and water-rich rivers.
The coast is mostly steep and rocky, only in the south is a wider plain in front of the mountains.
Under the warm, humid climate, the limestones that make up the mountains of Jamaica have weathered to form deep, bright red soils. These soils have a high proportion of aluminum minerals and are therefore mined as bauxite in various places.
Originally, Jamaica – with the exception of the dry south coast, where there used to be extensive savannas with grasses and thorn bushes – was covered by evergreen tropical rainforests. Today a large part of the island’s area is used for agriculture. The forested areas in Jamaica also include the mangrove forests on the south coast, the cloud forests on the ridge of the Blue Mountains and the reforested areas.