It is Carnival time in Jamaica again. Carnival in Jamaica is not set to rival Trinidad’s but complement it. If you are a frequent traveler to the Caribbean or you have never been, the events surrounding the time is a unique and festive experience.
Carnival started in Jamaica in 1989 after regular visitors to Trinidad’s carnival were not able to go because of the aftermath of Hurricane Gilbert and that year’s election. Instead they threw their own carnival in Jamaica and the tradition has remained on the island for the last 30 years.
If you plan to make the trip to Jamaica this year or you are already here, we would love to help you make the experience as fun as possible! Please see our tips below:
Preparation before Travel
Before leaving home you want to ensure you have planned properly to have a hassle free trip. This includes how you will get to Jamaica if you are not on the island, having your event tickets ready, getting a place to stay and much more…
Where to Stay
This should not be a problem. Jamaica is a big island that’s true, but with good road networks these days you can pretty much stay anywhere you like on the island and still get to the events easily and on time. You can book a bnb close by to where most of the events are held in Kingston. Or you can chill by one of the many all inclusive resorts or villas in Ocho Rios, Montego Bay or Negril. If you want to couple the carnival experience with a really nice vacation destination be sure to check out our blog post on our favorite all inclusive destinations in Jamaica.
Getting to Jamaica
Popular flights to Jamaica include Jet Blue, American Airlines, Spirit or Air Canada depending on where you are coming from. The major airports are Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. This is the better airport to arrive at if you are staying on the north coast such as in Montego Bay or Ocho Rios. If you are staying on the south coast such as in Kingston then you would probably want to book a flight that arrives at Norman Manley International Airport.
Buying your tickets
To find out where to get tickets visit the respective websites of each Carnival group or event. They will redirect you to locations in Jamaica that sell tickets or third party sites online. CaribTix is a great place to get tickets to all sorts of events in Jamaica as well as Triple Jungle Juice. Find more info on official sites such as Xodus Carnival or Bacchanal Jamaica.
Getting a costume
This is the most exciting part for many people. Looking great for Carnival in Jamaica is a tradition. For great costume options check out the following links:
How to get to Carnival Events
You have several options when it comes to getting to the different Carnival events in Jamaica. It depends on how far you are staying from the venues. But most recommended options are:
Read More: Tips for your trip to Jamaica
UWI Carnival – Saturday, March 16th @ University of the West Indies
Rum for Breakfast – Saturday, March 30th @ Hope Zoo, Kingston 6, St. Andrew Parish
Dancehall- Friday, April 12th
Beach Jouvert- Saturday, April 20th @ Grizzly’s Plantation Cove, Ocho Rios
Premium- Wednesday, April 24th
Jouvert- Friday, April 26th @ Mas Camp Village, Kingston
Road March- Sunday, April 28th @ 9 West King’s House Rd, Kingston
Where to Eat
The tourist and metropolitan areas in Jamaica are full of different types of cuisines for whatever you are in the mood for. Be sure to get filled before going partying and drinking all that carnival rum . We recommend:
- JoJo’s Jerkpit
- Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records
- East Japanese Restaurant
- Gloria’s Restaurant
- Steakhouse on the Verandah
Find more places on TripAdvisor.