Jamaican dollar (J$), US dollar (US$)
Budget: Less than US$100
- Plate of jerk: US$3.50
- Route taxi fare: US$1–2
- Double room: US$50–60
- Red Stripe beer: US$1.20
- Admission to major attractions: US$20
- Short taxi ride: US$10
- Meal at midrange restaurant: $20
- Single-tank scuba dive: US$50
Top End: More than US$300
- Fine dining: from US$30
- Luxury accommodations: from US$200
- Private taxi hire per day: US$100
Gentle haggling is common in tourist markets for souvenirs; in all other instances you’re expected to pay the stated price.
ATMs are widely available. Credit cards are accepted in most medium-size and larger businesses, particularly in tourist areas.
- The unit of currency is the Jamaican dollar, the ‘jay,’ which uses the same symbol as the US dollar ($). Jamaican currency is issued in bank notes of J$50, J$100, J$500, J$1000 and (rarely) J$5000. Prices for hotels and valuable items are usually quoted in US dollars, which are widely accepted.
- Commercial banks have branches throughout the island. Those in major towns maintain a foreign-exchange booth.
- Most towns have 24-hour ATMs linked to international networks such as Cirrus or Plus. In more remote areas, look for ATMs at gas stations. In tourist areas, some ATMs also dispense US dollars.
- Traveler’s checks are little used and attract fees for cashing.
- Major credit cards are accepted throughout the island, although local groceries and the like will not be able to process them, even in Kingston.
For current exchange rates see www.xe.com.
A 10% tip is normal in hotels and restaurants. Check your bill carefully – some restaurants automatically add a 10% to 15% service charge. Some all-inclusive resorts have a strictly enforced no-tipping policy. Outside Kingston, tourist taxi drivers often ask for tips but it is not necessary; JUTA (Jamaica Union of Travelers Association) route taxis do not expect tips.