Currency

Jamaican dollar (J$), US dollar (US$)

Daily Costs

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

Midrange: US$100–200

  • 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

Bargaining

Gentle haggling is common in tourist markets for souvenirs; in all other instances you’re expected to pay the stated price.

Money

ATMs are widely available. Credit cards are accepted in most medium-size and larger businesses, particularly in tourist areas.

Further Information

  • 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.

Exchange Rates

AustraliaA$1J$97
CanadaC$1J$95
Euro zone€1J$136
Japan¥100J$111
New ZealandNZ$1J$89
UKUK£1J$156
USUS$1J$128

For current exchange rates see www.xe.com.

Tipping

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.