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Are you wondering what is the best currency for Jamaica?

Well this post explains it all. Affectionately known as the land of wood and water, Jamaica is on the Caribbean bucket list for many persons.

If your dream is about to become a reality and you are planning an epic trip of a lifetime, you may be wondering what is the best currency for Jamaica as you plan.

In this article, we will address this concern as well as provide you with helpful information to prepare you for your Jamaica getaway.

The best currency to use in Jamaica is the Jamaican dollar. The US Dollar is accepted everywhere on the island. For ease of doing business, it is best to carry US dollars are smaller denominations. Change is usually given in local currency.  Credit cards are accepted by hotels and large businesses.

What Is The Official Currency of Jamaica

The official currency of Jamaica is the Jamaican dollar since 1969. It is issued and managed by its own Central bank.

The Bank of Jamaica which is the Central bank is responsible for the island’s monetary policy.

The Jamaican dollar is not pegged to the US dollar and hence there has been massive devaluation against the US dollar over the years.

With this comes increased uncertainty when doing business on the island.

The exchange rate changes daily so it is best to check a few places to ensure that you have the best rate before converting into cash.

Bank notes are available in $50, $100, $500, $1000 and $5000 denominations.

Alternatively, coins are available in $1, $5, $10 and $20 denominations.

Do I need cash in Jamaica?

Cash is required for doing business on the island especially in rural areas or with small and medium sized vendors.

Nevertheless, credit card machines are available in large businesses such as hotels, tour companies and supermarkets.

Can you use US dollars in Jamaica?

US dollars are accepted by all businesses across the island. Nonetheless, change is awarded in local Jamaican currency.

For ease of doing business on the island, it is best to travel with small bank notes. Bank notes that are worn and torn are usually rejected.

Can you use Canadian dollars in Jamaica?

Businesses in Jamaica are often reluctant to accept Canadian dollars as there can be massive changes in the exchange rate from one day to the other.

There are various licensed cambio centres and commercial banks that can convert these notes into local currency.

These are also available in resort areas.

Can you use Euro dollars in Jamaica?

Along the same lines as the Canadian dollars, Euro dollars are not readily accepted by businesses due the rate fluctuations.

Cambios and commercial banks can convert these notes to local currency.

Can you use British Pound Sterling in Jamaica?

Likewise, the British Pound Sterling is not accepted by businesses around the island.

These notes can be exchanged at cambios and commercial banks at resorts and across the island.

Can you use a debit card in Jamaica?

Foreign debit cards can be used in the Jamaica. Most ATMs accept international bank cards with Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus and Plus logos enabled.

Commercial banks also grant credit card advances, change traveller’s cheques and provide a range of financial services.

Useful Travel Tips For Jamaica

English is the official language of Jamaica. Nevertheless, locals speak a unique form of patois. It is also fun trying a new language and natives are willing to help you with the pronunciations.

The electrical supply is 110 volts/50 cycles and electrical appliances use plugs that are two-pronged and flat as in the USA and Canada.

The island is blessed with tropical climate year round and hence it is best to travel with lightweight breathable clothing.

For dining at fine restaurants, it is advised to dress semi casually.

Jamaica lies in the hurricane belt so it is prudent to bear this in mind if you are visiting the island from June to November.

We strongly recommend that you consider travel insurance and our company of choice is World Nomads Insurance for this service.

Historically, September is the most active month of the hurricane season in the Caribbean.

Driving in Jamaica is on the left side of the road. The speed limit is 30mph in built up areas and 50 mph on highways. Visitors must be 25 years and over to rent a car.

The water in the tap is safe for drinking, brushing your teeth and washing your clothes.

However, if you prefer to err on the side of caution, there are many local spring water brands available which are bottled in accordance with international standards.

According to, based on data computed, Jamaica as the most violent country in the Caribbean for the year 2022.

This website also revealed that there were about 52.9 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. This figure represents the highest rate of homicide in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Therefore, care and due diligence must be taken while on the island. Avoid leaving valuables exposed and walking in dark secluded areas by yourself.

Exciting Things To Do In Jamaica

Hope Botanical Gardens, Kingston- nestled on over 200 acres of land, this is the largest botanical gardens in the Caribbean.

Hope Botanical Garden is open every day and is available for tours and special functions.

It is also the location for Hope Zoo which is an educational activity for children.

Fort Clarence Beach, Kingston– this is the best beach in the heart of the capital city which is loved for its white sands and beautiful mountain views.

Amenities include changing rooms, showers, bathrooms and lifeguards. There are restaurants nearby for refreshments.

Dolphin Cove, Montego Bay-this is a fun and relaxing activity for children and adults. It provides an exciting opportunity to hug and swim with dolphins.

There is also a Dolphin Cove facility located in Ocho Rios.

Dunn River Falls, Ocho Rios- this world renowned water fall is one of the most visited attractions on the island.

Located near Ocho Rios, there are several activities that you can do at the falls and water park which includes zip lining, climbing the falls and purchasing souvenirs at the craft shop.

Bob Marley Museum, Kingston– for reggae enthusiasts and fans of the legendary singer site see at his former home. Bob Marley lived at this location in Kingston until his transition in 1981.

A tour of his former home features his studio as well as several memorabilia. There is a theatre, record shop and café located at this premises.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to use Jamaican dollars or US dollars in Jamaica?

Both Jamaican and US dollars can be used at small and large businesses across the island. For visitors who want to use US dollars, it is best to travel with smaller bank notes. Alternatively, it is best to exchange any remaining Jamaican currency before leaving the island.

Is it okay to tip in USD in Jamaica?

Tips in Jamaica are accepted in both local Jamaican currency and in US dollars. Gratuities and service charges are incorporated by some restaurants and bars. Locals often appreciate tips and will be grateful for it in either currency.

Should I exchange money before I travel to Jamaica?

There is no need to exchange your money to Jamaican dollars before traveling to the island. US dollars are widely accepted by businesses on the island and there are cambios at hotels where your international notes can be exchanged. Change is usually given in the local currency.

Final Thoughts: Best Currency For Jamaica

As a general rule, the best currency to use in the Jamaica is the Jamaican dollar. US Dollars are accepted by businesses on the island. For ease of use, travel with US Dollars of smaller denominations especially for tipping. Credit Cards and debit cards are easy to use at large businesses.

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