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Explore Jamaica Carnival Extension
Jamaica - Trip code JAMC Discovery
Days 15
Deposit From £370
Price from £3695
Flights inclusive
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Why book this trip?

Perhaps more than any other Caribbean nation, Jamaica suffers from an overdose of cliches about reggae-listening Rastas, who run on 'island time'. This trip gets beneath the skin of the country with visits to a true Rastafarian community, a homestay with the Maroons (descendants of the first escaped slaves) and walks in the stunning Blue Mountains National Park. Beyond this, you'll still have plenty of time to swim in blue lagoons, sample delicious food (including the famous jerk chicken) and explore miles of white-sand beaches. This trip ends with 4 nights at Kingston's annual carnival, as the city comes alive in an explosion of music, colour and dancing. Originally an import from Trinidad, Jamaica's carnival is a massive festival of parties, bringing local and international soca and dancehall artists to revellers. The stream of carnival parties and events culminates in a huge street parade, where the heavily costumed bands come together to dance and play along their route through the streets of Kingston.

    • Included meals

      Breakfast: 14

      Lunch: 2

      Dinner: 3

    • Trip staff

      Explore Tour Leader

      Driver(s)

    • Transport

      Bus

    • i

      Accommodation

      1 nights simple cabins

      1 nights simple homestay

      12 nights standard hotel

    • i

      Trip pace:

      Relaxed

    Itinerary

    Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

    Day 1 - Join trip in Port Royal

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: None

    Day 2 - Walking tour of Port Royal; visit Kingston

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 3 - Visit the Bob Marley Museum; drive to the Blue Mountains

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Simple Cabins

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 4 - Hike on nature trails; drive to Port Antonio

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 5 - Swim at the Blue Lagoon and Frenchmen's Cove

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 6 - Visit a Rastafari village; drive to Negril

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

    Day 7 - Free day in Negril; visit Seven Mile Beach

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 8 - Drive to Accompong Maroon village via Appleton Rum Distillery

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Simple Homestay

    Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner

    Day 9 - Drive to Treasure Beach via YS Falls

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 10 - Free day in Treasure Beach; visit the Pelican Bar or go dolphin spotting

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 11 - Drive from Treasure Beach to Kingston

    We say goodbye to our fellow travellers this morning as we take our 2.5 hour drive to Kingston, and the rest of our group heads off to the airport. Once in Kingston, we have the rest of the afternoon to relax in preparation for our carnival parties over the next three days. You may wish to visit Trench Town, the government yard where Bob Marley grew up, or take a walk in Kingston Town where some carnival celebrations are already in swing.

    You will have a Explore Leader with you during this extension, who will be on hand for any questions and recommendations.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 12 - Free day in Kingston; Evening carnival party

    We're free to relax and explore some more of Kingston before heading out this evening to one of Kingston's carnival parties. Make sure to bring some evening wear! Some of the revellers might be in costume (although the big feathery outfits are usually saved for the street parade) and certainly many will be wearing bright clothes, glittery make up etc. It's not in the least formal, but an excuse to get dressed up Caribbean-style. The cost of the ticket includes performances by popular artists and drinks. Events normally go on until at least midnight - a transfer is arranged on a flexible basis, and you can discuss with the Explore Leader a time to be picked up.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 13 - Breakfast and evening carnival parties

    We've got two events in the diary today, starting with the Sunnation Breakfast Party. Jamaicans like to carry the carnival through all day, and the morning events are quite chilled out. Each event is in a different location, some private residences and others public, most of them all outside. At the breakfast party you'll have food and drink while listening to music performances, usually the bouncy calypso-esque sounds of soca - guaranteed to give you Caribbean vibes!

    After having the afternoon to nap or relax, we'll head out again this evening to another event - depending on the schedule we plan to get tickets for the Frenchmen Bazodee party, but it may change when the 2019 carnival schedule is released. Again, the tickets include food (usually some Jamaican street food like tasty curried goat or BBQ pork), drink and performances. It's a great time to people watch, and is a real taste of the Jamaican nightlife.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner

    Day 14 - Carnival day; watch thousands of costumed dancers in the annual road march

    The carnival road march is the culmination of weeks of events and preparation - literally thousands of revellers, bands and costumed dancers marching through the streets. Some have steel pans, but most have DJs and artists up on trucks following behind, keeping the energy up with their dancehall and soca beats. We'll dance on the side lines with the locals as the fantastically costumed participants move past us. Normally it starts around 11 and goes on until... close! After the parade it's our last night in Kingston, so we'll have dinner together this evening to celebrate the end of the carnival.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 15 - Trip ends in Kingston

    Our trip ends today in Kingston after breakfast.

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Trip information

    Country information

    Jamaica

    Climate

    Along the coast of Jamaica, temperatures range from 22-31C, dropping inland by a few degrees. The rainiest and most humid months are May-October, and hurricanes can occur between August-October. The dry season is from November to April, although it can rain at any time of year. Up in the Blue Mountains, temperatures sometimes drop to around 10C particularly in the evenings.

    Time difference to GMT

    -5

    Plugs

    2 Pin Flat

    Religion

    Protestantism is the main religion. 1% of Jamaicans identify as Rastafarian.

    Language

    English

    Budgeting and packing

    Optional activities

    The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


    Kingston - Trench Town US$12 plus walking tour US$18; Tuff Gong Studios US$20; Reggae and Dancehall classes US$25
    Blue Mountain - Coffee tour US$25
    Portland - Blue Lagoon Boat Excursion & Snorkelling US$150 for the boat plus snorkeling equipment US$10
    Falmouth - Luminous Lagoon Boat trip US$25
    Negril - Scuba diving US$60 (1tank) US$100 (2tank); Snorkel trip US$30; Glass Bottom Boat US$25; Catamaran Sunset Cruise US$50
    Treasure Beach - Dolphin Search with Black River Safari and Pelican Bar US$65; Pelican Bar US$40; Jamaican Cooking Class US$35-50; Art and Craft Experience US$ 50 (min 5 pers)

    Please note several of these options have additional costs for transport to get to and from them which your leader will brief you on.

    Clothing

    Bring lightweight, informal clothing. A jumper or fleece is advisable for the cooler climes in the Blue Mountains and Cockpit Country, and you'll need a good waterproof jacket all year round or an umbrella. Long sleeved shirts and long trousers give protection against thick forest growth and insects. A swimming costume and sun hat are essential.

    Footwear

    Comfortable trail boots, plus trainersandals for the evening. Water sandals may be useful for swimming in waterfalls and lagoons.

    Luggage

    20kg

    Luggage: On tour

    One main piece and a daypack. You might like to consider bringing a small beach bag for your free day in Negril. Remember, you are expected to carry your own luggage (i.e. on and off transport etc.) so don't overload yourself.

    Equipment

    Sunblock, insect repellent, a travel towel, sunglasses, sun hat and swim gear are all essential. A torch (with spare batteries and bulb) and filter water bottle are also useful items. You may also wish to bring binoculars for bird watching, and snorkelling equipment.

    Tipping

    Explore leader
    At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
    Local crew
    In this region, tipping is a recognised part of life across the service industry. Local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided.

    To assist with this your Explore Leader may organise a group tips kitty for included activities and meals, they will then account for kitty use throughout the tour.

    For this we suggest US$35 per person

    For all non-included services and meals on your trip please tip independently at your discretion.

    Jamaica

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Lunch price
    ££8
    Dinner price
    ££15
    Beer price
    ££1.50
    Water price
    ££0.80
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Jamaican Dollar
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    Pounds Sterling or US Dollar
    Where To Exchange
    Your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival
    ATM Availability
    ATMs are widely available in towns, but we recommend also carrying some small amounts of cash as they are not always reliable.
    Credit Card Acceptance
    Credit cards are widely available in medium and larger businesses. We recommend carrying cash with you for remote areas or smaller vendors.
    Travellers Cheques
    We do not recommend Travellers Cheques.
    Transport, Accommodation & Meals

    Transport Information

    Bus

    Accommodation notes

    The Holywell cabins are in an ideal remote location for exploring the Blue Mountains National Park. There are three cabins, of which the largest can accommodate nine people. All rooms within the cabins sleep four people, furnished in a simple style, and there are shared bathrooms in each cabin.

    You will also spend one night in a homestay with a Maroon family. Each family within the village can house two people, with rooms on a twin-share basis and a shared bathroom. Meals are usually communal. Your Explore Leader will organise the group between houses, but do let them know if you have any particular questions.

    Essential Information

    FCO Advice

    We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

    For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
     

    Under 18 immigration guidance

    Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

    Price Guarantee

    Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

    Visa and Passport Information


    Jamaica: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens.
    Other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate. All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.

    USA (If flights transit): you will need to apply for an ESTA if you are transiting the USA as you will have to disembark and clear immigration before re-boarding for the onward flight. Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and passport holders from several EU countries can enter the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) - where you apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), which applies if you enter the country by sea or by air. This must be done on line - https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov no later than 72 hours prior to travel. Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely be refused boarding. When completing an application for transit you should enter the words 'In Transit' with your final destination location in the address line You must have an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner. UK passports which are biometric feature a small gold symbol (camera) at the bottom of the front cover.

    If you have visited Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen since March 2011 or are dual nationals of these countries, you cannot travel with an ESTA. If you are a citizen of a country not included in the VWP you cannot apply for an ESTA. In both cases, you will instead need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If you are unable to provide a valid visa before boarding flights to the US, or entering via another method, you may not be permitted to travel. For further information please check out the US embassy website. Visa applications - http://london.usembassy.gov/niv/apply.html

    Canada (in transit): An electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is required by British citizens transiting via Canada. For more information see the official Canadian government website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp


    If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
     

    Booking conditions

    Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

    Transfers

    Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

    Booking a land only package with Explore

    Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

    You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


    Joining Tour Abroad

    Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

    Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

    If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


    For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

    Insurance

    It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
    Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

    Flight information

    Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


    Flight Information

    You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

      

    Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

    We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

    On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

    Ability to swim

    An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip. If you wish to participate in these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.

    Jamaica

    Vaccinations

    We recommend protection against Tetanus, Infectious Hepatitis, Typhoid and Polio. Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice on Malaria, Dengue and Zika Virus. Please take preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites - these include mosquito repellent as well as long trousers and long sleeve shirts to cover up when necessary. Please note many countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean require a yellow fever vaccination certificates if travelling from infected areas. A detailed list of these countries can be found on the NaTHNaC website - http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries. Also on the NaTHNaC site there is a list of Countries (and specific areas within a country) which are at risk of infection and a vaccination is therefore recommended. Yellow fever in only recommended for those travelling east of the Andes (Amazon Extension). Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at https://www.explore.co.uk/essential-information/know-before-you-go/travel-health on Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Additional Information

    Why book this trip

    This trip is an opportunity to discover the real Jamaica, behind the resorts and cruise liners. By staying in smaller accommodation including cabins and a homestay, we take you to the hidden corners of Jamaica that many people don't see, as well as visiting the highlights. The chance to experience Jamaica's big carnival celebrations is the icing on the cake of this trip, and you should come home with a real understanding of the Jamaican culture and psyche.

    Dates, prices and booking

    All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
    Mon 15 Apr 2019 - Mon 29 Apr 2019
    JAMC_2019
    Price from £2799
    Save was
    Single room option +£953
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Port Royal (Kingston)
    Time and place
    21:00 at Hotel Reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Kingston Airport
    Time
    10:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Mon 15 Apr 2019 - Tue 30 Apr 2019
    JAMC_2019
    Price from £3695
    Save was
    Single room option +£953
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Port Royal (Kingston)
    Time and place
    21:00 at Hotel Reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Kingston Airport
    Time
    10:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
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