What’s it like in Jamaica in April

What’s it like in Jamaica in April

(Last updated June 25, 2017)

Everyone wants to know … What’s there to do in Jamaica?

What’s the weather like?

We answer those questions plus give a few insider tips to help you enjoy your vacation.

Jamaica in April

Jamaica in April (Photo Credit: Jamaica International Kite Festival)

Public Holidays in Jamaica in April

Jamaicans take public holidays very seriously. Do not expect much business to be conducted at holiday time. Some businesses close early the day before. Public beaches are often very crowded on public holidays.

Jamaica celebrates Easter! 

Good Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday)  – March 30, 2018

Easter Monday(Monday after Easter Sunday)  – April 2, 2018

Many stores close early on Holy Thursday, the day before Good Friday.

 

What’s going on? Things to do in Jamaica in April 

After researching this topic, there is one thing I know for sure. Most Jamaica events calendars are woefully inaccurate.

Many popular websites still list events that have long been abandoned or happened in the distant past. Outdated websites and inactive Facebook pages are not uncommon.

Additionally, except for the large shows that draw an international crowd, most of the events are not well publicized and neither are they advertised far enough in advance.

It takes some serious sleuthing to find out about those hidden local gems. The good news is that we have done the hard work for you!

That said, If you are planning your vacation around a specific event, make sure you double-check the dates, ideally with the organizers, before confirming your travel plans. Also, realize that sometimes events are canceled if ticket sales are poor.

 

St. Elizabeth Horticultural Society’s Annual Show

 

Roses at St. Elizabeth Flower Show in Jamaica 2016

Roses at St. Elizabeth Flower Show in Jamaica 2016

Held in Black River, St. Elizabeth, this is one of the biggest and best flower shows in Jamaica. It has been held on Easter Monday since 1963. Combined with sightseeing options on the South Coast, this would be a great day trip to take from the Discovery Bay area.

Date: April 2, 2018
Location: Independence Park, Black River, St. Elizabeth
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/St-Elizabeth-Horticultural-Society-Flower-Show

 

Montego Bay Yacht Club’s Easter Regatta

This is an annual sailing event involving several races over Easter Weekend.

The Yacht Club is under an hour’s drive from Discovery Bay.

For questions or interest in racing, contact Mike Morse at 876-327-7038

Yacht club’s phone number: 876-979-7038

Dates:  Easter weekend – March 30 – April 2, 2018

 

Easter Sunrise Concert

Jamaica in April - Easter Sunrise Concert by the National Theater Dance Company

Jamaica in April – Easter Sunrise Concert by the National Theater Dance Company

Shout out to the National Theater Dance Company (NDTC) on their 56th anniversary in 2018!

Every Easter Sunday morning for more than 30 years, the NDTC’s dancers, singers, and orchestra in collaboration with the Little Theatre Movement have put on a program that is a sight to behold – an experience that stirs the soul and stimulates the mind.

In their own words, they describe the performance as follows: “NDTC’s diversity and texture catch the moods of worship, utilizing Black spirituals, Native American spiritual music, Jamaican revival and ritual chants, South African praise songs as well as Europe’s liturgical music, providing audience with what has been repeatedly dubbed a sense of fulfilment in observing the Easter mood of resurrection, renewal and spiritual upliftment”.

Date: Easter Sunday, April 2, 2018, 6 am
Location: Little Theatre, Kingston
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NDTCJamaica/

 

Carnival in Jamaica – Bacchanal

Carnival runs from February through April with the events getting bigger and bigger towards the end of the period. Traditionally, it is a 6 week season ending on the Sunday after Easter Monday.

Most events take place in Kingston, Ocho Rios, and Montego Bay. The finale is a weeklong series of fetes, concerts, and street parades.

Carnival really started in Kingston so that is where you will find the more spectacular events. With the new toll road, you could be in Kingston is just over an hour so an easy day or half day trip from Discovery Bay. There is so much to see and do in Kingston so you would be better off planning this as a day trip.

For 2017:

Beach J’ouvert, James Bond Beach, Ocho Rios  – April 15, 2017

Pre-Mas Revellers Fete – April 19, 2017

Bacchanal J’ouvert & Road March, Mas Campus – April 21, 2017

Bacchanal Road Parade – April 23, 2017

Date: Details for 2018 are not yet available
Location: various locations over the island
Website: https://www.bacchanaljamaica.com/

 

Jamaica International Kite Festival

Jamaica in April - Jamaica International Kite Festival

Jamaica in April – Photo credit: Jamaica Internal Kite Festival

This annual event is now held on the spacious Shazz Entertainment Grounds in Richmond, Priory, St. Ann. There is a big focus on the art of kite making and flying but what’s a festival without music and food. Even international reggae artist, Shaggy, was there one year.

Date: April 17, 2017. The date for 2018 is not yet confirmed.
Location: Shazz Entertainment Center, Richmond, Prior, St. Ann
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Jamaica-International-Kite-Festival

 

Jamaica Biennial

Jamaica Biennial at the National Gallery of Art

Jamaica Biennial at the National Gallery of Art (Photo credit: National Gallery of Art)

The National Gallery of Art’s flagship biennial exhibition showcases works of art in all media and genres by a wide variety of artists who enter the exhibition through a juried system or by special invitation.

If you are an art lover, you will want to see this exhibit. The National Gallery in Kingston has the largest collection. This would be a great stop on a visit to Kingston.

Dates:  Feb 26, 2017 – May 28, 2017. Dates for 2018 are not available
Locations: National Gallery of Jamaica in Kingston, National Gallery West in Montego Bay, and Devon House in Kingston
Website: http://www.natgalja.org.jm

 

Carnival of Speed

Car Race in Jamaica - Time to go to see the races (Photo credit: Dover Raceway)

Car Race in Jamaica – Time to go to see the races (Photo credit: Dover Raceway)

Jamaica Race Drivers Club puts on exciting races over Easter Monday, Independence Day, and Heroes Day at Dover Raceway, St. Ann.

Dover Raceway is on the way to Browns Town, about 20 minutes or so from Discovery Bay

Dates: Easter Monday – April 2, 2018
Location: Dover Raceway, St. Ann
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dover-Raceway

 

Jamaica Pantomime

Jamaica Pantomime 2016-17

Jamaica’s Theatre season runs from December through May. The national pantomime, a central main event of the season, has been running annually since the 1940s.

The pantomime is a play which is usually a musical comedy making satirical reference to Jamaican culture, folklore, as well as historical and or current events and politics.

The costumes and sets are usually vibrant, creative and colorful. The dialog is primarily in Patois and without some local knowledge, it can be difficult for foreigners to follow along.

Most Jamaican plays cater to mature audiences; however, the pantomime caters to patrons of all ages and backgrounds.

Date: December 26, 2017 – May 31, 2018 (Title for the play is not et available.)
Location: Little Theatre, Kingston
Website: http://www.ltmpantomime.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamaicanTheatre/

 

Fruits and Foods in Season in Jamaica in April

There is always some fruit in season in Jamaica. Betcha never heard of some of these! Go should try some of these exotic goodies while you are in Jamaica. They will certainly taste better there than if you try to source them overseas.

Naseberry

Jamaicans say neez-berry. It is called sapodilla in other countries. The fruit had brown skin and brown pulp with black seeds and is in season from March through May

Jamaica in April: Fruits in Season - Naseberry

Jamaica in April: Fruits in Season – Naseberry

Otaheite apple

This almost pear-shaped fruit is dark red on the outside and snow-white on the inside. There is a hard seed in the center. These apples bear fruit in February and April and also in June and July

Jamaican fruits in season in April: Otaheiti apple

Jamaican fruits in season in April: Otaheiti apple. (Credit – Organicfacts.net)

Sweet sop

This fruit softens as it ripens at which point it is easily broken to reveal white flesh covering black seeds. This fruit can be relied on to the sweet. It has a custard-like  texture but is not as grainy as custard apples. Fruits bear in April to July. To enjoy this delicacy, you have to suck the flesh off the seeds. Don’t even bother trying to be elegant about it.

Jamaica in April. Fruits in Season - Sweet sop

Jamaica in April. Fruits in Season – Sweet sop

Lobster Season in Jamaica

Lobster season in Jamaica - closed April 1 to June 30 every year

Lobster season in Jamaica – closed April 1 to June 30 every year

Weather in Jamaica in April

We all want perfect weather conditions on our vacations. The reality is that nature has its own agenda. Here is a guide as to historical weather conditions in the Discovery Bay – Braco area during April in Jamaica.

Sunshine

On average, there are 3002 hours of sunshine per year in Jamaica out of a possible 4383 hours. The sunniest months are January through April, as well as July and August.

Average amount of bright sunshine per day in April: 8hrs

Average amount of daylight per day in April: ~13hrs

Sunrise & Sunset

Sunrise: between 5:43 and 6:04am

Sunset: between 6:25 and 6:33pm

Temperature

Northeasterly trade winds keep the coastal areas cool with island temperatures averaging around 71-88°F year round. Nevertheless, there aren’t wide variations in temperature across the island.

Temperatures do tend to be lower in the mountainous areas such as in the Blue Mountains. Temperatures decrease by about 1°F for every 300ft increase in elevation. The plains such as in Kingston and the more flat and arid southern areas of the island, such as Clarendon, Manchester and St. Elizabeth, are hotter.

The warmest months in Jamaica are July and August with average maximum temperature of about 89-90°F. The coolest months are December through February with maximum temperatures of about 84.

Average maximum daytime temperature in Discovery Bay – Braco area in Jamaica in April is about 86°F/30°C.

Average minimum temperature is around 72°F/22°C.

Maximum and Minimum Temperatures in Discovery Bay JamaicaRain

How much rain can you expect? It varies.

Traditionally, the rainy periods are April and May/June and again October to November/December. June and July are generally the driest months. February and March are also traditionally dry months too. This pattern does vary from year to year with much more variability noted in recent years.

The amount of rainfall and the frequency of showers or days of rain can vary quite a bit in Jamaica, even in nearby towns. For example, there could be significant rainfall in the town of Discovery Bay with hardly a rain drop in our area, five minutes drive away. In general, the more north-eastern sections of Jamaica gets the most rain. These areas would represent areas east of Ocho Rios and on into Portland, where rainfall averages can be significant.

Rain in Jamaica often is at night or early mornings. Sometimes, rain comes on during the daytime in short quick spurts only to disappear just as quickly as it came. In the rainy period, there can be several consecutive days of rain.

On average, there are about 7 or 8 days with some rainfall during the month of April.

Average monthly rainfall in April is less than an inch. Discovery Bay area gets less rain than Ocho Rios.

Average rainfall in Discovery Bay - Braco Jamaica

Average rainfall in Discovery Bay – Braco Jamaica

If there are heavy rains, on-river activities, such as river rafting, might be canceled due to high water levels or rapid rivers. Water clarity could also be affected depending on how much rain occurred in the mountains.

Sea water temperature

The sea is warmest during July through October. Average sea water temperature in Discovery Bay in April is about 81°F/27°C.

Wind

April is one of the windiest months. This makes it perfect for kite flying!

In some areas, the wind can cause rough waves which could interfere with snorkeling or scuba diving, which are best in calm waters. The waters in Discovery Bay are generally calm.

Risk of hurricane

April is not in hurricane season.

Hurricane season is June 1 – November 30.

Tropical storm risk is basically zero.

High season versus low season

April 15th is the end of the tourist high season. Hotel rates go down in low season. Easter, however, is a very popular time in Jamaica so expect higher rates during this week.

Tourist Crowds

April is a fairly busy month primarily due to visitors for Spring Break and Easter.

The five busiest months for arrivals at Montego Bay’s airport are March, June, July, August, and December, with July being especially busy. This makes sense as it coincides with many holidays, including school holidays. September, October, and November see the fewest number of arrivals every year. Hint, those are great months to snag deals!

 

Busiest months for arrivals at Montego Bay Airport in Jamaica

Busiest months for arrivals at Montego Bay Airport in Jamaica

Did we miss something? Do you know of an event that we should include? Let us know so that we may update the post.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

 

If you’re thinking of a villa vacation rental for your Jamaica vacation. Here is a special cool freebie to make vacation planning easy …

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3-Part Email Series: How to pick the perfect villa

3-Part Email Series: How to pick the perfect villa

 

‘Til next time.

Think and dream Jamaica!

Sherry, Darrell & Darrian

Considering a visit to Jamaica? Contact us today for more information about, Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families, groups, and intimate destination weddings.

Visit our website: http://www.MakeItJamaica.com

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About the Author Sherry

Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tenis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!

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