(Last updated June 27, 2017)
Everyone wants to know … What’s there to do in Jamaica? What’s the weather like? Is August a good time of year to visit Jamaica?
We answer those questions plus give a few insider tips to help you enjoy your vacation.
Emancipation Day (celebrates the end of slavery on August 1, 1834) – observed on August 1, 2017
Independence Day (celebrates the Independence from Britain on August 6, 1962) – observed on August 7, 2017)
Jamaica is in celebration mode for the whole first week of August. Black, green and gold colors decorate almost the entire island.
Take note: 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 Outdated websites and inactive Facebook pages are not uncommon.
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! (No joke, we spent hours and hours researching these posts.)
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. Realize that sometimes events are canceled if ticket sales are poor.
Hot tip: Kingston is no longer considered too far to travel from our area for events. In fact, we encourage it! The entrance of the new North – South toll Highway makes traveling to Kingston a non-issue from our area. Using the highway, we can be at Ferry, the exit for Kingston, in about an hour. The toll is expensive; but, now we have easier access to the art and culture of Kingston than we did before. This gives even more support for Discovery Bay being an excellent location from which to explore the island.
The first week of August is Jamaica Festival Time, a celebration of two very important events for Jamaicans – Emancipation and Independence. Popular activities during this week include the Festival Song Competition, the Independence Float Parade and Grand Gala, as well as the Jamaica Gospel Song Finals.
Details of these events are often available quite late in the game. Geared towards a largely local Jamaican audience, the final details of the events usually are promoted heavily on radio and television in the weeks leading up to the event. No worries. There is always a party or some sort of celebration going on during the first week of August.
Date: July 31 – August 7, 2017
Location: The National Independence Float Parade and Grand Gala, the signature event, is in Kingston. Other smaller events occur throughout the island.
Held this year as an official Jamaica 55 Independence celebration event, the event, produced by the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Ministry of Entertainment and Culture, is primed to be a family friendly event with wonderful food and music.
Date: August 1, 2017
Location: Turtle River Park, Ocho Rios, St. Ann
Montego Bay Jerk Festival
Montego Bay Jerk Festival is billed as Western Jamaica’s largest jerk festival promising everything jerk. The event is family oriented with food, children’s activities and music. Gospel music fans, there won’t be a gospel night this go around but there will be a gospel segment.
Date: August 1, 2017, 10 am – 10 pm
Location: Catherine Hall Entertainment Center, Montego Bay
Shout out to the National Theater Dance Company (NDTC) on their 55th anniversary this year!
Their dance season in July to August. They don’t do many performances on the island as they travel frequently. Catch a show if you can.
As one fan on their Facebook page describes them … “An extraordin
Date: July 21-August 13, 2017. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 5 pm
Location: Little Theatre, 4 Tom Redcam Avenue, Kingston
This is a 5-day music festival, essentially a non-stop party, that is held annually in late July to early August on the beach in Negril featuring both local and international artistes. The event includes not only the music but food and liquor. The level of production is often praised. The event usually books out early.
Jamaica in July – Dream Weekend
Date: Friday, July 28, 2017, 6:00 PM – Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 5:00 PM
Phone: (876) 631-6629
This is the oldest and largest agricultural show in the English-speaking Caribbean. Held for the first time in 1952, the theme remains “Grow what we eat … eat what we grow”.
The 3-day event, associated with Independence Day, holds competitions for national Farm Queen, champion farmer, national young champion farmer, national champion woman farmer, national champion greenhouse farmer. New for 2017 will be champion coconut and banana farmer competitions.
Date: August 5-7, 2017, 8 am – 5 pm
Location: Denbigh Showground, May Pen
Want to see a car race? It’s not Nascar, but, it’s pretty cool. Jamaica Race Drivers Club puts on exciting races on Independence Day at Dover Raceway, St. Ann. If you miss it, you can always catch it on Easter Monday, or Heroes Day
Date: August 7, 2017
Location: Dover Raceway is on the way to Browns Town, about 20 minutes or so from Discovery Bay
Relay for Life
Walk the track. Light a luminaria bag. See the exhibits. Show your support for the fight against cancer.
Date: August 26 – 27, 2017
Location: Turtle River Park, Ocho Rios, St. Ann
Phone: 876-927-4265 (Kingston); 876-974-2790 (St Ann/St. Mary Chapter)
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.
Jamaican use this to make a very refreshing drink. Many believe that it helps to sooth the nerves and also with high blood pressure. It is very rich in Vitamin C. Some believe that it has cancer-fighting capabilities; however, that has not been proven. Soursop is most abundant in July to November.
Sweet sop has black seeds covered with white flesh; but, that’s where the similarity to soursop ends. Sweet sop softens as it ripens at which point it is easily broken to reveal the flesh. This fruit can be relied on to be sweet while soursop is usually slightly tart. Sweet sop has a custard-like texture but is not as grainy as custard apples. Fruits bear in April to July as well as August to October.
Jamaican plums, are often either yellow or red in color. There is a firm, stony seed around which is a soft pulp. The skin is eaten as well. They are often sold in bags at the side of the road.
This fruit (or vegetable) was responsible for all that commotion with Captain Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty.
This very versatile fruit is a staple in the Jamaican diet. Many believe that this high protein plant has the potential to end world hunger.
It is most abundant during June through August. It is eaten roasted, boiled or fried in the manner of rice or potatoes. There are even drink recipes using breadfruit.
Roasted or fried breadfruit is a great accompaniment to ackee and saltfish for breakfast or with jerk anything for lunch.
This is one huge strange looking fruit. A whole fruit can easily be 20lbs or more. When it is ripe, it has an extremely sweet, almost intoxicating, smell. Jamaicans typically eat jackfruit ripe, the way you would any other fruit. It can be eaten green (unripened) and apparently is all the rage among vegans as a meat alternative. It is typically in season in Jamaica in April, May, and August.
The Jamaican Government can change the end date to close the season, but so far we haven’t heard anything about that.
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 August in Jamaica.
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 August: 7 hrs
Average amount of daylight per day in August: ~13hrs
Sunrise: between 5:48 and 5:55 am
Sunset: between 6:25 and 6:45 pm
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 daytime 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 August is about 86°F/30°C. Average minimum temperature is around 70°F/21°C.
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-easterly sections of Jamaica get 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 13 days with some rainfall, defined as any rain at all, during the month of August.
Average monthly rainfall for the month of August is 4.9 inches. Discovery Bay area gets less rain than Ocho Rios.
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.
The sea is warmest during July through October. Average sea water temperature in Discovery Bay in August is about 84°F/29°C.
Hurricane season is June 1 – November 30.
Tropical storm risk for the month of August is, historically, about 1%.
Be sure to get trip insurance when you travel, especially internationally. This is particularly true during hurricane season.
August is low season, which runs from April 15 – December 15th. Hotel rates may be lower than during high season. See our blog post – 8 Reasons You Should Visit Jamaica in the Off Season.
August is traditionally on of the busiest months for arrivals at Montego Bay Airport. March, June, July, and December are also 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!
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.
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‘Til next time.
Think and dream Jamaica!
Sherry, Darrell, and Darrian
Considering a visit to Jamaica with a group? 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 and groups, retreats, and intimate destination weddings and vow renewals.
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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!