Everyone wants to know … What’s there to do in Jamaica? What’s the weather like? Is July a good time of year to visit Jamaica?
We answer those questions plus give a few insider tips to help you enjoy your vacation.
There are no public holidays in Jamaica in July. That’s a good thing because Jamaica almost shuts down for business on public holidays.
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 Outdated websites and inactive Facebook pages are not uncommon.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.
Do you love to watch polo matches? Well, you will be in luck. The local polo season continues through the month of July at the St. Ann Polo Club in Drax Hall, about 20 minutes east of Discovery Bay.
If polo is your thing, you can catch a match on Saturdays in July.
St. Ann Polo Club schedule for July 2017:
Sat, July 1st – Visit by Barbados Polo Club
Sat. July 8th – Burger King Juniors International
Sat. July 15th – Billy Vernon Fun Day
Sat. July 22nd – ICWI & Palmarium Low Goal Family Tournament Final
Sat. July 29th – ICWI & Palmarium High Goal Family Tournament Final
Location: St. Ann’s Polo Club, Drax Hall, St. Ann
(The Facebook page is not up to date but they are very responsive to messages through Facebook.)
This event is the former Heineken Startime Concert which started in 1998 at the former Oceana Hotel in downtown Kingston. This event showcases and celebrates ska, rocksteady and reggae music.
This year’s event features some of the top names from the genre – The Manhattans with Gerald Alston, Derrick Morgan, Gem Myers, Ken Boothe, DJ Dennis Al Capone out of London and Lloyd Parks and We the People.
Date: July 8, 2017 at 8:30pm
Location: National Arena, Kingston
Phone: (876) 834-9024
Little Ochi is a locally renowned seafood restaurant literally on the shore of the beach at Alligator Pond in St. Elizabeth on the South Coast. They have been running a seafood festival for many years.
From their About Us page on Facebook, the event “features an array of succulent dishes such as curried lobster, jerked crab, steamed/fried or jerked fish, grilled conch, jerked shark, festival (sweet dumplings) and bammy to name a few. This year, the event will feature more activities along with the usual exciting line up of entertainment and bacchanal.”
So if you love good seafood, love reggae and dancehall music, dancing on the beach, and want a quasi-carnival or bacchanal type experience, then this event would be worth checking out.
Date: Sunday, July 9, 2017. Gates open at 10 am.
Location: Alligator Pond, St. Elizabeth
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Season of Dance Gala Dinner, Little Theatre, July 21, 2017
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
Morphed out of the former Reggae Sunsplash, Reggae Sumfest is a 5-day annual music festival which was started in 1993. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, word has it that plans are underway for this to be the biggest reggae show ever.
Held every year in mid to late July, this almost week-long event tends to attract a younger crowd with more current artistes, and doesn’t have a spiritual or “holistic” vibe like, for example, Rebel Salute.
The line up for 2017 includes many top reggae and dancehall artistes such as Alkaline, Mavado, Bounty Killer, Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Queen Ifrica and many more.
If you plan on going, buy your tickets online ahead of time. Prices go up on the day of the show!
Date: July 16 – 22, 2017
Location: Catherine Hall Festival Grounds, Montego Bay
Phone: (876) 953-2933 or (876) 906-7644
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
The annual Emancipation Jubilee will be held at the Seville Great House in St. Ann. The event honors the African ancestors and their contribution to present-day Jamaica. Usually beginning about 6 pm with the main event starting about 8 pm and lasting to dawn, the event features music and dancing by cultural groups and traditional foods. The Emancipation Proclamation is read at midnight. Several reggae and gospel artistes perform from after midnight to morning. Traditional chocolate tea is usually served during the night.
Date: July 31 – August 1, 2017
Location: Seville Heritage Park, St. Ann
Facebook (Seville Heritage Park): https://www.facebook.com/Seville/
Facebook (Jamaica National Heritage Trust): https://www.facebook.com/JNHT1/
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.
Every Jamaican knows mango season. It is one of the blessings of Summer. Traditionally, mango season has been from May to July. Mangoes of all types abound – Julie, Bombay, East Indian, Number 11, Stringy, Millie, Fine skin, common mango, Millie. Everyone has a favorite. Which is yours?
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.
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 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
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.
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 July 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 sunshine per day in July: 8hrs
Average amount of daylight per day in July: ~13hrs
Sunrise: between 5:37 and 5:47 am
Sunset: between 6:50 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 July is about 86°F/30°C. Average minimum temperature is around 72°F/22°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-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 9 days with some rainfall during the month of July.
Average monthly rainfall for the month of July is less than 3 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 July is about 84°F/29°C.
Hurricane season is June 1 – November 30.
Tropical storm risk for the month of July is, historically, <1%.
Be sure to get trip insurance when you travel, especially internationally. This is particularly true during hurricane season.
July 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.
July is traditionally the busiest month for arrivals at Montego Bay Airport. March, June, August, 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!