Everyone wants to know … What’s there to do in Jamaica? What’s the weather like? Is March a good time of year to visit Jamaica? We answer those questions plus give a few insider tips to help you enjoy your vacation.
Good Friday – March 30, 2018
Take note: Most Jamaica event 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 Outdated websites and inactive Facebook pages are not uncommon.
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.
On the other hand, events, especially those attracting a more local clientele, often get announced with little notice followed by a lot of advertising on the local television and radio stations.
If you love orchids, you will be in for a treat!
Date: usually held in early March. Date for 2018 has not yet been announced.
Location: Pier One, Montego Bay
In addition to putting on a fantastic show, the society also has a charitable arm. The Jamaica Orchid Society (JOS) has donated thousands of dollars from part of the proceeds of their orchid shows to the Jamaica Cancer Society
Date: usually last week in March. Dates for 2018 has not yet been announced.
Location: Jamaica horticultural Society Show Grounds, Gibson Drive, Hope Pastures, Kingston
The Jamaica Biennial, previously known as the National Biennial, is the National Gallery’s flagship biennial exhibition. Designed to encourage the development and promotion of Jamaica art, the Jamaica Biennial includes works in all media and genres by a wide variety of artists who enter the exhibition through a juried system or by special invitation.
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.
March to April is generally popular for spring breakers. With that can come a lot of drinking and rowdy behavior. Negril has the reputation as being the wildest place to be for Spring Break. Montego Bay may be next in line.
If you want a more family oriented location you should try to avoid those two areas or be very selective with your lodging.
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.
(Easter Monday in 2018 will be on April 2, 2018.)
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.
Tamarind tends to be in season when most other fruits are not. It can often be found between January and March. The fruit is encased in a shell that must be removed to be eaten. The inner brown pulp surrounds a hard, black seed, which is inedible. The pulp is often mixed with sugar and rolled into balls called tamarind balls, which is a popular Jamaican candy or dessert. The sweet but tart pulp is also used to make jams, jellies and drinks.
The main citrus crop bears between November and April. In addition to the usual fare such as oranges, tangerines and grapefruits, Jamaica has some unique citrus fruits. The ortanique is a cross between an orange and a tangerine. The ugli, is like a tangelo. It is a cross between a tangerine, grapefruit and an orange. As the name suggests, it is an ugly fruit. With its thickened skin, prominent pores, and sometimes a shriveled appearance, it looks like a deformed grapefruit or orange. It is surprisingly sweet and juicy reminding us to never judge a book by its cover!
Did you know that sugar, molasses, and rum all come from sugar cane?
Back in the 1800s, Jamaica was one of the leading producers of sugar. Now, barely enough is produced to serve the nation as most of the sugar factories have long closed.
The crop season is from December through March.
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
Jamaican refer to stingy or miserly people as being “as mean (stingy) as star apple” because, even when ripe, star apples do not fall from the tree. They have to be picked.
The plant gets its name from the star shaped pattern that is seen when the fruit is cut in half horizontally.
The fruit is about the size and shape of a baseball. It has a thick skin which may be either purple or green. The flesh is white and is both gelatinous and a little fibrous at the same time. There are about six firm black seeds inside.
The flesh is combined with milk and oranges to make a traditional Jamaican dessert called matrimony.
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 March 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 March: 8 hrs
Average amount of daylight per day in March: 12 hrs
Sunrise: between 6:05 and 6:29 am
Sunset: between 6:16 and 6:23 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 March is about 82°F/28°C. Average minimum temperature is around 66°F/19°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 6 days with some rainfall, defined as any rain at all, during the month of March.
Average monthly rainfall for the month of March is 2.6 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 March is about 81°F/27°C.
Hurricane season is June 1 – November 30.
Tropical storm risk for the month of March is, historically, zero.
Be sure to get trip insurance when you travel, especially internationally. This is particularly true during hurricane season.
March is high season. High season starts on December 15th and runs through April 14th. Hotel rates go up during high season; but, tourists come to Jamaica to escape the cold and enjoy’s the islands wonderful weather.
Tourist crowds continue to increase in March as the high season picks up. March is the busiest month for arrivals at Montego Bay Airport.
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!