Everyone wants to know … What’s there to do in Jamaica? What’s the weather like? Is November 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 national holidays in Jamaica in November.
Certain television and radio ads in Jamaica advertising Black Friday sales could lead you to believe that Jamaicans celebrate Thanksgiving. They don’t. Since a large number of Americans rent villas (vacation rentals) over the Thanksgiving holiday break as a way of bringing their families together, the larger stores do sell turkeys. Jamaicans are more into chicken than turkey.
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 Outdated websites and inactive Facebook pages are not uncommon.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.
Debuted in 2012, this annual event features designers and artisans from Jamaica, the rest of the Caribbean and the United States with the goal of promoting the business of fashion. The Moda series of events includes the MoDa Business Seminar, the MoDa runway show and MoDa market, a curated buyers market featuring fashion designers and artisans.
Date: November 11 – 12, 2017
Telephone: 876-383-7605 or 876-929-2096
Restaurant Week Jamaica, sponsored by the Jamaica Gleaner (newspaper) is an annual event offering special discounts and packages at over 75 participating restaurants around the country allowing patrons to experience the full range our cuisine.
Date: Saturday, November 11, 2017 7:00 AM – Sunday, November 19, 2017 10:00 PM – tentative
Location: The final list of restaurants and caterers will be available closer to the event date
Nyam is Jamaican for eat and Jam mean music. This food and music event will feature local and international celebrity chefs. Entertainers will include Ernest Ranglin and Angelique KidJo
Date: November 13-15, 2017
Location: Golden Eye Hotel & Resort and James Bond Beach, Oracabessa, St. Mary
The late Governor General of Jamaica, Sir Howard Cooke, proclaimed November 25th as “Eat Jamaican Day” on November 25, 2003. The intent was to remind Jamaicans of the vision for the nation to “eat what we grow and to grow what we eat”. The campaign is usually commemorated through a series of activities around that date.
The One World Ska & Rocksteady Music Festival celebrates ska and rocksteady, two musical genres that helped set the foundation for reggae.
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2017 – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm & 4:00 pm – 3:00 am
Sunday, November 26. 2017 – 11:00 am -2:00 pm & 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Location: Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, Hope Road, Kingston
Phone: 876-385-6576 or 914-412-2726
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.
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!
This fruit surrounds a spiky fibrous core. The sweet, tart juicy fruit is worth maneuvering around the spikes. Most people eat it ripe; but, it also eaten green, usually sprinkled with salt. These delicious fruits are usually in season from October to December.
Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica. Many people think ackee and saltfish is the national dish. It is actually the unofficial national dish. There isn’t actually a national dish. Ackee can be found year round but the season is from September to December.
Jamaicans refer to “avocado” as “pear” and they eat pear with almost everything, even bread! No, guacamole is not common in Jamaica. That’s Mexico. Avocados are in season between September and December.
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.
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 November 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 November: 6 hrs
Average amount of daylight per day in November: 11 hrs
Sunrise: between 6:10 and 6:25 am
Sunset: between 5:32 and 5:37 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 November is about 82°F/28°C. Average minimum temperature is around 68°F/20°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 11 days with some rainfall, defined as any rain at all, during the month of November.
Average monthly rainfall for the month of November is 8.3 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 November is about 82°F/28°C.
Hurricane season is June 1 – November 30.
Tropical storm risk for the month of November is, historically, 1%.
Be sure to get trip insurance when you travel, especially internationally. This is particularly true during hurricane season.
November 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.
November is traditionally a slow month for arrivals at Montego Bay Airport. 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!