Everyone wants to know … What’s there to do in Jamaica? What’s the weather like? Is October a good time of year to visit Jamaica?
We answer those questions plus give a few insider tips to help you enjoy your vacation.
National Heroes Day is celebrated on the third Monday in October. It commemorates Jamaican seven national heroes. One of those heroes is a woman named Nanny, who appears on our Jamaican $500 bill. For 2016, the holiday will be celebrated on October 16th.
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 Outdated websites and inactive Facebook pages are not uncommon.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.
The gospel concert will feature a world-class gospel line up including the award-winning gospel singer, Kurt Carr.
Date: Saturday, October 7, 2017, 7pm – 11pm
Location: Montego Bay Convention Center, Rosehall, Jamaica
Digicel Imagine 5K
The goal of this race is to raise funds and increase awareness of the Special Needs community
Date: October 7, 2017
Location: Kingston Waterfront
Jamaica National Foundation Heroes in Action 5K
This race supports the Granville Place of Safety for Girls
Date: October 15, 2017
Location: Falmouth Pier, Trelawny
Phone: 876-398-6235 or 876-398-6900
Want to see a car race? It’s not Nascar, but, it’s pretty cool. Jamaica Race Drivers Club puts on exciting races on Heroes Day
Date: October 16, 2017
Location: Dover Raceway is on the way to Browns Town, about 20 minutes or so from Discovery Bay
Locals compete for prizes by catching the largest fish using only a hook and line. The 3-day event also includes other activities such as boat races, talent show and fish fry.
Location: Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth
Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 8:00 AM – Friday, October 20, 2017 9:00 PM
Five days of culinary exploration of fine food and spirits in Kingston.
Date: October 25, 2017 9:00 AM – October 29, 2017 9:00 PM
Location: multiple locations in Kingston
Oktoberfest has been held annually for over 30 years showcasing a wide variety of German beers, wines and Schnapps.
Date: October 6, 2017. Usually held during the 1st week of October (The date will be announced on their Facebook page.)
Location: Alhambra Inn, Kingston
Started in 1954, this is one of the oldest and most prestigious sport fishing events in the Caribbean.
This is an environmentally-friendly catch, tag and release competition for the largest fish
Date: October 21- 28, 2017 with fishing days on the 26th-28th
Location Port Antonio Marina, Portland
A weekend of fashion, celebrity sightings, and two golf tournaments. Anthony Anderson and George Lopez, among others, have been regulars!
Date: October 26-29, 2017
Location: Rosehall, Montego Bay
Dramafest is an annual festival held over a weekend with a different production each night.
Date: October 27-29, 2017
Location: Phoenix Theatre, 8 Haining Road, Kingston
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.
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.
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. Plums are generally in season from August to October.
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 October 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 October: 6 hrs
Average amount of daylight per day in October: ~12hrs
Sunrise: between 6:00 and 6:09 am
Sunset: between 5:37 and 5:58 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 October is about 84°F/29°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 16 days with some rainfall, defined as any rain at all, during the month of October.
Average monthly rainfall for the month of October is 8.1 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 October is about 84°F/29°C.
Hurricane season is June 1 – November 30.
Tropical storm risk for the month of October is, historically, less than 1%.
Be sure to get trip insurance when you travel, especially internationally. This is particularly true during hurricane season.
October 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.
October 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!