While taxis are the most recommended form of transportation in Jamaica as a whole, Blue Mountains is a little different. This area of the island is much more secluded from the hustle and bustle that Jamaica is known for, so if you want reliable transport, renting a car is best. Still, you'll likely take a cab to and from the airport, or even hire taxi services to take you on a tour of another area of Jamaica.
There are two types of taxi services in Blue Mountains, and it is important to be aware of the differences. The first kind are charter or “tourist” taxis. You'll recognize these vehicles by their red license plates with white letters. Charter taxis are private and will not stop to pick up other passengers along the way. The other option is the route taxi. These are identified by their white license plates. Route taxis treat the ride more like a bus ride, and have no problem stopping to pick up other passengers as they take you to your destination, squeezing in other people until the vehicle is full. Be aware that there are other people who drive personal vehicles on occasion and offer rides as though they are cab drivers. If the letters “PP” or “PPV” are not printed on the license plate, this is just a person trying to earn some extra cash, and they are not to be trusted. Both official taxi types are required to be properly licensed and insured.
Many drivers in Blue Mountains have gone the extra mile to obtain Jamaica Union of Travellers Association (JUTA) certification by the Jamaica Tourist Board so that they are trained as island tour guides. If you encounter a driver you like, ask if he or she is JUTA certified. If so, you may want to hire him to take you on an island tour later on in your trip.
Taxis are not hard to come by at airports and major tourist attractions, however, they are not very prevalent in Blue Mountains. More often than not, you will need to call a charter service to pick you up. If you're at your hotel, the front desk or concierge will generally be more than happy to help you out.
Check out the chart below to find contact phone numbers for local taxis.
|(876) 996-1555||2 Thompson Avenue - Buff Bay|
|(876) 969-7633||94A Red Hills Road - 1.5 mi. (2.4 km) East of Kingston|
|(876) 758-2028||81a Molynes Road - 0.6 mi. (0.9 km) North of Kingston|
If you do happen upon a taxi in Blue Mountains, it is likely a route taxi that provides transportation between the gateway to Blue Mountains and the Park View Supermarket on the eastern edge of Kingston making stops at the Mavis Bank and Newcastle. This route taxi doesn't run on a set schedule, so if you meet it, it will happen by luck.
Taxis in Jamaica are not metered. Route taxis offer rates set by the government, are on a per person basis, and are expected to be paid in Jamaican Dollars. Charters can set their own rates, charge by the car rather than per person, and accept U.S. Dollars. It is always best to inquire with your driver before you take off, and don't hesitate to ask if they'll cut you a deal. Prices are almost always negotiable, as long as you approach the subject in a respectful manner.
Some resorts and taxi companies work together to offer quick and customized services to their customers. If this is the case with your hotel, know that the rate will be charged to your room, rather than at the end of your ride. You may find the price to be higher because the ride to your hotel to pick you up is often included in the final price, but some agree it is worth the convenience. Don't forget to tip your driver separately, since that charge is not added in the final price.
Your encounters with taxi services in Blue Mountains can be as great or as minimal as you want them to be, thanks to the country feel of the town. If taxi transport is your preferred method of transportation, make sure you plan enough time between attractions to have your cab pick you up, and call in advance of your departure time so you don't spend too much time waiting around.
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