Described as the Williamsburg of the West Indies, Falmouth is known for its colonial architecture and relaxed pace of life. With the recent opening of a new cruise port, there are now multiple ways to travel to Falmouth, and once you arrive you'll have several options with regards to how to get around.
Most people arrive in this sleepy town by way of plane, however, because Jamaica is an island, sea travel is a possibility as well. It takes an adventurous spirit to plan a sailing trip to Falmouth, unless you opt to take advantage of a Caribbean cruise, which is currently one of the most popular ways to experience the region.
Falmouth stands out amongst other towns on the island because of the meticulous planning that went into the infrastructure when it was first built up. Because of this, driving and finding your way around the town is easier than elsewhere on the island. Even so, taxis are a much more recommended form of transportation, and buses are available as well.
Despite the inability to be able to fly directly into Falmouth, there are numerous options available throughout Jamaica. There are seven airports on the island, three of which welcome international flights; however the one nearest Falmouth is the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The distance between these two towns is about 30 to 45 minutes driving time, depending upon road conditions. Sangster International Airport is one of the most popular airports in the Caribbean, and most every major commercial airline offers regular flights arriving from the United States, Canada, and Europe. Travel times vary based upon distance, but range from around an hour and a half from Miami, Florida to about 14 hours from Rome, Italy. Direct flights are available from major international hubs, making planning a trip to Jamaica easy compared to many other locations in the Caribbean. Learn more about flying to Montego Bay then transferring to Falmouth here.
Jamaica is not know particular hotspot for sailing. Its relatively singular landmass and large size make land travel more efficient. Additionally, separated from the United States by Cuba, sailors would need to sail all the way around towards either Cancun before making an approach. Still you will always see a few boaters when visiting Falmouth.or
...a truly authentic Jamaican experience...
Once upon a time, tourists who arrived in Jamaica via a Caribbean cruise would have had to dock in Montego Bay and then make the trip to Falmouth. In March of 2011 that all changed with the grand opening of a brand new cruise dock christened by the arrival of Oasis of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean vessel. This port is the fourth of its kind to open in Jamaica, and is located on the island's north coast between the cruise terminals in Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. The port consists of two berths capable of harboring the largest cruise ships on the market.
When tourists arrive, they can leave their liner and head directly to the shops and restaurants located at the terminal, or head out to explore other areas of Falmouth, known for offering a truly authentic Jamaican experience.
The trip from Montego Bay to Falmouth takes just under and hour and is done mainly on one of the island's major highways. It serves as a perfect introduction to what driving on Jamaica is like. Road conditions are not so great along the way, roads are not well marked, and local drivers can be a bit on the wild side. Driving is done on the left side of the road, and seat belts are mandatory. While your typical four-passenger sedan is a fine choice for driving here, if you'll be doing some exploring in Jamaica's rural areas, you'll definitely want to make sure you've rented a jeep or some other vehicle with four wheel drive. For more information about driving in Falmouth, as well as a list of rental agencies, click here.
There are two types of taxis available in Falmouth, which can be confusing at first, but is easy to pick up. Charter taxis are private cars similar to what you'd expect to find in your home town, while route taxis act as a small scale bus system, and anyone can hop in while you're riding regardless of whether or not your know them. You'll be able to tell one from the other by their red (charter) and white (route) license plates. If you're feeling adventurous and decide to hitch a ride with a route taxi, be prepared to pay with Jamaican Dollars, because U.S. Currency will not be accepted. Our guide to Falmouth Taxis will offer you much more insight into the world of public and private transportation in Falmouth.
While buses travel through Jamaica, making stops in most major cities along the way, it is not every town that offers local bus service. Falmouth is one area of the island where visitors have the possibility of utilizing this mode of transport for their day-to-day travel. Click to read all about it.
Although there is a port in Falmouth, there are no regular ferry services from the area. If you enjoy using ferries as a form of transport and want to make sure you sail local waters, you'll do so as you tour other parts of the island, notably from Kingston to Port Royal and Port Antonio to Navy Island.
Whether you choose to travel through the sky, through the sea, on the ground, or you use a combination of all three, there is a lot to consider as you beging planning your vacation in Falmouth. Taking all of these options into account and knowing at least a bit about each will have you better prepared to make the right decision for you.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.