Kingston Transportation Options

Fly, sail, drive, or ride; the options are endless in Kingston

Photo credit: © ceege01

As the capital of Jamaica, Kingston is a major tourist destination. As such, there are plenty of options with regards to traveling into and around this city. Getting to Kingston can be a quick flight or a leisurely sail, and once you arrive you'll have to brave the busy streets a bustling Caribbean hot spot.

Getting There

It seems that when it comes to traveling to Kingston the obvious choice would be to fly directly into the major international airport that is located in town, but not everyone arrives in the city this way. Sailing is another option offering direct access, and those who arrive in Jamaica as part of a Caribbean cruise can also take measures to visit the bustling city.

Getting Around

The busy roads of Kingston can be difficult, but not impossible to navigate, but hiring a cab for every trip you want to take can add up. Meanwhile, buses offer an inexpensive but unreliable transportation option, and tourists can hop aboard a ferry for a little local sightseeing.

Air Travel

There is not one, but two airports in Kingston. One, the Norman Manley International Airport offers direct flights, while the Tinson Pen Aerodrome is a domestic airport servicing only those who are flying within the country. Those staying in Kingston can fly directly into the city with one of fourteen different international airlines that make regular trips to the airport, including Delta Airlines and American Airlines.

Meanwhile, you can efficiently explore the rest of the island by booking several hopper flights between Kingston, Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios, Mandeville, and Port Antonio. Three domestic airlines make the rounds on a daily basis, and while they can be pricey, they save a great deal of travel time. Find out more about flights to Kingston by clicking here.


Long time sailors may have heard that sailing to Jamaica is expensive; and that used to be true. The Jamaican government reduced the fees associated with docking in places like Kingston. Still, the island is a bit far from the US and other popular destinations like the Grand Bahama and the Virgin Islands, so the trip is not for everyone. Additionally, there is not much in terms of sailing excursions around Jamaica, save a few historical and eco tours.


The nearest cruise terminals to the capital city are located around two hours away in Port Antonio and Ocho Rios, making it difficult for day trippers to make the journey to Kingston. It is possible, however, when the ship is docking on the island for more than one night, or when tourists decide to plan a domestic flight to save time.

Rental Cars

Kingston is a great place to call your home base if you're going to rent a car with the intent of exploring Jamaica because three of the four main highways connect to Kingston in one way or another. This means you'll be able to drive straight to places such as Spanish Town, Falmouth, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Port Antonio without having to spend too much time navigating rural roads.

There are a few requirements that exist for tourists who want to rent a car. They must be between the ages of 23 and 75, they must have a valid driver's license from their home country, and they must have a credit card with a large available balance. The amount will vary by agency. To learn more about how to rent a car in Kingston, and what driving is like on the island, click here.

Taxis between popular spots in the city...


In Kingston tourists will encounter a unique taxi service called the “route taxi.” This service is similar to a public bus system, in that taxis drive a set route picking up passengers along the way until the vehicle is full, and they charge per person. These taxis will travel between popular spots in the city like shopping centers, beaches, resorts, and government buildings. They do not have a set schedule, so if you have somewhere important to be at a specific time, you'd be smart to hire a charter taxi instead. Find out more here.


The buses in Jamaica are not necessarily the most comfortable transportation option, but they do offer such low prices that it is hard to overlook.  If you're staying in Kingston, but want to do some exploring outside of town, there are buses that can get you to nearby cities for less than $2(USD) a person.  It doesn't get much better than that!  Learn more about Kingston's buses here


Kingston allows visitors to connect to a local fishing village called Port Royal via ferry. The trip takes a half an hour and allows guests to view life as it once was in Jamaica, as well as enjoy the scenic view along the way.

Whichever methods of transportation you feel most comfortable getting to and around Jamaica, be sure to make plans well in advance to ensure everything you need is available to you at the right price.


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