At just around two hours away from the airport in Montego Bay, many tourists will choose to rent a car and make the drive to their accommodations in Treasure Beach on their own. Driving in Jamaica is an experience unlike any other, so it is important you understand the magnitude of the situation before you get behind the wheel.
If you'll arrive via plane in Montego Bay, you'll most likely pick up your rental car there before making the drive to Treasure Beach. This is great because Montego Bay has the highest number of rental car agencies in one area on the island, which gives you a lot of options and makes the pricing competitive. If you prefer to first get to your accommodations by airport transfer, you can request that an agency local to Treasure Beach deliver your rental to you at your hotel.
Requirements for renting a car here are that you must be between the ages of 23and 75, and you must be in possession of a valid driver's license from your home town. You will also need a credit card to make the reservation and so that the agency can charge you a deposit.
No matter which option you choose, you can expect to spend somewhere in the realm of $35 to $250(USD) a day. The range is so broad because the price will first depend upon the make and model of the vehicle, and as you might imagine, the larger the car, the higher the price. Then, you'll add on any amenities you need like a DVD player or navigation system, and the price begins to grow. Finally, tack on the Value Added Tax (V.A.T.) and the cost of insurance, and you'll have your daily rental price. Fortunately, the longer you have the vehicle the greater the discount.
Along with the hundreds of small roads throughout Jamaica that are maintained by each individual parish, there are also two main roads the government is responsible for taking care of. Your trip to Treasure Beach from Montego Bay will allow you to quickly become acquainted with each.
The first type of road you'll encounter is a B Road. There are 15 B Roads on the island, all of which are narrow, winding, and very poorly maintained. They connect the island's rural areas, and are not deemed to be as important as the A Roads, which connect the major cities on the island and are much busier. There are four A Roads, and although some improvements have been made in recent years, they are still lacking in road signs and traffic stops, but are full of pot holes.
Since you could potentially encounter issues spotting places to refuel, check out the table that follows to get a picture of where some are located.
|(876) 975-8746||St. Marys|
|965-0490-1||Pedro Cross - Treasure Beach|
Driving in Treasure Beach takes place on the left side of the road, which is the opposite of what American and Canadian drivers are used to. Seat belts are required to be worn by law, and speed limits are typically between 30 and 50 miles per hour, but you will rarely encounter a local who follows posted limits.
Jamaicans are known for being some of the most aggressive and reckless drivers around, so on top of adapting to driving on the opposite side of the road and dealing with rugged conditions, you will also need to be able to keep cool in the face of tailgating, constant passing and swerving, and other driving styles that you may consider to be rude.
Driving in Jamaica can be nerve racking, but for some people it is an essential part of their vacation plan. As long as you are prepared to handle anything these drivers and roads throw at you, you shouldn't have too much of a struggle getting from place to place on your own.
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