Cost of apartments in Montego Bay vs Kingston Jamaica

montego bay jamaica city

It is a fact that Kingston and Montego Bay are two of the most vibrant places in Jamaica to live. While the job opportunities, nightlife, and entertainment are better than living in rural Jamaica, the cost of living in these major cities is of some concern. Here we will make some comparisons to help you decide on your next home based on the cost of living in Kingston and Montego Bay.

Utilities and Entertainment

Utility and entertainment costs in both cities are usually the same; you pay based on your usage, which will vary from household to household. The average cost could be JMD 25,000 for electric, water, internet, and cable bill.


Montego Bay is home to the Charles Garden Market, which serves as the urban hub for the western side of the island. This means neighboring parishes would seek to come to this hub to buy and sell food. The Coronation Market in Kingston serves as this hub for the Eastern side of the island, making the cost of food in both cities relatively the same. Therefore, the cost of food would depend on the number of persons in your household and how much you consume monthly.

Kingston, Jamaica

Rental and Real Estate

According to premium statistics, the cost of living in Kingston is 13% higher than living in Montego Bay, depending on where in Kingston you want to live. If you live in places referred to as the garrison or places more pronto violence, you will pay a lesser cost than if you live in premium areas. A Two Bedroom rental in Kingston would take out of pocket on average JMD 40-45,000 monthly, while in Montego Bay, you would look at JMD 30-40,000 for that same appointment. 

While there are a few upscale sections in Montego-bay, which come with high price tags, in Kingston, there are entire neighborhoods and communities with this price tag. 

Based on discoveries made above, the cost of living in Kingston and Montego Bay is relatively the same unless it comes on to rent and real estate. If you do not wish to live in Portmore or neighboring communities and to be closer to the working environment in Kingston, you will pay a higher price tag than the ones who do. We hope this article helped to relieve your curiosity. 

Universities in Jamaica – Top 5

university jamaica mona uwi utech ncu edna

Jamaica has one of the best education systems in the world, with world-class universities. We excel in Law, Arts, and Humanities, Business, Social Sciences, Engineering, Politics, Health and Medicine, Science, or Technology. You can find professionals in every field all over the world that attend our Jamaican tertiary institutions. If you are interested in studying in a university in Jamaica, you made the right choice!

Here is a list of the top 5 Universities in the country and the reasons they made this list. 

The University of West Indies, Mona

The number one ranked university in Jamaica established in 1948 is the University of West Indies. Abbreviated UWI, this university offers full-time, part time, face to face or online classes, giving access to persons from different spectrums of life. Presently the University of the West Indies has enrolled over 15000 students from the Caribbean and all over the world.

With campuses all over the Caribbean, UWI offers several disciplines, making it the most popular university, especially for those aspiring to become medical professionals. This university is accredited and recognized by the Ministry of Education in Jamaica.

Check out the course offering

The University of Technology

University of Technology Jamaica

The University of Technology comes in at number two. Established in 1958 and accredited and recognized by the Ministry of Education in Jamaica. UTECH offers a wide range of programs, from pre-bachelor to higher-level degree programs. Located in the capital city of Kingston, Utech is among the most sought after school in the country. Close to 13,000 students in attendance each year.

Check their courses at

Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts

As the name suggests, it focuses on actors, singers, musicians, stage producers, and the world of professional entertainment at large. Edna Manley caters to both local and international students as it seeks to highlight and enhance Jamaica’s contribution to the world stage.

Their mission statement is “To enrich the aesthetic sensibilities and promote the cultural diversity of the Caribbean through the highest quality education and training in the Visual and Performing Arts.” The school has been making its transition from 1976 into what is today known as the “go-to” school for the visual arts.

Check out their course offerings

The International University of the Caribbean

Founded by the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands in November 2005. IUC’s key focus is in the areas of Leadership and Theological Development. In its some-what brief existence in Jamaica, IUC has found itself among the best and the most sought after schools in the country. With several campuses throughout Jamaica, this university has a wide range of working-class persons who would not be able to attend school full time in the enormous cities.

See what courses are offered at

The Northern Caribbean University

Established in 1907, it is a privately owned higher education institution. The university is located in Mandeville, Jamaica, and is home to approximately 6000 students yearly. While this school is known for its Christian-Adventist religious affiliation, we name it among the best in the country. International students are also welcome for enrollment. It is also important to note that NCU is one of the best schools for journalists and news reporters.

Check out the course offerings here

The universities listed above were selected based on their overall performance, the number of students that attend, and successfully graduates each year. The programs and levels of degrees that they offer were also taken into consideration. We sure hope this article will be an aid as you look into universities in Jamaica.

Cost of living in Jamaica vs the USA

jamaica usa cost of living

Many persons are drawn to Jamaica because of its luxurious beaches, warm weather, and renowned nightlife. But have you ever wondered what the cost to live in Jamaica on a day-to-day basis is versus living in the United States? Being someone who has lived in both countries for an excessive period the comparison is almost non-existent. But don’t take my word for it, let us check the list below:

Please note the numbers stated below may vary depending on the parts of the country one lives, the lifestyle of the person and other factors.

 Average Salary for 40 hour week:  

  • Jamaica $4000Usd/year
  • America $56,516 Usd/year

The salaries in Jamaica are very low in comparison with the average for the USA. This is one of the key reasons why thousands leave the island each year to seek employment in the United States. The average cost of basic needs are also topics to take into consideration. Let us look at our essential living costs concerning the two countries. 

Food factor in Cost of Living Comparison: 

A romantic dinner for two can average $22 US upwards depending on what you choose to purchase, that same meal in the United States would be approximately $52 US upwards. A single person in an American reportedly spends, on average, $200 – $350 Monthly, according to fox news. While in Jamaica, a single person may pay $180 monthly on groceries. 


Utilities factor in Cost of Living Comparison: 

 Water Bill in Jamaica is averaged $30. The average cost of water in the US is, on average, $70.40 per month. 

The average cost for electricity in Jamaica is $90 monthly and in the US $150 on average. Please note the price in the United States is dependent on the season and location. Jamaica has continuous tropical weather, which would affect the cost of electricity. 

Rent And Mortgage:

Rent comparison for the United States and Jamaica is approximately 65.90% higher than in Jamaica. In Jamaica’s most populated cities, one could pay $260 US Dollars for a two-bedroom apartment, that same two-bedroom in Florida could be from $800-$1500 US Dollars, that is almost four times the amount. In places like New York or Boston, the compassion could be a $260 Month in Jamaica and $2000 in Boston or Newyork.

It is also very much possible to build or purchase a house in Jamaica for $7500 – $10,000 US dollars depending on location and design.


Of course, entertainment in Jamaica is top-notch and one of the main reasons thousands of people head to the island each year. Montego-bay, Ocho Rios, and Kingston top the list for your nightclubs, tourist attractions, and live entertainment. Funny enough entertainment tickets and entry is not as expensive as one might think $20-$70 can get you into functions depending on the type of party and the artist that will be present.

In the United States, your price range would be $35-$100 for good live entertainment. Movies tickets are the same cost in both countries, $9.50 per person and $10 in Jamaica and the United States, respectively.


While the cost of transportation is relatively 50% lower, the cost of purchasing a motor vehicle is lower in the United States than it is in Jamaica due to importation cost.

Child Care:

Childcare in Jamaica is 72% lower than the cost of child care in the United States. 


The Facts:

On average, the cost of living in Jamaica is 26.87% lower than living in the united states. Of course, there are several factors to consider when considering these numbers:

The minimum wage in America is $7.25 US, while in Jamaica, you would be paid a minimum of $51 US for an entire week of work. So say you worked 40 standard hours in one job in the US at the weekend you would receive a minimum of $290 in Jamaica that same week off work would merit $51 US minimum. 

The United States of America is a first-world country, while Jamaica is a third world country. This means the purchasing power and living standards are different for the average person.

The United States has more opportunities for work and develops at a faster pace than Jamaica does. Its 24/7 hour economy also allows people to do multiple jobs.

If you plan to move to Jamaica in your working years or retire in Jamaica, I hope these facts can help your decision.

Top 5 Primary Schools in Kingston 2020

jamaican primary school kids happy

The ratings are in, parents have chosen the top primary schools in Kingston, Jamaica! These schools are chosen based on the academic performance of the primary school children and extracurricular activities as well.

Each year primary, secondary, and tertiary level institutions in Jamaica get rankings based on their performance in various examinations administered for their age groups. Primary schools in Jamaica, are tested most specifically on Literacy and Numeracy skills. The role of primary education is the development of children. This means that all children can develop their physical, social, cultural, cognitive, and emotional abilities.

George Headley Primary School

George Headley is home to approximately 1500 students and forty-six teachers. Since its inception on February 1, 1977, The students of the George Headley Primary have excelled in academics, sports, JCDC competitions, and, most recently, theatre. Gymnastics and Swimming were recently offered as extracurricular activities to provide exposure for students. Events like these are well desired by parents making the school a favorite among many. Shelly_Ann Fraser-Pryce, Olympian champion, is a past student of the George Headly Primary School.


Excelsior Primary School

Located on Courtney Avenue, Vineyard Town in the Capital City. The Excelsior Primary school has been in existence for over 40 years, as it was founded in 1979. One exciting thing about this school is that it is home to an infant, primary, and high school level education. Excelsior Primary exposes students to various art forms and extra-curricula activities. This school is known for its achievement in academic excellence.

Jessie Ripoll Primary School

Over the years, Jessie Ripoll has displayed excellence in academics. The performing arts, especially in the field of dance and music, are also significant to this 40-year-old school. When this school opened its doors on September 24, 1979, it had only six hundred students and ten teachers. This school is known to produce excellence; for example, Jessie has produced two Rhodes Scholars: in 1996, Richard Thompson and Kim-Marie Spence in 2001. In 2009 at age 30,

Kim-Marie Spence attempted to become the “first Jamaican” to reach the South Pole. Those students mentioned before are proud past students of Jessie Ripoll Primary School.

Allman Town Primary School

Victoria Street, Kingston 4, is where you can find the beautiful school of Allman Town Primary—often seen in the news taking on new projects like robotics programs. The Allman Town Primary school has received the support of the neighborhood and broader community. There is no doubt you will be hearing more about this institution in times to come.

American International School in Kingston (Private Honorable Mention)

While being a private school, AISK is one of the most well known primary schools for international and local students in Kingston. While on the higher-end of the price septum, the value and education received are said to be well worth it. AISK can be found on 2 College Green Avenue in Kingston, Jamaica.

While these schools are located in different parts of the capital city, the important factor is that students who attend these institutions have excelled and went on to the first or second school of their choice. The primary level is a very tedious part of a younger life; it is places like these where students can find their interests, what they are good at, and potentially what they want to do for the rest of their lives. These schools mentioned above will, without a doubt, foster an excellent educational foundation for its students.

Driving in Jamaica with my USA License

usa drivers license

You may wonder, can I drive in Jamaica with my USA driver’s license?  You have your vacation booked and decided at the last minute to rent a car in Jamaica and explore the island.

Hey, good news. You are allowed to drive in Jamaica for up to one year with an international driver’s license. The only requirement is that the driver’s license must be in English. If it is not, there are still several options available to you.

Here are some helpful tips to help you with the transition.

  1. When you enter Jamaica on an international passport, you will have 12 months to drive with your foreign license.
  2. This 12 month period begins the moment you enter the country.
  3. If you wish to stay longer, all you have to do is visit the nearest tax office and apply for a Jamaican driver’s license, which will last up to 5 years(ensure that you ask for the requirements beforehand).
  4. You must ensure that your international license is valid for the period you wish to drive.
  5. If your driver’s license is not in English, you would need to apply for an international driving permit before leaving your country. This permit, along with your passport, should be okay for getting you around until you are ready to leave the country.

By note: License, Fitness, registration, and Documents from the rental company are always good to have on you in the event you are using a rental car. This along with your permit and License and you should be all set.

jamaica jamaican roads

Jamaican Passport – How to Apply

how to get jamaican passport

A passport is a legal document issued by the government of a country to its citizen. The primary purposes of a passport are international travel, and it also serves as a means of identification. A passport also gives access for one to cross the country’s border. Getting a passport in Jamaica is relatively straightforward. Here we will go through the steps you should take to receive to Jamaican passport.

There are three ways to apply for a Jamaican passport. You can apply:

  1. Online, if renewing and over 18 years old, you can apply via the online passport application portal.
  2. By visiting the passport office and apply over the counter.
  3. By visiting the passport office and apply via the drop-box service.

Jamaican Passport  Adult

If you are an adult applying for a Jamaican passport for the first time, there are some standard documents required in other to complete the process. These requirements are:

  • Processing fee
  • A Birth Certificate, in some cases, an Adoption Certificate or Jamaican Citizenship Certificate.
  • Two identical photographs. Usually, the requirement is that the pictures not be over six months old. The same official that certified your application should also certify these photos.
  • A government-issued identification, in the form of driver’s license or national ID.
  • In the instance of a name change, they will need evidence proving such. Evidence provided can be in the form of Divorce Decree, Marriage Certificate, Deed poll, or Court Order.

Jamaican Passport Child

Applying for a passport for a minor may be slightly different, here we highlight the steps for you to apply for a Jamaican passport for a minor.

You will need:

  • Processing fee
  • A Birth Certificate, in some cases, an Adoption Certificate or Jamaican Citizenship Certificate.
  • Two identical photographs. Usually, the requirement is that the pictures not be more than six months old. These photos should also be certified by the same official that certified your application.
  • Parents or legal guardian’s government-issued identification, in the form driver’s license or national ID.
  • In the instance of a name change, evidence proving such will be needed. Evidence provided can be in the form of Divorce Decree, Marriage Certificate, Deed poll, or Court Order.
  • Parents or guardian needs to full out sections C and E of the Passport application form.

Well, now that you have all the documents, we have some helpful pointers to keep in mind, these tips should assist when applying for a Jamaican Passport.

A Jamaican passport can take anywhere from seven (7) to fourteen (14) days, with expedited services available at an additional cost.


Please note that first-time applicants can not apply for a passport online. For persons renewing, however, they can apply online and pay by a Visa, Master debit, or credit card.

Please note that when completing a child’s application, Section G of the form is to be certified by an official using the name of the parent/guardian applying.

In all cases, when applying for a minor, the minor must be present and accompanied by the parent or guardian that fill out the application form.

When reapplying for a passport, a birth certificate is not required. Neither are you required to certify your documents or photograph unless, in the case of a name change.

After you have got the required documents and paid your fees, you submit the documents for processing, and congratulation, you are on your way to getting a Jamaican Passport.

Jamaicans have found the cure – Jamaican Tea Cures Everything

mint tea jamaican team remedy

Bellyache, diabetes, constipation, headache, stomachache, uterine cramps, you name it, there is a Jamaican tea to fix it. Jamaicans have found the cure, and it’s served hot, better yet, without sugar. Jamaican tea cures everything. Think about that the next time you reach for an over the counter(OTC) paracetamol.

There are a few teas Jamaicans swear by more than everything else. Let’s jump in and see if this Jamaican tea can cure your ailment.


Cerasee fruit and leaves. Leaves and stem used to make tea in Jamaica.

The tea of cerasee leaves is said to help with weight loss as it helps with reducing and suppressing lipids (fats). So maybe it could help with that summer body.

Cerasee is also said to stimulate hypoglycemic activity and help patients suffering from diabetes. Maybe this is because of its bitter taste. The studies have not been conclusive.

Its other properties include the ability to purify the blood, helping the skin in the process. It also supposedly can help in detoxing the entire body, including the liver. It could come in handy by helping you pass a urine drug test on a short notice.


peppermint for making herbal teas in Jamaica
Peppermint leaves to make tea in Jamaica

There are many benefits of peppermint tea, along with its fresh aroma. Peppermint tea forms part of Jamaicans’ long tradition to make teas from fresh leaves to accompany morning breakfast. Peppermint tea is also drunk at other times of the day as a remedy for other ailments.

The tea of the Peppermint is known to ease bloating, indigestion, and many other gastric symptoms. This may be why many people have a cup of peppermint tea after overeating.

Grab some peppermint as it can also freshen your breath, as in those peppermints flavored chewing gums. As peppermint helps with clogged sinuses, this may go a long way overall in helping your breath smell great.

Peppermint team may also help with migraines, tension headaches and anxiety.

Guava Leaf

guava leaves tea jamaica herbal remedy
Guava leaves are used for tea in Jamaica.

The benefits of guava leaf tea are many, according to grandma and people who have used it. Guava leaves can be used to make a tea that helps with diarrhea. Taking the tea over time is said to reduce the symptoms drastically.

Guava leaves tea is also said to help with diabetes, by helping to prevent spikes in blood sugar.

Guava leaves extract is said to reduce menstrual cramps, and the same is said of the team. So if you are a woman having bad cramps, you could try some tea from the guava leaves.