How long have you been waiting for this 2019 Jamaica Carnival Planning Guide? (Smirks). Jamaica Carnival has recently (in 2017) earned its way to the top, easily considered one of the top 5 carnivals worldwide. Here is what you need to know for planning success.
Jamaica Carnival 2019 events are on the following dates: April 24 -April 29, 2019.
The parade will take place on April 28, 2019.
Jamaica has two airports, KIN in Kingston, where all the events are being held or MBJ in Montego Bay. It may be cheaper to fly into MBJ but keep in mind you will have to take a bus or taxi to Kingston.
WHERE TO PARTY
Jamaica Carnival offers most of the popular parties we’ve come to love from other carnivals. Soca Brainwash, Scorch, Caesar’s Army, Candy Coated, and Roast are some staple promoters that will be there during carnival week. In 2018, there was a burst of new events added to the schedule so you have plenty of options.
A 2019 Fete List will be released in February 2019.
WHERE TO GET COSTUMES
With several bands to choose from, masqueraders now have options. Amenities, costume quality, vibes and customer service should all play a major role in the band you select. Backline costumes can cost you about $300-$400usd, while a frontline costume can cost you about $500-$1000usd, depending on the band of your choice. Your band options are:
- Xaymaca International launches their “Iconic” theme on November 10, 2018
- Bacchanal Jamaica launches their “Invictus” theme on November 17, 2018
- Xodus Carnival launches their “Cosmopolitan” theme on November 24, 2018
*Money Tip*: If you have a Bank of America account , you can withdraw money from Scotia Bank for free and get your funds in JD OR you can buy Jamaican Dollars at a better rate at local stores.
WHERE TO STAY
Most of the reputable hotels are in a section of Kingston called New Kingston. Some hotels to check out are, R Hotel, Spanish Court, Courtyard Marriott, The Jamaica Pegasus and Courtleigh. Though Terra Nova is not in the heart of New Kingston, is it also a viable option. AirBnB is also an option for apartment rentals if a hotel reservation will not fit your needs.
Be mindful of the neighborhoods you might stay in and walking outside at night – Kingston can be dangerous. I highly recommend using notable taxi services and/or hired drivers for your transportation to and from parties. Some reputable taxi services are Mortec, City Guide, Express, El Shaddai and On Time. Check NetSearch Jamaica for contact information.
TOURISTY THINGS TO CHECKOUT
If you traveled from far or plan to make Jamaica a relaxing vacation after you finish wining on the road, here are some places to check out while you’re already on the island.
- Blue Lagoon: Free
- YS Falls: $19USD
- Dunn’s River Falls: $23USD*
- Reach Falls: $10USD
- Rio Grande Bamboo Rafting
- Bob Marley Museum: $25USD
- Hike Blue Mountain
*Dunn’s river can be very touristy, another option is to visit the glistening waters in Falmouth.
It’s time to start planning! Don’t feel like planning on your own? Nomadic Escapes can help. Email them for great carnival packages at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there anything else you want to know? Ask me in the comments below.
Yours in Mas