What’s it like in Jamaica in December (Updated for 2024)

What's it like in Jamaica in December (Updated for 2024)

Jamaica in December


Thinking of going to Jamaica in December? 


Everyone wants to know … What’s there to do in Jamaica in December? What’s the weather in Jamaica in December like? Is December a good time of year to visit Jamaica? Which fruits are in season in December in Jamaica?

We answer those questions plus give a few insider tips to help you enjoy your vacation.

Table of Contents


Is December a good time to visit Jamaica?

December is a very popular time to go to Jamaica. The most expensive time to visit Jamaica is for Christmas and New Years weeks. The weather is wonderful and there are lots of things to do. Jamaicans are big on celebrating the holidays.

Secret hack to save some money – Visit during the first two weeks of December. The weather is great during those two weeks and since it is low season, lodging rates have not yet increased for high season, which beings on December 15th.

Read on to learn more about Jamaica in December.


Public Holidays in Jamaica in December

Christmas Day – December 25th
Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) – December 26th


Fruits and Foods in Season in Jamaica in December


Foods to try

December brings some special foods for Christmas. Read our blog post, “6 Foods You Must Try for an Authentic Jamaican Christmas Dinner” to learn about foods that Jamaican’s simply must have for Christmas to be Christmas!

Jamaican Christmas ham from the Juicy Chef – a must have at any Jamaican Christmas dinner. Photo credit: Jamaica Observer, December 9, 2010


Fruits to try


There is always some fruit in season in Jamaica. Betcha never heard of some of these! Go should try some of these exotic goodies while you are in Jamaica. They will certainly taste better there than if you try to source them overseas.



The main citrus crop bears between November and April.

In addition to the usual fare such as oranges, tangerines and grapefruits, Jamaica has some unique citrus fruits.

The ortanique is a cross between an orange and a tangerine.

The ugli, is like a tangelo. It is a cross between a tangerine, grapefruit and an orange. As the name suggests, it is an ugly fruit. With its thickened skin, prominent pores, and sometimes a shriveled appearance, it looks like a deformed grapefruit or orange. It is surprisingly sweet and juicy reminding us to never judge a book by its cover!



June Plum

This fruit surrounds a spiky fibrous core. The sweet, tart juicy fruit is worth maneuvering around the spikes. Most people eat it ripe; but, it also eaten green, usually sprinkled with salt. These delicious fruits are usually in season from October to December.

June plum



Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica. Many people think ackee and saltfish is the national dish. It is actually the unofficial national dish. There isn’t actually a national dish. Ackee can be found year round but the season is from September to December.




Jamaicans refer to “avocado” as “pear” and they eat pear with almost everything, even bread! No, guacamole is not common in Jamaica. That’s Mexico. Avocados are in season between September and December.

Jamaicans love avocado



Did you know that sugar, molasses, and rum all come from sugar cane?

Back in the 1800s, Jamaica was one of the leading producers of sugar. Now, barely enough is produced to serve the nation as most of the sugar factories have long closed.

The crop season is from December through March.

sugar cane


Lobster Season in Jamaica


Lobster in Jamaica

Lobster season is open from July 1st to March 30th of the following year!!


Conch Season in Jamaica

Conch season is closed in December! The season is closed from August 1st to February 28th the following year.

The Jamaican Government can change the end date to close the season, but so far we haven’t heard anything about that.


Weather in Jamaica in December

We all want perfect weather conditions on our vacations. The reality is that nature has its own agenda. Here is a guide as to historical weather conditions in the Discovery Bay – Braco area during December in Jamaica.



On average, there are 3002 hours of sunshine per year in Jamaica out of a possible 4383 hours. The sunniest months are January through April, as well as July and August.

Average amount of bright sunshine per day in December: 7 hrs

Average amount of daylight per day in December: 11 hrs


Sunrise & Sunset

Sunrise: between 6:26 and 6:42 am

Sunset: between 5:32 and 5:44 pm



Northeasterly trade winds keep the coastal areas cool with island temperatures averaging around 71-88°F year round. Nevertheless, there aren’t wide variations in temperature across the island.

Temperatures do tend to be lower in the mountainous areas such as in the Blue Mountains. Temperatures decrease by about 1°F for every 300ft increase in elevation. The plains such as in Kingston and the more flat and arid southern areas of the island, such as Clarendon, Manchester and St. Elizabeth, are hotter.

The warmest months in Jamaica are July and August with average maximum daytime temperature of about 89-90°F. The coolest months are December through February with maximum temperatures of about 84.

Average maximum daytime temperature in Discovery Bay – Braco area in Jamaica in December is about 82°F/28°C. Average minimum temperature is around 66°F/19°C.


Average Temperature in Discovery Bay Jamaica



How much rain can you expect in Jamaica in December? It varies.

Traditionally, the rainy periods are April and May/June and again October to November/December. June and July are generally the driest months. February and March are also traditionally dry months too. This pattern does vary from year to year with much more variability noted in recent years.

The amount of rainfall and the frequency of showers or days of rain can vary quite a bit in Jamaica, even in nearby towns. For example, there could be significant rainfall in the town of Discovery Bay with hardly a rain drop in our area, five minutes drive away. In general, the more north-easterly sections of Jamaica get the most rain. These areas would represent areas east of Ocho Rios and on into Portland, where rainfall averages can be significant.

Rain in Jamaica often is at night or early mornings. Sometimes, rain comes on during the daytime in short quick spurts only to disappear just as quickly as it came. In the rainy period, there can be several consecutive days of rain.

On average, there are about 8 days with some rainfall, defined as any rain at all, during

Average rainfall Discovery Bay Jamaica the month of December. 

Average monthly rainfall for the month of December is 6.2inches. Discovery Bay area gets less rain than Ocho Rios.


If there are heavy rains, on-river activities, such as river rafting, might be canceled due to high water levels or rapid rivers. Water clarity could also be affected depending on how much rain occurred in the mountains.


Sea water temperature

The sea is warmest during July through October. Average sea water temperature in Discovery Bay in December is about 82°F/28°C.

Average sea water temperature in Discovery Bay Jamaica


Risk of hurricane – Is hurricane season in December?

No it isn’t. Hurricane season is June 1 – November 30.

Tropical storm risk for the month of December is, historically, less than 1%.

Be sure to get trip insurance when you travel, especially internationally.



Is December high or low season?

High season starts on December 15th and runs through April 14th. Hotel rates go up during high season; but, tourists come to Jamaica to escape the cold and enjoy the island’s wonderful weather.


What are tourist crowds like in December?

December is a relatively busy month for arrivals at Montego Bay Airport.  Many families, extended families in particular, come to Jamaica to celebrate the holidays together.


Busiest Months for Arrivals at Montego Bay’s airport in Jamaica


What to wear in Jamaica in December?

Remember, Jamaica is Summer year-round. You have more to worry about with tour buses that crank up the air-conditioning than cold weather in Jamaica. I usually wear a light jacket of some sort on the flight down so that I will have it with me just in case I need it one evening – or on a tour bus!

Read our article about how to pack for your Jamaica vacation to get more tips.


Where in Jamaica should you stay for your vacation

There are six (6) established tourist regions – Ocho Rios (which includes Discovery Bay, Montego Bay, Negril, South Coast, Kingston, and Portland. Each area has its own flavor. 

Read our blog post on how to decide where to stay in Jamaica for a description of the various tourist regions on the island.


Visiting Jamaica in December? Which property to choose for your stay in Jamaica?

Always stay at a property that is licensed by the Tourist Board. This ensures that the property meets the standards for health and safety. 

Pick a villa or resort that is loaded with amenities so that you won’t be bored and you can spend more of your vacation relaxing, unwinding, and getting to know your travel partners.

If you are traveling as a group, consider a stay at a villa, such as Mais Oui Villa in Discovery Bay, a much better option than a resort to socially-distance from strangers.



If you love our house (Mais Oui Villa) and want to stay with us, here is the link to our own website to book directly with us: https://MakeItJamaica.com


If for whatever reason you wish to book through an online agency, here are the links to our listings. They will charge you a fee, but if you don’t mind, and it makes you feel better, even safer, then, by all means, go ahead and book through them. We prefer for you to book through them than to not book at all.





Which attractions should you visit in Jamaica?

There are tons of things to do in Jamaica. The options depend on what your interests are. 

Here are two popular ones to get you started.

1.Puerto Seco Beach in Discovery Bay

Puerto Seco Beach Park , Discovery Bay, Jamaica


Puerto Seco Beach Club in Discovery Bay Jamaica

2. Green Grotto Caves

Green Grotto Caves and Attractions, Jamaica

Things to do in Discovery Bay Jamaica: Green Grotto Caves

See more things to do in Jamaica here.


What’s happening in Jamaica in December?

Take note:  Most Jamaica events calendars are woefully inaccurate. This is even more true as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many popular websites still list events that have long been abandoned or happened in the distant past. Outdated websites and inactive Facebook pages are not uncommon.


Typical Annual Events in Jamaica in December


Smile Jamaica Concert

On December 5, 1976, Bob Marley performed at the first Smile Jamaica Concert at Heroes Circle in Kingston. His goal was for peace and unity, especially between the two political parties.

Date:  annually on, or as close as possible to, the anniversary of the original concert
Location: Grizzly’s Plantation Cove, St. Ann
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BobMarley/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bobmarleymuseum
Website: See the original 1976 concert on YouTube


Market at the Lawn

This is an outdoor “market” held on the south lawn of Devon House offering primarily locally-made arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, antiques, furniture, food, and other diverse items.

Typically the event is on the Sundays leading up to Christmas. This is a great opportunity to show support for local small business owners and get some shopping done at the same time.

Date: Sundays in December before Christmas
Location: Devon House, Kingston
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marketatthelawn/


Music & Dance of the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC)

Jamaica National Dance Company

Young Choreographer’s Showcase
Date: annually in mid-December
Location: Little Theatre, Kingston
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NDTCJamaica


Reggae Marathon – Half Marathon and 10K

The Reggae Marathon takes place in Negril along an internationally certified (IAAF) course.

The Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K start at Long Bay Beach Park at 5:15 am on the day of the event.

The Finish Line Beach Bash and Victory Beach Party at Long Bay Beach Park between 7 am and 12 noon will ensure that everyone has a great time.

Date:  usually first week in December
Location: Long Bay Beach Park, Negril
Website: http://www.reggaemarathon.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReggaeMarathon/


Grand Market – December 24th

Christmas Eve is called Grand Market in Jamaica. This is perhaps the biggest celebration day for Jamaicans of the season. Almost every major town has some sort of celebration. The streets are crowded. Even the infirmed try to at least get to their front porch to feel the Christmas breeze.

Some towns close streets to vehicular traffic due to the gridlock starting in the late afternoon.

Stores open late. Everyone is out and about window shopping or buying last-minute gifts. Music is playing loudly on the streets.

The atmosphere is like one grand market that goes into the wee hours of the morning.


Christmas Day – December 25th

Christmas is celebrated in Jamaica on the same day as the rest of the world.

Read our blog post, “Christmas in Jamaica – How does Jamaica celebrate Christmas” to learn about what makes Christmas in Jamaica special.


Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) – December 26th

Read our blog post, “Boxing Day in Jamaica: What is the day after Christmas called?” to learn about what Boxing Day is like in Jamaica.

If you are very lucky, you might see a Jonkunno group. Jonkunno is now rarely seen in the city areas and is occasionally seen in the rural areas. It seems to be relegated to special cultural performances.

Participants wear masks and costumes that are so scary that they could put any Halloween show to shame. The most common characters were the horned cow’s head, policeman, and the devil with the pitchfork. There was also Patchy Patchy, dressed up in rags. Another was Belly Woman, a man dressed up as a pregnant woman who whose belly would move to the music.


Jamaica Pantomime

Jamaica Pantomime


Jamaica’s Theatre season runs from December through May. Boxing Day traditionally marks the beginning of the national pantomime season in Kingston.

The national pantomime, a central main event of the season, has been running annually since the 1940s. This is a play which is usually a musical comedy making satirical reference to Jamaican culture, folklore, as well as historical and or current events and politics.

The costumes and sets are usually vibrant, creative, and colorful. The dialog is primarily in Patois and without some local knowledge, it can be difficult for foreigners to follow along.

Most Jamaican plays cater to mature audiences; however, the pantomime caters to patrons of all ages and backgrounds.

Date: December 26th – May 31st
Location: Little Theatre, Kingston
Website: http://www.ltmpantomime.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamaicanTheatre/


New Year’s Eve Watch Night Church Service

Almost all churches hold a “Watch Night Service” that starts in the evening of December 31st and goes until after midnight to welcome the New Year.


New Year’s Eve Parties and Galas

There are tons of celebratory events for New Year’s Eve all across the island. Most hotels and some restaurants have some kind of event where outside guests may purchase tickets to attend. Some are upscale while others are for more modest budgets.

Golden Eye’s New Year’s Eve Party in Oracabessa, just east of Ocho Rios, one of the pricier events, showcases live music and dancing with a fireworks display on the beach. In Kingston, there is the New Year’s Eve Ball at the upscale Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.

Harbor Fest and Fireworks is a free event held on Ocean Boulevard on the waterfront in downtown Kingston with a kid’s play area, craft displays, music, dancing, and a spectacular fireworks display. You don’t need to go downtown to see it. The views of the fireworks are fantastic from the hills outside of Kingston.

Have you visited Jamaica in December? Did we miss something? Do you know of an event in Jamaica in December that we should include? Let us know so that we may update the post.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.



If you’re thinking of a villa vacation rental for your Jamaica vacation, here is a special cool freebie to make vacation planning easy …

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‘Til next time.

Think and dream Jamaica!

Sherry, Darrell, and Darrian

Visit our website: https://MakeItJamaica.com

Give us a call: 833.624.7684toll-free) or 914.709.0457

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About the Author Sherry

Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!

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About the Author Sherry

Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!