What’s It Like in Jamaica in May (Updated for 2024)
Thinking of going to Jamaica in May?
Everyone wants to know … What’s there to do in Jamaica in May? How is the weather in Jamaica in May? What fruits are in season? Is May a good time to go to Jamaica?
We answer those questions plus give a few insider tips to help you enjoy your vacation. Read on to see how can you enjoy Jamaica in May!
So, is May a good month to go to Jamaica?
May is the off-season. There are fewer tourists in Jamaica in May. Lodging prices have dropped after the end of the high season.
Before COVID, there were many activities centered around Labor Day. May, traditionally, is one of the rainier months in Jamaica, but that doesn’t mean it rains all day for days on end.
Going to Jamaica in May can actually save you quite a bit of money and you will have a great time. Read why the offseason is a great time to go to Jamaica.
Read on for a more detailed view about May in Jamaica.
Public Holidays in Jamaica in May
Jamaicans take public holidays very seriously. Do not expect much business to be conducted at holiday time. Some businesses close early the day before. Public beaches are often very crowded on public holidays.
Labor Day – May 23, 2024
Fruits and Foods in Season in Jamaica in May
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.
May is the beginning of Mango Season. We do not have Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. We have mango season.
Every Jamaican looks forward to mango season – so much so that there is even a folk song about the joys of mango time!
Jamaicans say neez-berry. It is called sapodilla in other countries.
The fruit had brown skin and brown pulp with black seeds and is in season from March through May.
This fruit softens as it ripens at which point it is easily broken to reveal white flesh covering black seeds.
This fruit can be relied on to be sweet. It has a custard-like texture but is not as grainy as custard apples.
Fruits bear in April to July. To enjoy this delicacy, you have to suck the flesh off the seeds. Don’t even bother trying to be elegant about it.
Jamaicans refer to stingy or miserly people as being “as mean (stingy) as star apple” because, even when ripe, star apples do not fall from the tree. They have to be picked.
The plant gets its name from the star-shaped pattern that is seen when the fruit is cut in half horizontally.
The fruit is about the size and shape of a baseball. It has a thick skin that may be either purple or green. The flesh is white and is both gelatinous and a little fibrous at the same time. There are about six firm black seeds inside.
The flesh is combined with milk and oranges to make a traditional Jamaican dessert called matrimony.
This is one huge strange looking fruit. A whole fruit can easily be 20lbs or more.
When it is ripe, it has an extremely sweet, almost intoxicating, smell. Jamaicans typically eat jackfruit ripe, the way you would any other fruit.
It can be eaten green (unripened) and apparently is all the rage among vegans as a meat alternative.
It is typically in season in Jamaica in April, May, and August.
Did you know that in 1886, 1000 pineapple plants were sent to Hawaii from Jamaica to help improve the quality of their stock? Surprisingly, Jamaica’s pineapple industry never really got off the ground. The local sugar pine is incredibly sweet but is equally expensive.
Lobster Season in Jamaica
Lobster Season in Jamaica
Lobster season is open from July 1 to March 30th of 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.
Conch Season in Jamaica
Conch season is open in May! The season is closed from August 1st to February 28th the following year.
How is the Weather in Jamaica in May?
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 May 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 May: 7hrs
Average amount of daylight per day in May: ~13hrs
Sunrise: between 5:35 and 5:44 am
Sunset: between 6:32 and 6:43 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 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 May is about 84°F/29°C.
Average minimum temperature is around 70°F/21°C.
How much rain can you expect in Jamaica in May? It varies.
Traditionally, the rainy periods are April and May/June and again September and October. 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 raindrop in our area, five minutes’ drive away.
In general, the more north-eastern sections of Jamaica gets 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 12 days with some rainfall during the month of May.
Average monthly rainfall in May is about 7 inches for the month. 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 in Jamaica in May
The sea is warmest during July through October. Average sea water temperature in Discovery Bay in May is about 82°F/28°C.
Risk of hurricane in Jamaica in May
May is not in hurricane season. Hurricane season is June 1 – November 30.
Tropical storm risk is historically less than 1% of the month of May.
Is May High or low season in Jamaica?
May is low season. Hotel rates go down in low season. Low season runs from April 15 – December 14.
Read our blog post, Is the low season the best time to visit Jamaica. See 8 Reasons Why.
May is a fairly busy time for arrivals in Jamaica. The five busiest months for arrivals at Montego Bay’s airport are March, June, July, August, and December, with July being especially busy. This makes sense as it coincides with many holidays, including school holidays. September, October, and November see the fewest number of arrivals every year. Hint, those are great months to snag deals!
Where in Jamaica should you stay for your vacation?
There are six general tourist reasons in Jamaica – Ocho Rios (which encompasses Discovery Bay, Montego Bay, Negril, South Coast, Kingston, and Portland. Each area offers a different experience.
Read our blog post on how to decide where to stay in Jamaica for a description of the various tourist regions on the island.
Which property to choose for your stay in Jamaica?
Stay at a property that is licensed by the Tourist Board and certified COVID-resilient by Jamaica’s Tourism Development Product (TPDCO). 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 better.
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 during your vacation in Jamaica?
Jamaica has a wide array of attractions and activities to suit guests of all ages.
Here are three to get started.
1.Puerto Seco Beach in Discovery Bay
Puerto Seco Beach Club Discovery Bay Jamaica
2. Ziplining over Dunn’s River Falls
Dip, Zip and Sip with Chukka Jamaica at Dunn’s River Falls
3. Blue Hole near Ocho Rios
Things to Do in Ocho Rios Jamaica: Blue Hole Jamaica
What’s going on? Things to do in Jamaica in May
After researching this topic, there is one thing I know for sure. Most Jamaican 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.
Additionally, except for the large shows that draw an international crowd, most of the events are not well publicized and neither are they advertised far enough in advance.
Most events have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are planning your vacation around a specific event, make sure you double-check the dates, ideally with the organizers, before confirming your travel plans.
Typical Annual Events in Jamaica in May
Annual Taino Day
Taino Day, May 5th, celebrates the indigenous people of Jamaica – the people who were here long before the “encounter” with Columbus. The Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) stages an annual event at the Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann usually starting around 10am. This event is traditionally free and is open to the general public; however, the primary target is high school students and younger.
Dates: Generally on May 5th
Location: Seville Great House and Heritage Park, St. Ann
The Jamaica Biennial, previously known as the National Biennial, is the National Gallery’s flagship biennial exhibition.
Designed to encourage the development and promotion of Jamaica art, the Jamaica Biennial includes works in all media and genres by a wide variety of artists who enter the exhibition through a juried system or by special invitation.
If you are an art lover, you will want to see this gallery even if there isn’t a special exhibit on display. The National Gallery in Kingston has the largest collection. This would be a great stop on a visit to Kingston.
Dates: Generally February to May in odd years. Dates to be announced.
Location: National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston
MoBay City Run
The MoBay City Run offers a 5K Walk, 5K Run, and 10K Run.
With a tagline, Running for Education – Hoping for the Future, the run raises money to assist students attending Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College, Montego Bay Community College as well as UWI and UTECH Western Campuses.
Style Week Jamaica & Fashion Block
This well-anticipated annual fashion extravaganza put on by the modeling agency, Saint International, features primarily, but not exclusively, major Jamaican designers.
The event includes Fashion Block, which is a runway show on Knutsford Boulevard that gets shut down for the event.
Date: usually mid-May
Location: various locations around Kingston
Tmrw Tday Culture Fest
The event featured wellness activities such as yoga and meditation, natural healings, great conscious music, and wonderful food. A highlight of the week-long festival was a reggae revival concert and beach party.
Manchester (Mandeville) Horticultural Show
The Manchester Horticultural Society, formed in 1865, is the oldest such organization in Jamaica. The Society hosts its signature flower show and competition on Labor Day every year.
Date: usually on Labor Day
Location: Ward Avenue, Mandeville
Jamaica Race Drivers Club puts on exciting races over Easter Monday, Labor Day, Independence Day, and Heroes Day.
Usually, these races are at Dover Raceway near Browns Town, St. Ann; however, the Labor Day Race is held at JamWest in Westmoreland. It’s not Nascar but it still gets the adrenaline pumping.
Dates: Usually on Labor Day
Location: JamWest, Westmoreland
Jamaica Observer Table Talk Awards
Jamaica Observer Table Talk Awards is a prestigious culinary experience that highlights, in particular, Jamaican food. The annual festival is a crowd-pleaser.
Date: Usually late May.
Location: Devon House, Kingston
Jamaica’s National Pantomime
Jamaica’s Theatre season runs from December through May every year. The national pantomime, a central main event of the season, has been running annually since the 1940s.
The pantomime is a play that is usually a musical comedy making satirical references 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.
Ocho Rios International Jazz Festival
The almost week-long event is held in various places around Jamaica – Runaway Bay, Ocho Rios, Portland, and Kingston.
What all events have in common is jazz, and lots of it, featuring both local and international bands.
Date: Usually held at the end of May/beginning of June annually.
Location: multiple locations in Jamaica
Calabash Literary Festival
This three-day biennial event, usually held on even years, celebrates Jamaica’s literary works of prose and poetry. Both new and established authors are represented.
When: usually near the end of May
Location: Treasure Beach, South Coast
Have you visited Jamaica in May? Did we miss something? Do you know of an event in Jamaica in May 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 …
‘Til next time.
Think and dream Jamaica!
Sherry, Darrell & Darrian
Considering a visit to Jamaica? Contact us today for more information about, Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families, groups, and intimate destination weddings.
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