It was just over a year ago, I decided to share some insights on what it is like travelling with a Jamaican passport and also going to the extent of recommending a few countries. One of my many highlights in 2017 was completing my passport for the very first time. It is worn, torn and well used! Currently, it is my most prized- possession; a Jamaican passport filled with over 100 visa-on-arrival stamps and actual visas. Since then, I have been feeling the need to revamp my last article; revised and updated. I have so much to share.
If there is nothing more I am proud of, I truly do enjoy reading messages, emails from The World Up Closer community about their experiences going on excursions, trips and trying to put the visa-free countries to use. The whole idea I wanted to get across as regards to travelling on a Jamaican passport is to sort of shed some light on the fact that we have options. It may not be many, but there are options.
I just received my new passport which has somewhat inspired this post. I cannot wait to get it all filled up! In the meantime, here are 10 Best Visa-Free Countries to Visit on a Jamaican Passport in 2018.
To add, I am constantly visiting visa-free countries and sharing the highlights over on Instagram. Be sure to follow my account here: @theworldupcloser
Now, let’s kickstart it off with Antigua! I just scheduled a trip to the island in April and I cannot wait to have the chance to explore for the first time. Also, to make things a little easier, it’s good to start off with one of our very own; a Caribbean island.
There are direct flights out of the Norman Manley Airport in Kingston (KIN) to Saint John’s (AUN); the nation’s capital. Also, if you are looking to explore a country for the very first time, I recommend starting off with a Caribbean island.
Not having visited any other countries before and having a WUC reader go through a very daunting first travel experience… Here’s what you need to know before going on your first trip.
Also, the direct flights from KIN to AUN are only available about 2 to 3 times a week with Caribbean Airlines. Be sure to plan ahead.
Antigua via Ted Martin
2. South Africa
From what I have read, South Africa is a bucket-list item for many. Though I have mentioned this country before in my previous article, I feel the need to mention it again. It has been high on my bucket list too. The history, the culture, the people, the safaris; it is a complete package.
South Africa is visa-free for Jamaicans. If you are flying from Kingston, you can do so with Copa Airlines via Panama.
Here is the route: Kingston (KIN) > Panama City (PTY) > Rio de Janiero (GIG)/ São Paulo (GIG) > Cape Town (CPT).
If you currently hold a US visa then you can travel via Miami (MIA).
South Africa via Casey Allen
If you’ve read any of my featured press articles, you’ll know that Cuba has been one of my all-time favourite countries to date. I first solo-travelled to Cuba in 2015 for 13 days and loved absolutely every minute of it.
Though Cuba is technically visa-free, you will need to acquire a tourist-card before entering the country. You can pick one up at a travel agency at an average price of $25.
If you are connecting in the Cayman Islands, a visa is not required.
Havana, Cuba via Nick Karvounis
Let’s hop over to the Asian continent for a second and start off with Singapore. I cannot begin to express how happy I am that Singapore is visa-free. We all know that trying to obtain visas can be daunting and frustrating. But, let’s get into it… Here’s the deal with Singapore. Jamaicans can visit for up to 30 days in one visit. It’s easy to get around, ideal for solo travelling and supposedly a super fun country to explore.
Trying to visit Singapore from Jamaica can be a little difficult but fun. Here’s how you can do it if you do not currently hold a US visa.
If you are going to travel all the way from Jamaica to Asia, might as well you can make it into a multi-city trip. Make this one an adventure!
Travel from Kingston(KIN) to Panama (PTY) and spend a few days to explore Panama.
Travel from Panama (PTY) to Singapore(SIN).
Be sure to book a flight that has stopovers in Brazil & Dubai, rather than in Los Angeles (LAX). Brazil is visa-free and if your layover in Dubai is less than 8hrs then a transit visa is not required. Voilá! Hello Singapore!
Singapore via Miguel Sousa
Singapore and Malaysia are neighbouring countries and if you’re thinking about border-hopping, I am thinking the very same. Asia is a food haven for food lovers. If you are all food, culture, and history and just good vibes… This is the spot for you. Make it a visit after Singapore. You’re already this close!
Also, very important! If you are visiting countries that are not frequent by Jamaican or Caribbean travellers be sure to know the facts as it regards to visas and immigration. Sometimes, because immigration officers do not handle our passports very often they are unable to tell straight off the bat if we require a visa to enter or not. They will ask you about a visa before they look it up on their systems. This has happened to me before; I think maybe once or twice, to which I quickly responded: “Jamaicans are not required to have a visa to visit”. I had a smooth transition on both occasions. Be sure to know the facts.
With that being said, happy travels in Malaysia! 🙂
Malaysia via News Triger
6. Georgetown, Guyana
This is another straight flight from Kingston(KIN) with Fly Jamaica. Guyana is on the list for me this year and I cannot wait to visit the country. Also, Guyana is a South American country. If you would like to explore South America, this could also be your access point to the continent.
Although it Guyana is located in South America, it is, however, considered to be part of the Caribbean. Please take into consideration that, even though this considered to be apart of Caribbean it does have something unique to offer. Usually, the talk of the town is that, “all Caribbean islands are the same”. I beg to differ. Yes, they have similar history, similar culture, but all islands (well, in this case, country) have something unique that sets them apart. Also, to add, I do think the Caribbean needs more inter-Caribbean travel amongst each other.
This is a direct flight, visa-free and with 0% hassle. Go for it! Kaieteur Falls via Bush Masters
7. Nassau, Bahamas
I have no issues with layovers, as it usually gives me some an opportunity to explore a new city or country. But, if it is direct and visa-free then I am all for it. You can hop on a straight flight from Kingston(KIN) to Nassau (NAS) with Caribbean Airlines.
If you think the beaches in Jamaica are stunning, wait until you get to the Bahamas. Even the pigs are a fan. (:
Swimming Pigs in the Bahamas via The Independent
I have so much love for Perú. If I could repeat that four(4) more times without sounding repetitive, I would. Perú, like Mexico is craved out for travellers, making it easy to get around to see the major sites. I visited Perú on my first backpacker trip to South America and I have been itching to go back ever since. Though, I have somewhat mentioned Peru in the 2016 version of this article… I feel the need to make mention of it again, as I believe it should be one for the books for everyone.
It is affordable, thick in culture, has so many places to see and things to do. If you are not convinced yet, here’s the kicker. It is visa-free for a whole 160days.
Here’s how you can access Perú if you are travelling from Jamaica: Kingston (KIN) to Panama (PTY) and then Panama to Lima. Make sure to book these as separate flights.
Flight 1: Kingston to Panama
Flight 2: Panama to Lima
If you’re thinking breaking up flights is a hassle, it’s not! Sometimes I break up my flights to avoid super long layovers or to get flights at a cheaper rate. Travel hack 101!
Huacachina Desert in Perú
I think it’s safe to say I am currently lusting over Botswana. Also, I did not realize that Botswana is visa-free until recently. If you’re looking to have an African adventure, you can simply tie in Botswana with South Africa. They are neighbouring countries.
Bostwana Safari via Wild Images
If you’re a Jamaican traveller without a US visa, you will be making most of your connections in Panama. This too, is a country to explore. It’s easy! You can get a direct flight from Kingston (KIN) with Copa Airlines to Panama City (PTY). Enjoy!
Panama City via Emirate Town Office
Bonus: Serbia recently became visa-free for Jamaicans. I am super excited about this. While I try to figure out a route for those who do not currently hold a US visa, enjoy this listicle of visa-free countries.
Eat well, Travel Well!
Be sure to follow my Instagram account for live adventures.