Jamaican Adventures: Exploring the Island Without a Car

November 24, 2023

Here's something I bet you didn't know about me, I do not drive! Crazy right? I know, but I'm working on it 😬. While that may be the case currently, I know I am not alone. Many people do not drive for various reasons. Some do not have a driver's license for whatever reason and others just don't own a car. As someone who enjoys travelling and exploring my country, having my own transportation would make it a lot easier, but not being able to drive doesn't mean I can't have Jamaican adventures. A common excuse a lot of us non-drivers use is that we don't have a car so we can't explore our country. I'm here to tell you that this statement couldn't be farther from the truth. It is quite possible to explore Jamaica without owning a car. As a fellow non-driver who has enjoyed several adventures in my country, I can attest to that. Keep reading to see how you too can explore Jamaica even when you don't own a car.

Start in Your Backyard - Jamaican Adventures

Explore places close to where you live. Jamaica is a treasure trove of beautiful gems whether popular or hidden. Regardless of where you live, there is likely to be a magnificent spot close by waiting to be explored and enjoyed by you. If you explore areas close by, you will have an easier time getting transportation to and from the area. As someone who grew up in the parish of Clarendon Jamaica, I vividly remember hopping into a taxi with my mom and siblings to visit the Milk River Bath and Spa. This was a very popular spot for locals and visitors. On a Sunday afternoon, a family friend's spontaneous decision led us to Salt River. Both locations were close enough for us to enjoy ourselves without travelling too far, making it possible to visit without our own ride.

A bit of research can reveal hidden gems in your area. I've seen a few instances where a spot is highlighted on social media and people from the area are surprised that such a gem is located so close to them. So find the gems in and around your area and go exploring.

Embrace Public Transportation

One of the most cost-effective ways to travel is via public transportation. While our local buses and taxis may not run on strict schedules, they are a great way to get around. There is never a dull moment travelling via public transportation in Jamaica. The longer the ride the more eventful the journey will most likely be. Taxis can take you directly to most places in Jamaica. If they are not able to take you all the way they can take you to the closest point. If you decide to use public transportation, you should always know how you are getting back home after your adventure. This may mean leaving earlier so you can catch a ride or procuring the contact information for a reliable taxi or bus operator and asking them for a pick-up from the location. Some public transport operators will be willing to do so at no extra cost but, others may charge extra.

Plan Group Trips - Jamaican Adventures

Another great way to explore Jamaica without a car is by planning group trips. I know the struggles of planning a group trip. But I also know how exhilarating it feels when the trip successfully makes it out of the group chat.  When planning a large group trip you get to charter a vehicle to take and other adventurers to and from the destination. People have been going on group trips for as long as I remember. My neighbours would plan annual community trips and I remember the whole street would be buzzing with excitement in the weeks leading up to the trip and after. It's even easier to plan smaller trips with friends or relatives who already own a vehicle and are willing to drive. This takes the hassle out of finding transportation. Group trips allow us to connect with other travellers through the shared experience of our exploration.

Book Excursions with a Tour Company - Jamaican Adventures

There are numerous Jamaican tour companies through which you can book an all-inclusive excursion. Some offer curated excursions where you can choose to book a specific excursion with other like-minded explorers. While other companies offer personalized packages, where you tell them what you want and they take care of the rest. The cost usually covers transportation, meals, and activities. These tour companies essentially take the hassle out of planning a trip. They allow you the freedom to explore our beautiful island without worrying about the details. Any adventure where all I'm required to do is pay and show up is a great adventure in my book. My first visit to Frenchman's Cove in Portland Jamaica was through a tour company. It was quite a memorable trip. You can read about my experience here.

Rent a Car - Jamaican Adventures

If you already have your driver's license you can rent a vehicle to go exploring. The number of car rental agencies in Jamaica is countless. Car rentals are not just for tourists or returning residents. Cars can be rented in Jamaica for short periods, even less than three days. You may rent a car for a weekend getaway or that road trip you've always wanted to take through the south coast. The process for renting a car may vary, depending on the agency. Renting a car may be the most advantageous means of exploring Jamaica without the commitment of owning a car. It allows for spontaneous detours, unplanned stops at roadside stalls, and the freedom to travel off the beaten path. These options may not be available for those planned excursions which often have scheduled times for different activities.


It is possible to explore Jamaica without owning a car. Doing this opens the door to new experiences. If you want to explore there is no reason for you not to do so whether or not you drive. We live in a beautiful country and it is important that as locals we explore it just as much or even more than the tourists do. Jamaica is a land of diverse landscapes, rich culture, and hidden treasures, waiting to be uncovered by locals eager to delve into the wonders that lie within our reach.

How do you think exploring without a car enhances the overall travel experience in Jamaica? Tell me in the comments below.

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  • Reply Touchin' Jamaica April 20, 2024 at 5:32 am

    We travel Jamaica for 10 years now. When we don’t have a rental car, we use all of the mentioned transportations, depending on the distance and the purpose of the trip. We found out that Knutsford Express is also a comfortable choice to cover longer distances.

    • Reply Kimberley April 21, 2024 at 1:20 am

      I agree Knutsford Express is a comfortable way to get around. Thanks som much for stopping by!

  • Reply Kevin Foodie November 27, 2023 at 8:36 pm

    When I was in Jamaica I did not own a car. Taxi, JUTC bus, juta tours were my modes of transportation. Di waay how Jamaican a run now, owing a car provides a sense of safety and it is very convenient.

    • Reply Kimberley November 27, 2023 at 10:08 pm

      I agree, but since not everyone may be able to own a car, exploring the island is still possible.

  • Reply Pastor Natalie (ExamineThisMoment) November 27, 2023 at 7:09 pm

    Such a fun and enjoyable post. Thank you for sharing these tips. 😊

  • Reply Miss Simplitty November 27, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    Wonderful adventure. Great post.

  • Reply christineleibbrand November 27, 2023 at 9:27 am

    Great tips! I’ve loved joining tour groups when I haven’t had a car, they’re such a great way of often getting an extra history lesson on the drive to your destination and meeting new people too!

    • Reply Kimberley November 27, 2023 at 11:26 am

      I agree, especially when you have a guide that’s from the area. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Kirsten Smith November 27, 2023 at 6:05 am

    Great post!

  • Reply Janice Reid November 26, 2023 at 5:48 pm

    Or you can hitch a ride from a friend with a car 🤣.

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