Jamaica Car Rental and Jamaican Culture Overview

Modern Jamaica was born in the 1930s and 1940s with a move towards self-governance. Much of the culture you see as you drive through Jamaica with you Montego Bay car rental was born during this period.

A national priority

The Institute of Jamaica was established in 1879 to help foster Jamaican culture, and there are some parts of it which you can visit with your Jamaica car rental. Parts of it include:

  • The National Library of Jamaica, with the largest collection of West Indian material in the world
  • A comprehensive network of museums
  • The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica
  • A Cultural program for youth through junior centers
  • The National Gallery of Jamaica with a national collection of art.

We be jammin'

One of the most well-known pieces of Jamaican culture is reggae music. You don't have to be traveling Jamaica in your Montego Bay car rental to know the songs of Bob Marley. Marley even lives on as a great musical philosopher and was even introduced in the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Folk music has merged tradition African music with the feel of the islands. Jazz is also another form of music that is becoming more recognized, as well as rock steady and ska.


Another part of Jamaican culture that is well-known outside the country is Rastafarian. You may see some Rastafarians as you drive around in your Montego Bay car rental. They have a distinctive style, but it is actually a religion based on the King James Bible in a sort of back-to-Africa movement for the religion.

Getting down

Dance has always been a large part of Jamaican culture. You can go anywhere on the island with your Jamaica car rental and see it: it is a fact of life. Dancehall has become popular in recent years, but there are more than 30 distinctive Jamaican dances. Dancehall goes along with very fast music and involves a lot of shaking the booty. Many of the moves are made up with the music, and it is truly a very interesting dance to watch.

On film

Jamaican film is not well-known stateside, but there have been a couple movies influenced by Jamaican culture. The Harder they Come and Dancehall Queen are two of the more known Jamaican movies, but many Hollywood blockbusters were filmed here. You may want to catch a Jamaican film while you are here with your Montego Bay car rental.

Speak the language

One of the most important part of culture is language. Although English is spoken on the island, there is a unique dialect here that is different from America and Britain. It should not be confused with Jamaican Creole or Rastafarian language. You will find a mix of British and American influence in the vocabulary, so don't be surprised if there are a few terms you don't understand.

Jamaica has a very unique culture, different from other islands. Some of the culture you may be familiar with, and some may be completely new.