Packed to the brim with miles of spectacular beaches, hidden lagoons, and waterfalls, Jamaica is a fascinating destination and a hotspot for undiluted tropical fun.
It’s also the cradle land of the Rastafarian culture, and the music scene is unrivaled.
That said, it’s famed as an island where all-inclusive resorts are pretty predominant so it can be tricky for a backpacker or a holidaymaker on a shoestring budget to find the best hostels. However, with some planning, it’s possible.
Are these the best Hostels in Jamaica?
If you’re traveling on a budget, you might want to spend as little time as possible in Negril, Ochi, and Mobay. These towns are very touristy which means everything including food and accommodation is rather expensive compared to the rest of Jamaica.
Now, every town exudes a unique vibe so where you stay will largely depend on your taste. To help you choose, here is a list of the best hostels in Jamaica.
Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check-Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.
Tips for Backpacking in Jamaica:
If you’re on a shoestring budget and using a taxi to get around, remember to mention you’re looking for a ‘route taxi’. Otherwise, you might end up in a private taxi which might be comparatively expensive.
Most taxis don’t have enough room to accommodate huge luggage so you should consider traveling light.
When to travel? Everything is just soo much cheaper during the off season – from May to about mid December. Less hasslers, less crowds, cheaper accommodations, and more opportunities to bargain.
Budget Tip: If prices are quoted in US Dollars know that you are in a expensive location.
This guide is perfect for YOU, when you…
are tired of crappy hostels!
want a social Hostel to actually meet people
are happy to spend $1 to $2 more for a much better experience
If you’re looking for a secluded place where you can leave it all behind and enjoy the authentic Jamaican vibes, The Judy House in Negril is a great place to start. With a great combination of backpacker hostels and private cottages it’s a place where you can easily interact with other guests but at the same time enjoy a lot of privacy. But it generally has a quiet relaxing ambiance which makes it a great option if you’re yearning for respite moments.
The self-catered cottages come in different sizes and are well-equipped with all the necessities you’ll need for that home-away-from-home feeling. If you prefer to prepare your meals, the kitchen facility is adequately equipped with a roomy fridge, microwave, toaster, and stove. The small onsite shop provides guests with supplies such as eggs, water, and refreshing drinks.
Just a short stroll from the self-catered cottages, you’ll find backpacker hostels, bathrooms, kitchen-shared spaces, and a large gathering area where people sit to eat or socialize. The best part is that Mary’s Bay Beach is just a short walk from the property, so you’ll enjoy a lot of beach time, swimming, and even snorkeling without having to venture far off or even pay for a boat trip.
Location: The Judy House Negril is set on Westland Mountain Road, Off One Love Drive where attractions, restaurants, and shops are just an easy taxi ride away.
This is probably one of the best hotels in the capital of Jamaica. Perched in the heart of Kingstone, Ragamuffin is a nice hidden gem offering comfy accommodations in a bustling area. This 20-bed accommodation is made up of two clean, well-kept, and spacious dorms with comfy individual beds, plus a nice cooking facility fitted with a stove, microwave, kettle, and fridge. The service is impeccable, there’s staff available to respond to all queries and they’re always ready to share their invaluable knowledge of the area.
But the highlight of your stay here will probably be the café that’s set right in front of the dorm where you can enjoy delicious meals, coffee, and pastries. In addition, there’s a wonderful vegan restaurant right next door so you can rest assured that all your dietary needs will be met.
Ragamuffin is set in a very secure location and they also have a key fob access system, which keeps the property secure at all times.
Location: Ragamuffin Hostel is in New Kingstone District just a short distance from Bob Marley Museum. This location serves as a great base from where you can explore the surrounding areas.
Boasting a stunning swimming pool and cottages set amongst fruit trees, Bak A Yaad is a haven that gives you comfort for a bargain. It’s one of the best hostels where you can enjoy an eco-friendly stay in Negril. It offers private and dorm-style accommodations so you can get a private room but still enjoy the social aspects of the property’s hangout areas.
There is a clubhouse where you can chill and interact with other guests, a tennis table, video games, and a beautiful common kitchen that’s decently equipped with everything you need to prepare simple meals. You’ll also have a fridge to store your groceries. Everything including restaurants and stores are within 5 minute’s walk from the property.
Most importantly, the rooms are clean and comfortable. Plus every bed comes with a nice fan as well as a socket.
Location: Bak A Yaad Hostel and Cottage is located right across from Ricks’ Café a superb location with easy access to downtown Negril and the attractions in the area.
Mobay Kotch is located just a few blocks away from Montego Bay center and it’s a backpacker’s delight all factors considered. It’s affordable, the staff very welcoming, and the vibe is homely. In addition to the dorm accommodations, they offer double private rooms too. The rooms are clean, the beds are comfortable and although there’s no AC, the fans help with air circulation. There’s a nice kitchen where you can prepare your meals and a fridge to store your beverages.
Mobay Kotch is a sanctuary that’s conveniently located within the center but still a safe distance from the chaos of the town. The hostel is in an old but beautifully preserved historical house with elevated ceilings and huge windows which instantly creates a laidback vibe.
If you’re a solo traveler and want to make friends, Mobay Kotch is a great place to start. Wi-Fi is available in the courtyard and this forces everyone to converge in one area creating a lovely social scene. And to top it all up, the hostel is just a short walking distance from the beach. The staff is dedicated to helping you have a seamless stay, and they offer invaluable tips on things to do, where to go, and general tips that will help you as you backpack through Jamaica.
Location: Mobay Kotch is located in downtown Montego Bay so everything you need is a stone’s throw away including grocery shopping, public transportation, delicious street food, and of course, the airport.
Dancehall Hostel as the name delineates it’s a place for, parties, fun, and meeting new acquaintances. It’s nestled within an uptown area and it’s one of those few hostels where you get five-star treatment. The staff is nice, as well as welcoming, and makes you feel like family.
The property has all facilities you might need – all rooms are fitted with air conditioners, there’s free wifi throughout the hostel, a laundry facility, and the shared kitchen is spacious and well-equipped. Aside from the basic facilities, this hostel has a lot of touches that add comfort and luxury to your stay.
There’s a fun bar and a nice communal sun terrace where you can chill and watch the world go by. But if you’re a fun-loving person, the dancing classes might be the best part about staying at this hostel. The aura in Dancehall Hostel is perfect for dynamic solo travelers or groups of friends who don’t mind being around blithesome backpackers.
Location: Dancehall Hostel is approximately 6 miles from Kingston Airport so it’s a fantastic option if you want a place with a short transfer time.
Jay’s Guest House is nestled within the most scenic part of Jamaica, at the foothill of the largest mountain in the country, the Blue Mountain Peak. This hostel offers a true getaway from city life and a lot of opportunities for adventure junkies to explore nature in an area full of serenity and tranquility. The dorm is quaint, and simple but fitted with all necessities that you might need including a comfy bed.
This family-run accommodation is one of the best places to go if you’re yearning for an authentic Jamaican experience. If you’re a coffee lover, you might be in for a treat. This region is home to the best coffee in the world – Blue Mountain Coffee!
You can enjoy farm tours, and river tours but most people come here for the hike. The owners will organize a guide to accompany you to the highest point in Jamaica, a journey that will take approximately 6 hours from this property. Upon your return, you’ll be treated to a delicious breakfast and astounding views of the peaks plus the surrounding areas.
Location: Jay’s Guest House isn’t the easiest to get to especially due to the mountainous terrain but the owners are always available to arrange transport.
Germaican-Hostel can be found in a sleepy suburb of Port Antonio on a hilltop location boasting breathtaking views of the harbor and the Caribbean Sea. It’s a great hostel with a lot of awesome spots where you can sit, chill out and unwind. Lie lazily on a hammock during the day, take in stunning sunset views, and have a vibrant evening as you interact with other guests.
This hostel is a good choice if you want a peaceful place from where you can explore beautiful Port Antonio. The hosts are amazing the rooms are neat and the environment is breathtaking. But what’s even more charming is the healthy local meals that they serve here.
Location: The only issue with the hostel is the distance from the city. It’s a very secluded location where roads are almost nonexistent. For this reason, it’s advisable to arrive at Germaican Hostel during the day. But luckily local drivers can maneuver the tricky terrain so it’s still possible to stay here and be able to enjoy fully what Port Antonio has to offer.
Of course, there are always cheap hostels. But how do you actually find them? When you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you want to save every dollar, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Jamaica.
Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in Jamaica
add your dates
Order the listings by price
Simple as that.
Hostelz.com is a price comparison site for hostels. They list every single one in the world and tells you exactly which website is cheaper to use.
Another smart Tip: Check what is actually included, and what is excluded. Take a closer look at the location, too. A further location might mean more costs in transport.
We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible! All of Jamaica best hostels are popular; especially in high-season. To make sure you end up in those stylish and good hostels, secure your room/ bed as soon as you have your travel dates fix.
The coolest Hostel App you need comes as well from Hostelworld. It gives you super cool features like you can contact your hostel mates beforehand and make plans together. Find more details in our review of the app
Ask all your questions and connect with like-minded wanderers 🔥
Here we share with you the most asked question:
What is Jamaica known for?
Jamaica is known to be the birthplace of reggae, Bob Marley, world's fastest sprinters, Blue Mountain coffee, Red Stripe beer, Jamaican rum, beautiful beaches, jerk dishes, luxurious all-inclusive resorts and majestic waterfalls.
Is Jamaica cheap to visit?
As one of the most affordable islands in the Caribbean, Jamaica has a wide range of options for travelers on every budget. Since the cost of living in Jamaica is lower than on some other Caribbean islands, items such as food can be very inexpensive.
Can you drink tap water in Jamaica?
Although Jamaica is considered the Third country in the world, its tap water meets the quality standards for drinking water and is safe to drink.
What are the best sites for finding hostels?
Of course, the best site to find hostels is Hostelgeeks.com
There are three international airports you can consider for your arrival and departure: Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay (MBJ), Ian Fleming International Airport in Boscobel (OCJ), and the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston (KIN).
We use Skyscanner and Omio.com to find cheap flights and good connections all over the globe.
Skyscanner has a bunch of cool features like Multi-City Trip. Instead of doing this research step-by-step, Skyscanner offers this flight planning tool.
Do you have any questions left, maybe doubts? Then please leave it in the comment below. We are very keen to help you - and actually you would even do us a favor!
Your question will help us to improve this Jamaica guide.
Last note: Our commitment
This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter, and find the best place on a budget! We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We are constantly updating all our guides to keep them as fresh and accurate as possible.
Safe travels, The Hostelgeeks
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