10 Cheapest Places to Live in Jamaica

Updated On May 14, 2024

A modern music scene mixed with laid-back living and white, sandy beaches is what you will find on the Caribbean Island of Jamaica.

The country is best known for giving the world reggae and ska music, but it also offers visitors and permanent residents countless vacationing and living benefits.

Outside of the main cities, Jamaica is packed with charming little towns, so the biggest problem is finding the location that’s right for you!

Since it’s a tropical island, there’s plenty of year-round sun, and the temperature is fairly consistent.

Whether you’re on a fixed income, are a digital nomad, or need to work in the region, if you’re considering moving to Jamaica, it’s important to understand the cheapest places to live in the country.

Keep reading to learn more!

10 Cheapest Places to Live in Jamaica


Ten: Kingston – $1528/month

Kicking off the list at number 10 is Jamaica’s mountain-ringed metropolis, which is packed with culture, creativity, music, and art.

With a monthly cost of living the highest on this list at $1,528, Kingston is often overlooked by visitors who immediately make a beeline for the beach.

What they are missing is Kingston, which is all about music and creativity.

You can spend nights pumping the sound system with cuts of reggae and dub and days enjoying the city restaurants or outdoor recreational activities.

One of the biggest issues in Kingston is safety for visitors and locals.

New Kingston is the most secure and affordable area of the city if you plan to live in the capital.

This area is less gritty than other sections, so you will feel comfortable doing your daily business.

Also, the university area, like Mona, is a safe place to live, work, and play as well.


Nine: Falmouth – $937/month

Next on the list is Falmouth, a city with a cost of living of $937 per month.

This town is famous for its cruise ship port and historic town.

The city was named after Falmouth in Cornwall, England, so it was a well-planned colonial settlement with piped water before New York City.

The best area to live in Falmouth is Granville, which sits just outside of the main town center and was the first free village created by emancipators.

The closer you get to the old grid-system stress of the old town; the more affordable monthly accommodations become and have better access to the local nightlife.

Ocho Rios
Ocho Rios

Eight: Ocho Rios – $930/month

Number eight on this list is Ocho Rios, a city where you can live comfortably for $930 per month.

Nestled on the north coast, Ocho Rios is near the location where Christopher Columbus landed in Jamaica.

Since then, visitors from countless nations, pirates, colonists, and modern-day tourists have graced its land.

The aptly named Content Garden is a great local apartment and housing accommodation to relax and kick up your feet.

The town is a great spot to explore nearby nature with zip lining, trekking through bamboo forests, and hiking around the green hills.

Treasure Beach
Treasure Beach

Seven: Treasure Beach – $914/month

Coming in at number seven with a cost of living of $914 is Treasure Beach, a six-mile stretch of coastline where you will find sand, sea, and sun.

The town near the beach is authentic living with rustic hangouts, local shops, and a relaxed lifestyle.

Frenchman’s Bay is the town’s cluster of restaurants, ATMs, and other amenities, as well as reasonably priced seafront apartments and accommodations.

Treasure Beach is also home to numerous luxury spas, so those who want to treat themselves have plenty of options.


Six: Hopewell – $902/month

With a cost of living of $902 per month, Hopewell is number six on this list.

Hopewell is a small fishing village with a mix of expats and locals, making it an excellent destination for those seeking a quiet corner of the island.

The area has plenty of bed-and-breakfast but no major hotels, so tourism is low.

The town isn’t far west from Montego Bay for those who want some urban amenities, and the sizeable expat community has helped grow this city.

Orchard Housing Scheme is one of the nicest areas of the town.

It’s gated but affordable while still being close to daily amenities.

Runaway Bay
Runaway Bay

Five: Runaway Bay – $890/month

At a $890 per month cost of living, Runaway Bay is a surprisingly beautiful location.

Situated on Jamaica’s north coast between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, Runaway Bay first attracted developers in the 1960s due to its stunning beach and hills that overlook the sea.

This may be a small town, but Runaway Bay has plenty of residential options in the Belleair section of the city.

This neighborhood is set on a hillside with many properties holding amazing seaside views but with easy beach access.

If you prefer being on the coastline, villas are another great option for long-term residence.

Montego Bay
Montego Bay

Four: Montego Bay – $868/month

The popular tourist destination of Montego Bay is the fourth on this list of cheapest places to live in Jamaica.

Although Montego Bay is the second city of Jamaica, permanent residents only need $868 per month to live comfortably.

Sitting on Jamaica’s northwest coast, Montego Bay is renowned for top-rated resorts, exceptional golf courses, and stunning beaches.

One of the best new areas of Montego Bay is Chatham Palms, but this may fall out of many expats’ price range.

As a more affordable alternative, Montego West Village is a quiet and friendly place in a gated community.

Of course, this city isn’t just about the tourists; there are plenty of cultural and outdoor activities for locals.

Downtown Montego Bay features plenty of history, like Fort Montego, an 18th-century British fort created to defend against pirates, and the Sam Sharpe Memorial, one of Jamacia’s national heroes.

Regular exhibitions can be found at the Montego Bay Cultural Center, and the Hip Strip is a great nightlife district.


Three: Negril – $866/month

Also located on the northwest coast is Negril, a highly affordable city with a cost of living of $866 per month.

Seven Mile Beach is a world-famous destination due to its pristine waters and long stretch of sandy beach.

Considered one of the best beaches in the world, countless service businesses have moved in to capitalize on this natural beauty.

For those who want to be this close to a picturesque coastline, the Long Bay area is a great spot to live.

This section of town has smaller hotels and resorts, making it less busy than neighboring Bloody Bay but with easy access to amenities.

Port Antonio
Port Antonio

Two: Port Antonio – $662/month

Known by the locals as Portie, Port Antonio is a highly affordable place to live, with a cost of living of around $660 per month.

Located on the island’s northeastern coast, the town scores major points with history lovers due to the Georgian buildings that date back to the colonial days.

Port Antonio was originally the terminus of a now-defunct railway that linked to Kingston.

The best place to call home in the city is East Harbor, where most activities occur.

You will also find an abundance of cafes and restaurants, hostels, and churches.


One: Mandeville – $600/month

At only a $600 per month cost of living, Mandeville is the cheapest place in Jamaica to live.

This town is the best option for those looking to see another side of Jamaica that doesn’t include resorts and beaches.

Established in 1816, Mandeville boasts one of the oldest hotels in the Caribbean, the Mandeville Hotel and Manchester Golf Course, the Caribbean’s first.

Living near Northern Caribbean University close to Cedar Grove Estates is a desirable choice if you’re looking to relocate.

Since this is a university town, the student population offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and living in town gives access to excellent public transport and amenities.

One of the greatest appeals of Mandeville is the 19th-century homes with overflowing flowers that make it feel like a quaint English town.

The city has a completely relaxed, laid-back atmosphere making strolls around town pleasant, especially through Cecil Charlton Park.

One local tip is to visit Mrs. Carmen Stephenson’s Garden, who is a local lady who offers tours to see the stunning orchids and Jamaican flowers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best overall place to live in Jamaica on a budget?

Although the best overall place is subjective based on what you value, New Kingston is probably the most affordable, secure, and safest place to live.

Although Kingston is the most expensive on this list, New Kingston offers a combination of value, location, and access to urban amenities.

Where do most Americans live in Jamaica?

Although Americans are scattered across the island, most American and British expats live on the outskirts of Montego Bay in Hopewell, which is only a 20-minute drive to the city center.

Hopewell allows expats to escape the hectic hustle and bustle of Montego Bay while still enjoying the nearby infrastructure and amenities.

What is the average rent in Jamaica?

Jamaica’s affordability is a major draw for retirees, allowing them to live more comfortably than in the United States.

This is mainly driven by the affordable real estate prices.

While multi-million-dollar homes certainly exist on certain parts of the island, overall, the properties are significantly cheaper than in the United States.

For those looking to live on the coast in areas like Port Antonio or Ocho Rios, properties are under $200 per square foot.

A one-bedroom apartment in Kingston’s center will cost around $500 per month.

Therefore, a safe range of apartment prices is $300 to $1,100 per month.

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