- This page offers quite a bit
of useful information about Jamaica.
- Follow the links to find
more specific information on particular parts of our country.
- Jamaica is the largest and
most westerly Englisspeaking island in the Caribbean, 90 miles south of Cuba and 550 miles
south of Miami. It has low coastal plains. Its best beaches on the north and west
coast. Jamaica is mountainous in the interior, with a peak in the Blue Mountains of 7,402
- Only a one and a half hour
flight from Miami, Jamaica is easy to get to and a fun place to be. Jamaica is one of the
largest islands in the Caribbean (nearly 4500 square miles) giving you lots of places to
discover and endless miles of beaches to explore.
- Most of our visitors arrive
at the Montego Bay International airport. Some choose to stay in Montego
Bay. Most head either east or west to explore Jamaica first hand.
is located on the western tip of Jamaica, one and a half hours from "Mobay" and
is the home to the finest sunsets in the world and the worlds greatest beach.
- Ocho Rios, Runaway Bay and
Port Antonio are all to the east of MoBay. Runaway Bay is one hour
east of the airport and is a great place to escape for a while. Ocho
Rios is one and a half hours east and is a popular destination for cruise ships. Port Antonio is one and a half hours past Ocho Rios on the same road
and with its rugged coastline and beautiful mountains is considered by many to be
Jamaica's hidden treasure. The more adventurous can head to the Blue
Mountains in eastern Jamaica, home of the finest coffee in the world.
- If you truly want to get
away from the hustle and bustle head for the South Coast and Mandeville. Tourism is somewhat newer to this part of the Island and
you will find the accomodations intimate with very personalized service.
If you are into history. .
.Kingston might be your first choice. Its museums and and
historical sites make it a popular destination for tourist. Kingston is the capital of
Jamaica and the major commercial centre.
While in this section you
may also want to visit the Jamaican Hall Of Fame and The Jamaican Culture Page.
For lots of Statistics
visit the Jamaican Stats page.
- Jamaica is the third largest
Island in the Caribbean behind Cuba and Hispaniola. It is approximately 4243 square miles
in size. It is approximately 51 miles wide by 146 miles long. It is more than 7200 feet at
its highest point. Jamaicas size and varied terrain allow for a diversity of growing
conditions and as a result an incredible variety of crops are grown on the island. It is
the third largest Caribbean island and the largest English speaking island. It has
the seventh largest natural harbor in the world.
- "Out of many, one
people"- The Jamaican Motto. From its beginnings as a major point in the American
slave trade to its multiracial society of today, Jamaica has come a long way in a
relatively short time.
- Jamaicas population
consists mostly of descendants of African blacks, plus several small East Indian, Chinese,
and European minorities. The official language of Jamaica is English, but
"patois" is widely spoken.
- The climate is of course
tropical with seasonal rainfall. It ranges from humid at sea-level with beautiful sea
breezes to temperate to cool in the mountains. The average temperature is around 80
degrees. Mean temperature on the coast range from 81 degrees Fahrenheit/24 degrees Celsius
in February to 82 degrees Fahrenheit/27 degrees Celsius in August. Our Blue Mountain Range
soars high over Kingston, with great camping and hiking opportunities. Check the
- BEAUTIFUL BEACHES CAN BE
FOUND IN EVERY PART OF OUR ISLAND. CHECK THE WATERS IN THE NORTH EASTERN PART OF
JAMAICA FOR MAJOR SNORKLING, THE NORTH AND NORTH EASTERN SHORES OF THE ISLAND FOR BEACHES
AND FUN SHOPPING, THE WESTERN NEGRIL SHORES FOR ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST SUNSETS AND
CORAL REEFS, AND OUR SOUTHERN SHORES FOR VAST AND PRIVATE WHITE SAND BEACHES.
- Jamaica has more than 200
species of birds, including the "doctor bird" a beautiful hummingbird which is
the national bird. There are no venomous reptiles. Mongoose run wild. There
are crocodiles, but they do not run freely throughout the island. Take any one of
our excitingriver raft rides to view these unique and beautiful creatures.
- Among the plants are the
VIVID RED POINCIANA, the YELLOW POUI, and the BLUE LIGNUM VITAE, which is Jamaica's
national tree. The Blue Mountains offer spectacular beauty, and the worlds finest coffee.
Our rich soils boast the most colorful of flowering plants with BOUGAINVILLIA richer
coloured than you will see world wide.
- The BEACHES are
probably the most popular part of Jamaica with our guests. The village of Negril on our
west coast boasts seven miles of white sand beach. All other resort areas also have there
own mix of rugged coastline and spectacular white sand or black sand beaches. Tour
our island and pick conch from the shoreline, snorkle or dive along our beautiful reefs,
leap from our exquisite cliffs into the blue Caribbean Sea.
- In recent years marine parks
have been set up in major tourist areas to protect the Coral Reefs, these initiatives have
been quite successful in guaranteeing a future for our most valuable underwater resource.
- Jamaicas largest
export today are incredible vacation memories. In recent years tourism has grown to become
the largest industry in Jamaica. The prospective vacationer will find a wide variety of
vacation experiences. On the north coast can be found some of the largest and plushest
resorts in the Caribbean. Scattered throughout the Island are dozens of smaller more
intimate hotels and guest houses.
- About one fourth of all
Jamaicans depend upon agriculture for a living. There are a thousand or so large estates
that control about half the farm land and the other half is broken up into about around
200,000 small farms. Major crops include sugarcane, fruits, coffee, bananas, pimentos,
cattle much of which is exported.
- Jamaica is one of the top
producers of bauxite and alumina in the world. Several international aluminum companies
mine deposits of bauxite on the central plateaus. Some of them process the bauxite into
- The original inhabitants of
Jamaica in modern times were the Arawak Indians. In the two centuries of Spanish rule that
began with the arrival of Christopher Colombus on May 4, 1494, the peaceful Arawaks were
eliminated. From 1509-1655 the island was inhabited by the Spanish. The Spanish
brought large numbers of African slaves to the island. A British force invaded the country
in 1655, and Jamaica remained a British colony until 1962. During the 18th century the
slave trade was greatly expanded to accommodate the needs of the huge plantations.
- The abolition of slavery
began in the 1830s and was completely abolished by 1839. By 1840 indentured laborers
were brought in from India to replace the newly freed slaves many of whom relocated to
free settlements in central Jamaica.
- In the 1930s Sir Alexander
Bustamante founded the Jamaica Labour Party and later led the country to independence.
Norman Washington Manley (Bustamantes cousin) formed the People's National Party.
- In 1962, Jamaica achieved
its independence from England.
- Jamaica is a parliamentary
democracy, modeled after that in Great Britain. Jamaica belongs to the Commonwealth. The
head of state is the governor-general, who is appointed by the monarch of England. The
prime minister is the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives.
THE PRESENT PRIME MINISTER IS HIS RIGHT HONORABLE P.J PATTERSON, member of the PEOPLE'S
NATIONAL PARTY, and re-elected in 2001, by democratic election. The opposition party
is the JAMAICA LABOR PARTY.