Map of Jamaica with highlight on Port Antonio
Map of Jamaica with highlight on Port Antonio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jamaica is an island located in the Caribbean Sea and the third largest island in the entire Caribbean not to mention an excellent travel destination.

It was originally settled by the Spanish when it went by the name of Santiago.  Eventually Jamaica because a British colony where it played a large part in the British colonial expansion.  It also was (and still is) one of the largest centers of the sugar cane industry and for a very long time was a hub of the slave trade.  In 1962 Jamaica gained its independence and it is currently a constitutional monarchy.

Jamaica is considered to be one of the top tourist destinations in the Caribbean thanks to its perpetually tropical climate, pristine beaches and friendly residents.  With plenty of activities it appeals to many different individuals.  And while it is not very large, there is plenty of room to explore and discover some of its most alluring charms.

No matter if you like sunning on the beach, hiking in the mountains, surfing, exploring rum factories (and getting free samples) or shopping in its many bazaars, Jamaica definitely has something for everyone.

Key Facts Jamaica

  • Location – Jamaica is located in the Caribbean Sea.  It is 119 miles west of Hispaniola, and 90 miles south of Cuba.
  • Time –  GMT/UTC – 05:00
  • Climate – Tropical.  Hot and humid with a temperate interior.  Temperatures average between 80-90 degrees year round.
  • Size – Jamaica is 145 miles long and 50 miles wide and takes up 4,240 square miles of space.
  • Capitol – Kingston
  • Religion – Christianity, though there is a large Rastafarian representation
  • Currency –  Jamaican Dollar (JMD)
  • Safety – Jamaica, especially the capitol city of Kingston, is considered to be fairly high crime.  But with common sense and attention to surroundings you can travel without undue worries.  The infrastructure, while not up to modern developed country standards, is fair enough for general concerns.

Points of Interest Jamaica

  • Seven Mile Beach – Just outside of Negril, Seven Mile Beach is the perfect place to kick back and play in the surf and sun.
  • Blue Hole Mineral Spring Resort – Located just 25 minutes southeast of Negril, this lovely community features spa treatments, scenic settings and an overall restful atmosphere.
  • YS Falls – Located in St. Elizabeth,  YS Falls is a breathtakingly spectacular setting where you can take lots of pictures or enjoy a water-side picnic.
  • Winnefred Beach – Just outside of Port Antonio, Winnefred Beach is the perfect place to go horseback riding or surfing.
  • Blue Mountains – Located outside of Kingston, the Blue Mountains are an outdoorsman’s paradise.
  • Port Royal – once the largest city on the island, Port Royal now lies in ruins beneath the ocean’s surface.  You can explore the remains via boat or by scuba diving.
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