Christopher Columbus discovered Jamaica in 1494. The Taino Indians inhabited Jamaica for centuries and were gradually exterminated. The island is situated in the Caribbean Sea and is 391 miles east of Central American mainland.
Slavery and sugar were two of the most valuable commodities that Jamaica had for 150 years. Spanish Town was the former capital of Jamaica.The Spanish named the town Santiago de la Vega and remained the capital until 1872 when the city of Kingston was named the capital. Queen Elizabeth 11 is the head of state, the Jamaican have given her the title of Queen of Jamaica. The Queen is represented in Jamaica by a Governor General who is nominated by the Prime Minister and the cabinet.
Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean. The major towns are Spanish Town, Negril, Ocho Rios, Kingston, and Montego Bay.
At the western tip of the island is Negril the most laid back resort with its 7 mile long beach. In the sixties the American flower children discovered Negril. The affluent landowners were worried about Negril becoming a Hippie Haven. This town is famous for is sunsets, cliff jumping water sports and Rastafarian culture.
Ocho Rios is well known for its nightlife, and has a laid back attitude. Ocho Rios is a popular tourist destination once a sleeply fishing village. Ocho Rios is also known as the home of Dunn s River Falls. It is a popular attraction that is visited by thousands of visitors each year. Dunn’s River Falls cascades down approximately 600 feet into the sea. Fed by springs located in the hills above, visitors take pleasure in climbing the falls as the water rushes around them.
The capital Kingston is the heart of the island and the largest English speaking city in the Caribbean. It has the seventh largest natural harbour in the world with the sea to the south and the St Andrew Mountain in the north.
Montego Bay is sheltered by Doctor s Cave Beach with clear turquoise waters and one of the most famous beaches on the island. It is best know for it duty free shopping and cruise line terminals at its Free Port.
Bob Marley the reggae musician was born here and was highly respected. The legend of Bob Marley comes alive as you walk through the village of Nine Miles, his birth and final resting place. Ian Fleming also lived in Jamaica.
The climate in Jamaica is tropical, with hot and humid weather, although higher inland regions have a more temperate climate. Some regions on the south coast, such as the Liguanea Plain and the Pedro Plains are relatively dry rain-shadow areas.