COUNTRY FACTS

JAMAICA

 

jamaica-flagQuick Facts

  • Continental region – North America
  • Currency symbol of JAMAICA –Jamaican dollar, JMD
  • Capital City –Kingston
  • Official languages – English
  • Population – 2.9 million (2018) 
  • Country dialling code  –  (+876 )
  • Official website JAMAICA
  • Top 3 biggest industries  –Tourism, agriculture, mining
  • Google Maps link –JAMAICA
  • Where is it? –Jamaica, a Caribbean island nation, has a lush topography of mountains, rainforests and reef-lined beaches. Many of its all-inclusive resorts are clustered in Montego Bay, with its British-colonial architecture, and Negril, known for its diving and snorkeling sites. Jamaica is famed as the birthplace of reggae music, and its capital Kingston is home to the Bob Marley Museum, dedicated to the famous singer.

JAMAICA In Pictures

A beach in Negril with a hotel and restaurant

A beach in Negril with a hotel and restaurant

Dunn's River Falls

Dunn’s River Falls

Jamaican parrotfish

Jamaican parrotfish

Mento

Mento

Montego Bay

Montego Bay

Negril fishing boats

Negril fishing boats

Negril Jamaica town center

Negril Jamaica town center

Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios

The Montego Bay Cultural Centre

The Montego Bay Cultural Centre


JAMAICA History

  • How did the country get its first name? – The original inhabitants of Jamaica are believed to be the Arawaks, also called Tainos. They came from South America 2,500 years ago and named the island Xaymaca, which meant ““land of wood and water”
  • How did the country get its current name? – Anglicized version of Xaymaca.
  • When and by whom the country was first discovered? – The island has been occupied for around 2500 years, originally by the Arawak people. They maintained a fruitful land, establishing villages across the island and growing fruits and vegetables until the arrival of the first Europeans. Christopher Columbus is believed to be the first European to reach Jamaica on 5 May 1494, during his second voyage to the Americas.
  • Who were the first Inhabitants? – The earliest inhabitants of Jamaica are believed to be the Arawaks. The Spanish enslaved the Arawak, who were ravaged further by diseases that the Spanish brought with them. By 1600, the Arawak tribes were extinct. The Spanish also transported hundreds of West African people to the island.
  • When it was first recognized as a country? –Jamaica became independent on August 6, 1962, remaining a member of the British Commonwealth. The United States recognized Jamaica’s independence on August 16, 1962, with the establishment of the American Embassy at Kingston.
  • Who was the first leader of the country? –Sir William Alexander Clarke Bustamante GBE PC (born William Alexander Clarke; 24 February 1884 – 6 August 1977) was a Jamaican politician.

Five Significant Events 

1494: Christopher Columbus sights Jamaica. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-18784730)

1838: Slavery abolished.(https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-18784730)

1962: Jamaica becomes independent within the British Commonwealth with Alexander Bustamante of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) as prime minister. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-18784730)

1992: Manley retires on health grounds and is succeeded by Percival J Patterson. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-18784730)

2002 October: Prime Minister PJ Patterson’s People’s National Party wins general elections, ushering in fourth successive term in office for party and third term for incumbent premier. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-18784730)


Five Places to Visit in JAMAICA

  1. Negril: Welcome to Negril, Jamaica’s most picturesque stretch of white sand, dramatic clifftops, and turquoise sea. Dubbed one of the Caribbean’s best beaches, Negril stretches from Bloody Bay to Long Bay in western Jamaica. Dotted with coconut palms and high-end resorts, Negril is the ultimate destination for water lovers. (https://www.touropia.com/best-places-to-visit-in-jamaica/)
  1. Dunn’s River Falls: Dunn’s River Falls is one of Jamaica’s top tourist attractions. It’s so beautiful, you’ll soon see why millions of tourists hike 90 minutes to see it every year. At 180 feet high and 600 feet long, the terraced waterfalls are as Instagram-worthy as you’re going to get! (https://www.touropia.com/best-places-to-visit-in-jamaica/)
  1. Montego Bay: If it’s a beach vacation you’re after, you’re in luck. Montego Bay has some of the island’s best beaches, but also the most touristy. Apart from being a major cruise port, it’s a playground for the rich and famous, with luxurious resorts, undulating golf courses, and glorious white sand beaches. Montego Bay rose in popularity in the 1920s when an English osteopath declared the water here had healing powers. The barrage of tourists transformed what was once a quiet village into Jamaica’s best-known tourist destination. (https://www.touropia.com/best-places-to-visit-in-jamaica/)
  2. Ocho Rios: Ochos Rios is a popular resort on the northern coast. Once a sleepy fishing village with a succession of English, Spanish, and pirate inhabitants, it’s now a bustling cruise port flanked by high-end hotels and rainforest-clad mountains. It’s one of the more glamorous resorts, and while it’s all a-bustle with reggae parties, bars, and craft markets, it’s still a quieter alternative to Montego Bay.(https://www.touropia.com/best-places-to-visit-in-jamaica/)
  3. Blue Mountains: Perfect for adventure lovers, the Blue Mountains is an enchanting region scattered with hiking and biking trails, picturesque waterfalls, and coffee plantations. Named after the blueish fog that settles around its peaks, the 45-kilometer-long mountain range is the longest in Jamaica, and one of the longest in the Caribbean. The highest peak – the goal for the most adventurous – offers a view as far as Cuba on a good day. (https://www.touropia.com/best-places-to-visit-in-jamaica/)

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