Facts About Jamaica

Climate

Beautiful Jamaica - looking at Jamaica from the sky over the Beaches  Hotel

Jamaica has a tropical climate at sea level and a temperate climate towards the highlands of the interior, the Island sees two rainy seasons from May to June and September to November. Jamaica is usually warm and sunny, between 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit all year. During the winter the nights in some elevated areas can become cool. Most times short showers may provide a welcome break from the afternoon heat before the sun is back out.

Noteworthy is the hurricane season from June to November, storms however rarely pass over the Island.


Famous People

Robert Nesta

Bob Marley

Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley, OM was a Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter, musician, and guitarist who achieved international fame and acclaim. Bob Marley is a major influence in Reggae music. He died at the young age of 36 from cancer.

Errol Flynn

Bought a large estate and Hotel in Jamaica and lived there for a number of years.

Ian Fleming

Built his home “Golden Eye” in Oracabessa Jamaica and wrote ten of his James bond novels there. Ian Flemming borrowed the name of his famous fictional spy “James bond” from “James Bond” who was the author of a guide to the birds of the west indies.

Rolling Stones

Mick Jager of the rolling stones owns a home on the shaw Park ridge in Ocho rios Jamaica.


History

Taino Indians (Arawaks) - The original inhabitants of Jamaica

The original inhabitants of Jamaica were Taino Indians (Arawaks) who came to the Island in canoes from Panama. They were a gentle Indian race who failed to survive the impact of Spanish colonialism. These Indians gave the Island the name “xaymaca, which is said to mean “land of wood and water” this name was changed by the Spaniards to it’s present. Christopher columbus landed in what is now Discovery Bay in 1494 and claimed the isle for spain. The spanish were disappointed that there was no gold, paid very little attention to their colony and were easily defeated by the british explorers General venables and Admiral Penn, who landed in 1655.

During the years that followed piracy and privatizing made Jamaica prosperous and notorious. In the eighteenth century sugar was taking over. Imported to cultivate cane fields were Africans and Jamaica became a huge transshipment port for slaves going to the colonies. Some slaves escaped into surrounding hills and were later known as “Maroons”, who would constantly terrorize the plantations.

Jamaica was granted independence in 1962. We are no longer a British Colony but remain a member of the British Commonwealth nations, maintain a British Democratic parliamentary system, with the Queen of England as a head of state. She is represented locally by the ‘Governor General’. There is a well-established democratic system which holds elections every five years.


Map, Geography & People

Jamaica is the largest English speaking country in the caribbean. There is just something special about this Island. It is 146 miles long and 50 miles wide, has a population of 2.52 million, most of whom live in Kingston the capital on the south with a population of over 700000. The Island has been blessed with magnificent attractions and landscapes.  From soft coral sands, jagged cliffs, through coastal plains and forest clad mountains, Jamaica boast it all.

Jamaica’s highest elevation is the Blue Mountain peak located west in the Blue mountain range, which also has the only inactive volcano in the island. Lying only 500 miles south of Florida, Jamaica is well placed on the world’s major airline and shipping routes.

Visitors to Jamaica have been fascinated by it’s natural beauty, colour, folklore, warm and friendly people with diverse ethnic origin. This blending of cultures is reflected in Jamaica’s motto “OUT OF MANY ONE PEOPLE” which is a source of great pride to many Jamaicans.

Jamaica has a natural landscape of lush green mountains, excellent beaches, dramatic winding Rivers, historical landmarks to the pulsing sound of reggae music.


General Information

Jamaica Flag

Jamaica’s capital

Kingston with a population of over 700,000

Jamaica’s telephone area code

(876)

Jamaica’s time zone

The Island does not observe daylight saving time, and is in the eastern time zone(EST)

Jamaica’s entry requirements

All arriving passengers must have one of the following to provide his/her proof of citizenship: a valid passport or an official (original copy with raised seal) birth certificate, plus a valid drivers license.

Jamaica’s electricity

110volts/50cycles (same as in the US)

Jamaica’s language

The official language is english but a local dialect “patio” is also spoken, don’t be surprised if you can’t understand some persons due to a strong accent.

Jamaican currency

The Jamaican dollar. Please check to see what the current rate of exchange is as it fluctuates and may vary at different locations.

Jamaican driving

Driving is english style on the left hand side of the road.

National Flower

lignum Vitae(wood of life)

National dish

ackee and salt fish

National Tree

Hibiscus Elatus (BLue Mahoe)

National Bird

Trochilus Polytmus (Doctor Bird)

Independence day

August 6,1962

National Heroes

Nanny of the Maroons, Sir Alexander Bustamante, Marcus Garvey, George William Gordon, Samuel Sharpe, Norman washington Manley, Paul Bogle

National drink

Rum is the national drink of Jamaica. The Island was the world’s first commercial producer of Rum.

Coffee

Jamaican Blue mountain coffee is among the World’s most famous and expensive.