WELCOME TO JAMAICA
Jamaica has an area of 4,411 square miles of 11,424 square kilometers. The island is 146 miles (235km) long with widths varying between 22 (35km) miles. Jamaica is the third largest of the Caribbean islands and the largest of the English speaking islands. Today, tourism is one of Jamaica’s leading industries. More than three million visitors are welcomed to its shores each year. The elements of the tourism product include accommodation, transportation, attractions and tours, dining and entertainment (inclusive of festivals and events), and the support services. Jamaica has a number of hotels, large and small. These vary from high rises to hotels in elegant old world style, and small modern hotels. No matter your traveling style, you will find exactly what you want on the sunny shores of Jamaica.
The historic mansion at Rose Hall, Montego Bay, was built in the 1770s. With a dark history of slavery, family turmoil, and loss, Rose Hall is said to be haunted. Rose Hall now functions as a museum and gives tours to those who wish to learn more about what happened in its walls and surrounding grounds.
One of Jamaica’s most iconic musicians is forever immortalized at the Bob Marley Museum. Here, you can learn about the man who sang for a brighter tomorrow and a stronger Jamaica. With exhibits showcasing his life and career, you are sure to learn something about the famed singer you didn’t know before. You can even enjoy a Jamaican lunch on-site.
People go to Jamaica to party. No matter what city you are in or when you’re traveling, you will find a party. With dance clubs and bars spread out around the cities, there is ample opportunity to get to meet some locals, lose yourself to some reggae, and dance the night away.
Having once belonged to the British, football (American soccer) and cricket are king in Jamaica. The Jamaican National Premier League football league attracts a lot of attention during their season. It is from these players that the Jamaica national team is formed to go compete internationally. Jamaica also sends players to the West Indies cricket team, also known as the Windies. They go on to compete across the Caribbean and beyond.
The birthplace of reggae and an island that marches to the beat of its own drum, Jamaica is always filled with music festival opportunities. You shouldn’t have any difficulty finding a music festival you want to attend and booking your travel around that. Some popular festivals are the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, the Reggae Sumfest, and the One Love Music Festival.
There are three international airports in Jamaica: Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston (Jamaica’s capital city), and the Ian Fleming International Airport in picturesque Ocho Rios. Each airport serves many international airlines coming from destinations such as the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, Canada, and Europe, making flying to Jamaica a convenient and enjoyable experience.
If you plan to make your way through several Caribbean Islands on a cruise, then Jamaica could be on your list of cruise destinations. With three cruise ports, Jamaica welcomes ship-goers plenty of options for exploring the island.
If you want to travel through the beauties of Jamaica, you can ride the bus in the city or even look for charter options. If you’d rather be your own guide, you can rent a car and travel through the beautiful, fun loving country of Jamaica on your own.
For those who want to experience a more tropical side to Jamaica, you can head inland to the Dunn’s River Falls. The stunning waterfalls that you can climb through and relax in make this a popular spot with tourists. You’ll get to enjoy the scenery around you, meet locals, and feel like you’re in your own little tropical oasis. Just make sure you wear water shoes!
True adventurers can head to the Blue Mountains for some real inland exploring. You’ll hike up the mountains, go bird watching, and get to see a whole new side of Jamaica. If you have the time, try to find the Blue Mountain Coffee Company. The coffee beans grown there are believed to be some of the best in the world, so sit down to a cup or buy a bag to take home.
Right Excellent Samuel Sharpe: Sharpe was an enslaved man who lived in Jamaica from 1804 to 1832 and served as a preacher with a local Baptist church. He was educated and therefore learned of the potential for British abolition of slavery. Sharpe took matters into his own hands to organize a peaceful protest against slavery, however, the event quickly turned into Jamaica’s slave rebellion. He was convicted and executed for his leadership. In 1975, he was posthumously awarded the title of National Hero.
The Right Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamate, GBE: The 1st Prime Minister of Jamaica, Sir Bustamante worked to better the lives of Jamaican workers. He did so by establishing labor unions and the Jamaican Labour Party. He was awarded the title of National Hero.
The National Museum of Jamaica features a wide variety of artifacts that showcase life on the island. You can learn about the indigenous cultures, the colonial occupation, and modern life as you stroll through the various galleries. There are also several temporary exhibits that highlight specific areas of Jamaican culture.
Another great way to experience the inland side of the island is to embark on a Mother Brae River Tour. This emerald river cut through the island and has been much appreciated by the locals for generations. You can explore the wonders of Jamaica’s lifeblood as you raft down the river in comfort and ease, thanks to a local guide.
Just a short way away from Negril, you can enjoy a Horseback Riding Tour of the beaches. This romantic excursion will have you feeling adventurous as you embark on trails through the woods, over the sandy shores, and even into the water. You’ll get to see a truly stunning side of Jamaica.
Jamaica has seen an unemployment rates climb over the years and as times have gotten harder, Food for the Poor has worked harder. With a focus on helping with agricultural initiatives, providing education, and providing food, Food for the Poor works to help ease the burden of Jamaica’s economic downturn.
Negril Education Environment Trust (N.E.E.T.) works to expand access to education to children and adults. By doing so, N.E.E.T. works to showcase the importance of tight-knit communities, public health, and environmental health. With a Jamaica-centric focus, alums of N.E.E.T. go on to become advocates and ambassadors in their own right.