Jamaica is world-famous for its pristine silver beaches which are lapped by the soft waves of its turquoise sea; its verdant plains rising to spectacular mountain scenery; and the hypnotizing rhythms of its Reggae beat. Jamaica is a lush playground in the tropics where the fun never ends! The variegated culture of Jamaica makes for a lively and colorful atmosphere. The majority of the population is of African descent, but there are European, Chinese, Arabic and East Indian influences as well. Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean – 146 miles in length and 51 miles wide – and its highest mountain, Blue Mountain Peak, stands at 7,400 feet above sea level. While English is the official language, the local people speak Patois, which is an African – English blend. In fact newcomers to a Jamaica all inclusive resort often find the language incomprehensible in the beginning; but they soon pick it up.
Christopher Columbus was the first European visitor to Jamaica, landing on the North Shore in 1492. Of course, Columbus thought he had arrived in India, in spite of the fact that he couldn’t find the perfumes, spices and silks which he had promised to bring back to Queen Isabella. After Columbus came Spanish settlers who started cattle raising and sugar plantations. Over the next century as Spain jousted for power over the seas with England, the British mounted an expedition against Hispaniola (now the island of Haiti and Dominican Republic) in 1665. When this expedition failed, the admirals invaded and conquered Jamaica instead and added it to Britain’s roster of colonies. Jamaica soon became the lair of pirates who plundered merchant ships; Port Royal, their chief settlement, won the reputation of being the world’s wickedest city. By the end of the 19th century tourism replaced piracy as Jamaica’s chief industry. English and Americans seeking the warm climate and healthful breezes of the island flocked to the many guesthouses which opened to serve them. Now all inclusive Jamaica is one of the main tourist destinations in the Caribbean.
Jamaica possesses one of the most varied and stunning landscapes of any Caribbean island, with its springs, streams, rivers and waterfalls flowing from the forested mountains, down through fertile farm country, to the white sandy beaches and the sea. Visitors to Jamaica can enjoy waterfall climbing, river rafting, and horseback riding as well as beachcombing and swaying in a hammock. Montego Bay, on Jamaica’s northwest coast, lies between mountain jungles and is surrounded by miles and miles of tropical beach. Most visitors to Jamaica land here before going on to other destinations. Mobay, as it is known, has some great beaches, restaurants, bars, and a lively night life. There are endless activities to be enjoyed in this big city by the sea. Ocho Rios is the main port catering to cruise ships, and also offers something for every taste, from beach activities to polo or golf, from shopping to climbing the world-renowned Dunns River Falls. Negril is famous for its 7 mile long beach beneath rocky cliffs, for its beautiful sunsets, and for the luxurious all inclusive resorts in Jamaica. If you are looking for the supreme spot to party on the beach then Negril is the place!