Preamble of 54 Amazing Facts about Jamaica
Greetings from warm Jamaica, I’m going to give you some Amazing Facts About Jamaica. It is a safe place for holiday vacations travellers, even to live or invest in business enterprise. She has her challenges like anywhere else in the world.
We have our ups and downs with crime and violence, but we are still safer than most countries you can think of.
These violent crimes although confined to specific locations in the country, can be a real problem in Kingston, Montego Bay, and other parts of the country. But typically, such crimes involve attacks by Jamaicans on other Jamaicans and revolve around scamming, drugs, gangs, politics, poverty, or revenge.
Travelers come here for various reasons, even medical. who read about the country’s high crime and murder rates often wonder if it’s a safe place to go.
Of course it is, millions of tourists visit Jamaica each year without incident. Never-the-less, many also just stay at all-inclusive resorts for the duration of their trip because of their safety concerns.
The truth, however, is that holiday vacations seekers can have a great experience getting out and seeing the “real” Jamaica. At the same time you need to be mindful about the legitimate threat of crime where it exists.
As a visitor to the resort towns and even the greater portion of the capital Kingston, you will realize, are safe places to travel and enjoy some “Amazing Facts about Jamaica“, real Jamaican life.
An outline for easy access to some Amazing Facts About Jamaica:
The People | The History | The Flag | James Bond | B/M Coffee | The Women | Fertility | Some Firsts | Port Royal | Mineral Springs | The Culture | Table Manners | Miss Lou | The Motto | National Dish | Tourism | The Beaches | Bob Marley | Shaggy | The Music | The Roads | The Army | Usain Bolt | Olympic Medals | Native Snakes | Obeah | Plants/Animals | Jamaica Rum | Jerk Pork | Import/Export
The people of Jamaica are unique in many ways . Out of many, one big family.
We have an infectious way of speaking and doing things that is adored and emulated all over the world.
Regardless of where you’re from, when you’re here, you instantly get that ‘IRIE’ vibe.
If you are unfamiliar with life in Jamaica you will quickly realize upon your arrival here that Jamaicans are very courteous and easy going.
Despite the stresses and hardships being faced by a lot of Jamaicans on a daily basis, you will still get a warm smile from many people.
The popular saying “No Problem Mon” is not a marketing stunt. It is an oft used saying here.
Having said that, Jamaican people do not take kindly to disrespect or condescending remarks.
The average Jamaican is not afraid to stand up to you if he or she is being threatened.
These are Amazing Facts About Jamaica
2 #The Population:
The Amazing Facts About Jamaica with the population brushing its 3m mark, it stands at 2,950,210 citizens at the writing of this blog post. Senior citizens are living longer and the elderly population and getting bigger.
This makes Jamaica the fourth largest country in the Caribbean by population (after Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti), the 13th largest country in North America and the 138th largest country in the world.
Amazing Facts About Jamaica Tainos. They were the original dwellers of Jamaica, before the Spanish conquered the island.
Though they became practically extinct due to disease and slavery, their legacy carries on through several cultural aspects, including common words like hammock, barbecue, tobacco, canoe and even hurricane!
They were first called Arawak Indians. They are now referred to as the Tainos.
Back in the late 1400s, Christopher Columbus referred to Jamaica as “the fairest isle that eyes ever beheld”.
Amazing Facts About Jamaica, Columbus on his second voyage to the New World in 1494, the tip of the Blue Mountains in Jamaica was the first land sighted by Christopher Columbus.
4 #Independence and the Queen:
Amazing Facts About Jamaica, she was the first Caribbean nation to gain independence in August 6, 1962. After years of internal self-government, Jamaica became an independent nation, but chose to remain a member of the British Commonwealth.
Queen Elizabeth II remains the Queen of Jamaica but by tradition only represented by the Governor General (GG).
Amazing Facts About Jamaica National Flag: One of the most recognized flags in the world, the green, gold and black is one of only two countries in the world that has no colors in common with the flag of the United States of America.
The other country is Mauritania (green and gold). Libya used to have a solid green flag but has since changed it to include red and white.
Do you know why the Jamaican flag is green, gold, and black? Two yellow stripes intersect in an X with green filling in the top and bottom and black on either side. Aren’t those interesting facts?
“The sun shineth, the land is green and the people are strong and creative” is the symbolism of the colours of the flag.
Black depicts the strength and creativity of the people; Gold, the natural wealth and beauty of sunlight; and green, hope and agricultural resources.
Amazing Facts About Jamaica And James Bond in Jamaica: James Bond was born on the shores of Ocho Rios!
British writer, Ian Fleming is famous for his 007 James Bond character.
After designing his dream home, Ian Fleming choose to have it built in Jamaica and name it Goldeneye.
The novels have inspired 23 James Bond Films, one even with the hotel name sake – Goldeneye from 1995. These are solid reasons to visit to Jamaica on your next vacation tour.
There is an airport named after him: “Ian Fleming International Airport” (IFIA) in Boscobel St Mary Jamaica, 10km east of Ocho Rios.
A beach is also named after him “James Bond Beach” in Oracabessa Bay, St Mary. I hope you are finding these some interesting facts about Jamaica.
7. #Innovative Jamaica
Jamaica was the first country in the Western world to build a railroad.
They built their railroad a mere 18 years after Britain built theirs.
AT&T is said to have copied Jamaica’s telephone system because it was so well developed.
Jamaica is a great innovator. She was the first country in the Caribbean region to launch a web site! www.jamaicatravel.com launched in 1994 and took Jamaica to the world!
Amazing Facts About Jamaica Blue Mountains, they are named for the mist that covers them. From a distance, the mist appears blue.
The blue mist also covers the moon making it appear blue. Don’t miss this adventure on your visit to Jamaica
The phrase once in a blue moon does not cover the Blue Mountains as there have been dozen sittings of sapphire colored moons in the past 40 years.
Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee: When you think of Jamaica you think sand and beaches, but many may not think coffee.
Amazing Facts About Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. This is one of the most sort after and expensive coffees on the market with a “temptious” lingering aroma.
9. #Religion in Jamaica
Jamaica has the most “churches” per square mile of any country in the world. Source-Guinness Book of World Records.
Scattered all over Jamaica are more than 1,600 church buildings, and that number is growing rapidly.
64.8% of the Jamaican population are Protestants. Protestantism is composed of several denominations: 24% Church of God, 11% Seventh-day Adventist, 10% Pentecostal, 7% Baptist, 4% Anglican, 2% United Church, 2% Methodist, 1% Moravian and 1% Brethren Christian.
Roman Catholic make up 2.2%, 1.9% Jehovah’s Witness and 1.1% Rastafarian.
Amazing Facts About Jamaica Rastafari. Think dreadlocks? Think Jamaica! When some people think about Jamaica they think about the popular deadlock style.
Under 2 percent of the Rastafarian population in the world live in Jamaica.
Despite being predominantly Christian, Jamaica’s Jewish residents are among the oldest on the island.
More “Amazing Facts About Jamaica“
Many countries brag about having the most beautiful women in the world, but Jamaica can brag with the stats to prove it
Jamaican beautiful women stand strong, as they are the sixth country on the list of countries to win the Miss World titles.
With 4 winners and 3 second runners-up, only Venezuela, UK, India, who have more winners.
Just the mere size of Jamaica alone compared to these countries makes our bragging rights even more realistic.
11. #Golf Courts:
The Manchester Club was built in 1865, and is believed to be the oldest surviving club in the western hemisphere. It predates the Royal Montreal Club formed in 1873 and the Quebec Golf Club formed in 1875, both in Canada.
A nineteenth century clubhouse was originally located on the adjoining property where Scotia Bank now has its multi-million dollar headquarters.
When it became public knowledge that the 100 year old building was to give way to a Scotia Bank structure, many of the town’s residents objected.
The residents insisted that although the clubhouse was in need of major repairs it was historically significant. The sale went through despite the many objections and the old clubhouse was demolished and a new one built in the early 1990s on the remaining property of the Manchester Club on a low hill close to the middle of the course. (jnht.com)
Many are of the view that the relatively new structure still maintains an old-world feel!
There are 12 major Golf Courts in Jamaica.
Jamaica has more multiple (two or more) live births than anywhere else in the world. Why is our fertility rate so potent? What could be some of the contributing factors?
Could it be the many indigenous herbs that Jamaicans turn into roots tonic and drinks!
Home-made roots drinks/tonics have been a part of Jamaica’s cultural tradition for a long time. These drinks have been touted to improve general health, counteract fatigue, improve mental clarity, and enhance sexual performance and fertility.
Jamaica has been the leader in many areas of life for a long time now. Jamaica was the first country to impose economic sanctions against the apartheid regime of South Africa.
Jamaica was the first Caribbean island to enact legislation, “The Motion Picture Industry (Encouragement) Act” to promote the making of films.
Jamaica is the first country to sign a Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria grant agreement.
Jamaica was the first colony England acquired by conquest. This was in the year 1655 when the Spanish were driven from the island.
Jamaica is the first British colonial territory to establish a postal service in 1688 in Black River, St Elizabeth.
Jamaica was the first Caricom country to liberalize the telecommunications sector. Since then, other Caricom countries have opened up to competition.
Jamaica was the first commercial producer of bananas in the Western Hemisphere, the first country to export bananas establishing a global banana trade.
Jamaica also was the first island in the Caribbean to produce rum on a commercial basis.
Port Royal is a present day fishing village located at the end of the Palisadoes at the mouth of Kingston Harbour, in southeastern Jamaica. It was founded in 1494 by the Spanish, and once the largest city in the Caribbean, functioning as the epi-centre of shipping and commerce in the Caribbean Sea by the latter half of the 17th century.
During that half of the 17th century, it was the virtual capital of Jamaica, and also a headquarters for buccaneers and pirates who brought in much of the treasure they looted on the Spanish Main.
Chief among the buccaneers was the infamous Henry Morgan who sacked places like Camaguey, Port Bello, Maracaibo and Panama. Morgan was later knighted and made Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica.
He died at Port Royal in 1688.
By 1692 Port Royal had become an important economic centre, but on the 7th of June that same year, the greater part of the city was destroyed by an earthquake.
Port Royal was once labeled ‘The richest and wickedest city on Earth‘. It was called the “wickedest city on earth” because it contained a den of pirates, prostitutes, and slavers unlike any the world had ever known.
It was a city totally dominated with liquor, slavers, and prostitution that one in every four buildings was either a bar or a brothel.
But on that fateful 7th day of June, there was a shaking in the earth beneath the sin city. The brothels collapsed and a great tidal wave rose up over the city walls, killing thousands and their bodies polluted the environment.
In the eyes of many in the British colony and around the world, the destruction of Port Royal was no mere tragedy. It was nothing short of divine intervention; the hand of God coming down to smite a city comparable to ancient Sodom and Gomorrah.
Much has been written about this catastrophe, but little is known about the fire that caused a level of destruction similar to that experienced by the residents of Port Royal at the time of the earthquake.
On Saturday, the 9th of January 1702, about 11 o’clock Port Royal was awakened with a lamentable cry of fire. The flames spread furiously and in almost three hours most of the houses were in flames. By 10 p.m. later in the evening everything was totally destroyed except the two forts. It was reported that “14 acres of land being the richest ground ever belonged to the crown of England, was perished”.
Most of the provisions, silks, linens, cloths, spices and most forts of merchandize of incredible value were totally consumed by fire. (National Library of Jamaica)
Hundreds of people who the day before were worth some thousands of pounds were reduced by this calamity to starvation.
With increased interest in the Age of Piracy, Port Royal is poised to undergo a renaissance of sorts, with theme parks, museums, cruise ship visits and other attractions being built and planned.
The “healing waters of Jamaica” are made up of several natural mineral baths and hot springs that are thought to have therapeutic properties.
Three are well known: Rockfort, Milk River and Bath.
Rockfort Mineral Bath / St Andrew:
Rockfort Mineral Bath is one of the oldest public facilities in Kingston. It is actually a declared National Heritage Site and is officially a part of the Carib Cement Company’s complex. This area also includes the fort which gives it its name.
This mineral bath is located on the main road from Kingston to the airport. That road takes you to the Harbour View round about to head to the airport keeping right, and to eastern parishes continuing ahead.
The therapeutic waters of the mineral-rich property flow from the Rockfort hills, and is believed to have surfaced after the powerful 1907 earthquake.
Milk River Bath / Clarendon:
Milk River Bath is known to be the most radioactive mineral spa in the world. For your safety, it is not recommended to spend more than 20 minutes immersed in the waters at a maximum of three dips per day.
According to legend from popular and widely believed story, the baths were first discovered by a slave who was severely beaten and chained by his owner, Jonathan Ludford.
The slave managed to escape and went to hide in the woods where he found a body of salty natural spring water where he bathe himself. The slave’s wounds were rapidly healed, and he returned to his master Mr Ludford who was so shocked at seeing the recovery that he made a deal to never punish the slave again if he was shown the spring’s location.
He eventually bought the property and used it until he died and then it was willed to the Jamaican government.
In 1974, public baths were constructed there, which have been open to the public ever since.
Accommodation is available where you can week-end at the hotel built with basic facilities and access to the baths included in the price.
Bath Mineral Springs / St. Thomas
Bath mineral springs has an antique looking hotel that gives you the feel of a guesthouse. The baths are inside the hotel and water piped directly from the springs into the Jacuzzis and baths.
The water is slightly less heated than if you park outside the hotel and go with the locals for a 100 yard hike to bathe directly from the source. That approach though opens you up to a bit of negotiating from locals so be sure to have your price set in your head.
You’ll be offered a massage and if you choose to do it, it will indeed be a memorable off the beaten path experience. If you want a more traditional visit with less hassle, a stay in the hotel is itself quite a memorable Jamaican thing to do.
16. #Kingston Harbour: Jamaica’s Kingston Harbor is the largest natural harbor in the world. Kingston Harbour is located on the southeastern coast of Jamaica, borders Kingston, the capital city, and is the country’s major port.
At present the full value of Kingston Harbour is not being actualized, as the water quality has been badly polluted, and the surrounding land area has also deteriorated in many places. Improvement in these areas would enable its use for a range of recreation and tourism activities, thus providing employment for thousands of Jamaicans.
17. #Healthy Cranberry: Cranberry is a sought-after luxury item in Jamaica. Almost overnight, Jamaicans became aware of the benefits of cranberries and it seems as if enough just can’t get on the shelf to be devoured for its natural wholesomeness.
Cranberries are considered good as a purifier of the body and a boost to the immune system.
“Jamaicans have a voracious appetite for information on eating healthily and they are sponges when products come along claiming to have superior health benefits,” quoting Wisynco Brand Manager Tamara Ward.
18. #Amazing Facts About Happiest People In Jamaica: Jamaicans officially holds the title of being the “3rd Happiest People in the Caribbean.” Every time The World Happiness Report is released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations, the nations are being shuffled like a deck of cards.
The World Happiness Report surveys the state of global happiness and ranks 156 countries by their happiness level, by examining elements such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, perceived corruption and generosity.
19. #Jamaican Culture: Jamaican culture defines the people of the country through the religion, norms, values, and lifestyle. The culture is mixed, with an ethnically diverse society, stemming from a history of inhabitants beginning with the original Taino people.
The Tainos, previously referred to as the Arawaks, have often been described as the earliest inhabitants of Jamaica and the first to have come into contact with the Spaniards. It is said that they originated from mainly Venezuela and Guyana in the Orinoco region of South America and were related to the Tainos of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico (Sherlock, 43; Bercht et al, 18).
Bammy or cassava bread was the staple of the Tainos. First, the cassava was dug from the ground, scraped and cut into small pieces. The poisonous juice was then extracted by pressing the pieces. The “trash” was moulded into cakes and baked on a griddle. The bammies later became an important part of the diet of the Spaniards and the British soldiers, as they would remain fresh for months.
Jamaican Maroons Culture
The Jamaican Maroons are enslaved Africans and persons of noticeable African descent who ran away or escaped from their masters or owners to acquire and preserve their freedom.
Still protected by a 1739 treaty, the Maroons of Accompong, Moore Town and Charles Town proudly preserve their old way of life and locals will happily show you around where land is community-owned, bush medicine is still practiced and old Maroon trails in the hills can be still be hiked.
Jerk pork is an exception and was originated by the Maroons in Jamaica as a way of preparing meat for storage and without creating smoke which could be seen by the British military.
Fish and bammy is a delightful meal! A favourite of Jamaicans, here at home and abroad. It remains an important food item in Jamaica today.
It is taught to sit up straight at the table, along with the ‘elbows off’ and ‘quit chewing with your mouth open’ rules. And there are some other basics rules that are necessary, especially if you plan a lot of eating out.
Do not slurp soup from a spoon: Spoon the soup away when you take it out of the bowl and sip it from the side of the spoon. If the soup is too hot to eat, let it sit until it cools; do not blow on it.
Don’t pick your teeth (or nose): If food gets caught between the teeth and you can’t remove it with your tongue, leave the table and go to a mirror where you can remove the food from your teeth in private.
Don’t be an animal: For some reason, some little kids like to lick their plates after eating, or use their fingers to scoop up the last bit of niceness. This is never acceptable. While it may be cute at home, you don’t want the embarrassment of your little one acting like a puppy at a restaurant.
Sit still: Children five years and upward should be able to sit still for up to half-hour without unnecessary fidgeting. Engage them in conversation and teach them the proper use of the knife and fork, as it’s possible to absorb at this age.
Ask to be excused: You don’t get up and bolt at the end of you meal, nor do you get up to catch that riveting episode of your favourite soap opera during dinner. You should always ask to be excused.
Eat only small bits: Insert only bite-sized pieces in your mouths. No stuffing, no matter how yummy the food.
No eews: Children can be brutally honest, but you must teach them to be diplomatic. If they don’t like something it’s not polite to yell “eew” or to make gagging sounds to emphasise how horrible the dish is.
You can jump-start the table manners process by play acting at home, and not making the whole process seem stiff and boring, at which time you correct mistakes. Note that table manners are taught and emphasized when you eat together as a family at the table with your children.
Allowing them to set the table, allowing them to see you eat with the proper utensils and use things like napkins properly, will make the transition seamless.
It is considered polite to have a taste of everything offered, and finishing every item on one’s own plate is a mark of good manners.
21. #Amazing Facts About Jamaica Miss Lou: The Hon. Louise Bennett Coverly (Miss Lou) is often thought of as Jamaica’s cultural heroine. Louise Bennett (1919-2006) was born on September 7 in Kingston, Jamaica and died in 2006. She was a folklorist, a singer, actress, poet, entertainer and TV personality, a “Living Legend” – a cultural icon, and she made poetry popular with Jamaicans.
From 1959 to 1961 she lectured in Jamaican folklore and drama at the University of the West Indies. In 1965 she represented Jamaica at the Royal Commonwealth Arts Festival in Britain. She became increasingly popular with the Jamaican masses and hosted a TV programme in the 1970s called Dr Ring Ding.
Her contribution to Jamaican cultural life was such that she was honored with the M.B.E., the Norman Manley Award for Excellence (in the field of Arts), the Order of Jamaica (1974) the Institute of Jamaica’s Musgrave Silver and Gold Medals for distinguished eminence in the field of Arts and Culture, and in 1983 the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of the West Indies. (JIS)
She played a large role in the promotion of Patois as a legitimate (and celebrated) means of communication.
22. #Jamaican Immigrants: During the 19th century, many Spanish and British countries helped populate Jamaica with freed African slaves.
Today, many people are direct descendants of these first settlers.
The vast majority of Jamaicans are of African descent, with minorities of Europeans, East Indians, Chinese, Middle Eastern and others or mixed ancestry.
23. #Jamaica’s national motto: “Out of Many, One people,” was made official in 1962. The nation’s motto was announced on April 3, 1962, on the authority of the premier, Norman Washington Manley, and Cabinet leader of the Opposition, Sir Alexander Bustamante. The announcement was made by chairman of the Independence Celebrations Committee, Theodore Sealy.
The original Latin motto, “Indus Uterque Serviet Uni” has been changed to one in English: “Out of Many, One People”. The arms show a male and female Taino (Arawak) standing on either side of the shield which bears a red cross with five golden pineapples superimposed on it.
The crest shows a Jamaican crocodile – the indigenous reptile of the country – mounted on the Royal Helmet of the British Monarchy and mantling, the use of which is a unique distinction accorded to Jamaica by the British.
There are increasing debates about the spiritual significance of the crocodile at the top of the Coat of Arms.
Many people do not understand the connection between the physical and spiritual realms. The Bible talks about the Leviathan Spirit. It is assigned as an enemy among the people of God to bring division, distraction, deception and destruction.
The nearest creature to the Leviathan is the crocodile. In Job 41: 34 it is described as “king over all the children of pride,” and it is pride that gives this spirit access into people’s lives. Its influence is spread through those who are guilty of pride and self-righteousness.
Like the crocodile this is a hidden spirit that can be lurking in the life of a church, ready to strike when given the opportunity. When it is exposed for what it is, it loses its power and hold over people as soon as they repent for coming under its influence.
So there is nothing to fear from Leviathan because our faith is in the victory that the Lord Jesus Christ has already won over all the powers of the devil, the victory that is ours through His blood!
Most people in Jamaica eat it as a breakfast dish. Ackee is a fruit that grows locally.
Jamaica National Dish is as synonymous to Jamaica as Bob Marley and jerk chicken. The island’s National Dish, Ackee and Saltish, can be found across the island in homes and restaurants, and in most major cities in the world where the Jamaican diaspora resides.
The Ackee is from the African country of Ghana, and is said to have been brought to Jamaica by Captain Bligh and so introduced to the plantation owners.
Salt fish or salted cod, on the other hand, is conveniently imported from Europe because it was cured; to this day it still comes from overseas but now from Canadian Provinces such as Nova Scotia, New Foundland and Labrador.
The dish is served with dumplings that are either fried or boiled.
The salted fish is cooked in a small amount of oil with peppers and onions added for taste.
25. #Tourism In Jamaica: started in Port Antonio the eastern resort town in the parish of Portland. This is the most important industry in Jamaica and the base of its economy. Port Antonio is coming back to the place of choice for visitors.
Tourism in Jamaica is common to every other tourist location worldwide, tremendously suffering from the lock down due to the Coronavirus pandemic. As a result, stakeholders are calling for a more unified national COVID-19 response between public and private-sector entities, arguing that anything less could be self-defeating and counterproductive.
The COVID-19 Resilient Corridors is a Government of Jamaica-initiated concept that was developed to protect citizens, whilst restarting a much-needed phased tourism recovery through tightly managed and enforced protocols in controlled geographic spaces.
Of equal importance, the corridors also give health authorities the ability to trace and contain the movement of visitors.
To date, three such corridors are in operation: The north coast (seaward side) from Negril to Port Antonio; The south coast with specific locations from Bluefields Bay in Westmoreland, eastward to Treasure Beach in St. Elizabeth and Mandeville; and New Kingston and its environs.
26. #Departure Tax: An airport departure tax of US$35 is payable when tourists are departing Jamaica. In most cases this tax is included in the cost of the airline ticket (paid in advance).
In addition to a departure tax there is also a landing fee of $US20 for each passenger when arriving in Jamaica. … The official name for this tax is “Tourism Enhancement Fee”. Tourist card. There is no tourist card that needs to be purchased to enter or to leave Jamaica.
27. #Jamaican Hospitality: Jamaicans are big on hospitality, which is why two of the country’s airports have VIP lounges to welcome tourists with that authentic Jamaican vibe.
While many business sectors are comprised of only a handful of different businesses, the hospitality industry comprises four broad segments: Food and beverages, Travel and Tourism, lodging, and recreation.
Hospitality applies to nearly any company that deals with customer satisfaction and is focused on meeting leisurely needs rather than basic ones.
With the broadness of this industry, some defining aspects are important to understanding. The hospitality industry is a broad category of fields within service industry that includes lodging, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise line, and additional fields within the tourism industry.
The hospitality industry is a multibillion-dollar industry that depends on the availability of leisure time, disposable income, and complete customer satisfaction.
Jamaica proudly boasts about having one of the most diverse visitor accommodation sub-sectors in the Caribbean, including world-famous all-inclusive resorts, upscale hotels and villas, and a range of other distinctive tourist accommodations.
28. #Amazing Facts About Public Beaches In Jamaica: One of Jamaica’s top attractions is the public beaches. There are over 50 public beaches located around the island that are open to tourists.
I will introduce to you ten of the most famous of these, they are Negril, Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay, Hellshire (Healthshire) Beach, Boston Beach, Treasure Beach, James Bond Beach, Ocho Rios Bay Beach, Fort Clarence Beach, Puerto Seco Beach, and Cornwell Beach.
Negril Seven Miles Beach: By far the longest and most beautiful beach in Jamaica, Seven Mile Beach makes a compelling case for why it is also one of the best. It is located near some of the most exclusive luxury resorts in Negril and as legend would have it, the beach was once roamed by pirates.
Enjoy the carefree vibe of Jamaica’s longest and most famous beach, where you can relax with a Red Stripe, get your hair braided and enjoy an aloe massage.
Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay: In Montego Bay in the early 1920s, a local doctor Sir Herbert Barker and his friends would take a morning dip in a part of the sea fed by underground streams, which he has convinced had curative properties. Stepping into the water is like stepping into a perfect bath—warm and comforting
Hellshire (Healthshire) Beach in St Catherine: Sea and sand, play second fiddle to the string of fish shacks with devoted following, that line the lively sweep. Choose a fish and side orders from your favourite shacks.
Great music, vibes, and food bring a beach experience at Hellshire together. Start your day off by finding the perfect spot, then scoping the best place to try delicious seafood.
In terms of its physical attributes, the beach has black sand in some places, and you can see the Blue Mountains in the distance. The water is crystal clear, and the beach is usually quite active, sometimes playing host to festivals and concerts.
Boston Beach in Portland: In the eastern coast where the island of Jamaica’s fiery and fragrant barbecue originated. Ride surfer-ready waves for an hour or two, and then reward your efforts with a foil-wrapped, finger-licking feast of jerk pork or chicken, enjoyed best right on the sand.
Treasure Beach in St Elizabeth: Treasure Beach is a hidden gem. It is never as crowded as the beaches on the north coast, giving visitors lots of privacy and tranquility. With no all-inclusive resorts, this small fishing town has been able to retain its charm and personality over the years.
James Bond Beach in Ocho Rios Area: The popular James Bond movie, Dr. No was filmed in this coastal area, hence the name of the beach. Just east of Ocho Rios, the beach itself is a bit small, but you’ll be able to enjoy all the regular beach day activities.
Ocho Rios Bay Beach: Also known as Turtle Beach, Ocho Rios’ marquee strand offers welcomed respite from the cacophony of the bustling town. Enter through the shopping center on Main Street, and enjoy the surprisingly peaceful half-mile-long sweep’s white sands.
Fort Clarence Beach in St Catherine: Although you generally wouldn’t go to Kingston for a beach vacation, Fort Clarence Beach in Kingston is a great choice for families and tourists and includes lifeguards, a parking area, and beachside dining options, not forgetting blissfully white sands and blue seas.
Puerto Seco Beach in Discovery Bay: Just about 30 minutes west of Ocho Rios, you’ll find this full of character strand which includes a park with a waterslide that kids will love.
Cornwell Beach: Cornwall Beach in Montego Bay is not necessarily the largest beach, but it is nice and secluded, and great if you just want to go for a swim. Cornwall Beach is a short walk from the Hip Strip, and you’ll have to pay $5 for access. It is located right next to Doctor’s Cave Beach.
29. #All-Inclusive Hotels: I have identified over 30 all-inclusive hotels in Jamaica. Most of them are located along the North Coast stretching from Port Antonio in the East to Negril in the West.
Jamaica is home to a magnificent landscape of rolling mountains lined by endless white‐sand beaches, covered by lush foliage and crisscrossed by streaming rivers and cascading waterfalls.
Capturing the essence of this enchanted paradise, the all-inclusive vacations in Jamaica feature the warm hospitality and natural beauty this country is known for across the globe.
30. #Robert Nesta Marley: The Life of Bob Marley stands out as a distinguished international Reggae artiste. The Hon. Robert Nesta Marley, more popularly known as Bob Marley, is regarded as one of the greatest musical legends of our time.
Marley’s “Legend” is the highest selling reggae record of all time.
Bob Marley proclaimed and accepted worldwide as the ‘King of Reggae’. Bob Marley charted his own course in the music industry with passion and creativity as a song writer, singer and performer.
He successfully transcended three Jamaican musical genres from the 1960’s through to the early 1980’s – Ska, Rock Steady and Reggae – his most influential musical form. And, after almost three decades since his death, his music is still relevant to millions of people across the globe.
Bob Marley was born in Nine Miles, St. Ann, on February 6, 1945, to Cedella Malcolm and Captain Norval Marley, who was attached to the British Regiment. A child of an inter-racial marriage of black and white parents.
31. #Shaggy: In 1993, Shaggy exploded on the music scene with his debut album “Pure Pleasure.” He followed up with his sophomore album “Boombastic” in 1995 which won a Grammy Award in 1996 for Best Reggae Album.
Undaunted by his success in business and music, Shaggy took on the role of philanthropist and started the Shaggy Foundation. Developed in 2008, Shaggy recruited business associates, fellow recording artists and sponsors to assist in hosting an annual charity event in which all proceeds are donated to the Bustamante Hospital For Children to help defray the cost of medical equipment.
To date, the Shaggy Foundation has raised over $85 million (JMD) for the hospital. Worth a whopping $22 million, Shaggy is the richest living reggae artist.
If Bob Marley were still alive, analysts predict that he would be worth $130 million.
32. #Jamaica Musical Genres: The historical development of Jamaican music is inextricably intertwined with the history of the Jamaican people. The musical genres Jamaica is known for include dancehall, reggae, dub, rock steady, ska, and mento.
In the late 1940s, mento music arose as a unique style of Jamaican music. Mento is similar to Trinidadian calypso and it is sometimes referred to as Jamaican calypso, but it is indeed a genre unto itself.
Mento music is a type of folk music that became popular in the 1950s. It is said to be a major influence for early reggae music, and gained popularity when Jamaican born Harry Belafonte released “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” and “Jamaica Farewell”.
Mento music is extensively used in tourism promotions and its rhythms helped to shape some of the succeeding genres like reggae as I mentioned above. Additionally, Mento is the island’s most indigenous music, having its root in the slave plantation system. It is also Jamaica’s first commercially recorded music.
Ska music took on shape in the early 1960s. Ska eventually became Jamaica’s first legitimately established foundation music, quite appropriately, at the birth of the nation independence in 1962.
Ska combined traditional mento with elements of American R&B and boogie-woogie rock music, which was immensely popular in Jamaica at the time. Ska was a soulful genre which featured harmony singing, upbeat and danceable rhythms, a horn section, and songs that are frequently about love.
Rocksteady music was a short-lived but influential genre of Jamaican music that came about in the mid-to-late 1960s, which differed from ska with a slowed-down beat and, often, a lack of a horn section. Rocksteady quickly evolved into reggae music.
Reggae music emerged in the late 1960s and went on to become the genre of music that most people identify with the music of Jamaica. Reggae, particularly roots reggae, was heavily influenced by Rastafarianism, both lyrically and musically. It included nyabinghi drumming and socially conscious and often Pan-African lyrics re-injecting the music with the distinct sounds of Africa.
Dancehall music emerged in the late 1970s as a modernized form of reggae music. The Dancehall genre, with predominant reggae components, was fully established by 1983. It reflected increasingly violent and impoverished conditions in Jamaica.
Dancehall, also known as bashment, continues to exist as a modern genre, and usually features a deejay “toasting over a riddim,” and has been under fire for years, as slack lyrics (lyrics featuring violence and blatant x-rated content.
33. #How Reggae Came About?: Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. … The immediate origins of reggae were in ska and rocksteady; from the latter, reggae took over the use of the bass as a percussion instrument. Reggae was developed almost by accident after rock steady, which came about after ska.
Reggae music reached more popular international acclaim after singer Jimmy Cliff released a movie called “The Harder They Come” with a powerful socio-political storyline and an equally strong reggae soundtrack.
This sudden global attention and interest in the music paved the way for possibly reggae’s biggest superstar, Bob Marley, to become a worldwide legend, and the name most associated with the genre.
34. #Medium Of Reggae: Since its invention, Reggae has been a vessel for musicians to express political and social views.
While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican dance music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that evolved out of the earlier genres like Ska and Rocksteady.
Bob Marley is said to have claimed that the word reggae came from a Spanish term for “the king’s music”. The liner notes of To the King, a compilation of Christian gospel Reggae, suggest that the word reggae was derived from the Latin regi meaning “to the king”.
The shift from Rocksteady to reggae was illustrated by the organ shuffle pioneered by Jamaican musicians like Winston Wright and Jackie Mittoo, and featured in transitional singles Say What You’re Saying (1967) by Clancy Eccles and People Funny Boy (1968) by Lee “Scratch” Perry.
Reggae music has been tied to the Rastafari movement for many years.
35. #Reggae Festivals: There are more than 2000 reggae festivals around the world each year.
Reggae Sumfest is the number one Reggae Show on earth. The original major week long, dusk ‘til dawn, reggae music festival years ago, was known as Reggae Sunsplash. Reggae Sumfest inherited the mantle of ‘must do’ reggae festival to truly experience Jamaican music in Jamaica.
Here is a link to view 10 of the world coolest reggae shows on display.
36. #Amazing Facts About Jamaica Driving on the Roads: Drive on the left side of the road in Jamaica. You are required to drive on the left side of the road, so if you are a timid drivers, or unfamiliar with such procedure, you should be warned in advance before renting a vehicle.
Also, you should allow for at least one to two car lengths in front of you, in case of wet roads. There is a good system of more than 8,000 miles of paved roads but they are populated by often reckless drivers so care is required.
Driving in rural areas or in the mountains can be quite dangerous, especially in rainy weather. Watch out for potholes and take special care when driving at night as there can often be pedestrians or animals in the road which are difficult to see due to poor lighting.
If you’re going to explore, it’s worth considering renting a jeep for such adventure.
In the Blue Mountains there are a number of narrow and windy roads which you may have to take if you plan on travelling from the south to the north.
Local drivers are unlikely to slow down on these twisty roads.
Watch out if you’re affected with motion sickness too.
37. #Joining The Military: Join As An Officer – There are six steps to join the JDF as an officer: STEP 1 – The first step in applying to join the Jamaica Defence Force as a commissioned officer is to fill out and complete the online application form. Once your application is submitted, you will receive a confirmation that it has been received and is being processed.
Note however, that there is consistently a large pool of applicants to join the service and so it is difficult to say if/when you will be called.
STEP 2 – If your application is successful, you will receive a call and be given Joining Instructions. These instructions will include the relevant dates and times for you to come in and you will be asked to take in a number of documents with you. These documents will include your Birth Certificate, ID, TRN, NIS, and relevant Exam Certificates.
STEP 3 – At the preliminary processing, which is done inside Up Park Camp, roll call will be taken and your documents verified. Here, you will also sign an indemnity form, and be briefed by a Senior JDF Officer.
STEP 4 – Upon completion of the physical tests, you will then be asked to conduct an impromptu presentation to determine your public speaking and presentation skills.
STEP 5 – Finally, you will move on to do an Initial Medical Screening. The JDF has very strict medical requirements and so persons with the following medical conditions will be immediately excluded:
- MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY
- HYPERTENSION/HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
- COLOUR VISION DEFICIENCY
- SICKLE CELL
- HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV)
- HUMAN T-LYMPHOTROPIC VIRUS (HTLV)
- SIGNIFICANT DENTAL CARIES (CAVITIES) OR MISALIGNMENT OF TEETH
- FLAT FEET
- BONE OR JOINT DEFORMITIES
- HISTORY OF MENTAL ILLNESS
- ANY OTHER SIGNIFICANT MEDICAL ILLNESS
STEP 6 – If you are successful at this level, you will then be invited to travel to the Newcastle Training Depot where you will spend two days on a JDF Potential Officer Selection Board, which includes a series of physical, mental, and academic tests, all conducted under the most strenuous of circumstances.
Jamaica has no conscription, which means that military service is not compulsory.
38. #The Largest English Speaking Island: Jamaica is the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean. Although the national language of Jamaica is English, most people speak Patois, an English-based Creole language with strong West African influences.
This Creole has slight variation in different parishes. You can identify the location of a person by their creole accent.
39. #Sports: Jamaica made history in 1998 becoming the first English-speaking Caribbean country to qualify for a World Cup. These are interesting facts most people do not know.
Usain St Leo (Lightening) Bolt, OJ, CD; born 21 August 1986 in Trelawny Jamaican. He is the first person to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records.
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was dubbed “the fastest man alive” after winning three gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, and becoming the first man in Olympic history to win both the 100- and 200-meter races in record times.
Bolt also won three Olympic gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, along the way notching an Olympic-record time of 9.63 seconds in the 100 meters, making him the first man in history to set three world records in Olympic competition.
He made history again at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio with gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter races and 4×100-meter relay; the wins gave him a “triple-triple” — three golds over three consecutive Olympics — though he later was stripped of one of the relay golds because of a teammate’s doping violation.
He is the richest track and field athlete. Bolt net-worth is US$60m and the 32nd highest paid athlete on planet earth.
41. #Amazing Facts About Jamaica Bobsled Team:
In 1988 Jamaica became the first tropical country to enter a Winter Olympic event. It was the bobsled (bobsleigh) event. The movie, Cool Runnings, tells the story of the Jamaica’s first foray in to the Winter Olympics.
42. #Amazing Facts About Jamaica Olympic Winners: Only the United States has won more Olympic and World medals in Track and Field than Jamaica. Our tiny island has managed to accrue a total of 78 medals in the Olympic games dating from 1948 – 2016.
|1960 Rome||as part of the British West Indies|
|1968 Mexico City||0||1||0||1|
|1984 Los Angeles||0||1||2||3|
|2016 Rio de Janeiro||6||3||2||11|
There are very few snakes on the island, they are rarely encountered except in remote areas like the Cockpit Countries. They are usually killed by observers although none of the seven species found on the island are harmful.
Six of the seven species found here are endemic (found no where else in the world).
Some snakes were far more common in the island before the introduction of the mongoose that was imported in 1872 to rid the cane fields of rats.
The mongoose has killed off almost the entire population of snakes.
So running across a snake is a rare occurrence in Jamaica.
Amazing Facts About Jamaica Black Snake. They became extinct in early 20th century mainly resulting from the predatory activity of the mongoose.
Because the Yellow Snake is nocturnal, it hardly comes in contact with the mongoose.
This boa is know as “Nanka”, the island largest snake.
There are three species called Grass Snake, all belonging to the same genus. The two-headed or Worm Snake is another nocturnal reptile whose head and tail are difficult to differentiate.
It is rarely seen although it is in the capital Kingston.
There is a natural fear for snake, and this probably due in part for two reasons: In the past snake was used in Obeah (Voodoo), and other occult practices.
The second reason is deeper than our history, it goes back to the creation of man. The Bible states that the enemy disguised himself as a serpent and caused that broken fellowship between God and man.
The word implies witchcraft, magic, sorcery, evil practices by which supernatural powers are conjured for protection, or for destruction of enemies.
Obeah is still practiced on the island although it was made illegal in 1720.
The fact that the law is still alive is an indication of its continued practice. However, obeah is conducted in secret for a fee.
It is practiced mainly out of revenge, envy, hatred, malice or fear of the unknown.
It can be used to cast a spell on another.
If the victim believes in obeah and becomes aware of what is happening, the person will become ill literally, mentally unstable or suffer in some way; unless a more powerful spell can be sought to take it off, or turn it back.
In extreme cases, obeah can cause death.
Some people believe that the Obeah man can use evil spirits to bring good luck and protection, so their visit is not to hurt anyone but to improve their life.
Since the practice is illegal thus secret, it is difficult to know what percentage of the population believe, support or practice it.
One thing is certain, it is still a thriving art.
People seldom openly admit to their involvement in it, although threating words will be clear indication to another of what is to come.
Obeah might be used to find a thief, discover an enemy or secure success, for example in business, love affair, to pass examinations, to determine a court case or to acquire an American visa.
These beliefs and practices are coming from the plantation era.
During slavery obeah was very much a part of the social life where every estate had an obeah-man or two.
They were revered and feared and well sought after.
From the plantation days it was outlawed and it went underground where it remains to this day.
What is called obeah today exist in many forms and includes many quacks and money-making opportunities.
No doubt in Jamaica obeah remains an instrument of terror to those who believe in it.
45. #Amazing Facts About Jamaica and the Endemic Plants and Animals: The island of Jamaica is rich in biodiversity and has a number of plants and animals that are INDIGENOUS to Jamaica (that is, not brought to Jamaica by people).
Many of these plants and animals are found no where else in the world and are said to be ENDEMIC to Jamaica.
Guidelines for the protection of endemic and threatened species have been drafted and are being reviewed.
Those plants and animals that are in danger of becoming extinct (that is, disappearing forever), are ENDANGERED and should be protected.
These are the:
- Jamaican Iguana,
- Giant Swallowtail Butterfly,
- Jamaican Crocodile,
- Jamaican Yellow Snake,
- Manatee or Sea Cow,
- Sea Turtles,
- Black-Billed Parrot,
- Orchids, and Ferns.
Some people would never think orchids when they think about Jamaica. With over 200 species of Orchids growing wild throughout the island of Jamaica an astounding 73 of the species are unique to Jamaica.
With 1,000 species of trees and 500 species of ferns, visitors are pleasantly surprised to know that Jamaica is one of best place to see wild flora and fauna.
- This is possible thanks to the diversity of environmental habitats available in the island. 46. #The “Doctor Bird”: Or swallow tail humming bird, is one of the most outstanding of the 320 species of hummingbirds.
It lives only in Jamaica.The origin of the name ‘Docor-bird’ is somewhat unsettled. It has been said that the name was given because the erect black crest and tails resemble the top hat and long tail coats doctors used to wear in the old days.
Other schools of thought believe that it refers to the way the birds lance the flowers with their bills to extract nectar.
This green and black bird is the national symbol of Jamaica.
- 47. #Giant Swallow-Tail Butterfly: The second largest butterfly in the world is the Giant Swallowtail.
The Jamaican Giant swallowtail butterfly is said to be one of the largest butterflies in the Western Hemisphere but the smallest subspecies of Papilio Thoas.
- It is yellow and black in colour and has a wing span of up to 20cm.This specie of butterfly is endemic to Jamaica and is primarily found in the eastern end of the Blue Mountains and Cockpit Country.This may be attributed to the fact that they prefer to dwell in remote, undisturbed areas. It is said that they also prefer wet limestone forest.
- 48. #Amazing Facts About Jamaica Rum
Rum is Jamaica’s most famous export. It is an alcoholic drink industrially distilled from molasses which is derived from the juice of the sugar cane.
Jamaican rum is one of the best you’ll ever try. It’s part of the nation’s history since the 17th century.
Jamaica is well-known for rum; in fact, visitors to the island often say that Jamaican rum ranks as some of the best in the world.
Jamaica has over 11 different locally produced rum brands with a wide variety of rum products from light gold rum used in cocktails to dark, spiced, fine rum that must be enjoyed neat! and even the aggressive and, quite frankly, damn dangerous rocket fuel called ‘John Crow batty‘.
Here rum is mixed with just about any other beverage.
Rum punch is popular mostly around Christmas time, but it available at party celebrations almost everywhere
Try rum and coconut water for a very special island drink.
Amazing Facts About Jamaica
49. #Jamaica Exports – The principal exports are aluminum and bauxite, which account for approximately one-third of export earnings. Other export items are sugar, bananas, coffee, yams, mangoes, and other agricultural products.
Sugar, coffee and rum became part of Jamaica’s economy back in 1655, when England seized the island and established a plantation economy. In those days sugar was “King”.
- Beverages, tobacco, rum, mineral fuels, coconut palms and bamboo products, chemicals, waste and scrap metals. The United States is, by far, Jamaica’s main trading partner. 50. #Amazing Facts About Jamaica Jerk Chicken and Pork – It is common
knowledge in Jamaica that Jerk was started in the mountains by the Maroons, who adapted Taino/Arawak techniques of preserving meat. They would hunt wild boars in the woods, which is still a special sought after protein today.
English records exist as far back as 1672 remarking on the high quality of the taste and digestibility of Caribbean vs European pork.
That makes jerk a style of cooking native to Jamaica, in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice.
The Maroons are the African slaves who escaped into the wilds of Jamaica when the British captured the island from Spain in 1655.
Initially the Maroons would cook the pork in pits in the ground with a slow long burning fire. This allowed the wrapped and buried pork to be cooked with some discreetness. This method of roasting the pork would also trap most of the moisture into the meat leaving it tender and succulent.
Boston jerk pork is a world renown delicacy. Previously jerk was brought out of the mountains and down to the beach by the recent ancestors of the current Boston residents. It was jerk pork and breadfruit that were for sale.
Beyond the impact of the jerk marinade, jerk pork was always slow cooked over pimento wood, which contributed to the extraordinary flavor of the meat. Today, wood besides pimento is used to flavor the pork too, including sweetwood and wild coffee.
This is why the most authentic commercial jerk, can still be found in Boston where the pork is still always slow cooked over wood sticks in the jerk pits.
Jerk chicken is very spicy with a smoky taste. This spice comes from having the marinaded in spices overnight and cooked the next day or some hours later. The smoky taste comes from being cooked in a locked container (jerk pan where it is cooked over coals.Jerk chicken and pork are the most common street food.
51. #Jamaican Jerk Recipe:
The most traditional jerk recipe is made of Caribbean red peppers, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, onions, thyme, garlic and salt. But let’s look a typical Jamaican jerk pork recipe:
Jerk Pork is best when grilled over branches of pimento (allspice) wood, or sweet wood, but tasty even when cooked over charcoal.
The pork should marinated in Jerk Sauce and cooked to perfection.
- Jerk Sauce – Buy or make your own
- 5 lb Pork Shoulder (cut up)
- Pimento (all spice) branches or aromatic wood
- Rub the meat with the sauce.
- If using a pork shoulder, make shallow cuts and rub in.
- Marinate overnight.
- Grill at lowest possible setting over a low fire until done.
- Pimento (all spice) branches (this is what is used in Boston Jamaica) mixed with charcoal is best.
- If not, try to use an aromatic wood in the barbecue grill to enhance the flavor.
- Chop meat into pieces, and serve traditionally with hard-dough bread.
52. #The Original Inhabitants of Jamaica: The original inhabitants of Jamaica were the indigenous Tainos who were before called the Arawaks. They are believed to have migrated by canoe from the Yucatan Peninsula in South America about 2,500 years ago. They named the island Xaymaca, which meant ““land of wood and water”.
The Arawaks were a mild and simple-lifestyle people by nature.
The Tainos, grew corn, cassava and yams.
53. #Amazing Facts About Jamaica Imported Crops:
The crops we know today like sugar cane, coconut, breadfruit, otaheiti apple, bananas and mangoes are not native to Jamaica. They were imported to the island at varying times in the island’s rich history.
Jamaica’s imports for January to September 2019 were valued at US$4,816.5 million, an increase of 6.5 per cent when compared to US$4,520.4 million which was spent for the similar period in 2018 according to the International Merchandise Trade (IMT) Bulletin released recently by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica
The main imports are food and other consumer goods, industrial supplies, fuel, parts and accessories of capital goods, construction materials machinery, and transport equipment.
Imports in Jamaica is reported by the Bank of Jamaica.
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