As one of countries starting with J, Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean in the Caribbean Sea. The island is hidden behind the two larger islands of Cuba and Hispaniola on which the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic are located. Because of this hidden location, there are fewer hurricanes and tropical storms in Jamaica than in the more eastern islands in this area. Jamaica is part of the Commonwealth of Nations and therefore has the Head of the British Monarchy as head of state.
The island has been inhabited by two Indian tribes since approximately the seventh century AD. The Taínos and the Arawaks, these came from South America. Later, the Caribbean was added. The Christopher Columbus who was the first European to set foot here in 1494. In the years that followed he used this island as a private island. Later, the Spaniards took control of the island and renamed it Santiago. These exterminated the original inhabitants and came to live here themselves together with their slaves. In the seventeenth century, the English conquered the island from the Spaniards. The slaves fled to the interior and settled here. The English built several plantations there and made present-day Jamaica an important source of income. Due to the many disturbances between the various European countries that had colonies in this area, plantations were regularly destroyed, after which the slaves fled back to the interior. This group eventually became so large that the English started working with them and were allocated parts of the country. This group is known as the Maroons. After the abolition of slavery, the former slaves gained more and more control on the island, eventually leading to a form of self-government in 1944. Jamaica became an independent country in 1962.
In the second half of the seventeenth century, the Jamaican city of Port Royal was used as a base for many buccaneers. These buccaneers attacked several mainly Spanish and French ships and cities from here. This made Port Royal one of the most prosperous cities of the then West Indies. Well-known buccaneers who stayed here included Henry Morgan, Blackbeard and Rock the Brazilian.
Jamaica is today a prosperous country in the Caribbean Sea. The country is mainly dependent on tourism, agriculture, fishing and light industry. In the past, sugar cane plantations and bauxite mines were the main source of income. There is also a large illegal trade in marijuan. Jamaica is the second largest producer in the world after Colombia.
Jamaica is mainly known for its beautiful white beaches, unspoilt nature, rum and of course Bob Marley. This Jamaican singer is also known as “The King of Reggae”. This singer and his wife were the face of the Rastafari movement. This special philosophy has its roots in Jamaica. Rastafarians see their movement not as a religion but as a way of life. The Bob Marley Museum is located in the capital Kingston. In his native village of Nine Miles, he is buried in a small chapel on Mount Zion. But Jamaica has more to offer than just Bob Marley. Many tourists who come to Jamaica mainly come here for a quiet sun, sea and beach vacation. Places like Treasure Beach, Dolphin Cove and Negril are popular tourist destinations in Jamaica. Those who would like to see a little more of the country can visit the Black River Black Morass. This swamp, which lies at the mouth of the Black River, is one of the most beautiful nature reserves in Jamaica. Crocodiles and manatees and many different bird species live in this area. Another special natural phenomenon in Jamaica is the Dunn’s River Falls.
Several large coral reefs can be found off the coast. Montego Bay marine park is one of the most popular diving areas in the country. This area is suitable for the more experienced as well as the novice diver.
There are no World Heritage Sites, sites, parks or reserves in Jamaica.
Jamaica has a tropical savanna climate that is very similar to the tropical monsoon climate. But since the average rainfall in March is too little for this, we speak of a tropical savanna climate. This climate is characterized by the large amount of precipitation and the many hours of sunshine that are measured on an annual basis. The climate in Jamaica is partly determined by the Caribbean Sea and the trade wind that blows there. Due to the wind, the average humidity in Jamaica is a lot lower than you would expect. However, this does not apply to the more sheltered inland parts of the country. The south coast of Jamaica is also too sheltered to benefit from the trade winds. The advantage is that you are not bothered by the persistent wind here.
The sun shines here all year round. On average, the sun shines for about 2,500 hours on an annual basis. The average daytime temperature is around thirty degrees Celsius throughout. In the evening and night it will cool about ten degrees. The sea temperature is pleasant with temperatures just below thirty degrees Celsius.
From June to November, Jamaica has an increased chance of tropical storms or hurricanes. Fortunately, most hurricanes pass Jamaica and the few that do make landfall have often already weakened. About twenty hurricanes have passed through Jamaica in the last hundred years.
Jamaica consists of one large main island and two small island groups south of the main island. All these islands are located in the Caribbean Sea not far from Cuba and Haiti. There is no permanent habitation on both island groups, Pedro Cays and Morant Cays. However, there are occasional fishermen when they are fishing in this region. About three million people live in Jamaica, about a third of whom live in the capital Kingston. Other major cities in Jamaica are Montego Bay, Portmore, Spanisch Town, Mandeville and May Pen.
The interior of Jamaica consists almost exclusively of a limestone plateau with the Blue Mountains in the eastern part. The Blue Mountain Peak is located in these mountains, which is the highest point in the country at 2,256 meters. From the higher part of the country some rivers run towards the sea. Some of these rivers find their way underground to the sea. However, almost all the rivers in Jamaica are too small and flow so fast that shipping is not possible. The only exception to this is the Black River which is partly navigable. The coast of Jamaica partly consists of inhospitable rocky areas interspersed with black beaches. In the more touristy places, the beaches are beautifully white and extensive. Several coral reefs can be found off the coast of Jamaica.
The travel advice for the Bahamas has been on the status of being vigilant for many years. This is mainly due to the hurricane season that prevails here from June to November. During this period it is wise to keep a close eye on the weather reports and to keep a close eye on the local news channels. The capital Kingston is known for being violent. Robberies and street robberies regularly take place here. These are often accompanied by a lot of violence. To prevent this, it is wise not to wear jewelry on the street and to take as little expensive equipment with you as possible. Outside the resorts it can be very unsafe. Try to avoid crowds of large people and avoid returning to the same place many times. In Jamaica, only use taxis that are approved by the Jamaican Tourist Board.
To be able to visit Jamaica you must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least six months after arrival. A visa is not necessary if you want to stay in the country for less than three months. Upon entering, you will receive a tourist visa stamped in your passport. There are mandatory inoculations or vaccinations when you visit the island. Only if you have been to an area where there is yellow fever are you obliged to have taken a vaccination against it.
|Phone (country code)
|English and Jamaican Patois
|Time difference summer
|In Jamaica it is 7 hours earlier than in the Netherlands
|Time difference winter
|In Jamaica it is 6 hours earlier than in the Netherlands
|Daylight Saving Time Control