Caribbean Tourism

Communication

Dreadlocks to Reggae: Jammin’ in Jamaica

Followers of the Rastafarian cult are easily recognizable by their long dreadlocks. They are non-violent, do not eat pork and believe in the divinity of the late Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie (Ras Tafari). Haile Selassie’s call for the end of the superiority of one race over another has been incorporated into a faith which holds that God, Jah, will...

Culture

Kingston is the main cultural centre of Jamaica. There are two important institutes which can be visited: the African Caribbean Institute (ACIJ, on Little North Street) is involved in research into African traditions in Jamaica and the Caribbean; the Institute of Jamaica (East Street) has historical sections, including Arawak carvings, the National Library...

Crime & Tourism

The impact of tourism on a population of around two and a half million is massive, both economically and socially. Bad publicity abroad or a natural disaster, such as Hurricane Gilbert, can have a devastating effect. The crime rate is high but most of the serious crime is around Kingston, principally in West Kingston. Many country districts and north coast...

Excursions

Kingston Among older buildings of note in the Down Town area are Gordon House (on Duke Street), which dates from the mid-18th century and houses the Jamaican legislature. Visitors are allowed into the Strangers’ Gallery but must be suitably dressed (jackets for men and dresses for women). There is also the early 18th century parish church south of Parade,...

The Road to Mandeville

On the south coast past Black River is Treasure Beach, a wide dark sand beach with body surfing waves, it is one of the most beautiful areas on the island. It is largely used by local fishermen as it is the closest point to the Pedro Banks. There is one small grocery shop and a bakery. A van comes to the village every day with fresh fruit and vegetables....

Spanish Town

Spanish Town, the former capital founded in 1534, some 14 miles west of Kingston (bus from Half Way Tree and from Orange Street ), is historically the most interesting of Jamaica’s towns and in desperate need of funds for renovation. Its English-style architecture dates from the 18th century. Well worth seeing are the Cathedral Church of St James, the...

Port Royal

Port Royal,the old naval base, lies across the harbour from Kingston. It was founded in 1650, captured by the English and turned into a strategic military and naval base. Merchant shipping developed under naval protection and the town soon became prosperous. It also attracted less reputable shipping and in 1660-92 became a haven for pirates such as Henry...

Roads into the Interior

Between Port Antonio and the Buff Bay area there are several roads into the interior from such places as Hope Bay and Orange Bay. It is worth a detour if you have a car, but well off the beaten track and public transport is minimal. However, just to the east of Buff Bay is Crystal Springs with beautifully laid out gardens, a variety of fish in the clear...

Port Antonio

Once the major banana port where many of the island’s first tourists arrived, on banana boats, Port Antonio,dates back to the 16th century. Its prosperity has for many years been in gentle decline and it is now run down, but it has an atmosphere unlike any other town in Jamaica with some superb old public buildings. It is an excellent base from which to...

Ocho Rios

On a bay sheltered by reefs and surrounded by coconut groves, sugar cane and fruit plantations, is Ocho Rios. The town has become very popular, with many cruise ships making a stop here. It is 64 miles east of Montego Bay and claims some of the best beaches on the island. The beach in town is safe and well-organized with facilities, 200 yds from Main Street...

Mandeville

After Bamboo Avenue, the A2 road goes through Lacovia and Santa Cruz, an expanding town on the St Elizabeth Plain, and on up to Mandeville,a peaceful upland town with perhaps the best climate on the island. It is very spread out, with building on all the surrounding hills and no slums. In recent years, Mandeville has derived much of its prosperity from...

Eastern Jamaica & The Mountains

North from Kingston Behind Kingston lie the Blue Mountains with Blue Mountain Peak rising to a height of 7,402 ft (2,256 m). This is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular and beautiful parts of Jamaica and an area which must be visited by keen bird watchers and botanists and also by those who like mountain walking. It is possible to explore some of the...

The Cockpit Country

This is a strange and virtually uninhabited area to the south of Falmouth and to the southwest of Montego Bay. It consists of a seemingly endless succession of high bumps made of limestone rock. The tourist office and hotels in Montego Bay organize day trips (about US$50) to Maroon Town (no longer occupied by Maroons) and Accompong, the headquarters of the...

Communication

Telephone Services Cable, telephone and fax services are operated by Cable & Wireless Jamaica Ltd. It has main offices in Kingston and Montego Bay, but calls can easily be made from hotels. ‘Time and charge’ phone calls overseas cost the same in hotels as at the phone company, but there is a 15% tax and a J$2 service charge. In fact, making an...