Caribbean Tourism

Jamaica

Negril

Negril, on a seven-mile stretch of pure white sand on the west end of the island, is far less formal than other tourist spots but is still a one-industry town. The town is at the south end of Long Bay; at the north is the smaller Bloody Bay, where whalers used to carve up their catch. The Negril Area Environmental Protection Trust (NEPT) hopes to have the...

Montego Bay

About 120 miles from Kingston, situated on the northwest coast, is Montego Bay,Jamaica’s principal tourist centre with all possible watersport amenities. Known familiarly as Mo’ Bay, it has superb natural features, sunshine most of the year round, a beautiful coastline with miles of white sand, deep blue water never too cold for bathing and gentle winds...

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...

Kingston

The capital is one of the largest and best natural harbours in the world. Following the earthquake of 1907 much of the lower part of the city (Down Town) was rebuilt in concrete. On the waterfront there are some notable modern buildings including the Bank of Jamaica and the Jamaica Conference Centre which also houses the National Gallery. Most of the new...

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...

Black River

Black River is one of the oldest towns in Jamaica. It had its heyday in the 18th century when it was the main exporting harbour for logwood dyes. The first car imported into Jamaica was landed here. Along the shore are some fine early 19th-century mansions, some of which are being restored. At Black River, you can go by boat from across the bridge up the...

Shopping – Mandeville

Westico Health Foods, by the West Indies College, run by Seventh Day Adventists. They also run a vegetarian restaurant behind the church in the town centre, Mon-Fri. Craft Centre, sponsored by the Women’s Club of Manchester, on Manchester Rd.

Shopping – Kingston

In Down Town Kingston, the Jamaica Crafts Market and many shops at west end of Port Royal Street have local crafts. Off West Queen Street is an interesting local market, selling fish, fruit and general produce. Down Town is where Jamaicans shop for bargains, but be careful, particularly in the market, it can be dangerous and you need to be thick skinned to...

Shopping

In the craft markets and stores you can find items of wood (by Rastafarians and Maroons), straw, batik (from a number of good textile companies) and embroidery; the hand-knitted woollen gold, red, green Rasta caps (with or without black dreadlocks affixed) are very cheap. Jewellery from Blue Mountain Gems, near Rose Hall, Montego Bay area. For art and...

History

The Colony When Columbus landed on Jamaica in 1494 it was inhabited by peaceful Arawak Indians. Evidence collected by archaeologists suggests that the tribe had not lived on the island much before the year 1000. Under Spanish occupation, which began in 1509, the race died out and gradually African slaves were brought in to provide the labour force. In 1655...

Government & Economy

Jamaica is a constitutional monarchy. A Governor-General represents the British monarch, who is Head of State, and the Government is made up of a Prime Minister (who nominates the Cabinet), a 60-seat House of Representatives and a 21-seat Senate. All citizens over 18 are eligible for the vote. The judicial system is on British lines. Economy Once one of the...

Golf & Other Sports

Cricket The island’s main spectator sport is cricket, although overtaken by soccer in 1998 when Jamaica qualified for the World Cup. Test matches are played in Kingston. For details on matches ring Jamaica Cricket Association, T9670322. For football phone Jamaica Football Federation, T9290484. Tennis Tennis can be played at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre,...

Flora & Fauna

The land of wood and water has resulted in a botanist’s paradise.The national flower is the dark blue bloom of the lignum vitae. There are many orchids, bougainvillea, hibiscus and other tropical flowers. Tropical hardwoods like cedar and mahogany, palms, balsa and many other trees, besides those that are cultivated, can be seen. Cultivation, however, is...

Entertainment – Kingston

Amusements in Kingston include cinemas and theatres. There is a good School of Drama and several theatre and dance companies. Jamaica Dance Theatre is well known. Theatres include Ward Theatre (North Parade), Little Theatre (St Andrew), The Barn, New Kingston Playhouse, Green Gables, Creative Arts Centre. Watch the press for details of performances. Most...