Jamaica

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About

Chessboard in Hotel Garden

  • Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean
  • The country’s name is derived from an Aboriginal Indian word “Xaymaca”, meaning “land of wood and water”.
  • It is located to the south of Cuba and to the west of the island of Hispaniola.
  • Jamaica has a population of 2.8 million
  • It is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas.
  • It remains a Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State.
  • The major religion on the island is Christianity.
  • Jamaica’s resources include coffee, papaya, bauxite, gypsum, limestone and sugar cane.
  • The vegetation along the south and southwest coastal area includes cactus and similar dry-area plants. While parts of the west and southwest consist of large grasslands, with scattered stands of trees.
  • The Jamaican animal life includes a highly diversified bird life, including parrots, hummingbird, cuckoos, and green todies. The wild hog is one of the few native mammals in Jamaica, but there are many reptiles and lizards. The American Crocodile is present within the Black River and a few other areas.
  • The north coast has popular resort areas of Montego Bay, Runaway Bay, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio.
  • The center of the island is mostly mountainous and heavily wooded, with a handful of small mining towns and villages.

HISTORY

  • The Arawak and Taino indigenous people originating from South America settled on the island between 4000 and 1000 BC.
  • Christopher Columbus claimed Jamaica for Spain after landing there in 1494.
  • The Spanish were forcibly evicted by the British at Ocho Rios in St. Ann, and in 1655 the British took over the last Spanish fort in Jamaica.
  • During its first 200 years of British rule, Jamaica became one of the world’s leading sugar-exporting, slave-dependent nations.
  • After the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, the British imported Indian and Chinese workers as indentured servants to supplement the labour pool.
  • By the beginning of the 19th century, Jamaica’s heavy reliance on slavery resulted in blacks (Africans) outnumbering whites (Europeans) by a ratio of almost 20 to 1.
  • In 1872, Kingston became the island’s capital.
  • Jamaica slowly gained increasing independence from the United Kingdom
  • In 1958, it became a province in the Federation of the West Indies before attaining full independence by leaving the federation in 1962.


FACTS

    • National Motto — “Out of Many, One People”
    • National Flag — consists of three colors: black, gold and green. The color black represents hardships overcome and yet to come; the color gold represents the natural wealth and the bountiful sunshine; the color green symbolizes hope and represents Jamaica’s abundant natural resources.
    • National Tree — Blue Mahoe
    • National Flower — Lignum Vitae
    • National Fruit — Ackee: a yellow colored fruit that bears a large black seed when ripe enough for the reddish yellow pods to open. The ackee must be eaten ripe. The fruit is poisonous when the pods have not been allowed enough time to open naturally on the tree. Nevertheless, ackee is a main ingredient of one of Jamaica’s most popular national dishes, ackee and saltfish.
    • National Bird — Doctor Bird
    • National Beer — Red Stripe

Avg. Costs

Jamaica Beach

  • Guided tours 60-100 US (3 hours for various sites)
  • Ocho Rios and Dunns River Falls – 150 US for 1-3 people
  • Mayfield Falls/Mountains  60 US  for 1-3 people
  • Ocho Rios Dolphin Cove – Admission 15 US, Touch 40 US, Swim 160 US
  • Average meal prices – Low 120-300 JD,  Mid 300-800 JD, High 800-1200 JD
  • Average room prices – Low 1000-2500 JD,  Mid 2500-3500 JD, High 3500-4500 JD
  • Half hour of internet 30 JD
  • Half a dozen of mangoes/Bunch of bananas 30 JD
  • Small bottle of rum 430 JD
  • Car rental per day 2770 JD

 

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Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Jamaican Gardens

  • If in need of police, dial 119; just don’t expect them to show up on the spot.
  • It is best to avoid certain parts of the island at night. Rural areas are especially dangerous, and drugs and alcohol are prevalent.
  • Inner-city parts of the island such as Spanish Town and some neighborhoods in Kingston (Trench Town, etc.) should be avoided even during the day. However, those who are interested in the visiting the Culture Yard in Trench Town should be safe if they go during daylight hours and with a hired local guide, which should not be terribly expensive. Be sure to ask for advice from locals before going, and avoid going there around elections, when violence flares up.

 

Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on http://www.voyage.gc.ca/.  Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.

Climate

Jamaica Interior

  • The climate in Jamaica is tropical, with hot and humid weather
  • The higher inland regions of the country are more temperate.
  • Some regions on the south coast are relatively dry rain-shadow areas.
  • Jamaica lies in the hurricane belt of the Atlantic Ocean and as a result, the island sometimes experiences significant storm damage.
  • Temperature ranges from 80º – 90ºF on the coast, and 50º – 60ºF on the highest mountains
  • The hottest months are June – September
  • The wettest months are May – November

Places to See

Port of Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios

  • Two of the most popular beaches in Jamaica are located here – Turtle Beach and Mallard Beach
  • Travelers should be sure to check out the famous James Bond Beach, which is home to the Golden Eye Hotel
  • Don’t forget to visit Dunn’s River Beach, located under the famous Dunn’s River Waterfalls, where the Dunn’s River meets the Caribbean Sea

View Map

 

 

 

Montego Bay

  • Cornwall Beach is lively and happening, offering a variety of concessions and water-sport activities
  • Another great place to visit is Walter Fletcher Beach, which offers exceptional bathing and swimming opportunities that may not be found elsewhere
  • Walter Fletcher Beach has calmer waters; this beach is recommended for visitors with children

View Map

 

 

 

Devon House Heritage Site

  • The house was built in 1881 by George Steibel, the son of a Jewish merchant and a housekeeper
  • Steibel made a wise investment in Venezuelan gold mines, and purchased 99 properties in Jamaica with his earnings
  • Devon House Heritage Site was built on 53 acres of land
  • The house features very formal and symmetrical lines and is furnished with an incredible collection of antiques from France, England, Jamaica and the Caribbean
  • The site, at more than 120 years old, is still hosting events

View Map

 

 

 

The National Gallery of Art

  • The gallery is located in the Kingston Mall and offers sculpture and paintings by Jamaica’s most famous artists
  • Travelers can also stop in at a craft market and pick up a few souvenirs of Jamaican handiwork
  • The gallery is opened Tuesday through Saturday and costs $2USD to enter

View Map

 

Rockfort Mineral Bath

  • The Rockfort Mineral Bath is a natural spring that was created during a 1907 earthquake
  • It quickly became popular throughout Jamaica as a spa
  • There are public and private bath areas as well as a dining area

View Map

 

Bob Marley Mausoleum

  • Resting place of Bob Marley, as well as his birthplace
  • In the hills near the city of St. Ann, you may even meet Marley’s family and friends on your visit
  • The Mausoleum is open daily and costs $15USD

 

 

 

The Blue Mountains

  • Behind the city of Kingston are the Blue Mountains, which are named for their appearance
  • Home to some of the world’s rarest flora and fauna, as well as some of the best biking and hiking
  • Consist of two ranges, the Central Range and the Port Royal Mountains

Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• The most common greeting is a handshake and direct eye contact with a warm smile
• The Jamaicans tend to distrust authority figures
• Within deep friendship you may be asked to call them by their nick name
– Women may kiss on each cheek
• Address people by their title

Business Etiquette:
• Relationships and networking is critical to developing long term business partners
• Dealings with people on the same corporate level are relatively informal
• Meetings are necessary
– Around 2 weeks notice
– Expect some small talk
• High pressure sales tactics may be viewed as confrontational
• They are very direct and will say what they mean
– Bargaining is expected
• Relationships are considered more valuable than rules
• The person with authority will make the decisions

Contributions (3)

  • [email protected] says...

    Ricks Cafe is an excellent place to go to while in Jamaica. It is a bar/ restaurant with a pool, music at night, and cliff diving by locals. It is right on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. The 7 Mile Beach is also another place to seem lined with restaurants and small stand selling jewelery and other souvenirs.

    Posted on Monday, April 30th 2012 at 5:58 pm

  • [email protected] says...

    If you are staying in Ocho Rios, climbing Dunn’s River Falls must be on your list of things to do!! You can challenge yourself by climbing the falls or you can enjoy the beach, food and shops. I recommend climbing with water shoes as you will be climbing on rocks. The cost is about $20USD for adults and $12USD for children. ENJOY!!

    Posted on Friday, August 29th 2014 at 11:35 am

  • [email protected] says...

    Don’t get your currency exhanged at the Airport. Their rates are excessive.

    Posted on Thursday, October 15th 2015 at 11:37 am

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