Since Jamaica is coming in a little over a week, I thought it was most appropriate to do 10 fun facts about the land of Bob Marley.
Jamaica is the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean.
Fact 2: Jamaica is the first Caribbean Country to gain Independence.
Fact 3: Rum is the national drink of Jamaica.
Ian Fleming designed and built his home, “Goldeneye”, in Jamaica and wrote ten of his James Bond novels there.
Fact 5: The Blue Mountains in Jamaica are named for the mists that often cover them, which look blue from a distance.
Fact 6: Jamaica was the first tropical country to enter the Winter Olympics.
Fact 7: The national dish of Jamaica is Ackee and Saltfish.
Fact 8: Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean.
Fact 9: Jamaica was the first commercial producer of bananas in the Western Hemisphere.
Fact 10: Apart from the United States, Jamaica has won the most world and olympic medals.
Jamaica's travel areas have four main parts. (see the map)
1. Negril- The quintessential “kick-your-shoes-off, do-as-you-please” resort area with its laid back atmosphere and picturesque sunsets, Negril is Jamaica’s most westerly of resort areas. Dubbed the “capital of casual”, Negril is a popular getaway for those who want an escape from the daily grind – it is the place to pack a bag and run to. Protected by law from large scale developments and high rises, the area has intimate bungalows on the beach besides sprawling all inclusives; pubs with live reggae music and local fare that cater to all budgets and tastes.
2. Montego Bay (MoBay)-Jamaica’s bustling second city, Montego Bay (MoBay for short) is considered the tourist capital of the island. Graced with a modern international airport (Sangster International) and cruise ship pier which can accommodate megaliners, Montego Bay is a thriving city abuzz with activities for every budget and preference. The “complete resort”, Montego Bay has all the very best that Jamaica has to offer including five (5) championship golf courses, boutique and luxury hotels, themed restaurants and gaming lounges as well as picture-perfect white sand beaches. Montego Bay is home to the Hip Strip – a full mile of restaurants, entertainment, shopping, fun and excitement. The resort area encompasses the town of Falmouth with its fine examples of Georgian architecture and the Jamaican Vernacular. The sleepy seaside town of Falmouth dates back to the early 1700’s and was served by piped potable water before many major North American cities, including New York.
3.Ochos Rios- Encompassing the garden parish of St. Ann, the resort area of Ocho Rios is the nature lover’s escape. Fabled to be watered by eight rivers (as its name suggests) Ocho Rios provides a lush landscape of caves, gardens, rivers and white sand beaches. The name Ocho Rios actually derives from “Las Choreras” meaning “waterfalls” and may be a reflection of the many waterfalls in the area. From the Fern Gully located in the remains of an old river bed to the tiered waterfalls of Dunn’s River, arguably, Jamaica’s most popular attraction, Ocho Rios draws thousands of visitors back to arguably the island’s most romantic, picturesque resort area.The “centerpiece of Jamaica”, Ocho Rios provides a range of activities from golf to watersports to equestrian and soft adventure activities. The area is approximately equidistant between the island’s two cities – Kingston and Montego Bay, providing excellent access from both international airports. The birthplace of Bob Marley and Marcus Garvey, Ocho Rios offers a variety of cultural experiences - Marley’s mausoleum at Nine Miles, ReggaeXplosion and Seville Heritage Park all help to chronicle Jamaica’s experience in story and song.
4.South Coast- Small intimate communities, rustic, comfortable inns, fresh produce and provisions are images conjured by the island’s South Coast. The eclectic “off the beaten track” resort area is the cradle of the island’s community based tourism initiatives. Rising in the cool hills of Manchester across the more temperate flatlands of St. Elizabeth, the South Coast is plantations and safaris, peppered shrimp at Middle Quarters and curried lobster at Little Ochie, cold Red Stripe at Floyds and Papaya Daiquiri at YS Falls. It is iconically, Appleton Estate and the unique flavour of Jamaica birthed in the cool, lush Nassau Valley and the people who make it the world’s finest rum.