Jamaica is impossible to recognize in a couple of days. To enjoy this amazing island, tourists need much more time than a few days. Holidays in Jamaica – it’s horseback riding, rafting, mountain biking, diving, rock climbing, snorkeling, or just a carefree pastime in a hammock with a cocktail to reggae music on a Caribbean beach.
Geography of Jamaica
The island nation of Jamaica is located in the Caribbean, 145 km south of Cuba and 191 km west of Haiti. Jamaica is part of the Greater Antilles. The total area of the country is 10,991 sq. km.
The state of Jamaica includes the island of the same name, the Morant Keys archipelago and the Pedro Islands.
The central part of the island is dominated by mountains, while the coastal areas are dominated by plains. The highest peak is Mount Blue Mountain, whose height reaches 2,256 meters.
Jamaica is located in the so-called. the “hurricane belt” of the Atlantic Ocean, and therefore the country is sometimes subjected to destructive storms.
According to simplyyellowpages.com, Kingston is the capital of the State of Jamaica. More than 600 thousand people now live in this city. Kingston was founded by the British in 1693.
The official language is English.
The majority of the population consider themselves Christians (they belong to various Protestant denominations of Christianity). Only 2% of them are Catholics and 4% are Anglicans.
State structure of Jamaica
According to diseaseslearning.com, Jamaica is a constitutional monarchy headed by the British monarch. He appoints his representative to the island – the Governor-General. In turn, the Governor-General appoints the Prime Minister of Jamaica and other ministers.
The bicameral local parliament consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The main political parties are the People’s National Party and the Labor Party of Jamaica (two-party political system).
Administratively, the country is divided into 14 parishes, which are historically grouped into three districts.
Climate and weather
The climate is tropical, the average annual air temperature in winter is +25.5C, and in summer – +28C. The climate is greatly influenced by the Atlantic. There are two rainy seasons – May-June and August-October. But even then it doesn’t rain there every day. In general, the average annual rainfall is 1,288 mm (but the distribution of precipitation is uneven across the island).
The best time to visit Jamaica is from January to March (“high season”).
Sea of Jamaica
The island of Jamaica is surrounded on all sides by the Caribbean Sea. There are numerous coral reefs around the island. The average sea temperature near the coast in January-March is +26C, and in June-October – +28C.
Rivers and lakes
There are over 100 rivers in Jamaica, but most of them are very small. The largest of them is the Chernaya River, whose length reaches 73 kilometers. Some Jamaican rivers are great for rafting and other water sports.
The culture of Jamaica was formed under the influence of the Taino Indians, Europeans, Africans, Indians and even the Chinese. The result was a unified modern Jamaican culture.
It is Jamaica that is the birthplace of the reggae musical style. This country annually hosts the world’s largest reggae festivals. The most famous of them is the Reggae SumFest festival, where musicians and tourists come in July.
In general, various festivals and carnivals are very popular in this country. So, every January and February, Carnival takes place in Kingston, the most grandiose Jamaican show.
Other popular local festivals are Caribbean Rum, Wine and Food Festival, Reggie Sunsplash carnival, and Jonkanoo Christmas celebrations.
Cuisine of Jamaica
The cuisine of Jamaica was formed under the influence of the cultural traditions of the local Indians, Spaniards, British, Indians and Chinese. The main food products are corn, potatoes, rice, beans, seafood (lobster, shrimp), fish (perch, tuna, mackerel), vegetables, meat, peas, yucca. When cooking, ginger, nutmeg, allspice are often used.
The national fruit of Jamaica is Akki. Other popular local fruits are mango, pineapple, papaya, bananas, guava, coconuts.
“Akki” is most often cooked with salted fish (cod), vegetables and lard. This dish is served for breakfast along with tortillas and bananas.
Chicken, pork, fish are most often served with Jerk seasoning, which is made from cinnamon, allspice, thyme, onion, green onion and nutmeg.
Tourists are also advised to try “Bammy” – fried flatbread made from crushed cassava root, which are dipped in coconut milk. Bammy flatbreads are eaten as an appetizer or with fish.
Traditional non-alcoholic drinks – coffee, fruit juices, coconut water, “Irish moss” (Irish moss – a drink made from carrageenan seaweed with sweetened milk, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg).
The traditional alcoholic drink is Jamaican rum, which is made from sugar cane.
In Kingston, we recommend visiting the medieval St. Catherine’s Cathedral, Castleton Botanical Gardens, the Royal House, the National Dance Theater and Caymanas Park.
Be sure to also visit the Kingston museums – the Bob Marley Museum, the Museum of National History, the Zoological Museum and the Military Museum.
In the south of the island, tourists are of great interest to the Black River National Park, which grows a large number of various exotic plants, as well as many rare and unique animals.
Cities and resorts
The largest cities are St. Andrew, Montego Bay, St. Catherine, St. James, Manchester, and Kingston.
In the northwest of the country is the well-known popular beach area of Montego Bay, where, along with luxurious sandy beaches, there are excellent opportunities for water sports, diving, outdoor activities and golf.
In the west, there is another popular resort area – Negril, the decoration of which is the 11-kilometer Calico Jack beach.
On the northern coast of the country, the resort of Ocho Rios, surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, is popular with tourists. In the vicinity of this resort, tourists can see beautiful waterfalls and coffee plantations.
If you are interested in a quiet, relaxing holiday, then the best choice is the resort of Port Antonio, located in the north-east of the country. Movies are often shot in the vicinity of Port Antonio, which speaks of a very picturesque area.
The most popular souvenirs from Jamaica are various handicrafts, jewelry (bracelets, necklaces), clothes, hot sauces, cigarettes and cigars, coffee, liqueurs (for example, Tia Maria) and Jamaican rum (for example, Appleton Rum).
Ukrainians can apply for a visa at the airport upon arrival in Jamaica.
Currency of Jamaica
The Jamaican dollar is the official currency of Jamaica (its international designation is JMD). Most large shops, hotels and restaurants accept credit cards and can also cash traveler’s checks. Small shops and merchants only accept cash.
You can import foreign currency without restrictions (you can take out no more than what was imported), but such operations are prohibited with local currency.
You can not import firearms, drugs, vegetables, fruits, flowers. Medicines must comply with a doctor’s prescription. Pets can only be imported if they have received official permission from the Jamaican authorities.
Keep receipts for all goods that you want to take out of Jamaica – they will be useful to you at customs. To take out antique items, rare animals and plants, you must obtain permission from the authorities.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
The interests of Jamaica in Ukraine are represented by the Embassy of Jamaica in Germany:
12159, Germany, Berlin
Schmargendorfer Strabe, 32
Email. Email: Email: [email protected]
The interests of Ukraine in Jamaica are represented by the Russian Embassy in Jamaica:
Jamaica, Kingston 8, Norbrook Drive, 22
924-1048 Email: [email protected]
110 – Emergency Medical Services and Fire Department
116 – Hurricane Information
119 – Police
Behind Kyiv for 7 hours. Those. if, for example, in Kyiv 13:00, then in Kingston – 06:00.
In some hotels and restaurants, a service charge of 10-15% is automatically added to the bill.
Doctors recommend making preventive vaccinations against typhoid fever, rabies and malaria.
The crime rate in Jamaica is quite high. Therefore, we urge tourists to observe reasonable security measures there. Petty theft is quite common in tourist areas. Sometimes armed robberies of tourists are recorded, in which case we recommend not to resist the criminals.
Do not often use ATMs – criminals install skimming devices on them, with the help of which they then withdraw money from the accounts of tourists.