Jamaica – Sun and Love of Life
Reggae, dreadlocks and sun – Jamaica embodies the Caribbean love of life. An untamed energy, which is expressed in the temperamental music, mixes with the calmness of the sun-drenched island.
Geography - The third biggest Caribbean island
About 150 kilometres south of Cuba lies Jamaica, the third biggest Caribbean island. The undersea elevation Pedro Bank with its archipelago Pedro Cays and the country's most beautiful coral reefs measures 8,000 km² and also belongs to Jamaica. Rugged, steep rocks and limestone mountain chains of about 900 metres height cross the island. In the north they decrease down to 500 metres toward the sea. At the southern coast you find numerous reefs. The tropical climate causes Jamaica to have average temperatures between 25 and 27 °C all year.
Nature - Flowers and birds make Jamaica a colourful place
Lush forests, including tropical rainforest, characterise Jamaica's wild, unspoiled heartland. At the coast, on the other hand, dry forest, sandy beach and mangrove regions take turns. The numerous blooming flowers, for example the many types of orchids, make Jamaica's nature colourful. Equally colourful are many of Jamaica's native birds such as the hummingbird or the green-throated carib, which is the country's landmark. The rivers are home to crocodiles.
Natural sights - Negril's beach and Dunn's River Falls
The northern parts of the coast Montego Bay, Runaway Bay, where you can explore underground caves by boat, and Ocho Rios attract sun seekers from all over the world. The Blue Lagoon near Port Antonio is considered the most beautiful Caribbean bay. The beach close to Negril is also popular. With a length of eleven kilometres, it is the longest sandy beach on the island and offers a spectacular view of the Caribbean sunsets. Another highlight are the Dunn's River Falls. Brave and sporty people fight against 200 metres of raging water on their way up. Worth seeing are also the Blue Mountains in the east, especially because their peaks are shrouded in blue veils at dawn. You can hike and enjoy nature in the Cockpit County, a rugged native landscape in the country's north-west.
Culture - Once hideaway for pirates, now an island full of calmness
Columbus discovered the island on his second journey. Later on, he stranded there and was looked after by natives. From 1655 to 1962 Jamaica was an English colony. It was also known as a notorious hideaway for pirates around 1700, which is still apparent in former pirate castles. Today the country is part of the Commonwealth. Typical of the island inhabitants is their open, hospitable nature. The African roots and music are ever-present, just like the calmness which characterises the locals and takes the holidaymaker out of their everyday life and into a world of relaxation.
Cultural sights - "Great Houses" and the Bob Marley Museum
Some of the houses of the former plantation owners, so-called "Great Houses", have been turned into museums. Visitors can take a trip into the island's past in them. In addition, visitors can experience the Jamaican sense of life and culture first-hand on the colourful markets, plantations - on which sugar cane, bananas and spices are grown - in the botanic gardens with their Caribbean diversity and in the sleepy fishermen's villages. Especially in the capital Kingston, history and modernity create an exciting mix. You can learn about the life of Jamaica's most famous son in the Bob Marley Museum. The metropolis has the greatest natural harbour in the Caribbean. The cathedral, which is over 300 years old, is also worth seeing.
Experience - Celebrating until the early morning
Important ingredients for the preparation of Jamaican dishes: coconut and curry. The ackee fruit is also very typical of Jamaica and you have it with salted fish, for example. Other local specialities are breadfruit, rice, peas, sweet potatoes, rum and many types of fruit. Traditionally the dishes are highly seasoned. You get to know the true Jamaican love of life at night. In the clubs, discos and at the many live concerts people dance and celebrate until the early morning hours. On several occasions throughout the year music festivals take place, which are even known in the international music industry. You can buy the art objects, Jamaica is famous for, almost everywhere: wood carvings, hand-woven fabrics, oil paintings and straw work. Gold Label and Appleton, the country's famous brands of rum, are great souvenirs.
Activities - Beaches offer pure relaxation
Calm, placid beaches offer pure relaxation in Jamaica. The turquoise water with its pleasant temperatures invites visitors to dive. Those who want more action will also get their money's worth in the island state. Several operators offer tours through the country – on foot, by bike or even on a camel. Many kinds of water sports are also possible, for example surfing, diving, water skiing or sailing. In the tourist regions you can also swim with dolphins or descend into the magical underwater world equipped with a diving helmet and walk along the ocean floor. Especially thrilling is cliff diving near Negril – as a spectator or a participant. The great golf courses are also characteristic of the country.
The island is connected to the international air traffic via the airports in Kingston (KIN) and Montego Bay (MBJ). It is important thatvisitors get a vaccination against yellow fever beforehand. You can rent cars in the big cities and at the airport but travelling by taxi or bus are also good options. English is spoken by the population. In late summer and early autumn there is danger of hurricanes.
Jamaica offers everything you expect from a dream holiday – wonderful beaches, interesting cultural treasures and lots of entertainment at day and night. Those who want to dive into the sunny world of the Caribbean are in the right place in Jamaica. The inhabitants' natural calmness helps holidaymakers forget the serious side of life.