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Destination Jamaica, a virtual travel guide to Xaymaca, how the Arawaks, the first inhabitants called their island, "The Land of Wood and Water". Here you will find comprehensive information about Jamaica in its diversity: geography, economy, science, people, culture, environment, government and history.
You will have access to newspapers from Jamaica and you will find extensive travel and tourism information for the Caribbean island.

Land of Wood and Water © Jamaica Tourist Board

Jamaica | Jamaïque | Jamaika

Country Profile

Jamaica Flag
Flag of Jamaica

Jamaica is the third largest of the Caribbean islands, and the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean Sea. Situated 90 miles south of Cuba, 600 miles south of Florida, USA, and 100 miles south-west of Haiti.

In pre-columbian times Jamaica was inhabited by an estimated 60,000 Arawak Indians. In 1494 Christopher Columbus "discovered" the island and claimed it at once for the King and Queen of Spain. In 1517 first Africans brought to Jamaica by the Spaniards. The British arrived in 1655, defeated the Spaniards and claimed the island for the King of England.
By the late 17th and early 18th centuries the island was virtually divided. Colonial planters and their slaves inhabited and worked in the costal plains, while high up in the Blue Mountains there lived fugitive slaves, the free community of the Maroons.
More than 300 years later on August 6, 1962, Jamaica became an independent sovereign state and a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

related countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Spain, United Kingdom

related Caribbean island nations: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico

Where in the Caribbean is Jamaica?

Official Name:

ISO Country Code: jm

Local Time = UTC -5h
Actual Time: Fri-Apr-28  09:08

Country Calling Code: +1 876

Capital City: Kingston (pop. 630 000)

Other Cities:
Montego Bay (pop. 97 000), Negril.

Type: Constitutional parliamentary democracy.
Independence: 6 August 1962 (from the UK)
At Independence, Jamaica became a member of the Commonwealth, with Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. The Queen is represented in Jamaica by the Governor-General.

Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba.
Area: 11,000 kmĀ² (4,247 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Mountainous, less than one-fifth of the land is relatively flat.

Climate: Jamaica's climate is tropical marine. The mountainous terrain, the north-east trade winds and land-sea breezes modify the climate.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Jamaican(s).
Population: 2.7 million (2010)
Ethnic Groups: multi-ethnic society, with blacks predominating - 90.9%, East Indian 1.3%, Chinese 0.2%, White 0.2%, mixed 7.3%, other 0.1%.
Religions: Anglican, Baptist and other Protestant, Roman Catholic, Rastafarian, Jewish.
Languages: English (official), most Jamaicans speak an English-based dialect which is known as patois.
Literacy: 80%

Natural resources: Bauxite, gypsum, limestone.

Agriculture products: Sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, yams, vegetables, poultry, goats, milk, crustaceans, and mollusks.

Industries: Tourism, bauxite/alumina, textiles, agro processing, wearing apparel, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products, telecommunications.

Currency: Jamaican Dollar (JMD)

Jamaica in numbers
Jamaica key statistical data.

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.  

Official Sites of Jamaica

Government of Jamaica
Website of the Cabinet Office of the Government of Jamaica.

Jamaica Houses of Parliament
Site of Jamaica's parliament.

Jamaica Information Service
Information on Government policies, programmes and the activities.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

Jamaican High Commission
Established as one of the first diplomatic missions at the time of Jamaica's emergence as an independent country - London.
Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations
The official web site of Jamaica's Mission to the UN.
Jamaican Embassies and High Commissions Overseas
List of Jamaican Diplomatic Missions Abroad.
Diplomatic Representation in Jamaica
Address list of Consular Missions in Jamaica.

Statistical Institute of Jamaica
Statistics in the island of Jamaica.

Jamaica in figures
Key statistical data of Jamaica.


Map of Jamaica
Political Map of Jamaica.
Administrative Map of Jamaica
Map showing Jamaica with parish boundaries, parish capitals, major cities,
main roads, railroads and major airports.

Google Earth Google Earth Jamaica
Searchable map and satellite view of Jamaica.
Google Earth Google Earth Kingston
Searchable map and satellite view of Kingston, Jamaica's capital.

Map of Central America and the Caribbean
Reference Map of Central America and the Caribbean. 

Jamaica News

Jamaica Gleaner
Biggest national news paper offers Jamaica News and country information.
The Jamaica Observer
Jamaica News.
The Jamaica Star
More Jamaican News.

Radio Jamaica
Bookmark/share this page

Arts & Culture

Institute of Jamaica
Cultural, artistic and scientific organisation in Jamaica.
Jamaica Photo Gallery
A Jamaican online photo album.
National Library of Jamaica
Jamaica's premier library for fostering and promoting the nation's knowledge of its history and heritage.

Reggae Music
The culture of Jamaica is a music culture.

Dread Library
The Rhetoric of Reggae Music.
Dancehall Explosion - The Reggae-Ragga Vibration.
Rootz Reggae & Kulcha
Magazine on Selassie I, Garvey, Marley, Tosh, Rastafari, Burning Spear, Luciano, Mumia.
Reggae Sumfest
Reggae @ it's best - Montego Bay.

Bob Marley
The Spirit of Jamaica.
The Bob Marley Foundation
Manifesting the Message.
Burning Spear
The Official site.
Misty in Roots
English but roots.
Third World
First Class Music from the Third World.
ride di riddim

Business & Economy

Bank of Jamaica
Jamaica Stock Exchange

Jamaican Products
Appleton Rum Jamaica
The world's second oldest spirit.
Blue Mountain Coffee
Jamaican Coffee
The Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica.
Jamaican sugar cane
Processing of Jamaican sugar cane.

Air Jamaica
Jamaica's National Airline.

Seaports Of Jamaica
Port of Kingston is situated on Kingston Harbour, the world's seventh largest natural Harbour.

Destination Jamaica - Travel and Tourism Guides

Official Jamaica tourist information by the Jamaica Tourist Board.

Discover Jamaica
Kingston, Mandeville, Montego Bay and more.
Jamaica Irie
A site for information about tourism related topics in Jamaica.
The site is dedicated to providing you with timely information about the people and the culture of Jamaica.
De web site on Jamaica, a portal dedicated to Jamaican arts and culture.
Jamaica's South Coast
Travel Jamaica's South Coast.
Jamaica Travel Net
Jamaica travel and tourism Information.
What to do in Jamaica
A guide to Jamaica by the Association of Jamaica Attractions Ltd.

Montego Bay (pop. 97 000)
Montego Bay City visitors guide.
Negril visitors guide.

Travel and Tour Consumer Information


National Library of Jamaica

College of Agriculture (CASE)
Northern Caribbean University
University of the West Indies
Mona Campus.

Environment & Nature

National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA) Home Page
NEPA promotes Sustainable Development by ensuring protection of the environment and orderly development in Jamaica.
Jamaica Sustainable Development Network
Sustainable development in Jamaica.
Jamaica Country Profile - Summary
Environmental Concerns in Jamaica
Population increases have put pressures on the land.

Cultural and ethnic groups of Jamaica

Accompong - the Maroon Capital
The Maroon Capital.
Jamaican Rootz History
A brief Jamaican history
The Maroons of Jamaica
The Maroons, escaped ex-slaves who settled in the mountains of Jamaica, carved out a significant area of influence.
The Maroons
Creativity and Resistance: Maroon Cultures in the Americas, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
The Maroons
Windsor Research Centre article about the Maroons.
The Maroons and Moore Town
Article from L.G. Harris a former Colonel of the Moore Town Maroons.
The Story of Grandy Nanny
The woman who became one of Jamaica's founding "fathers"!

Marcus Garvey and the Early Rastafarians: Continuity and Discontinuity
Background history of the Rastafarian movement
Rastafarianism: An Overview


History of Jamaica
An overview of Jamaica's history.


Jamaican Language Site
The contemporary form of Patois.

Speak Jamaican
Jamaica language slang, a Jamaican glossary with Rasta and Reggae words - Yeh Mon!


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