"Jamaica" Jamaica by traveldave

Jamaica Travel Guide: 2,494 reviews and 4,971 photos

Jamaica is a beautiful, verdant island in the middle of the Caribbean which has wonderful things to see and experience: a fascinating culture, and warm sunny, weather. The mountainous interior is green and lush, and the surrounding waters are crystal clear and are colored an amazing shade of turquoise blue. Jamaica comes from the Arawak term, xaymaca, meaning "land of wood and water." The Arawaks were an indigenous people who populated the island before Columbus' arrival.

The north coast of the island, from Negril in the west to Port Antonio in the east, has been developed for the tourist trade. There are many world-class resorts which are self-contained, and many tourists never leave the premises. However, the true traveler to Jamaica would find it beneficial to get away from the resort areas and explore the nature and culture of this Caribbean nation.

The interior is sparsely populated, and the small towns are poor and have the feel of another era. Life is unhurried and unaffected by the high-stressed, high-paced outside world. The people are proud and friendly, and always have a smile and a wave for the traveler passing through.

The southern part of the island is well off the beaten tourist path. Kingston is the capital and largest city. Although Kingston itself is not a pretty city, there are several interesting historic sites in and around the capital that a visitor should see.


  • Last visit to Jamaica: Jul 1984
  • Intro Updated Jun 21, 2012
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Reviews (5)

Comments (74)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jul 28, 2013 at 3:08 AM

    I never knew the history of the Maroons, the slaves that were freed by the fleeing Spanish. It’s interesting that the Maroons still control Cockpit County, after all these years.

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2007 at 11:02 AM

    Russians of my age know Jamaica out of the famous in the early 1960th song by Italian teenager Robertino Loretti... Thanks David you reminded me about this exotic for us country!

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2007 at 6:44 PM

    It was interesting to read of your experiences in Jamaica, especially the ganja-calmed Rastafarian on the motorcycle! I too did a few things in my younger days that I would not do now!

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Mar 26, 2007 at 5:53 AM

    Amusing story about the ganja-smoking guide. Well at least you saw a part of Jamaica that tourists don't usually see and you're still around to tell the story.

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Feb 27, 2007 at 8:20 PM

    Great island and page! What about the waterfalls and folk musik?

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2006 at 8:48 AM

    Ah, youth! You are braver than I. Fun reading as I smiled the entire time. Love your open, honest evaluation. It would be interesting for you to return to see how it has or has not changed!

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Nov 30, 2006 at 4:49 AM

    You got a little deeper into the culture on the back of that motorcycle!! Yikes. Youth has its moments. Your observations are on target...enjoyed your page. Montego Bay is gorgeous.

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Feb 7, 2006 at 7:57 PM

    nice page on a west indian island-country. well you did miss seeing something - cricket. jamaicans as part of west indian cricket team will host world cup in 2007. they produced gr8 cricketers in 70s and 80s.

  • pabertra's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2005 at 7:09 PM

    Hey Dave, I've been invited to Jamaica in December and really enjoyed your page. If I go then I'll be staying in rural Mandeville in the south! I plan to travel as much as the island as I can in a week. Best, Paige

  • Paul2001's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2004 at 4:41 PM

    I love jerk chicken! I am surprised I have yet to make it Jamaica. Your page makes it look so interesting.

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