Information on Jamaica - for Beginners

by James
(Edinburgh, UK)

Rafting on the Rio Grande in Jamaica

Rafting on the Rio Grande in Jamaica

Background

Jamaica is a beautiful tropical island in the Caribbean discovered by Columbus in 1494, now with a population of just under three million inhabitants.


The official language is English, but many Jamaicans speak “patois” in everyday life, a base of English, with words taken from West Africa, Asia, Spain, Portugal and France.

Rastafarian Culture


The name Rastafarian comes from Ras Tafari (better known as Haile Selassie) who was crowned emperor of Ethiopia in 1930.

Not all followers adhere to the principles of Rastafarianism, but they are all recognizable by their hairstyle, called ‘dreads’.

Dance


Jamaicans take pride in their artistic style. Influenced by the island's unique culture as well as European culture, American culture, and African art forms, islanders have mastered a style all their own.

Dances found in Jamaica fuse European and African styles to create dances like jonkonnu, bruckins, and the newer ska.

Music


Where would dancers be without music? The most popular form of Jamaican music is reggae, which has a laid-back sound that has gained popularity throughout the world.

Many reggae musicians have grown to international fame, of course most notably Bob Marley, who sang and worked with and influenced many other local Jamaican musicians before his death in 1981. The popularity of reggae continues to this day.

Food


Dining in Jamaica is relatively cheaper than in other Caribbean destinations; however save money, by staying with local specialties including seafood and fresh local produce.

Fresh meats, vegetables and seasonings, making up the majority of food found in Jamaica.

Fruits and vegetables such as ackee are indigenous to the country. Mixed with saltfish, ackee becomes Jamaica's National Dish.

Another popular food is the "jerk" technique; meat marinated in hot peppers, thyme and nutmeg, and served with an even hotter sauce.

Jerked foods are delicious whether served from a roadside vendor or in a restaurant. The jerk huts in Boston Beach near Portland serve up some of the best on the island.

A few favourite local beers include Red Stripe and Dragon Stout, while Wray and Nephew make an over-proof rum that is inexpensive, sweet and strong. Be warned though, it packs a powerful punch.

Climate


With beautiful, warm sunshine and cool breezes, the island of Jamaica is known for its consistently beautiful, tropical island weather.

While temperatures along the Jamaican coast only fluctuate a very small amount, the mountainous areas of the island's interior are quite a bit cooler.

There is a remote chance of a hurricane or tropical storm during the summer season. To escape the crowds, plan your trip to Jamaica during the off-season, which occurs between the months of April and December.

Getting Around


Adventurous travellers, who book flights to Jamaica, can travel on their own schedule by bike, scooter, or car rental.

Bicycle rentals are a great option for travellers whose hotels are in the city and want a quick and efficient way to get around town. It’s a lovely pace to see the sights.

Things to Do

Jamaica has a wide selection of activities from simply lazing on its white sandy beaches to snorkelling, cycling, diving, hiking and climbing.

Culture vultures can enjoy museums, historic architecture to traditional Jamaican festivals that take place throughout the year.

Shoppers can haggle at local markets for traditional crafts while night-owls can go from drinking sun downers in local bars to dancing until sunup in the jumping clubs.

Whatever you decide to do, you’ll find the pace of Jamaican

Written on behalf of Jamaican flights comparison site Skyscanner http://www.skyscanner.net/flights-to/jm/cheap-flights-to-jamaica.html

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May 24, 2012
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The Exotic Jamaica NEW
by: Anonymous

Jamaica is one appealing destination in North America that one cannot miss for the exoticness found there.
http://www.travelhouseuk.co.uk/flights/north_america/jamaica.htm

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