Jamaican Sunset © Greg Walters
It's easy to wax lyrical about Jamaica. From the glorious glow of its sunsets, to the unique and engaging ways of its people, its alluring white sandy beaches, lush green mountains and sparkling waterfalls. The beauty of this island paradise has drawn visitors for centuries.
Historically, only the wealthy could enjoy the unspoiled tropical delights of the island. Today, the northern and western coastlines of the island are stacked with tourist resorts and 'all-inclusive' hotels. Natural attractions have been commercialised to cope with the crowds, but somehow this has not spoiled Jamaica. It still presents a magnificent kaleidoscope of colour and beauty that makes holidaymakers sad to leave, and vow to return.
The name Jamaica originates from the pre-colonial native inhabitants of the area, the Arawak Indians, to whom Xaymaca meant 'land of wood and water'. There is little left of the Indian culture after years of Spanish and British rule. Independence came in 1962 to the Jamaican people, who are now a warm blend of different cultures and nationalities.
The Jamaican people are heavily reliant on tourism for their living. Fortunately, they have plenty to offer. This tiny island was home to the one and only Bob Marley. It was here that Ian Fleming wrote his James Bond novels. The clear waters and colourful reefs are perfect for scuba diving or snorkeling. There are fascinating historical sites such as plantations and old Georgian architecture. Everyone will be able to savour the spirit of Jamaica, which is as rich as the lilt of the local patois and the rhythms of the reggae music for which the island is famous.