Jamaica From Our Xpertz
Jamaicans define enthusiasm. Whether the topic is track and field or politics, the spirit of this island comes out in every interaction. Although the country is well known for its tropical beauty, reggae music, and cuisine, you may find that your interactions with local residents are what you truly remember.
The island is rich in beauty, but a quick look around reveals widespread poverty and a disparity between the lives of resort guests and resort employees that is often staggering. Where vacationers opt to stay in Jamaica depends on factors ranging from vacation length to personal interests. With its direct air connections to many U.S. cities, Montego Bay (or Mo'Bay) is favored by Americans taking short trips; many properties are just minutes from the airport. Other parts of Jamaica can be reached from Montego Bay in 60 to 90 minutes, while eastern areas may be more accessible from the other major airport—in the capital, Kingston.
Some of the island's earliest residents were the Arawak Indians, who arrived from South America around AD 650 and named the island Xaymaca, or "land of wood and water." Centuries later, the Arawaks welcomed Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World. Later, when the Spanish arrived, the peaceful inhabitants were executed or taken as slaves.
The Spanish maintained control of the island until 1655, when the English arrived. Soon, slavery increased as sugar became a booming industry. In 1834 slavery was abolished, but the sugar as well as banana industries continued. Jamaica's plantation owners looked for another source of labor. From 1838 to 1917, more than 30,000 Indians immigrated here, followed by about 5,000 Asians as well as Middle Easterners, primarily from what is now Lebanon. (Today although 95% of the population traces its bloodlines to Africa, Jamaica is a stockpot of cultures, including those of other Caribbean islands, Great Britain, the Middle East, India, China, Germany, Portugal, and South America.)
In the early 1900s the boats that took the banana crop off the island began returning with travelers. By 1960 the tourism industry was the most important form of income, and in 1962, Jamaica gained independence. Along with tourism, agriculture and mining contribute to the island's considerable self-sufficiency.
While You Are There
Our popular things to See & Do 6
Swing through the trees with the greatest of ease on this adrenaline-charged Jamaica zipline tour! Ride a zipline in Jamaica - soar from one platform to the next amongst the tree-tops 45 feet (14 meters) above the ground! You'll feel like Tarzan or George of the Jungle as you ride through the canopy of a tropical paradise!
Enjoy a rough and ready trip in a four-wheel drive! Have the ultimate Jamaica off-road tour! You'll head west from Montego Bay/Negril to the islands interior and discover the beauty, culture and history of this amazing country. Complete your tour with a short walk along the river where you can cool off in the natural pools while discovering hidden waterfalls!
Ride through the waves on horseback! Discover the rich history of Jamaica as you ride on through the countryside. Stop at the beach, where you'll have time to relax before heading into the shallow waters on your horse! Designed for all experience levels, this tour is ideal if you're up for some adventure!
Visit the hidden treasure and the number one place to see in Ocho Rios - Blue Hole. This is a must see when you visit the beautiful island of Jamaica!
Combine two of northern Jamaica’s most popular natural attractions into one Ocho Rios Super Saver! First, visit Green Grotto Caves, where you can see stalagmites and stalactites and admire the pristine underground lake. Then head to Dunn’s River Falls, one of Jamaica’s most famous sights. Swim and play in the pools formed by the waterfalls, climb all the way to the top of the falls if you wish or hang out on the deck located next to Dunn's River to relax! Hotel transport is included for your convenience.
Discover the city of Montego Bay while on this private and customized tour of Montego Bay. Travel the roads, visiting our historical and cultural center, visit a Great House that overlooks the city of Montego Bay, visit Montego Bay old Parish Church, sightseeing and shopping along the way. Make the memories of your preference as you get to know the tropical environment.
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