Jamaica is an island in the West Indies and is made up of coastal lowlands, a limestone plateau and the Blue Mountains, a group of volcanic hills in the east. It was inhabited by Arawak Indians when Columbus explored it in 1494 and named it St. Iago. It remained under Spanish rule until 1655, when it became a British possession and was renamed Jamaica. It gained its independence from the United Kindgom in 1962 and has grown to a population of over 2.8 million people.
Jamaica is a premiere destination in the Caribbean. Each year tourists visit to enjoy tropical weather and warm sandy beaches. The main resorts on the island are Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios and the capital Kingston. There is a laid back atmosphere as soon as you step off of the plane. You can relax by the breathtaking beaches or splash in the 600ft Dunns River Waterfall. The island offers world class watersport activities. The local Jamaican Jerk cuisine is not to be missed. Reggae is Jamaica’s most internationally recognized music and the heartbeat of the local people.
Electrical current is 110 volts, 50Hz. Flat two- and three-pin plugs are in use.
The official language of Jamaica is English but a local patois is also spoken, a mixture of English, Spanish, and various African languages.
Dengue fever, Chikungunya and Zika virus are travel health risks in Jamaica, so visitors should use insect protection to avoid being bitten. Pregnant women should avoid all non essential travel until after the pregnancy. There is a small malaria risk, and visitors are advised to take precautions against mosquito bites. Although generally safe, the tap water can cause stomach upsets and visitors are advised to drink bottled water if on short trips. Private medical facilities are of a reasonable standard but can vary throughout the island, and facilities are limited outside Kingston and Montego Bay. Medical treatment can be expensive so insurance is advised. No vaccination certificates are needed for entry into Jamaica, but yellow fever certificates are required from travellers coming from an infected area. Please see foreign office site for any updated information. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/jamaica/health
Outside the all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica, where tips are part of the package, visitors should tip 10-15% for taxis, personal services, room service and restaurants where a service charge is not already included in the bill. Parking attendants, bellboys and porters also expect a tip.