• The largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean, Jamaica is 235km long, boasts 1019km of coastline and rises up to its highest point at Blue Mountain Peak, standing at 2256m.

Jamaica’s population is almost three million, with a quarter living in greater Kingston.

Jamaica gained independence from Britain in 1962, though it remains in the British Commonwealth with the Queen nominal head of state, represented locally by a Governor General.

Sugar cane, bananas, plantains, mangoes, breadfruit, ackees, bamboo, coconut palms, as well as cannabis, are not native to Jamaica, having been imported by the Tainos, Spanish, Africans, Indians and British.

• The Vatican aside, Jamaica boasts more churches per square kilometre than anywhere else on Earth, over half of them Evangelical Protestant.

For years Jamaica has spent around fifty percent of its national budget servicing external debt, dramatically limiting spending on public services.

Measuring just 6cm from head to tailfeather Jamaica’s bee hummingbird is one of the world’s smallest birds, while the Giant Swallowtail butterfly, with a wingspan of up to 15cm, is the largest in the western hemisphere.

Jamaicans consume four times more rum than beer, with annual domestic rum sales totalling US$200 million.

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Jamaica features

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