• 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.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Jamaica features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

In the footsteps of Bob Marley: a tour of Kingston, Jamaica

In the footsteps of Bob Marley: a tour of Kingston, Jamaica

Kris Griffiths takes a tour of the birthplace of reggae, following in the footsteps of Jamaica's most famous son, Bob Marley, on what would have been his 70th …

18 Mar 2015 • Kris Griffiths insert_drive_file Article
19 fantastic spots for wild swimming

19 fantastic spots for wild swimming

1. Cenotes X’keken and Samula, Mexico Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula is riddled with cenotes, natural limestone sinkholes that are perfect for wild swimming. …

04 Oct 2013 • Alison Roberts camera_alt Gallery
The best street food around the world

The best street food around the world

Jerk chicken, Jamaica When it comes to jerk chicken, there’s no beating the real deal fresh from a smoky jerk hut. Recipes are closely guarded secrets, but u…

04 Jul 2013 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month