Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean, situated about 90 miles south of Cuba (the largest) and 120 miles west of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic – second largest), and has a population of nearly 3 million people.
From Ian Fleming to Bob Marley, jerk chicken to ackee and saltfish, Blue Mountain coffee to Red Stripe beer, Jamaica is a country that’s as diverse and vibrant as its people. Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world can be found here, as well fascinating plantation houses, rolling hills and lush vegetation with cool meandering rivers that invite you to raft them.
Jamaica actively celebrates its African culture, which can be seen in Jamaican dance, food, music, art and language. Although English is the official language, don’t be surprised to hear locals speaking in patois – a local dialect combining aspects of English, Spanish and West African languages.
The Jamaican people are warm, fun-loving and upbeat, and the island does really dance to its very own reggae rhythm and beat.
Flying time from the UK to Montego Bay or Kingston is approximately 10 hours non- stop. Virgin Atlantic fly from Gatwick to Montego Bay three times a week in high season and twice a week in low season. British Airways fly from Gatwick to Kingston up to three times a week.
Jamaica is an all year-round holiday destination, with ‘high’ season being between December and April, with average temperatures along the coast of about 26°C, usually tempered by the prevailing trade winds.
‘For me, this is where my love affair with the Caribbean started. I visited Jamaica in 1972, stayed in Runaway Bay, saw Bob Marley in a night club in Ocho Rios, was an extra in Live and Let Die, and basically vowed that if I couldn’t live in Jamaica, then I would visit the Caribbean as frequently as I could’ – Mike Williams, co-founder, The Caribbeanist.