Things to Do in Jamaica
||Jamaica's average annual temperature is 80°F / 27°C. The average yearly temperature range is between 78°F and 85°F. Extreme temperatures range from a low of 65°F to a high of 95°F.
Ever since Errol Flynn cavorted here with his Hollywood pals in the 1930s and '40s, travellers have regarded Jamaica as one of the most alluring of the Caribbean islands. Its beaches, mountains and carnal red sunsets regularly appear in tourist brochures promising paradise.Montego Bay
Being the Second City in Jamaica is not easy; it is like being the second child in a family, not always first, not really last, but you get to wear the hand-me-down's from your older brothers or sisters. So not everything gets fixed in time, roads and other infrastructure need repair. HOWEVER we have always been the Tourism Capital of JAMAICA and nobody can take that away from us. Because the Montegonians are proud people, always different from the Kingstonians, the Big City people; we call ourselves "The Republic" and "The Friendly City" and that's what we are.Ocho Rios
The name Ocho Rios, literally translated from the Spanish, means "Eight Rivers" but it could be a corruption of Las Chorreras — the waterfalls, because waterfalls are perhaps the most striking feature of the area.
In fact, Ocho Rios owes much of its fame to Dunn's River Falls, a much-photographed and much-climbed attraction. It is a joy to be in or swim underneath the bitingly cool water of the falls, and great fun to make the climb to the top.
Another very beautiful attraction is Eden Falls at The Ruins restaurant.
Ocho Rios is also famous for Fern Gully, a rocky gorge of tremendous depth which zig-zags for about four miles from the Ocho Rios coast up to the central mountain area of the island. Although it has become rather commercialized in recent years by souvenir vendors, it is still well worth a visit to see the profusion of tropical ferns (over 500 species) and the kind of foliage only to be found in a tropical rain forest. In the deepest parts of the gorge, only faint dapples of sunshine penetrate through the thick foliage and the temperature is about ten degrees cooler.
In the last 20 years, Ocho Rios has developed from a small town to a thriving tourist resort. New beach land, hundreds of acres, was dredged to the south and hotels, apartment blocks, shopping centres and a marina were added to the already well-established old hotels like Jamaica Inn and Shaw Park.Negril
Negril was recently discovered. Even young middle-aged Jamaicans remember when Negril was really nothing more than a lighthouse to guide ships around the rocky western coast, and its population consisted mostly of land crabs... big red ones, good for eating. Tourist accommodation consisted of one house, which could be rented, called Llandtrissant, no doubt built by a Welsh resident in the first half of the century.
Llandtrissant is still there. But it has neighbours... hostelries accommodating thousands of tourists nowadays.
Even after Negril began its first tentative steps on the road to resort fame, it maintained a very low profile, but it was impossible to keep such a place secret and so, inevitably, the trickle of visitors became a flow, and then a flood.
The first to discover Negril's charms were the "Hippies and Flower Children" of the early seventies, who naturally gravitated to the laid-back lifestyle here and related to the warmth and gentleness of the sparse population. Their influx led to the development of Negril's West End on the cliffs beyond the lighthouse.
Hippies were followed closely by the better-heeled visitor whose concept of paradise went beyond a hammock and palm-thatched bohio; so luxury hotels began to sprout. The eighties saw even more expansion as Negril's fame spread and those same hippies, now lawyers, doctors and businessmen, began to return to recapture the idyll for a couple of weeks each year.People
In Jamaica, smiles beam from faces in hues ranging from rich coffee to condensed milk-sweetened cocoa. These warm faces bear physical features that are seldom duplicated. There are small noses, proud noses, strong chins, blue eyes and dark ones too, full lips, fine mouths, corkscrew curls and unruly locks. To appreciate these shapes and shades, and to understand our rich history and heritage, is to think on a global scale.
Nearly every race is represented here – African, English, Spanish, Irish, Scottish, Indian, Chinese, German and Syrian. They came – to conquer, colonise, unwillingly or in search of a better life, settling over time to call this island home. They've jumbled and fused, creating the most extraordinary racial and cultural medley, the Jamaican people.
Offering handshakes, hugs and hearty hellos, Jamaicans are naturally warm, friendly and entertaining. Often our humour cannot be contained by simple smiles, and breaks loose into contagious bouts of laughter and gesticulation. We seldom cry, choosing to laugh instead at whatever comes our way. Reggae pulses through our veins, giving us an innate internal rhythm that fuels our abounding energy and creativity. Our complex past, marked by slavery and the struggle for independence, has made us proud, resilient and strong. We refuse to be restrained, choosing instead to break the boundaries of our small island, gaining worldwide recognition in areas like music and sports.
Jamaicans, although soft-hearted, are sometimes not tactful or overly sensitive, and very often, not politically correct. We always say it like it is. Don't be offended if on the streets you are called "Browning", "Redman", "Coolie", "Whitey", "Blacka" or "Miss Chin". It's the way we acknowledge and make light of our diverse racial heritage.
African and European influences dominate our people. There is Africa everywhere – in the faces of nine out of ten Jamaicans, in our language, food, craft, religions and customs. Europe is here too. The Spanish, English, Irish, Germans and Scots have all left their mark. You’ll see it in our place names, legal, educational and governmental systems, language, architecture and religion. The Chinese, Indians, Lebanese, Syrians and Jews all have pieces of their homelands here as well. They fuel our entrepreneurial spirit while the aromas and flavours of these Eastern cultures waft in our food.
We have transformed the ways, traditions and customs of our foreign ancestors into something so special it could only be Jamaican. We've mixed and mingled, breaking down barriers, to become one people out of many, living one love.Food
Our cuisine is as diverse as our people, as unique as our island. If there’s one thing that Jamaican people love it’s a “likkle bickle”. We enjoy our food, and for good reason too. Here in Jamaica, Mother Nature has blessed us with fertile ground and a near-perfect tropical climate. For instance, we have so many varieties of mangoes that we have run out of names and have simply started to number them. Somehow, everything that grows in Jamaica seems just a little sweeter, just a little more flavourful. Maybe it’s the sun. Maybe it’s the touch of love we put into planting, reaping and cooking.
There’s a lot that goes into Jamaican cuisine. Our people arrived from all corners of the globe, bearing favourite ingredients. But on a small island, nothing stays the same for long, and necessity dictates that everything be modified – creatively, flavourfully, and with a little bit of life in every bite. We use cassava from our native Arawaks, pickled meats and fish brought by the Europeans, yams and bananas brought by the Africans and curry by the East Indians. Put it all together, add some more spice, and what do you get? Jamaican cuisine.
Although many quality gourmet and fusion restaurants around the world use our famous jerk sauce and serve our highly acclaimed Blue Mountain Coffee, most things taste better when they are made here. At Boston, the heavily pimento-spiced jerk leaves a lasting tingle, while Middle Quarters’ pepper shrimps heats the senses with a passionate intensity. Miss May from Hellshire challenges anyone, even the Spanish, to prepare Escovietch fish better than she does. In addition to tasting better, there are some dishes available only on the island. Good luck trying to find Cow Foot Stew or Goat Head Soup anywhere but in a Jamaican kitchen.
So whether you prefer gourmet cuisine or Grandma’s cooking, here on our island you’ll be sure to learn something new, taste something different, and leave full and happy.