Jamaica

The Island of Jamaica: Travel Guide

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The tropical island of Jamaica, also known as the “land of wood and water,” got its name from the Indigenous Taino people who migrated to the island 2,500 years ago. Its unique history and African heritage heavily influence Jamaican culture. Initially inhabited by the Taino Indians from 1,000 BC., through the early 16th century, their culture thrived until the arrival of Spanish settlers. Due to disease, malnutrition, and slavery, the Taino civilization quickly became extinct. Christopher Columbus and Spanish settlers came in search of Gold and other natural resources, and Great Britain subsequently overthrew the Spanish in 1655.

General Facts About Jamaica

Over the preceding centuries, African slaves were brought to Jamaica, which has contributed significantly to the cultural expressions of music, dance, sports, literature, religion, and art. Here are some general facts about Jamaica that may not have known:

– The capital of Jamaica is Kingston

– Jamaica has a population of 2.9 million

– The official currency of Jamaica is the Jamaican Dollar

– The official language spoken in Jamaica is Creole

Jamaican People And Origins

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The Indigenous peoples’ of Jamaica global contributions to society. The original inhabitants of Jamaica were the Taino Indians who occupied the island as far back as 1,000 BC. Throughout the island’s history, the Taino were subject to disease, and harsh working conditions and its original descendants have become extinct. Interestingly, the Taino have created several words, which are still used in the English language today. Hammock, tobacco, potato, hurricane, barbecue, cannibal, and canoe. The Taino helped shape Jamaican culture as well as many others. The Jamaican people enjoy a laid back lifestyle. Jamaica is considered one of the happiest places on Earth due to the relaxed attitude of the Jamaican people. The phrase, “No Problem Mon” and “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” showcase this relaxed island lifestyle. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of their carefree lifestyle, yet a tropical climate, smooth beats of reggae, and authentic Jamaican cooking may be the cause. Jamaica is considered one of the most relaxed Caribbean countries.

Jamaican Music And Dance

Bob Marley is considered the Father of Reggae music, click here to see how you can visit his house and see one of the best known cultural contributions to Jamaica and reggae music. Reggae music originated in the early 1960s. Mento music predates Reggae and has helped influence its musical rhythms. This musical genre makes use of acoustical instruments, such as the guitar, banjo, and hand drums. There are several styles of reggae today, which include roots reggae, dub, and reggaeton. Reggae is one of the most Internationally recognized musical genres. Jamaican dances are derived from European and African influences. A majority of the dances in Jamaica are centered around religious celebrations. One famous dance in the Jonkunnu, which is typically performed around Christmas time. The Tambu dance is performed primarily for entertainment with a couple facing and moving towards each other. The Gumbay is a type of ritualistic healing dance similar to Myal with extravagant body movements. Jamaica has a wide variety of dances, some popular, and some obscure.

Facts About Jamaican Festivals

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Jamaica hosts vibrant, exciting festivals throughout the year. Some of the most popular festivals celebrated in Jamaica are Carnival and Reggae Sumfest. Carnival is typically observed in March before Easter and features music, dance, food, drinking, parties, and overall a fun party atmosphere. Reggae Sumfest is the largest music festival in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Sumfest is held every year in July in Montego Bay. Reggae’s popularity brings thousands of people to Jamaica each year.

Celebrating Jamaican history at the annual Maroon festival.

During the 16th and 17th century African slaves brought to Jamaica that escaped took refuge in the mountainous interior and isolated themselves. The term “Marooned” found its roots here. During the mid 19th century, slavery in Jamaica was abolished. Many of the African descendants that were marooned returned to the coastal regions. The maroon festival celebrates the peace treaty signed by the marooned slaves and British. The maroon festival showcases Jamaican history and culture.

Jamaican Sports

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Jamaica’s popular sports originated in Britain. Sport is a significant feature of Jamaican culture. Some of the most popular sports are cricket, basketball, football, track and field, boxing, and cycling, to name a few. Jamaican sports go beyond warm climate sports, despite being a tropical island, Jamaica has a bobsled team, as well as a ski team. Jamaica is also home to the fastest sprinter in the world, Usain Bolt. School children in Jamaica are actively involved with sports at an early age.

Jamaica is famous for its track and field athletes. Well known Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Veronica Campbell helped revitalize sports enthusiasm throughout the island. In 2011, Veronica Campbell won gold in the 200 meter World Championships in Athletics. Usain Bolt is famous for having set three world records in a single Olympic game. Usain Bolt is considered the fastest man alive and ran the 100 meters in 9.63 seconds in 2012. Jamaican athletes have collectively won 78 Olympic medals.

Jamaican Culture

The most well-known aspects of Jamaica’s culture are reflected in its various sports and music, followed by its authentic cuisine, and various belief systems. Jamaica has a long, rich history that’s brought to life through its multiple festivals held throughout the year. Jamaica’s cultural contributions to the world have taken this small tropical island nation too places as far away as Alberta, Canada.

Spend Your Holiday Days On Some At The Best Vacation Destinations

Traveling is a beautiful thing and one of the best investments you can make. If planning on the time, it will give you the opportunity to rest, have fun and meet new cultures. And it has never been easier – with traveling agencies offering cheap programs for destinations all around the world you can finally visit the place you have always dreamed of.

Whether it is a capital city holding a historical value, or a beautiful tropical island one thing matters – you should enjoy every second of it! Saying this, we came up with a list of the best vacation destinations out there covering more than few different yet equally attractive ones. Let’s take a look!

Paris, France

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One of the most attractive destinations for tourists around the world has to be the capital of France and the so-called City of Love –Paris. Once there, you will be able to experience the historical value of it while still taking a walk and enjoying the romantic suburbs of Montmartre and Champ-Elysees. You will see the famous Tour De Eiffel and get to take a ride down the Sena river that is especially beautiful at sunset. Whether you are traveling with your family, friends or a partner it is a destination that will never go old and one you will surely enjoy!

Rome, Italy

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Another capital city of Europe, Rome has been a staple of culture and civilization for a few thousands of years. Same as the rest of Italy it features amazing architecture, food and people that will be more than glad to take you for a tourist tour. Visit the Colosseum, eat some pasta and don’t forget to keep it cool and relax. As the old proverb says – all paths lead to Rome. And if you are already in Italy going ahead and visiting Tuscany (with beautiful vineyards, and medieval sighting) is an excellent choice!

Bali, Indonesia

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As Bali is slowly becoming one of the most famous tourist destinations be sure to experience all the treasures of it while it is still partially untouched. You will get the chance to meet the pesky yet funny monkeys, enjoy the white sand beaches, traditional shows, and fall in love with beautiful sunsets! Visiting the Indonesian gem will be one of the best decisions you ever made!

Crete, Greece

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Same as the above mentioned Bali but situated in Greece this is an island jewel. You will get to feel like a god as Crete is thought to be the birthplace of many Greek Gods as well as the European civilization. This beautiful island holds a huge historical value while still offering beautiful nature and the Mediterranean sea you will simply enjoy!

Marrakech, Morocco

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If someone has asked me what would be the best city to go and feel the mix of different countries and vibes I would certainly say Marrakech. This beautiful Morrocan city will take a special place in your heart, and you will be able to experience French, Arab and Spanish influence along the way. Beautiful buildings and even better-spiced food will make your stay a day or two longer than you have initially planned!

Phuket, Thailand

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The island covered with Buddhist temples, beautiful white sand beaches, and water sports options has to be one of the best destinations to spend your vacation days on. Once again the blue lagoons and beautiful sunset that you will be able to experience every day are just a few reasons why you should visit this gemstone. And taking a swim in the Andaman Sea is a must all day long!

Jamaica

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Jamaica is so special that whatever place you visit on the island you are sure to go back with beautiful memories feeling like you are born again. The people there are so nice and relaxed you will have no place for stress, and simply lying on the beach will seem like the most beautiful experience ever. Along with that, you have a variety of nice bars and clubs that you can visit and enjoy the positive reggae vibes that Jamaica has to offer. With forests and unique wildlife everywhere around it is excellent if you are a fun of hiking as well!

Hurghada, Egypt

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Last, but certainly not least is the beautiful place of Hurghada situated in the civilization’s cradle – Egypt. The turquoise water and beautiful beaches are just what you need when on vacation, and you will be able to scuba dive and enjoy the coral reefs everywhere around. Exploring the old town of El Dahar will be a fun thing to do in a day, and the politeness of Hurghada people is something you will be amazed about!

Summary

There are hundreds of beautiful vacation destinations out there, and we only listed a few life-changing ones. It is your choice where and when will you go, but remember to travel and experience life throughout!