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A fascinating amalgam of African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern influences have shaped Jamaica’s undeniably vibrant culture. Come and explore one of the most diverse and interesting islands in the Caribbean.

Jamaica’s History

The long and varied history of Jamaica has shaped the island we know today.
Jamaica was inhabited by Arawak Indians when the second voyage of Christopher Columbus sighted the island on May the 5th 1494. The first few hundred years of Spanish rule were turbulent times for the island few records remain from this period. An earth quake in 1692 destroyed the then capital Port Royal and a fire wiped out the few remaining buildings in 1704, only the stone forts remain.

Jamaica declared independence from British rule in 1962 and is a parliamentary democracy with a two house system, an upper house the senate and lower house, the House of Representatives.

Jamaica’s Geography

Jamaica is the Caribbean’s third largest island after Cuba and Hispaniola. It has a diverse geography from wide flat plains to the soaring peaks of the Blue Mountains, the highest peak being 2,256 meters high, making it one of the highest points in the Caribbean.

The island was formed from ancient volcanoes that rose up from the sea millions of years ago giving the island the dramatic geology that we see today. A number of national parks have been established to protect the unique flora and fauna that grow on the island.

There are wide and varied types of landscapes to explore whilst visiting Jamaica, at Couples we provide excursions free of charge to some of the more interesting aspects of this fascinating island. Please see each hotels activities page to find out more about what is included.

Jamaican Culture

The culture is rich and as varied as its history and geography. Jamaican culture has spread throughout the world from: hot and spicy food, the world class athletics, the reggae music… the list is long and fascinating.

Jamaican Food and Cuisine

Some of the highlights:

Time Zone

From the last Sunday of October until the last Sunday of March, England is 5 hours ahead of Jamaica. From the last Sunday of March until the last Sunday of October, England is 6 hours ahead of Jamaica.

Electricity

The electricity sockets in Jamaica are the same as in the mainland USA, so if you have an adapter that works in the USA it will work in Jamaica. The voltage is 110 -120v.

Weather

The Blue Mountains split the weather of the island into the upland tropical climate that prevails on the windward side of the island and the semi-arid climate that is predominant on the leeward side of the island. Needless to say the weather in Jamaica is nearly a direct opposite to the weather in the UK and one of the many reasons to make Jamaica your Caribbean holiday destination. Average temperatures in Jamaica never drop below 21 Degrees Celsius throughout the year.

Visas

UK passport holders do not require a visa to visit Jamaica. Other nationalities can check this comprehensive list compiled by the Jamaican High Commission.

Medical care

In case of minor illness or injury, all Couples Resorts have a nurse on property during regular office hours, free of charge. In the event of a more serious matter, there is a doctor on call 24-hours a day. Additional charges may be applied if a doctor is called or prescription is required. Vaccines are not required to travel to Jamaica. Please contact your doctor for more information and recommendations. It is advised that all visitors to Jamaica take out comprehensive medical cover. Good insurance brokers and companies can advise better on the level that you might require when visiting Jamaica.

Things to do and see whilst on the island: