Basic Jamaica Facts
Jamaica Quick Facts
English is the official language.
The official currency is the Jamaican dollar, but some places will take the US Dollar.
Jamaica does not have a standard electrical outlet. You’ll either have 110v or 220v, so packing an adapter is a good idea.
All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport when traveling to and from Jamaica.
The water in Jamaica is, for the most part, safe to drink. Check to make sure it is desalinated and if it's not, then stick to bottled water.
Central Standard Time (UTC/GMT -5 hours)
Peak season in Jamaica is mid-December – mid-April.
Names Used For Jamaica
Jamaica - official name
Xaymaca - name given by Tainos (original inhabitants)
Jamrock or "Sweet Jam Down"- slang name
Residents are called Jamaicans.
Where is Jamaica located?
Jamaica is an island-nation of the Greater Antilles and is located in the Caribbean Sea. Cuba is 90 miles (145 km) north of Jamaica... and Miami, USA is 550 miles (885 km) north of us. (We're the little island coloured red on the map above.) Click here to find out more about Jamaica's location.
Flag of Jamaica
Jamaica's Flag has three colours... black, green and gold. The symbolism of the colours is expressed as: Hardships there are but the land is green and the sun shineth.
Topography of Jamaica
Jamaica is the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean... and the third largest island in the Caribbean.
It is 146 miles (234 km) long and as much as 51 miles (82 km) wide. The total land area of 4,442 sq miles (10,991 sq km) is roughly the size of the state of Connecticut in the USA.
Much of the terrain is mountainous with the land rising above 1,000 feet (305 km). Our highest point is Blue Mountain Peak which is 7,402 feet (2,256m) above sea level.
However, we also have an abundance of valleys and plains, and for the icing on the cake... waterfalls (e.g. Dunn's River Falls) and mineral springs (e.g. Milk River Bath)!
Capital of Jamaica
The capital of Jamaica is Kingston
Parishes of Jamaica
Here are the basic Jamaica facts about the Parishes of Jamaica...
There are 14 Parishes and 3 Counties (Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey).
History of Jamaica
Christopher Columbus (the world-famous jet-setter) visited Jamaica over 500 years ago... and met the original inhabitants. Get a glimpse of what has been happening here since.
Culture of Jamaica
Jamaica culture is an interesting and diverse blend of cultures. It has been strongly influenced by Spanish, British, West African and Asian cultural elements (as well as others) over the centuries.
Government of Jamaica
Here are some basic Jamaica facts about our system of government.
Jamaica's type of government is a constitutional parliamentary democracy. We gained independence from Britain in 1962.
The Head of State is the Governor General - His Excellency the Most Honourable Professor Kenneth O. Hall, ON, OJ. He assumed the office of Governor-General of Jamaica on February 16, 2006.
The Head of the Government is Prime Minister The Honourable Bruce Golding. He is the leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and is the country's eight Prime Minister since Independence. The Prime Minister assumed office on September 11, 2007.
Mr. Golding was preceded by Mrs. Portia Simpson-Miller (Jamaica's Leader of the Opposition). She is the president of the People's National Party (PNP). Also, she has the distinction of being the first female Prime Minister of Jamaica... and was in charge from March 30, 2006 - September 11, 2007
Emergency Phone Numbers
If you have a GENUINE Emergency, please dial the appropriate number:
Police - 119
Fire - 110
Ambulance - 110
Air/Sea Rescue - 119
Hurricane Update - 11