Jamaica is the Caribbean’s third-largest island. Aside from tourism, the country’s economy traditionally depended on bauxite, bananas and sugar, but the markets for all three commodities have virtually dried up, resulting in high levels of unemployment. Most of the beaches are unexceptional, but the country’s interior is extremely beautiful. The Blue Mountains are home to rare flora and fauna; a series of botanical gardens established in the 19th century is eminently worth a visit; and the Martha Brae River (near Montego Bay) empties into the dramatic Luminous Lagoon, so named for its phosphorescent microbes.
WHEN TO GO : The island is sunny and warm, with little variation in year-round temperature. Coastal resorts are quite dry from December to May, though the mountainous interior receives rain throughout the year.
CURRENCY : Jamaican dollar (J$). Fluctuating rate valued at J$85 = US$1.00 as of March 2012. Note: Our suggested hotel quotes rates in US$.
U.S. EMBASSY : Kingston, Tel. 702-6000.
DIRECT DIAL CODES : To phone hotels in Jamaica, dial 1 + 876 (Jamaica code) + local numbers in listings.
The Tryall Club
Residential golf/tennis resort on 2,200 landscaped acres with sweeping views of mountains and sea, 35 minutes west of Montego Bay.
LaCure Villas serves a wide variety of destinations with villas selected with a careful and detailed selection process to include the most private villas in each location.Ocho Rios