An icon of the Caribbean, Jamaica is a wonderfully diverse island, home to glorious beaches, lush rainforests, monumental landscapes and cities full of beat. Behind each one of these magnificent ingredients lies a legendary story, just waiting to be told.
Feel the Vibe
As soon as you step foot in Jamaica, you'll feel that laidback island vibe flow through you! It's an island with rich culture and character, and as it welcomes you with open arms, the sunny energy and feel-good atmosphere of this effervescent idyll becomes ever so moreish.
Whilst many will recognise Jamaica's musical influence as the birthplace of reggae - this genre certainly sits at the heart of the island, with the tunes being heard across big festival stages and reggae bars. You might be surprised at how many hitmakers found inspiration here. Broadway lyricist Oscar Hammerstein's creativity was sparked by the views across Montego Bay not far from Round Hill Hotel and Villas, as he wrote "the hills are alive with the sound of music," and even the likes of Sting and Paul McCartney have journeyed to Jamaica for musical motivation.
When talking of Jamaica's vibrant culture, the food is well deserving of an honourable mention. Channelling the heat of the island in a way that tantalises the tastebuds, Jamaican jerk cuisine has become famous (and a favourite) all around the world. And adding Jamaican flair to farm-to-table cuisine, alongside a hearty helping of love and soul, Stush in the Bush has become a must-do dining experience.
Destinations to Leave You Shaken, Not Stirred
Although very English in temperament, famed Agent 007 is as much a product of Jamaica as he is of the British Isles, thanks to the passion that Bond creator, Ian Fleming, had for the island. In the 1940s, Fleming purchased an estate, in the small town of Oracabessa, which he later named 'GoldenEye' after a secret WWII naval mission. Though initially intended as a second home, Fleming fell in love with the beauty and tranquillity of GoldenEye, eventually making it his full-time residence.
Drawing inspiration from his experiences in military intelligence, the Jamaican scenery became Fleming's backdrop for adventure, with the lush landscapes, sandy beaches and vibrant culture of the island influencing the character's love for mystery, thrills and luxury. Today, visitors can explore Coco Walk, which featured in No Time to Die, Laughing Waters from Dr No and the Green Grotto Caves from Live and Let Die.
Flavours From the Mountain Mist
As well as golden beaches, Jamaica is rich in nature, from lush rainforests and misty mountains to waterfalls and an abundance of spectacular wildlife. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Blue Mountains, which have their own incredible story to tell. History tells that in 1723, when Martinique was a colony of France, King Louis XV, sent a small number of coffee plants to Martinique to be cultivated. Five years later, the governor of Martinique gifted the governor of Jamaica, Sir Nicholas Lawes, a single coffee plant. The plants were nurtured and as more and more grew, the coffee trade in Jamaica began! Thriving in the rich volcanic soil and cooler temperatures of the mountainside, the coffee beans of Blue Mountain are a true product of their Jamaican environment, and by the early 20th-century, Blue Mountain Coffee had gained a reputation for being one of the finest in the world. Today, Blue Mountain Coffee is highly prized for its unique flavour profile and remains a luxury favourite for most coffee drinkers.
Home to some of the fastest runners in the world, and the planet's hottest bobsleigh team, the island's prowess in sport cannot be denied. The most famous of its wealth of sports stars must surely be sprint sensation Usain Bolt. Exploding on to the scene in 2008, Bolt won the Olympic 100m title in style, setting a new world record in the process. Carrying the laid-back vibe of the island nation with him throughout his career, Bolt went on to win a further seven Olympic golds and set two further world records. Widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time, Bolt credits much of his success to the island he grew up on, with its traditional diet of yams, clean air and strong family traditions. It's no surprise that with role models like this, fitness is a big deal in Jamaica.
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