Fun facts about Jamaica

photo by runkalicious on Flickr

So you’ve decided to spend your holidays in Jamaica, one of the sunniest and most inviting countries in the Caribbean. There are many reasons why a seasoned traveler would want to visit this beautiful island, starting with the unspoiled beaches, natural wonders and adventure tours to the lively cities that are always offering something fun to do. But the reggae capital of the world is not very well known on the international scene, except for the things that made it so famous: music, rum, sand and sea, and a rich history that is at times exciting and at others sad. But there are many interesting little tidbits of information about the island, so if you want to know more about it before visiting, here are some fun facts abut Jamaica.

Geography and politics

Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean, but the largest island in the area where English is spoken as an official language. Among all the Caribbean countries, most (if not all) of which used to be European colonies, Jamaica was the first one to gain its independence, on August 6, 1962. One of the most famous features of Jamaica are the Blue Mountains, the world famous producers of coffee-beans, whose name comes from the mists that cover them in the morning, making the whole scenery glow with a surreal blue light.

Sports and politics

photo by Rod Senna on Flickr

Jamaica might be a tropical country where the sun never seems to stop shining and where you can’t find a patch of snow even in the tallest mountains, but it is still the first Caribbean country to enter the Winter Olympic Games. The Jamaican bobsled team that debuted in 1988 in Alberta, Canada, were not given much consideration at first, but quickly became the favorites. For such a small country, Jamaica has won an incredible number of Olympic and world medals, and Jamaican sportsmen especially excel in athletics.

Cuisine

Everybody knows what is the national drink of Jamaica, but few people are aware that ackee and saltfish is the national dish of the country. Ackee is a fruit that arrived to from Africa, and became an important ingredient in many dishes. Unripe ackee is poisonous, but ripe ackee is deliciously creamy and mild, with a texture that’s similar to scrambled eggs. Spicy ackee sauteed with salt cod, Scotch bonnets and onions is served with boiled green bananas, dumplings or breadfruit for breakfast or dinner.

Economy

photo by 04deveni on Flickr

Jamaica is the world’s largest exporter of gourmet Blue Mountain coffee, but there is more to Jamaican economy than rum. One of the largest industries on the island is bauxite and aluminum mining, as it agriculture (especially bananas, sugar cane, coconut and citrus fruits). Jamaican rum and spices are in increasingly high demand in European countries. Another fun fact about Jamaica is that rum is not the only popular Jamaican drink in the world, because Red Stripe beer is getting more and more fans!

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