Jamaica’s 4,400 sq miles comprise a beautiful mountainous interior ringed by a necklace of golden beaches. Once the crown jewel of the British sugar empire, its coastal plains and lofty jungles are still the setting for colonnaded mansions and thriving plantations. The island has been independent for three decades, and cultivation has given way to tourism and many of the mansions are now opulent inns flanked not only by sugar fields but also by golfing greens. The northern beaches where pirates once plundered rum are now beautiful resorts.
Kingston, the capital, is a scintillating hurly-burly of a town, rich with cultural history and museums. Most visitors stay in one of the north coast resort towns of Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios. Farther east, Port Antonio is a peaceful romantic village with wistful traces of colonial grandeur while the south side is wilder with windswept sugar fields, winding coastline, and deserted beaches.
The climate in Jamaica is tropical with warm temperatures throughout the year although evenings are cooler as are the more hilly regions. Rainy months are May and October but showers may occur any time. The lowest rainfall occurs between January and April and the hurricane season is between July and October, though a hurricane may occasionally arise in June or November.