Jamaica is one of the three islands in the Northern Caribbean forming the Greater Antilles. It is the largest English-speaking country in the Caribbean Sea, stretching 146 miles from east to west. Jamaica is well placed on the world’s major shipping and airline routes.
The country’s name is derived from an Arawak (aboriginal Indian) word “Xaymaca”, meaning “land of wood and water”. And so it is. With waterfalls, and springs, rivers and streams flowing from the forest-clad mountains to the fertile plains, Jamaica has one of the richest and most varied landscapes in the region.
The north coast, with its popular resort areas of Montego Bay, Runaway Bay and Ocho Rios, features fine coral beaches and broad plains where sugar cane, coconuts and citrus fruits are grown. On the western tip of the island is Negril, once a remote, swampy outpost but now a beachcomber’s paradise. The southern region of the island offers a rugged coastline where majestic mountains plunge into the sea.
The center of the island is mostly mountainous and heavily wooded, spotted occasionally with small mining towns and villages. And, of course, there's the famous Cockpit Country in the Northwest region, an eerie terrain of conical hills and deep sinkholes. The central mountain range, dominated by the 7,402-foot Blue Mountain, divides the south coast of the island from the north and extends from Half Moon Bay to Portland.
Negril, is spring breakers paradise, the main resort area on the island's west coast, and extends from the nineteenth-century Negril Lighthouse in the parish of Westmoreland in the south, to Bloody Bay in Hanover Parish in the north.
Negril is very popular and has grown rapidly in recent years. Most of this stems from the early 1960s when the hippies came and set up a colony and establish the town’s casual reputation. Their easy-going attitude remains today throughout the town that stretched for miles along the bay. Resort development is carefully controlled, and no building by law is allowed to be taller than the tallest palm. Apart from the beautiful beaches, the waters offer world-class diving and a wealth of water sports.