In 2019, Jamaica had 4 million tourists visit its country in order to experience the culture of this beautiful island nation. However, while a lot of people have yet to visit this captivating island, there are so many interesting facts about Jamaica they haven’t heard of.
And perhaps, if they knew everything it has to offer, they would be more inclined to visit one day and explore the area themselves. So if you’re interested in learning more about this amazing country, keep reading for some facts about Jamaica you may not know about!
Facts About Jamaica
Jamaica’s diversity comes from its settlers and how they have adapted over the years. From gaining its independence to producing Olympic medalists, it’s safe to say that this place is very unique.
1. Once a Spanish Speaking Country
From 1509 to 1655, the Jamaican country was once ruled by the Spaniards. And that’s why you’ll find many of Jamaica’s towns have Spanish-inspired names to this day.
There are still buildings located in the area that the Spanish constructed as well. Many people still visit these buildings for their rich history. Tourists especially love to view their construction and stylings.
However, the English soon took over the country since the Spanish no longer took interest in this particular place and because there were hardly any soldiers left in the area to defend their rule.
2. Home to Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt is very well known as the world’s fastest man. And of course, his home nation is Jamaica.
He held the record for the fastest hundred and two hundred meters and was a recognized olympian all over the world. In fact, he is an eight-time Olympic medalist and retired in 2017.
Jamaica is also home to Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell, two highly regarded sprinters as well. Many credit the Jamaican’s diet and history to their speed and why they are some of the fastest men in the world.
3. Milk River Spa
Milk River is a radioactive spa that people travel to from all over the world. According to the people of Jamaica, it has healing powers that help with a wide variety of health problems.
And since it’s radioactive, people are only allowed to soak for no more than 20 minutes at a time.
These “healing waters” are mineral-rich hot springs that are naturally found in the area. And many claim that they have received therapeutic healing from them in some form.
Tourism is Jamaica’s most important economic industry. Meaning, the country makes most of its money from the people who visit. And it is also one of the most popular places to visit in the world.
And because the people are so hospitable, many return year after year. People love to explore the 50 public beaches around the island for their beauty.
And when tourists leave the island, they’re charged a mandatory departure tax of $22.
5. James Bond Novels
Ian Fleming was once working for the Naval Intelligence Division for Britain but was located in Jamaica. And his operation was named “Goldeneye.” Soon after he decided to extend his time in Jamaica and bought land to live on.
So that’s when the inspiration for the James Bond novels came into play. He created all 14 James Bond novels while living in Jamaica. Additionally, the first movie was also filmed here.
6. Jamaican Flag
The Jamaican flag came into existence when Jamaica gained its independence from Britain. And many don’t know, but it actually came from a national flag design competition. It consists of gold, green, and black.
The gold stands for Jamaica’s natural beauty of sunlight. The green stands for agriculture and hope. And the black stands for the strength and creativity of its people.
Jamaicans take great pride in their flag and hold it to a high standard when flown.
7. Bobsled Team
When you think of Jamaica, the last thing you think of is snow. And it’s known for its drastically hot weather as well. But for some reason, they were very determined to create a bobsled team.
They were the first tropical country to participate in the Winter Olympics. And in 1988 they had their own Olympic team. Sadly, they placed last but had a noble effort.
However, they went on to win a gold medal at the World Push Championship in Monaco in 2000.
Plus, the film “Cool Runnings” was inspired and later became a box office hit.
Jamaica has the most churches in the world per square mile in its small town. In fact, the National Library of Jamaica says that there are about 2.75 churches per square mile. And it is also a recognized record held by the Guinness World Book of Records.
With over 1,600 churches in the area, it’s safe to say that Jamaicans take their Christianity in a serious way. However, there is no set religion amongst the people as many participate in Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, and other religious beliefs.
9. Multiple Births
When visiting Jamaica, you may notice a lot of people look almost exactly alike. And while this may seem strange, it’s no reason to worry.
That’s because Jamaica is home to the most multiple births in the world per year. Meaning, that mothers have more than two babies at once very often.
10. Rum Bars
Jamaica is also famous for having the most rum bars per square mile. And that’s because Jamaica was the first place to produce rum for export before piracy.
Rum is used for drinking, cooking, and first aid in Jamaica. And don’t underestimate it when drinking. It is extremely potent and even banned in some places.
It’s also famous for having the most expensive rum in the world. It’s called Appleton Estate 50-Year Rum and costs over $4,000 per 750ml.
11. Blue Mountain Coffee
Blue Mountain Coffee is a very expensive coffee that’s produced in Jamaica. So many people try to get their hands on this since it’s so popular.
However, it is one of the rarest coffees in the world and that’s what makes it so expensive. People want it for its taste and strength.
12. English Speaking
In the Caribbean, Jamaica is the largest English-speaking island. And since the national language is English, the locals have derived their own versions.
Known as Patois, most Jamaicans speak this. It is a language that English and Creole based. It also has strong West African hints and influences. And Louise Bennett Coverly is credited with the promotion of Patois. She established it as a real way of communicating and is also seen as one of Jamaica’s most regarded cultural people.
Another fun fact is that even though Creole or Patois is commonly spoken, they are not written languages. Jamaica even became the first English-speaking Caribbean country that qualified to play in the World Cup.
Jamaica gained its independence in 1962 from Britain. In fact, it was the first Caribbean country to do so.
However, they chose to stay a member of the British Commonwealth. Therefore, remaining under Queen Elizabeth II by tradition only.
The original people of Jamaica were of Taino descent. However, they were nearly all victims of disease and slavery.
And during the 19th century, Jamaica was populated with the freed slaves from the British and Spanish. And many of those freed slaves were the first settlers of the area.
14. Imported Cranberry
Cranberry is considered to be a luxury and is very popular among the locals since it does not grow in the area. Therefore, it has to be imported for the people to enjoy.
Many Jamaicans enjoy it for its taste and thirst-quenching properties. However, they also use their organic nature for sickness, digestion, or an immune booster.
As Britain was the first country to build the railroad, most people don’t know that Jamaica would soon build its own. And 18 years later, they had constructed a fully functional railway even though they were considered to be a third-world country.
They were the first Western country to do so that was outside of Europe and North America. Plus, this was done way before the United States was able to construct its own.
Interesting Facts About Jamaica
All of these facts about Jamaica are more of a reason to visit one day in the future! You’ll be so immersed in learning more and more about the country itself.
And once you take a deep dive into the area, you’ll find even more interesting facts about Jamaica to explore. Its culture and people are rich in diversity, which makes it such an exciting place.
And don’t forget to visit our site when traveling to your next destination for any tips and tricks you might need! We will assist you with everything you’ll ever need to know about your next adventure!
Plan Your Trip to Jamaica With These Resources
- Jamaican Food – 20 Traditional Dishes You Have To Try
- 33 Of The Best Things To Do In Jamaica
- 22 Things To Do In Montego Bay
- Green Grotto Caves – The Natural Beauty Of Runaway Bay
- Swimming With Horses In Jamaica
- 11 Reasons Why Couples Will Love A Honeymoon In Jamaica
- The Best All-Inclusive Resorts for Adults in Jamaica