A beautiful land with lovely sandy beaches, rich culture, and a very fun atmosphere, Jamaica is a hotspot for tourists. The land is most popular for being the home of some of the most famous people to ever walk the planet. Beyond that, there are many fun facts about Jamaica that make it such an attractive island.
Historical Facts About Jamaica
It Was Once A Spanish-speaking Country
This is one of the lesser-known Jamaica fun facts since the current common language is English. Between the years 1509 and 1655, Jamaica was actually ruled by Spaniards. Many towns in the country still have Spanish names to this day.
There are also many buildings on the island that were constructed by the Spanish, and many tourists visit them every year for their rich history. The stylings and construction of these buildings are truly special.
Once the Spaniards lost interest in ruling over Jamaica, the English took over and the primary language changed.
The Jamaican Flag
The country’s flag came into existence after it became independent from Britain. One of the interesting facts about Jamaica is that its flag was created through a national flag design competition.
The colors of the flag are gold, green, and black. The gold represents the natural beauty of sunlight in Jamaica, the green represents hope and agriculture, and the black represents the creativity and strength of the Jamaican people.
Jamaicans hold their flag in very high regard and take great pride in it.
Jamaica was the first Caribbean country to gain its independence, doing so from Britain in 1962. Although Jamaica remains a part of the British Commonwealth so they remain under the rule of Britain by tradition alone.
The original people of Jamaica were actually of Taino descent, and they, unfortunately, suffered harsh diseases and slavery. In the 19th century, freed slaves from Spain and Britain were released to Jamaica, and many of them turned out to be the first settlers of the island.
History Of Pirates
With the country’s geographical location, it is perhaps not surprising that this would be one of the Jamaican facts. Port Royal has one of the richest pirate histories, and it was once even on the list of the most dangerous cities in the world.
However, it is now impossible to tell that it was once occupied by the legendary Henry Morgan and his fellow pirates. The Port has gone through its fair share of damage, facing a tsunami in 1692 and then again in 1907, but it is now standing strong.
Cultural Facts About Jamaica
One of the fun facts about Jamaica that you should keep in mind is that they have the most multiple births in the world per year. This means that it is relatively common to see twins and triplets when you visit Jamaica.
Jamaica Is The Home Of Rastafarianism
The Rastafarian movement began in Jamaica in the 1930s, after Ras Tafari Makonnen was crowned as the Negus of Ethiopia. It is a key thing that Jamaica is known for.
This movement is now one of the most popular religions in the country, and it has played a huge part in impacting Jamaican culture.
Jamaica Is Multi-racial
Even though a significant number of people on the island are of African descent, Jamaica still retains a high level of cultural diversity. The country has a population of about 3 million people, comprising people of European, Chinese, East Indian, and African heritage.
English And “Patois”
Jamaica is the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean, although locals have their own version of English referred to as Patois.
Most Jamaicans speak it and it is a language based on English and Creole. One of the important Jamaican culture facts is that Patois is not a written language, although it is widely spoken on the island.
Interesting Facts About Jamaica For Kids
They Have The Fastest Sprinters On Earth
One of the most fascinating facts about Jamaicans is how quick they are.
A significant amount of Jamaica’s popularity is a result of athletics icons, of which there are not much greater than Usain Bolt. The fastest man of all time is from a rural section of the country called Trelawny, where many other Jamaican sprinters also come from.
Jamaica produces some of the finest athletes in the world, and they are third on the list of all-time Olympic medals (only behind the United States and China).
They Love Cranberries
One of the Jamaica interesting facts that you might not have expected to hear is how much they love cranberries. In fact, Jamaica is the highest consumer of cranberries per capita in the world. However, these fruits do not grow in Jamaica so they are imported in tonnes.
Jamaicans love cranberries because of the amazing medicinal properties they provide. The fruit helps to aid digestion, recover from the flu, boost the immune system, and increase concentration.
Fun Jamaica Facts For Travelers
The Milk River Spa
If you have a health problem and are visiting Jamaica, then you might want to visit the Milk River Spa. It is a radioactive spa that is said to have special healing powers.
People travel from all over the world just to experience this spa, although they can only soak for about 20 minutes at a time because the spa is radioactive.
The waters are hot springs rich in minerals that are found naturally in the region. There are many people with testimonies of getting healed after visiting this spa.
Strong Tourism Industry
The biggest industry in Jamaica’s economy is tourism and statistical facts about Jamaica show that the country makes a significant amount of its money from people that visit. It is one of the most popular countries to visit in the world.
The people are also super hospitable, and there are loads of famous landmarks in Jamaica to explore. The country has an amazing collection of resorts and attractions, from beaches to mountains and waterfalls. It is no surprise that Jamaica is considered to be one of the best places in the world for a holiday.
River Rafting Is Very Popular Here
One of the most fun activities in the Caribbean is river rafting. It is a very relaxing pastime that uses poles to move man-made bamboo rafts along river streams. All this is done by the raft guide, while you sit and take in the scenery. It has been one of Jamaica’s most popular activities, and it is definitely something you should want to try out.
Blue Mountain Coffee
If you are heading to Jamaica, make sure you grab some of this stuff before you leave. Anyone that knows Jamaica facts are probably aware that this is the most popular coffee in the country. It is also one of the rarest produces in the world.
It is quite expensive as the demand is incredibly high because of its great taste and strength.
Rum Is The Alcohol Of Choice
One of the surprising Jamaican facts is how much they love rum. Jamaica has the most rum bars per square mile in the world. The island was the first to commercially produce rum for export, years before piracy was even a thing.
If you want to get the really strong stuff, then you should ask for a “Jancrow Batty”. We however warn you that this is the strongest form of rum, and it is literally translated as “vulture’s ass”.
Jamaica also has the most expensive rum in the world, with the Appleton Estate 50-Year Rum, which costs about $4,000 for 750ml.
Common Facts About Jamaica
God Is Number 1
Jamaica has the most churches per square mile in the world. There are approximately 2.75 churches per square mile in the country, and even the Guinness Book of World Records had to acknowledge this interesting fact of Jamaica. People even have worship altars in their living rooms and backyards.
Jamaica is a predominantly Christian country, and this has a heavy influence on its social, political, and educational systems. There are many different denominations in the country, including Jehovah’s Witness, Catholic, Baptist, Anglican, Pentecostal, and Seventh-Day Adventist.
Music Is Number 2
One of the most fun facts about Jamaican culture is that they love music, and they produce the most music per capita. They do much more than just reggae, even though they are widely known for that genre of music. Other music types like ska, mento, calypso, folk, rub-a-dub, soca, and more are also very popular in the country.
Interestingly enough, a significant amount of the music produced in Jamaica is made by foreigners. It is now even a strategy to first launch a new artist in Jamaica before launching them internationally. This happened with Rihanna, Harry Belafonte, UB40, and Steel Pulse.
Jamaica Is The “Land Of Wood And Water”
The first settlers on the island were the Tainos, and they named it Xaymaca. This is an Arawakan word that translates to “the land of wood and water” or “land of springs”. After the island was captured by the British in 1655, the name was changed to Jamaica.
Other Interesting Facts About Jamaica
Jamaica and James Bond
Years ago, Ian Fleming worked for the British Naval Intelligence Division in Jamaica. During his time there, he was inspired to write the James Bond novels. He actually created all 14 of them while living in Jamaica, and the first movie was even filmed on the island.
One of the impressive facts about Jamaica is their success in the world of winter sports. You might not immediately think of snow or even bobsledding when you think about the blistering hot weather on the island.
However, there is a very fascinating story about Jamaica and how it participated in the 1988 Winter Olympics. Luckily, there is an amazing movie titled “Cool Runnings’ that documents the bobsledding experience of the country in a pretty comedic way.
Jamaica was the first tropical country to ever participate in the Winter Olympics, and even though they placed last that year, they remain an inspiration for daring the seemingly impossible.
Discovering More Fun Facts About Jamaica
All of these great Jamaica facts reflect how fascinating of a country it is. It is not just one of the most beautiful places you can visit on Earth, but it is also one of the most interesting because of the amount of history on display.
Furthermore, this is barely touching the surface of what Jamaica has to offer. The hospitality towards tourists is amazing, and there are many great reasons why you should visit this beautiful island. Go on and enjoy their rich history and diversity, you are sure to uncover more exciting facts about Jamaica.