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By Hideaways Staff

SIZE: 4,411 sq. mi. (146 mi. x 51 mi.) POPULATION: 2.7 million LANGUAGE: English CURRENCY: Jamaican dollar GOVERNMENT: Independent parliamentary democracy WEB SITE:

The Many Faces of Jamaica

Jamaica maintains a unique culture, shaped by both its colonial past and its African heritage. It boasts its own distinctive cuisine and a strong tradition of crafts and art. Its hostelries are equally varied, from full-service resorts on expansive compounds and private vacation homes with attentive staffs to a fanciful seaside castle, typical of the delightful surprises awaiting visitors in Jamaica.

The island?s physical diversity is impressive: plains of waving sugarcane; some English-like landscapes; and rugged, rain-forested mountains. The countryside is punctuated by picturesque settlements, the occasional old plantation, meandering rivers, and even mountain cascades. Some of Jamaica?s beaches are long and surfy, but most are reef-protected coves, lapped by languid blue waters and shaded by swaying palms.

Famous for its golf, Jamaica also offers water sports, horseback riding, and, at its plentiful resorts, a multitude of other diversions. On our visits, we?ve shared jerk pork and Red Stripe beer with the locals in a tiny fishing village. We?ve rafted the Martha Brae, picnicked at a "secret" falls, and played with all the toys at Jamaica?s best resorts. And we?ve sampled only a small bite of Jamaica?s vacation menu.

Fall 2001

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