Did you know...
The Jamaican flag came from a national competition. The green represents the lush landscape, the yellow for the golden sunshine and the black represents the strength and creativity of the Jamaican people.
Author Ian Fleming designed and built his house in Ocho Rios and called it ‘Goldeneye’. It was here that the 007agent was created as the famous author went on to write 10 James Bond novels.
In 1994 Jamaica was the first country in the Caribbean to launch a website. The website was – Jamaicatravel.com.
Most people know that Britain was the first to build
Fact 4rail-road but, what many don’t know is that eighteen years later Jamaica built theirs. Considering Jamaica is known as a third world country they still managed to construct a rail-road well before the United States.a
Jamaica is home to the world’s fastest man – Usain Bolt. This famous athlete was also the first man to hold the world record for the fastest hundred and two hundred metres.
Jamaica is known for its hot weather, so the coldest temperatures here will be found in a fridge. But despite its toasty climate, they debuted their bobsled team in the 1988 Winter Olympics. Unfortunately, they came in last but it did inspire the film ‘Cool Runnings’.
Fact 7not finding a snake in Jamaica is very rare. In 1872 Jamaica imported the mongoose to rid the cane fields of rats, and as an added extra they have almost wiped out Jamaica’s snake population. Therefore, coming across a slithering snake is a very exceptional find.or
In 1962 Jamaica became the first country in the Caribbean to gain independence. They chose to remain a member of the British Commonwealth, making Queen Elizabeth II the Queen of Jamaica but only by tradition.
With over 1,600 churches Jamaica has the most churches in the world. So, trying to find a church in Jamaica is never a problem.
Jamaica is home to the world’s most radioactive spa – Milk River. According to many of
Fact 10locals this spa has healing powers, so people who suffer from arthritis, sciatica and nerve problems tend to come here to bathe in these soothing waters. Watch out though, visitors can only soak in these waters for 10 to 20 minutes due to the heat of the water.the
If you think you’re seeing double when you’re in Jamaica that’s most probably because you are. No need to rush to the opticians to get an eye test because Jamaica is known to have more multiple births than anywhere else in the world.
Antigua & Barbuda
Did you know...
1. Very Popular Foods
If you plan to visit Antigua and Barbuda, then learn to eat their very popular foods. Their most popular foods include the following: rice pudding, salt fish andantrobers, bull foot soup, souse, maw, goat water, cockle water, conch water, and Dukuna. I'd say that is cool.
2. Conservative View Of Dressing
The country is mostly Christian; therefore they have a very conservative view of dressing. The only places where beachwear is allowed is when you are in your hotel or villa. In fact, even some hotels have strict dress codes. So you need to check and be sure before you book.
3. Hierarchical Tradition
The tradition of Antigua and Barbuda is hierarchical. There are five distinct social hierarchies in the country that has existed since the British arrival and colonization eons ago. They are top to bottom: the British, the Mulatos, the Portuguese, the Middle Easterners, and the Afro-Antiguans.
4. African-Style Family Life
In the country, family life among the afro-Antiguans tends to be more like it is in African countries, especially the West African countries. However, traces of western styles of family life can be seen in a number of family settings.
5. Greeting Is Utmost
In Antigua and Barbuda, greeting is of utmost importance. If you enter any shop or restaurant and do not greet first, but rush into making your requests, you not be attended to immediately. And when you are finally attended to, the cool part is that it will not be to your satisfaction.
6. Marriage Process Drags
Marriage among the black working class is much the same as you would see in most African countries. The only aspect that has been lost over the years is the payment of bride price. However, the African view of a marriage being a process that runs for many years has been retained.
7. NO-NO To Topless Sunbathing
Topless sunbathing is not always allowed. In fact, to the average Antiguan, topless sunbathing is a NO-NO! However, here is the cool aspect: topless sunbathing is allowed in a number of hotels. It is your responsibility to check and make sure of which ones before booking/checking-in.
8. The Marriage Process
The marriage process begins when the young couple begins what the country now calls the visiting relationship. The visiting relationship soon develops into co-residential. After a while, this relationship culminates in a formal marriage ceremony.
9. Nudist Beach
On top of all the Antiguan strictness concerning dress codes, there is a nudist beach! Is that not amazing? The nudist beach is at the Hawksbill Resort on the North West Coast. It is the 4th beach away from the hotel and it is quite safe from peeping eyes. Hmmm...cool!
10. Matrifocal Black Community
Another area that the Antiguan black community lifestyle is very like that of many African families is that they are matrifocal. This means the focus centres on the mothers' lineage. As a result, there is a high rate of afro-Antiguan women in the labour force.
Did you know...
1- The highest point in Barbados is 1,100 feet. This doesn’t even compare to the tallest building in the world which is 2,700 feet high!
2- Barbados has the 23rd highest ratio of cars per miles of road! No wonder there is traffic!
3- Barbados is the 3rd oldest Parliamentary democracy in the world.
4- Barbados exports $57 million of rum per year across the world.
5- The last major hurricane to hit Barbados was Hurricane Janet in 1955.
6- Barbados got its first name in Portuguese (Los Barbados) reportedly named after the Bearded Fig Tree.
7- Barbados is the 16th most densely populated country.
8- The first settlement in Barbados was Holetown which was originally called Jamestown after King James I.
9- Bridgetown was originally called Indian Bridge and changed to its current name after 1654.
10- The Lord Nelson Statue, erected on Bridgetown's Trafalgar Square on 22 Mar 1813, is older than the statue and square of the same name and fame in London.
Did you know...
Martinique experiences tropical,aritime climate in the Trade wind belt. The rainy season starts in June till October when it is warm and wet. Temperatures average 79⁰F with alternating wind currents that keep the island cool.
The terrain is mountainous with indented coastline and a dormant volcano. The highest elevation is Montagne Pelee at 1,398 m and the lowest elevation is the Caribbean Sea at sea level.
The ethnic groups in Martinique are African and African-white Indian mixture (84%) white (8%) and 7% East Indian and Chinese.
The languages spoken are French English and Creole. The capital city is Fort-de-France.
The official currency is Euro and the nationality is Martiniquais. This island is the only French island in the group.
Nearly 80% are Roman Catholic, 10% are Protestants, 5% Hindus and others.
Exports are refined petroleum products, bananas, rumand pineapples.
Imports include petroleum products, crude oil, foodstuffs, processed foods, building and construction materials, vehicles, carsand trucks. The major trading partners are France, Venezuela, Germany, Italy, United States and Guadeloupe.
Agriculture products include vegetables, pineapples, fruits,avocadoes, bananas, flowers, vegetables and sugarcane.
The country’s natural resources are beaches, coastal sceneryand cultivable land. The economy is based on sugarcane, bananas, tourism and light industry.
Did you know...
1- Morne Trois Pitons National Park located in Dominica is a tropical rainforest with volcanic features that was recognized as a World Heritage Site on April 4, 1995.
2- Dominica is the dividing point of the Caribbean islands’ Windward Islands to the west and the Leeward islands to the east. The highest point is Morne Diablotin at 4,747ft. Dominica has some of the richest mountain rainforest in the Caribbean.
3- The majority of the island is covered by densely wooded mountains and rainforest. The overall terrain is verysteep, and extremely rugged. Dominica’s beaches generally consist of shimmering black sand or rocks.
4- There are few expansive beaches. The island has over 360 rivers. There are 9 volcanoes onthe Dominica …none display the distinct cone shape top generally associated with volcanoes. There are more active volcanoes here than anywhere in the world.
5- Boiling Lake, in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, is one of the world’s largest thermal lakes. This eerie-looking pool of bubbling, gray-green water lies at the end of a strenuous, three-hour hike throughthick forest.
6- Cabrits National Park is on a peninsula at the north end of the Caribbean island of Dominica, north of Portsmouth. The park protectstropical forest, coral reefs and wetlands. There are hiking trails and an English garrison called Fort Shirley.
7- The Layou River is a river in Dominica. It rises in the interior of the country, flowing westward to reach the Caribbean Sea on the country’s central western coast, very close to the town of St. Joseph. It is the longest and deepest river in Dominica.
8- One of the most impressive and photogenic waterfalls on the island, the Victoria Waterfall, in Morne Trois Pitons National Park in Dominica, is formed by the White River cascading over a cliff into a warm pool below. Minerals give the water a milky-white color.
9- The twin falls are one of Dominica’s most famous sites. Known as Mother and Father, the falls lie at the end of an easy 20-minute hike through a forest of ginger plants and vanilla orchids. The coolmain stream of Trafalgar Falls originates in the mountains and is joined near the bottom by a hot mineral spring.
10- Pretty Papillote Tropical Gardens are a haven for artists, botanists, and photographers. Fed by a small stream, these 10-acre gardens form the grounds of a charming eco-lodge, the Papillote Wilderness Retreat. Paths wind among bamboo trees, ginger blossoms, indigenous orchids, bromeliads, and begonias. Nature-lovers may also find many frogs, birds, and butterflies in the lush gardens.
Did you know...
1. Guadeloupe is an archipelago of nine inhabited islands, including the butterfly shaped islands of Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Desirade, Iles des Saintes (2), Saint-Barthelemy, Iles de la Petite Terre, and Saint-Martin (the French part of the island of Saint Martin).
2. The Amerindian inhabitants called Guadeloupe “Karukera” which means “Island of Beautiful Waters”. It is widely regarded as having some of the best dive sites in the world.
3. A narrow channel, the Riviere Salee, divides Guadeloupe proper into two islands: the larger, western Basse-Terre and the smaller, eastern Grande-Terre.
4. Christopher Columbus came across the islands in 1493, and named them after a Spanish monastery, but the Carib indians who lived there resisted Spanish attempts to settle the islands. French colonists arrived in the 17th century though, and it became a French colony in 1635.
5. There were several British occupations of Guadeloupe in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and a short period of Swedish rule, before it was restored to France. It became an official French department in 1946, and since the 1980s is a region of France.
6. The islands have lovely white sand beaches, a rainforest that is brimming with wildlife, and, if that weren’t enough, the highest waterfall in the Caribbean!
7. Basse-Terre has a rough volcanic terrain, whilst Grande-Terre has rolling hills and flat plains. Basse-Terre tends to be cooler and wetter than Grande-Terre, especially on La Soufrière, its highest point.
8. The famous dance of the island is called the biguine, which is still performed in colourful Creole dress.
9. There are regular flights to Guadeloupe from other Caribbean islands, and also from Miami, Montreal and Paris. There are also ferry services from nearby islands such as Martinique and St Lucia.
10.The best time to visit Guadeloupe is from December to May when the weather is warm and dry. The rest of the year is usually hot, humid and wet, especially between July and November.
Did you know...
1. St Lucy was a Christian martyr in Sicily who died around AD310.
2. According to legend, she converted to Christianity after an angel appeared to her, dedicated her virginity to God and was denounced to the Romans by the man she was engaged to.
3. The island of Saint Lucia was given its name by French colonisers in the 17th century.
4. Saint Lucia changed hands between the French and British 14 times in the 17th and 18th centuries.
5. In the common belief that December 13 was the date of the winter solstice, the English poet John Donne (1572-1631) wrote “A Nocturnal Upon S. Lucy’s Day, Being the Shortest Day”.
6. Despite a population of only 176,000, Saint Lucians have won two Nobel Prizes: Arthur Lewis (economics) and Derek Walcott (literature).
7. Only the Faroe Islands (one Nobel among 49,000 people) has a higher rate of Nobel Prizes.
8. St Lucia has won no Olympic medals. Its largest team was six athletes at Atlanta 1996.
9. The national bird is the St Lucia Parrot, or Jacquot, which is native only to Saint Lucia.
10. St Lucy is patron saint of the blind, martyrs, epidemics, salesmen, throat infections and writers.
Trinidad & Tobago
Did you know...
1. Republic Day was August 1, 1976. September 24 was when their first parliament met.
2. Tobago got its name from its resemblance to a tobacco pipe (tavaco) used by local natives.
3. At London 2012, Trinidad and Tobago came third in Olympic medals per head of population, beaten only by Grenada and Jamaica.
4. In 2012, the Trinidad moruga “Scorpion” pepper was rated the hottest pepper in the world at 1.2 million Scoville units.
5. Trinidad and Tobago is the only country whose capital city is named after another country: Port of Spain.
6. The novelist VS Naipaul was born in Trinidad. He is the country’s only Nobel Prize winner.
7. Pitch Lake in Trinidad is the world’s largest natural asphalt deposit covering almost 100 acres 245 feet deep.
8. In the Americas, only the USA and Canada have a higher GDP per head than Trinidad and Tobago.
9. Calypso music, steel drum bands and limbo dancing all originated in Trinidad and Tobago.
10. Until 10,000 years ago, Trinidad and Tobago were both part of the South American mainland.
Did you know...
1. Multicultural Heritage: Although most closely associated with the Dutch (the island is officially a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands), over the last 500 years or so Curaçao has seen invasion/immigration by a diverse collection of cultures.
2. Civil Rights History: Slavery was an integral, if tragic, part of the growth of Curaçao’s prosperity.
3. The West’s Oldest Synagogue: Most people don’t consider the Caribbean as a seat of Jewish culture, but Curaçao’s Sephardic Congregation Mikvé Israel was established in 1651. Fleeing a hostile religious environment in their native Portugal, Jewish merchants and traders thrived in the bustling port city of Willemstad, especially in slavery.
4. Its Own Language: Curaçaoans are generally fluent in multiple languages, including English, Spanish and Dutch.
5. Geological Wonders: Watch nature unleash her fury on the wild north shore at Shete Boka National Park.
6. Shipwreck Archaeology: If you’ve ever dreamed of living on a deserted island take a day excursion to Klein Curaçao, a miniscule islet 12 miles east of its big brother.
7. Unique Cuisine: All that diverse culture doesn’t stop at the language. De Gouverneur Restaurant specializes in traditional Curaçaoan cuisine, including Keshi Yena, a rich chicken stew cooked in the rind of a Gouda cheese.
8. A Hip, Funky Neighborhood: Curaçao’s main city of Willemstad is a designated UNESCO Heritage Site, with six distinct neighborhoods of historic interest. Wander a few blocks beyond the waterfront with its iconic pastel buildings to Pietermaai, an up-and-coming historic district that boasts a collection of boutiques, restaurants and bars with more of an indie vibe.