Each year, millions of people visit Jamaica in order to observe and experience the beautiful and diverse culture of this island country.
This tropical nation has so much to offer that people who visit this country for a few days often fail to experience it all because there’s simply not enough time to do so!
The captivating beaches and the blue mountain coffee are just the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps if people knew more about Jamaica, they would be more inclined to journey to this remarkable land.
This article will take you through a list of the most amazing Jamaica facts that you may have never even heard before.
Here Are the 10 Most Amazing Jamaica Facts That You Didn’t Know
1. Jamaica Was Once a Spanish-Speaking Country
From the early sixteenth century up till halfway through the seventeenth century, the Jamaican land was controlled by the Spaniards. This is why there are towns and streets that have names inspired by the Spanish tongue even till this day.
However, the Jamaican lands were soon taken over by the British when the Spanish started to lose their interest in the place. Very few Spanish soldiers were stationed to defend Jamaica and so the English conquered the land with quite ease.
Quite a many Spanish-constructed buildings can still be found in the Jamaica. Many tourists visit these sites that hold old Spanish constructions as a way to gain insight into the rich history of the place. The unique style of the buildings is something that most tourists find quite fascinating.
2. Jamaica Has a Naturally Radioactive Spa
The Milk River spa located in Jamaica is a naturally occurring hot springs that also happen to be radioactive.
People from all over the world come to Jamaica just to visit and soak in this spring which according to the Jamaican citizens is enriched with remarkable healing powers that can help cure numerous health problems.
Moreover, seeing as how this natural spa is radioactive, people are not allowed to sit in it for more than twenty minutes.
This hot spring is often regarded as the ‘healing-waters’ because they are rich in some essential minerals and many people have even claimed that they have attained some form of therapeutic remedy from it.
3. Jamaica Is the Birthplace of the James Bond Novels
Ian Fleming was an officer for the British Naval Intelligence Division. He was stationed in Jamaica as part of his operation which was called ‘Goldeneye.’
Fascinated by the beauty of the place, Ian soon decided to extend his stay in Jamaica and even purchased a piece of land to reside on.
It was during this time that Ian had sparked the inspiration for his world famous spy-thriller series of James bond novels. All fourteen of his novels were written here and the first James Bond movie was also filmed in Jamaica.
4. Jamaica Has the Highest Number of Churches Per Square Mile
Jamaica is a Christianity-majority country with Christianity having influences in the political, educational, and social systems of the state. Each morning, the schools in Jamaica begin with a Christian devotion.
Moreover, more than a hundred different Christian sects coexist in Jamaica with the most common ones being Church of God, Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witness, Baptist, New Testament, Anglican, and Pentecostal. Some less common ones include Mormon.
According to the records displayed in the National Library of Jamaica, there are roughly 2.75 churches for each square mile of land area.
The Guinness World Book of Records has also acknowledged the validity of this fact. Even more fascinating is the fact that many people in Jamaica have churches built in their living rooms and backyards which haven’t been taken into account.
5. Jamaica Has a National Bobsled Team
Bobsled is a sport that has, for a long time, been dominated by nations that are located far away from the equator. However, Jamaica broke this age-old trend and became the first tropical country to participate in the Bobsled division of the 1988 Winter Olympics.
Initially, this decision by the Jamaican government was largely made fun of by the people in Jamaica.
However, things took a turn in Jamaica’s favor and they secured the first position at the 2000 World push championship hosted in Monaco earning them a gold medal. A Disney movie called ‘Cool Runnings” was based on these events.
6. Jamaica Is One of the Highest Per Capita Consumers of Cranberries
Cranberry is perhaps one of the most consumed and popular edibles throughout Jamaica. The high demand and affection for this fruit has bestowed it the perception of a luxury item.
Unfortunately, all of the cranberry in Jamaica has to be imported as the climate of this country does not allow for people to locally grow it.
A major portion of the imported cranberry is used to make cranberry water which serves as an excellent drink for tackling the heat and quenching thirst when the country is hit with the much-expected heat waves. It has even surpassed coconut water in popularity.
One of the main reasons why Jamaicans love cranberries is because of its medicinal properties which they use to boost their immune system, improve digestion, and recover from the flu. Jamaicans endear anything that is unprocessed, organic, and natural, and cranberry juice fits the bill.
Cranberry juice is also popular because it is used to chase rum. If you tell the bartender that you want a chaser, they may automatically assume you are referring to cranberry juice.
7. Jamaican Sprinters Are the Fastest in the World
You will probably have heard the name of Usain Bolt, the man who is known as the world’s fastest man. Usain Bolt and many other popular Jamaican sprinters come from Trelawny, a rural region located in Jamaica.
Usain Bolt is an eight-time Olympic medalist who had also dominated the records for the fastest hundred and two-hundred meter sprints. He retired in 2017 and is till this day acknowledged and respected by Olympians worldwide.
The reason for Jamaicans being so quick on their feet is because they come from a line of naturally athletic Africans.
Additionally, their diet mostly consists of grains and ground provisions such as fruits and yams. Moreover, sprinting is a sport which the Jamaican child starts to partake in from a very young age.
8. Jamaica is the Largest Per Capita Music Producing Country
Numerous Reggae music giants originate from Jamaica. Some of these big artists include Gregory Isaacs, Bob Marley, Sean Paul, Shaggy, and Jimmy Cliff. This makes Jamaica one of the biggest cultivators of Reggae music and an unquestionable authority in this domain.
However, Reggae is not the only type of music produced in this great nation, drum and bass, rocksteady, ska, mento, dancehall, folk, one drop, soca, roots reggae, dub, festival, rubba-dub, reggae-gospel, calypso, and Nyahbinghi are also produced here.
Non-native music types such as western, hip-hop, rap, pop, jazz, and rock & roll are also recorded in Jamaica.
Many record companies and music producers have their signed artists record and release their upcoming songs in Jamaica before it is released internationally as a way to test the popularity of the song. Rihanna, Harry Belafonte, UB40 and Steel Pulse are some of the artists that do this.
9. Jamaican Women Have Brought Home the Title of Miss World Three Times
Carole Crawford in 1963, Cindy Breakseare in 1976, and Lisa Hanna in 1993 are the three gorgeous Jamaican women that brought home the title of Miss World. Only the UK, Venezuela, and India have won this title more times than Jamaica.
Naturally, this has established Jamaica at a very prominent position in the fashion and modeling industry. Talent scouts often visit this land in search of the next beauty queen and fashion star.
The Jamaican stock exchange even has a modeling agency listed under its name. The current most famous Jamaican models are Grace Jones, Tyson Beckford, Naomi Campbell, and Stacey McKenzie.
10. Jamaica Has the Highest Number of Rum Bars for Each Square Mile of Land
It is extremely difficult to put a precise number on how many rum bars there are in Jamaica as most of them are not even government registered. Yet, there are roughly two rum bars for every church in Jamaica.
Moreover, Jamaica was the first island ever to commercially brew and export rum during the pre-pirate age. The rum produced is also used for first aid and kitchen purposes.
Jancrow Batty is the strongest rum available in any local bar and is avoided by most social drinkers.
This drink is illegally brewed at sugar cane factories by professionals and is sold on the black market but is not openly displayed on a shelf. Only the hardcore alcoholics drink this rum which is also been regarded as the strongest drug in Jamaica.
Jamaica also holds the most expensive rum in the world. The Appleton Estate is a fifty-year old rum which can bill you four thousand dollars for just 750ml of the drink.
101 Facts about Jamaica
Greetings! Apparently we haven’t made ourselves sad enough about the fact we can’t travel, because this week we’re looking at ANOTHER country that makes us want to pack our bags and fly across the world.
So sit back and join 101 Airways, and listen to the sweet sounds of the Caribbean, as we tell you 101 Facts about Jamaica!
This fascinating island is an incredible place to visit if you love or yearn for a tropical lifestyle brimming with beaches, spas, delicious food, diverse cultures, and not to forget, some of the best music the world has to offer!
Hi I’m Jay. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and live in Los Angeles, California. I have travelled to 23 countries so far and planning to go explore more countries soon! My Favorite trips so far have been to Israel, Japan, Rome, Iceland and Australia. I started this site to share my love of travel with everyone and build a community of like-minded, free thinking, free exploring people.