•Jamaica is located in the Greater Antilles, and is bordered on all sides by the Caribbean Sea.
•The island's nearest neighbours are Cuba to the north and Haiti to the east.
•The area of Jamaica is 10,991 sq. km (4,244 sq. miles).
•Jamaica is divided into fourteen parishes:Westmoreland,
St. Elizabeth, Manchester, Clarendon, St. Catherine, St. Andrew,Kingston, St. Thomas, Portland, St. Mary, St. Ann, Trelawny,
St. James, Hanover.
•Jamaica's largest parish is St. Ann (1213 sq. km), followed by
St. Elizabeth (1212 sq. km).
•Jamaica's longest river is the Rio Minho, in the parish of Clarendon.The Black River in St. Elizabeth is thelongest navigable river.
•The highest point in Jamaica is the Blue Mountain Peak in Portland, at 7,402 feet above sea level. It is possible to hike to this peak.
•Kingston is Jamaica's capital city. The original capital was Spanish Town in St. Catherine.
•The population of Jamaica is approximately 2.7 million (2008), of which about 800,000 live in the Kingston and Portmore area.
History of Jamaica 600-1494
The Tainos were early inhabitants of the northern Caribbean who are thought to have arrived in Jamaica around 600 AD. This Arawak-speaking group originated in South America, migrating first to the southern Caribbean, then northward by canoe as they were displaced by the more aggressive Carib people. Tainos were a peaceful fishing and hunting people who gave Jamaica its original name Hamaika, which means “Land of Wood and Water”.