The island is crossed by a range of mountains reaching 2,256 meters (7,402 ft.) at the Blue Mountain Peak in the east, and descending towards the west with a series of spurs and forested gullies running north and south. Jamaica has spectacular white beaches, palm-fringed coves and steep mountains covered with lush greenery. Jamaica is one of the best developed Caribbean islands touristically, and offers every type of activity and nightlife. The total population of Jamaica is 2.65 million
Most of the beaches are on the north and west coasts. The major resorts are Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril. Montego Bay is the center of Jamaican tourism and market town for a large part of western Jamaica. Dating back to 1492, Montego Bay is Jamaica's second largest city and one of the most modern in the Caribbean. Most of the hotels are found on a strip of coastline about 2.5 kilometers long (1.5 miles).
Ocho Rios lies roughly 108 kilometers (67 miles) east of Montego Bay. Once a sleepy fishing village, and although there are now resort facilities, international hotels and restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, the town has kept something of the sleepy atmosphere of small-town Jamaica.
Ocho Rios is known as the garden lover's paradise, and the Shaw Park Botanical Gardens exhibit the fascinating variety of the area's exotic flora, for which the town is celebrated. Nearby you find one of the most stunning sights in Jamaica, Dunn's River Falls; a crystal water stairway which leads to the botanical gardens.
Negril is 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Montego Bay and has a spectacular beach stretching for 11 kilometers (7 miles), which offers sailing, water-skiing, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, parasailing and windsurfing.
Kingston is the island's capital city and is located of the south-easterly shoreline. It is home to a busy port. Many Caribbean Cruises make this port a call. At the entrance to the habor are the partly submerged ruins of old Port Royal , which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1692. The Norman Manley International Airport is located near Kingston. Also found in Kingston is the acclaimed National Gallery of Jamaica and the popular beach resort Lima Kay.
The climate is tropical and temperatures remain consistent throughout the year. The northeast trade winds keep you from feeling overwhelmed despite the high humidity levels. Rainfall varies with seasons, the bulk of the rain falls in the Blue Mountains, but short heavy downpours are common on the coasts.