Prehistoric Jamaica was volcanic, and the mountains soar to 7,402 feet. These mountains run all through the island’s centre, with a narrow coastal plain on either side. Some 150 rivers, numerous waterfalls and an abundance of trees and flowering plants are found across the island, earning Jamaica the title “land of wood and water.”
Jamaica has great central plains, fertile agricultural lands, towering cliffs, magnificent waterfalls, dense tropical forests and eternal summer.
During the ages, vast changes took place in this region of the earth's crust. The land subsided beneath the sea. When it rose again only the highest parts of it appeared above the surface of the sea. These formed the Caribbean islands, which have remained separate and distinct islands ever since. Jamaica has a variety of underground caves and offshore reefs, and safe, naturally filtered drinking water. The high mountains of the east feature misty pine trees and in the north, flowers abound. There are also rain forests and rolling plains that, except for the occasional palm tree, are reminiscent fo the south of England. The south resembles the African savannah or Indian plains, and has alternating black and white sand beaches as well as mineral springs.
Slaves escaped from the island here in canoes. In this town are the intriguing limestone Green Grotto Caves which lead to an underground lake. Further along the coast, the Seville Estate is the site of Sevilla Nueva, the first Spanish settlement in Jamaica.
OCHO RIOS (Ochee)
Ocho Rios lays roughly 108km (67 miles) east of Montego Bay. The name is said to have come from the old Spanish word for roaring river or, in modern Spanish, eight rivers. Ocho Rios was 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 in the middle of the island's long north coast and is particularly noted for spectacular waterfalls, working Plantations, beaches, busy modern cruise ships and beautiful tropical gardens.
Ocho Rios is also known as the garden-lover’s paradise, and the Shaw Park Botanical Gardens exhibit a fascinating variety of the area’s exotic flora, for which the town is celebrated. Not surprisingly, two of the most popular tours available are to working plantations at Brimmer Hall and Prospect where sugar, bananas and spices are still grown and harvested, using many of the traditional skills handed down through generations.
Jamaica is one of the three islands in the Northern Caribbean forming the Greater Antilles. It is the largest English-speaking country/island in the Caribbean Sea measuring about 4,400 square miles (11,400 square kilometers). Jamaica lies 700 miles South East of Miami and 90 miles South of Cuba. She stretches 146 miles from East to West and varies between 22 and 51 miles from North to South. At sea level, temperatures average about 86 F year round, falling steadily with increasing altitude to about 60 F in the higher elevations.