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REGGAE ROOTS VIBES

Vacationing On an Island: Jamaica Tropical Paradise

April 4, 2015
Everybody dreams of taking a vacation on an island.  There are islands all over the world, each offering its own cultural experience and natural wonders.  Many vacationing spots are still unspoiled and secluded, while others are lively and exciting.  Relaxing on an island offers a real diversion from your everyday life. There is just something about the ocean breeze and salt spray that makes a holiday on an island something you won't soon forget. You can lie on a beach or watch whales, study botany or shop native craftstalls.  It's all up to you when you planyour vacation.

North American islands include the Canadian east coast islands of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.  Vacationing in these areas will be filled with unspoiled natural beauty, cool, comfortable temperatures, and whale watching expeditions. South of these regions is the little island of Bermuda off the eastern U.S. coast.  Bermuda is surrounded with hundreds of square miles of reef formations, perfect for snorkeling. For the less adventurous, you can ride around in a glass bottom boat and view the beautiful undersea world.


Diving & Snorkeling

Heading on south, we find the Caribbean islands.  These have long been popular spots for tourists.  Here the beaches are white and sandy and the weather is very warm.  Up in the interior of these islands, you can find a wide variety of birds and other wildlife.  Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Barbados, the Virgin Islands, and many other spots make lovely island holidays.  Each island has its own unique flavor and feel. Jamaica stands out among these islands. This is the island of the late international megastar Bob Marley, and the origins of reggae music.


Sandals Negril Beach Jamaica

Jamaica is a bird watcher’s paradise with about 2,000 resident species and more endemic species than any other Caribbean island. Of these, 28 species and 21 subspecies are found nowhere else. The national bird, the red-billed Streamer- tail Hummingbird affectionately called the Doctor Bird or Swallowtail Hummingbird (Trochilus polytmus) lives only in Jamaica. The Doctor Bird is one of the most outstanding of the 320 species of hummingbirds. Their beautiful feathers have no counterpart in the entire bird population.

Jamaica’s wildlife comprises snakes, lizards, frogs, the coney, iguana and the American crocodile. The coney and the iguana have not survived as well as the lizards, having fallen prey to the mongoose that was brought from India to Jamaica to control field rats. Lizards are commonly found in domestic residences and in gardens feeding on insects. The American crocodile (said to be harmless) and the manatee survive in small numbers along the South Coast. There are several species of frogs, butterflies and bats.

Jamaica’s tropical climate has an average year-round temperature of 85 degrees. Rainfall varies around the island while the altitude ranges from sea level to 7,402 feet peak of the Blue Mountains. The Blue Mahoe, the national tree, is indigenous to the island and grows quite rapidly, often attaining 20m (66ft) or more in height. In wetter districts it will grow in a wide range of elevations, up to 1200m (4000ft) and is often used in deforestation.


Blue Mahoe Tree

Jamaica’s cuisine is a diversity of ethnic groups and intermingling culture combining old recipes with modern dishes to create there own unique taste. From the jerk pork man in Boston, Portland, to the soup vendor in Castleton, to chefs preparing international cuisine in the luxury resorts and fine restaurants across the island, the visitor palates will always be stimulated with the Jamaican spices and herbs.

Some of the fancied Jamaican menus are: ackee and saltfish served with roasted breadfruit and boiled green banana, curried goat, jerked pork, chicken, stew peas, mackerel rundown, and fish prepared in various ways. Jamaica is also the home to the world’s best coffee, the Blue Mountain Coffee. The island boasts some of the finest rums and liqueurs, including the award winning Tia Maria coffee liqueur.
Exotic fruits such as pineapples, papayas, mangoes, bananas, sweetsops, custard apples, otaheite apples and sour-sops create a myriad of juices and desserts are in abundance.


Tropical Fruits

You can also sample a sizzling hot patty (a pastry crust, filled with minced meat, seafood, or vegetable). My first choice in planning my vacation is this beautiful tropical paradise.

Europe has islands of all types which make great spots for vacations.  Visit the isles of Greece and you will see clear seas, quiet beaches, olive groves, and the simple life.  Corfu is the choice of those who like up-to-date restaurants and shopping, while Lefkas is popular with wind-surfers and sailors.  The Portuguese island of Madeira boasts beautiful weather and one of the lowest crime rates in the world.  The Canary Islands, off the coast of Spain, are a popular tourist spot for Europeans.

A new trend in island holidays is eco-tourism.  This is traveling in such a way that neither the earth nor the local people you are visiting are harmed in any way.  People who are drawn to eco-tourism may enjoy bird-watching, hiking, and other island activities that do not leave an impact on the area. Jamaica is the perfect destination for eco-tourist. Start packing your luggage and head to this tropical paradise.

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