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Interesting Caribbean Trivia: 19 Fun Facts About Jamaica For Travelers

Learn about the incredible island of Jamaica with this list of fun facts and interesting trivia. How much do you know about this destination?

So you want to know more about Jamaica. Great! This incredible island is full of Caribbean trivia and fun facts about all sorts of things. From historical events to entertainment tidbits and agricultural accomplishments, these are all the cool things to know about Jamaica before you visit. 

These may not be the most useful Jamaican travel tips, but they should spark your interest, and start getting you excited about this destination and all the wonders that it includes. 

So are you ready? Let the fun facts and unlikely quiz answers begin. 

1. See the biggest butterflies

Jamaica is home to one of the largest butterflies in the world. The unfortunately endangered Homerus swallowtail butterfly is endemic to Jamaica, has a maximum wingspan of 6 inches, and is one of the 12 largest butterflies from around the globe.  

Homerus Swallowtail butterfly amongst the flowers of Jamaica

2. Stay safe from snakes

Everyone wants to feel safe on vacation right? Well, one thing that can concern travelers in a tropical country is the snakes. In Jamaica though this isnt a problem. In 1872 the mongoose was introduced to control pests but they ended up removing most of the snakes too. Now there are only 8 species of snakes left and none of them are poisonous. 

3. The Goldeneye origins

Jamaica was home to the legendary writer Ian Flemming. Whilst stationed here and working for British Navy Intelligence, this author wrote all 14 of his famous books here, and later the first movie based on his books was also made in Jamaica.  

4. A cool Winter Olympic story

In 1988, Jamaica was the first ever tropical country to enter the Winter Olympics. That's right, bobsledding. In memory of this, there is now a jungle bobsled activity that can be enjoyed right here in the jungle. 

5. Fascinating flowers and orchids

Jamaica is well known for its abundance of flora; and especially its beautiful Jamaican orchids. With over 200 species of exotic orchids on this small island, a total of 73 of them are indigenous.

Beautiful orchids and flowers on the island of Jamaica

6. Jamaicans can be fast!

Yohan Blake, Asafa Powel, Usain Bolt, and more. Incredibly, out of the 5 fastest men known to ever exist on this earth, 4 of them, are Jamaican. On the other hand, of the 10 fastest women in the world, 4 are Jamaican. That’s a lot of really really speedy individuals. 

7. Left side drivers

Jamaica was the first Caribbean country to get independence from Britain in 1962 but some British influences remain. Jamaica is now the largest English speaking island in the Caribbean and everyone still drives on the left hand side of the road.  

8. Incredible Caribbean rum

Interestingly, Jamaica has the most rum bars per square mile. Why so much? Well its largely due to its rich rum history. Jamaica was the first place to make and export rum before piracy. Since then, it has become the national drink and they have created the most expensive rum in the world. It’s called Appleton Estate 50-Year Rum and costs… a lot. 

9. Most music per capita

Jamaica is a pioneer of musical ability and creativity. You may know that reggae music is Jamaican, but that is just one of their inventions. There is also ska, rocksteady, one drop, mento, Nyahbinghi, folk, drum and bass, soca, reggae-gospel, dub, festival, rubba-dub, roots reggae, calypso, and dancehall. 

The abundance of music styles in Jamaica

From these, many other genres of music have come into existence. Not only is this the home of Bob Marley and Shaggy but Kool Herc is often credited with being the one to start rap and hip hop music. 

10. Top consumer of Cranberries

Here's a very random fact about Jamaica. Cranberries do not grow on the island and thus have to be imported in but they are so extremely popular on the island that they have become the top consumer of cranberries per capita. Cranberry also mixes nicely with rum.

11. One of the best coffees

Jamaica is well known for having one of the rarest, best, and most expensive coffees in the world. It's called Blue Mountain coffee because it is grown on Blue Mountain which is coincidentally Jamaica's highest point and a UNESCO world heritage site. The high elevation alters the coffee flavor but it also makes it very hard to harvest. 

Holding coffee beans from Blue Mountain in Jamaica

12. An island of plenty

The original inhabitants of Jamaica called the island “Xaymaca” which literally means “land of wood and water”. Later when Christopher Columbus came to the island he is noted as having said that Jamaica was the fairest island that eyes have beheld.

13. The underwater mountain

Jamaica is actually one giant mountain but you wouldn't know it to look at it. This is because the country sits on the top of an underwater peak that rises from the ocean floor. Want a mountain vacation? Technically, from the moment you arrive, you are already walking up a mountain. 

14. The best luminous lagoon

Home to one of the most vibrant bioluminescent bays in the world, Jamaica welcomes travelers to come and swim in the sparkling waters and see them glow in Montego Bay which is right next to Excellence Oyster Bay.

The best bioluminescent lagoon in the Caribbean near Excellence Oyster Bay

15. An American beer recipe

The famous red stripe beer that is a frequent beverage enjoyed in Jamaica is not as Jamaican as it seems. Whilst it is made here, the original recipe was bought from someone in Illinois, in the United States. 

16. An unrecognized lingo

The Jamaican people speak a specific Creole English known as Patois or Patwah. Whilst it has its own vocabulary, grammar structure, and pronunciation, and over 2.5 million people speak it, it has not yet been officially recognized as a language. 

17. Early advancements in Jamaica

Jamaica is always ahead of the curve. They had electricity and running water before the United States did, were the first country in the western hemisphere to build a railroad, the first British colony to establish its own postal service, the first Caribbean island to launch a website, and one of the most efficient telephone systems. 

18. Pirates of the Caribbean

Port Royal in Jamaica is famous for its pirate origins. Whilst it is very different today, its history of piracy in the 16th century remains. This is a place that was known to have been occupied by the legendary Welsh pirate Henry Morgan and his band of privateers. By about 1660 give or take a few years, Port Royal was known as a pirate utopia and the island also became a spot for both Blackbeard and Calico Jack. 

Old ship of the Pirates of the Caribbean near the island of Jamaica

19. The current King of Jamaica

Whilst the country is independent, as a Commonwealth realm, Jamaica's monarch and head of state was Queen Elizabeth II, and is now King Charles III of England. This is largely a symbolic role however since he is not head of the government, which makes its own decisions. 

So what did you learn?

Now you know a bit about the country and some of its unusual and fun facts, it's time to plan your travels. The information you now have is just the tip of the iceberg and there are an amazing amount of things to learn about the culture, language, customs, traditions, lifestyle, and more. 

Many of these can only be properly understood by experiencing it firsthand. So why not take a look at suites in Excellence Oyster Bay and see if you can find a time where you can keep learning about this Caribbean destination? 

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