Ten Things Jamaica is Known For

Updated on January 22, 2017
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Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.

Jamaica is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and known around the world for various treasures we possess.

Though we have had our negatives, we have some very positive and even famous things which we are known for.

Jamaica has its stereotypes and people will easily recognize us by the way we dress and talk. Some very famous slang expressions and gestures used around the world actually originated in Jamaica.


  • Punching the fists together to signify friendship or agreement
  • Rubbing of the thumbs together to signify brotherhood.
  • The "Lightning Bolt" made famous by Usain Bolt.


  • Yeah Man (sometimes pronounced "yeah mon")
  • Irie
  • No Problem
  • Cool no man
  • Mi Cool man


10. Always Summer

Jamaica is located in the tropics so our weather conditions are limited to sun, rain and storm. You could say that Jamaica experiences one season. Though it gets very cool in December and January, there is no real autumn or winter. Because there is no winter there is no real spring, though we do get some amount of rainfall during the months of April and May.

Jamaica basically has two seasons which are "dry" and "wet"! For the most part it is mostly sunny here. You can always enjoy our beaches and get a tan.


9. Marcus Mosiah Garvey

Most Americans and British will remember Marcus Garvey because he spent most of his adult life in those two countries trying to fight segregation. In The United states, Marcus first published a journal called the UNIA. He also started a project which was geared towards repatriating black people back to Africa.

The project included the purchase of a ship called the Black Star Liner which was supposed to have been the means of transportation for those who wished to returned. But before the ship could be paid for the project went bankrupt and ten million dollars vanished. He was charged with fraud, then subsequently deported to Jamaica and ordered never to return to the US.

He later went to Europe where he spent the rest of his life.


8. Jamaican Rum

Jamaican rum is known to be one of the strongest around the world. The white overproof rum, used in cocktails, is the only liquor that cannot be drunk without a chaser. You can't drink it in shots or you run the risk of damaging your throat. Neither can you drink it on the rocks. The most popular rum chaser is Coke or Pepsi.

The red rum can be had in shots and on the rocks. It's smooth and goes down like a whiskey. The most popular red rum is the Appleton brand.


7. Blue Mountain Peak Coffee

Rated # 9 in the world by Espressocoffeeguide.com, our coffee is one of the best you can find anywhere. Grown in the cool of the Blue Mountains and harvested just at the right time, Jamaica's Blue Mountain coffee is a dream come true.

There are different flavours depending on the roast or age. Your coffee comes in granules, instant or percolator ready. Whatever your choice, you know know you are getting the best.

What do you most associate with Jamaica?

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6. Patois

Patois is the official name for the Jamaican dialect, soon to become an official language. The language is so pleasing to the ear that many people across the world want to learn it or have learned the basics.

Patois is influenced by Spanish for the most part. It is really a mixture of the African languages which the slaves brought here with Spanish and English. Because different African tribes were brought here as slaves, there were different languages. The Africans in an attempt to please their mastesr tried to speak Spanish, and what came out was a new language which was a mixture of Spanish and African..

When the British took over the dialect changed once more, and new words were added to make it what it is today.


5. Sandy Beaches and Beautiful Waters

One of the most famous beaches in the world is Seven Mile Beach, seven miles of golden sand located in Negril. According to Trip Advisor it's ranked number two for attraction in Negril and rated 4.5 stars by over one thousand reviewers.


4. Jerk

Jamaica is the home of Jerk, and most famously, Jerk Chicken. It's not the method of cooking that we are known for but the combination of spices which our jerk is known for.

We have an annual jerk festival where you can get anything and everything jerk. Most popular jerk foods are chicken, fish and pork. However, in recent times we have jerked lobster, beef, goat and lamb.

The jerk spice comes in spicy and mild flavors. You also have a choice of the wet marinade or the dry spice rub.

3. Track and Field

More specifically, Track!

Everyone one knows that the fastest man in the world comes from Jamaica. What they probably don't realize is that Usain is only one in a long line of track stars.

  • Herb McKenley
  • Donald Quarry
  • Ben Johnson (Jamaican born)
  • Merlene Ottey
  • Grace Jackson
  • Juliet Cuthbert
  • Asafa Powel

and the list goes on.

Currently, Jamaica boasts the three fastest men in the world and the fastest female.

Fastest men:

1. Usain Bolt

2. Yohan Blake

3. Asafa Powell

Fastest woman:

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

2. Reggae Music

Reggae was born in Jamaica in the 60s. What preceded it were ska, rocksteady, folk, mento, and kumina.

The reggae sound was created to parallel the faster dance music from the US. What the musicians did was to combine several genres to create one unique sound, and it worked.

Some of the people who made reggae popular were Dennis Brown, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals, and many others.


1. Bob Marley

The number one thing Jamaica is known for is the Legendary Bob Marley. Not only is he the one people associate with Reggae, he is the only Jamaican icon who has reached almost every corner of the world with his music. People who have never spoken a word of English know of Bob.

If you go somewhere and ask someone if they have ever heard of Jamaica, and they say no, ask them if they ever heard of Bob. I guarantee they'll say yes. For some, the only association they will have with Jamaica is Bob Marley.

Other Things Jamaica Is Known For

  • Seventh largest natural harbor in the world: Kingston Harbor.
  • What was once the wickedest city on earth: Port Royal
  • Home of the Buccaneers
  • Captain Sir Henry Morgan
  • Home of Ian Fleming (he actually wrote most of the James bond movies here)
  • Location where two James Bond movies were filmed ("Dr. No" and "Live and Let Die")
  • The only snow-free country to have a bobsled team entering the Winter Olympics
  • Jamaica's best-known waterfall: Dunn's River
  • First snow-free country to participate in ice hockey


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    • profile image

      ESHE ANDERSON 5 months ago


    • profile image

      Jamaica 2 years ago

      So happy for all Jamaican

    • profile image

      Jamaica 2 years ago

      So happy for all Jamaican

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Vespawoolf, the language has been debated for years and a dictionary was put together. Not sure how soon it will be official. Thanks a lot for stopping by and liking. Jeez, I should have put "all of the above" on the list...lol

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      What an awesome top ten list! The only thing missing on your poll is "all of the above"! I didn't realize that patois is the soon-to-be official dialect of Jamaica. How interesting! I love all things Jamaican. Voted up and shared.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Tirelesstraveler, thanks for the complement. I hope you get to visit Jamaica soon.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Been dreaming of going to Hawaii, but Jamaica beaches look more beautiful.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks Jenna. I hope you get a chance to visit as well. Have a great day!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I've never been to Jamaica, but this wonderful hub makes me long to go even more. Thank you for sharing this with us. And I LOVED the video music video. :-)

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Epbooks. I have heard stories of people visiting various non-English speaking countries where people have asked them where they are from, they reply "Jamaica' and no one knows of it; then they say "Bob Marley" and recognition sets in ...lol

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Wonderful hub. I haven't been yet, but I would love to visit there. And yes, of course Bob Marley! I think everyone does know him for sure! Thanks for this info. Voted up.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Om, lol. I really wish you could experience our island. The beach is one of the few things that you have to come to Jamaica to experience. But you can drink rum while listening to reggae.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

      What a lovely hub! I guess #5 is the biggest reason I want to visit Jamaica. Now I'm imagining myself sitting on the Seven Mile beach, sipping some Jamaican rum and listening to Bob Marley music. Ah, paradise!

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Sparlea, I hope you get to come to Jamaica. I have always wanted to visit Hawaii too. The food is what captivates me and I really want to learn how to cook Hawaiian.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Lela, no one has to know you didn't get a tan, you can always use a bronzer...lol. It's not hard to migrate at all.....when are you coming?

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Cardisa: Voted up, useful and interesting. GORGEOUS pictures, especially of the beach. I feel like I learned so much from this hub, and I thank you for sharing. I have never been to Jamaica but I know people who have, and they say it is beautiful. I have been to Hawaii twice, one of the most spectacular places in the world. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Ok, I'm boxing up those kittens now! I want to go to Jamaica, mon. I want to eat some jerk chicken! I want to get a tan (never happen). I've always wanted a tan, but lobster red is the color that the sun turns my skin into dammit.

      How hard is it to immigrate to Jamaica?

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      lol....Martin Hi. Did I put the rum on the poll? Must check.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Aloha Stephanie. Thank you.

      I have always wanted to visit Hawaii as well. I am fascinated by your cuisine and would like to learn more about your culture.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this' Sorry for me it was the rum. (appleton)

    • Hawaiian Scribe profile image

      Stephanie Launiu 4 years ago from Hawai'i

      My daughter and her family visited Jamaica last summer and loved it. Even though I live in Hawaii, which many consider an island paradise, I'd definitely like to visit your island as well. Mahalo for your hub! Voted up, useful, interesting. Aloha, Stephanie

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Ruby, been busy for a while, had to take time out to write a hub...lol

      I am jealous of your snow. I actually prefer cold wet weathers to our sweltering heat in the summer.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      You create the most interesting hubs Cardisa. I am listening to the video. I don't understand a word, but i love the beat. You are so lucky to live in Jamaica, sunshine , never really cold. How much better could it get? Thank you. Good to see you again...

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Billy. The rubbing opposing thumbs is similar to the handshake and I though it was only local until I saw it in a movie recently. I was shocked!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have never heard of rubbing thumbs together for brotherhood. Very cool...and those beaches....and jerk chicken.....heaven right here on Earth.