St. James Travel Guide

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St. James Travel Guide

St. James Local History

The name of the country derives from the name Xamayca, meaning land of wood and water, given to it by the original Arawak people from South America, who first settled there around the year 1000.

Jamaica was first claimed for Spain after Christopher Columbus discovered it in 1494. Columbus used it as his family's private estate. The British seized the island in 1670. Under the first 200 years of British rule, Jamaica became the world's largest sugar exporting nation, which was achieved through the massive use of imported African slave labor.

Britain's over-zealousness in using slavery soon backfired, and by the start of the 19th century, blacks outnumbered whites to a rate of almost 20 to one. A series of revolts followed, and in 1838 slavery was formally abolished.

Over the years Jamaica slowly gained independence from Britain, and in 1958 Jamaica became a province in an independent nation called the Federation of the West Indies. Jamaica separated from the federation in 1962 and is now a completely sovereign nation. Deteriorating economic conditions during the 1970s led to recurrent violence and a drop-off in tourism.

St. James Attractions

St. James Activities

AquaSol Theme Park located at the Walter Fletcher Beach has many water slides, a sure winner with children of all ages. Meet Soupie, Canie and Roots Man. There are live Reggae shows, Go-Cart racing and banana boating, an altogether fun place for families. MoBay Under Sea Tour. All there is to sea of Jamaica's colourful marine life, just like scuba divers do, without getting wet! View the underwater world from a semi-sub, quite a unique experience for young and old.

Kensington Metropark is a huge park surrounding the beautiful Kent Lake. There is a nature center, a farm learning centre, picnic areas, beaches, boats to rent, hiking and biking trail and an 18-hole golf course. Boat excursions run daily from noon to six in the evening. Paddle boats, row boats and kayaks can be rented. Meet the animals in the farm learning centre, tour a 150 year old horse barn and poultry house and enjoy hayrides.

St. James Parks & Gardens

Rocklands Bird Sanctuary is a popular destination. This wildlife park affords you the pleasure of feeding birds. Among Jamaica's beautiful birds are the orange quit, saffron finch, hummingbird and the streamer tailed doctor bird, the national bird of Jamaica. A feeding station was opened here in 1958 and both bird and man flock here.

Montego Bay Marine Park in a nature reserve for marine life. The fantastic array of sea life is a popular draw card for families with children. There are no entrance fees and this stretch of coastal waters is to help preserve habitats and marine species. It is a very diverse area with mangrove forests, white sand beaches, river estuaries, seagrass beds, corals and islands. The office and gift shop is at Pier 1 in Montega Bay.

St. James Beaches

Walter Fletcher Beach is for families with children. It is easy to reach and is one of the most beautiful beaches along the north coast. The gentle, tranquil waters are a great attraction. There are lifeguards, patrols who check on litter-bugs, change rooms and a restaurant. During winter it becomes rather crowded.

Doctor's Cave Beach is very lovely, the golden sands, gentle surf and clear turquoise waters are most inviting. Party vibes prevail and it is the best all-round beach to visit. The beach club here has well-kept change rooms, showers, restrooms, a food court, a bar, a cybercafe and umbrellas and beach chairs can be rented daily.

Rose Hall Beach Club may be the ultimate attraction, an entrance fee gives you a kilometer of secluded white sand beach and crystal clear water, a restaurant, a bar, a covered pavilion, an open-air dance area, change rooms, showers, restrooms, hammocks, beach volleyball courts, beach games and a watersports program.

St. James children's activities

AquaSol Theme Park located at the Walter Fletcher Beach has many water slides, a sure winner with children of all ages. Meet Soupie, Canie and Roots Man. There are live Reggae shows, Go-Cart racing and banana boating, an altogether fun place for families. MoBay Under Sea Tour. All there is to sea of Jamaica's colourful marine life, just like scuba divers do, without getting wet! View the underwater world from a semi-sub, quite a unique experience for young and old.

Kensington Metropark is a huge park surrounding the beautiful Kent Lake. There is a nature center, a farm learning centre, picnic areas, beaches, boats to rent, hiking and biking trail and an 18-hole golf course. Boat excursions run daily from noon to six in the evening. Paddle boats, row boats and kayaks can be rented. Meet the animals in the farm learning centre, tour a 150 year old horse barn and poultry house and enjoy hayrides.

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