With an all-year forecast of warm, sunny weather, alluring saltwater beaches and serene sunsets, Jamaica is undeniably one of the most beautiful countries in the Caribbean. But aside from the white sand beaches, irie vibes and palm trees, the island’s beauty transcends well beyond its aesthetic appeal.
As the indigenous land of the Taíno peoples, and birthplace of Black revolutionist Marcus Garvey and reggae music icon Beres Hammond, it is Jamaica’s riveting history and affluent culture that captures the true essence of this distinct Caribbean nation.
Whether you visit a local museum, climb Dunns River Falls or experience first-hand the unparalleled hospitality of a local resident, Jamaica is an exceptionally ideal destination for inquisitive Black millennials who are interested in expanding their African diasporic knowledge.
If you’re planning to visit this exquisite island (hopefully in the near future), here are some captivating historic landmarks to visit during your stay.
32 Market Street
Located on the north coast of the island in St. Ann’s Bay, this historic site is the birthplace of the Honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jamaica’s first National Hero.
Accompong Maroon Village
Accompong Maroon Village, named after the esteemed Maroon leader, is a historical village located in the southwestern parish of St. Elizabeth. In 1739,
runaway slaves forced African migrants signed a peace treaty with British settlers to gain sovereignty over the land, where they originally settled with the indigenous Taíno peoples of Jamaica. The treaty still stands today. Current residents of Accompong share similar cultural practices as their African ancestors, which are believed to have originated 200-300 years ago.
Bamboo Avenue is one of the most unique and majestic sites in the parish of St. Elizabeth. Established in the 17th century, this two and a half mile stretch of road is lined with giant bamboo plants on both sides which tower above the street, creating a natural shady tunnel.
Bob Marley Museum
Six years after Bob Marley’s death in 1981, wife Rita Marley transformed their house into a museum, inviting residents and tourists to explore the life of the late reggae music paragon right in his own home. The property features some of Marley’s personal belongings, an 80-person theatre, photo gallery, gift shop and a restaurant.
Blue Mountain Peak
Standing at 7,402 feet, Blue Mountain Peak is the highest mountain in Jamaica. Located on the border of the parishes of Portland and St. Thomas, is it known as a great destination for hiking and camping, and is also the only place where Jamaica’s famed Blue Mountain Coffee can be grown.
Devon House Heritage Site
Built in 1881, the Devon House mansion is the former home of Jamaica’s first Black millionaire and philanthropist, George Stiebel. In 1990 the Jamaica National Heritage Trust declared the property a national monument.
Dunns River Falls
Located in the popular tourist destination of Ocho Rios, St Ann, Dunns River Falls has a deep history ranging back to the 15th century. It is believed that near this site in 1657 the battle of “Las Chorreras” took place, where the British claimed victory over the land. Today, Dunns River Falls has become a popular tourist destination. Visitors enjoy climbing the falls and lounging in one of the several nearby lagoons and pools.
Kingston’s Emancipation Park is best known for it’s 11-foot bronze sculpture created by Jamaican artist Laura Facey-Cooper. Unveiled in July 2003, this captivating sculpture symbolizes the Jamaican people’s jubilant rise from slavery.
Green Grotto Caves
The Green Grotto Caves were first discovered by the Taíno peoples of Jamaica, where fragments of their pottery and artifacts have been uncovered over time. During the 17th century, the Spanish used these caves as a hideout when the English invaded Jamaica.
Located in the country’s capital of Kingston, Liberty Hall was the former international headquarters for Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League. Today, the building has been converted into a library, multimedia museum and educational center, focusing on the legacy of Garvey.
Emerging where the mountains of Santa Cruz come to an abrupt end, Lover’s Leap is believed to have been named after two 18th century lovers Mizzy and Tunkey. Word is their British
master kidnapper took a liking to Mizzy and threatened to bid off Tunkey. The couple was simply not having that and instead chose end their lives by jumping off the cliff together.
Milk River Bath
Milk River Bath is a natural mineral spa in the parish of Clarendon. It is believed that during the 17th century, a slave, badly beaten by a
slave master European settler, bathed in the natural waters and later returned fully healed.
National Gallery of Jamaica
Established in 1974, the National Gallery of Jamaica is the oldest and largest public art museum in the English-speaking Caribbean. This gallery features a collection of early, modern and contemporary art from Jamaica and other Caribbean nations.
National Heroes Park
The National Heroes Park, located in Kingston, houses several astounding monuments honoring the National Heroes of Jamaica.
Located in the Kingston Harbour, Port Royal, first known as Caguay or Caguaya, was originally used by the Taínos during their fishing expeditions. European settlers later renamed the area Port Royal and it became the center of shopping commerce in the Caribbean sea towards the end of the 17th century.
Rosie and ‘har fambilly’s yawd’
Royal Palm Reserve
This tranquil forest is one of Jamaica’s famed eco-tourism attractions. Here, visitors can discover 114 plant species, over 300 various bird, butterfly and reptile species and also the Morass Royal Palms, which are exclusive to Jamaica.
Sam Sharpe Square
Located in downtown Montego Bay, Sam Sharpe Square honors the Jamaican National Hero and resilient
slave leader, Samuel Sharpe. In 1831 Sharpe organized the Christmas Abolition, where he urged other slaves African migrants to resist work on Christmas Day. This act of peaceful resilience later turned violent when several fires broke out days later, which resulted in hundreds of deaths. Sharpe was hung on May 23, 1832. Prior to his death he stated, “I would rather die upon yonder gallows than live in slavery.”
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