Kingston is the capital city of Jamaica’s and cultural centre. With the largest natural harbour in the Caribbean (and 7 th largest in the world), Kingston is also an industrial centre where Georgian architecture mixes with modern office blocks while, on the outskirts, spreading suburbs house the 100's of 1000's who increasingly work in the city. Although most tourists head for the beaches and resorts, Kingston has a lot to offer in the way of sightseeing.
The National Gallery of Art has a colourful display of modern art and is advised. Hope Botanical Gardens contain a wide variety of trees and plants and are extremely famous for orchids. A band plays here on Sunday afternoons. A Crafts Market exists on King Street and the Port Royal, on top of the peninsula bordering Kingston Harbour, is a museum to the time when Port Royal (Jamaica’s ancient capital city that was submerged under the sea after an earthquake in 1692) was known as the ‘richest and wickedest city on earth’ under the domination of Captain Morgan and his buccaneers.
The White Marl Arawak Museum is also worth seeing, here, visitors can see relics and artefacts of the ancient culture of the Arawak Indians. The grounds of the University of the West Indies, built on what was once a sugar plantation, are open to the public. Caymanas Park is a well known race track, where you can bet on the horses every Wednesday and Saturday and also during public holidays.
Spanish Town is a short drive to the west of Kingston, and is the former capital of Jamaica. The Spanish Town Square is said to be one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the Western hemisphere. The Spanish Cathedral of St Jago de la Vega is the most ancient in the West Indies.
Mandeville is set amid stunning gardens and fruits, at the heart of Jamaica’s citrus industry, 600 metres (2,000 feet) above sea level and the highest town on the island. Mandeville offers cool relief from the heat of the coast, and has a golf course, horse riding facilities and tennis. The town is the centre of the bauxite industry, and is a great starting point for trips to the surrounding areas.
On the south coast are Milk River Spa, a naturally radioactive mineral bath with waters at a temperature of 33 °C (86 °F), Lover’s Leap in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a sheer 18 metres (60 feet) cliff overhanging the sea, Treasure Beach and the resort of Bluefields.