Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean, located to the south of Cuba and to the west of the island of Hispaniola. It is best known for its lush topography of mountains, rainforests and reef-lined beaches. Many of its all-inclusive resorts are clustered in the vibrant city, Montego Bay, with its British colonial architecture, and Negril, renowned for diving and snorkelling. Jamaica's climate is tropical, supporting diverse ecosystems with a wealth of plants and animals.
Previously inhabited by the indigenous Arawak and Taíno peoples, the island came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494. Named Santiago, it remained a possession of Spain until 1655, when England (later Great Britain) conquered the island and renamed it Jamaica. Under British rule, Jamaica became a leading sugar exporter, with its plantation economy highly dependent on slaves imported from Africa, followed later by Chinese and Indian indentured labour.