Geography

Total Area: 10,990 sq km
Land Area: 10,830 sq km
Area of Water: 160 sq km

Geographic Location Coordinates: 18 15 N, 77 30 W

Jamaica, a member of the Greater Antilles, lies 150 kilometers south of Cuba and 160 kilometers west of Haiti. Jamaica is the largest of the West Indian islands. It has an area of 11,424 square kilometers, and is 243 kilometers long. Jamaica is a lush tropical island in the heart of the Caribbean.

The most striking physical feature of Jamaica is its mountainous nature. Nearly half the island is over 300m above sea level. The mountains of the island are located mostly on the interior and can be broken up into three main groups.

The first group situated in the eastern section is composed of the Blue Mountains. They are the highest mountains in Jamaica, reaching 2,250 meters and are about 75 kilometers long. The first group is also composed of the John Crow Mountains and are the most easterly mountains of the island, running form north-west to south-east in the parish of Portland, and divide the Rio Grande valley from the east coast of the island.

The second group or central region, is formed chiefly of limestone, and extends from Stony Hill to the Cockpit country. The central range starts from Stony Hill and runs in a westwards and north-easterly direction through Mammee Hill, Red Hills, Bog Walk, Guy’s Hill, Mount Diablo and finally into the Cockpit country.

The third section is the western section with Dolphin Head as its center. These lush green mountains are home to a rich river network. The rivers of Jamaica generally flow north or south from the interior to the coastline, since the mountains whose slopes they start on run west to east. They are over 120 rivers in Jamaica. The largest of the rivers in Jamaica is the Black River. It is 73 kilometers long. Another popular river of the island is the Rio Grande, which has its course through some of the wildest and most beautiful scenery in the island. For these reasons, rafting on this river has become an extremely popular sporting pastime. The principal rivers of the island are listed below.

PRINCIPAL RIVERS

  • St. Thomas
    • The Plantain Garden River
    • The Yallahs and Morant Rivers
  • Portland
    • The Rio Grande
    • The Swift
    • Buff Bay
    • Spanish Rivers.
  • St. Andrew
    • The Hope and Cane Rivers
  • St. Catherine
    • The Rio Cobre and Ferry Rivers.
  • St. Mary
    • The Wag Water
    • The Dry River
    • Rio Nuevo
    • White River.
  • St. Ann
    • The Roaring River
    • Llandovery River
    • Rio Bueno
  • Between St. Ann & Clarendon
    • The Cave River.
  • In Clarendon
    • The Milk River
    • Rio Minho
  • St. Elizabeth
    • The Black River
  • Trelawny
    • The Martha Brae River
  • St. James
    • The Great River
  • Westmoreland
    • The Cabaritta River

With so many rivers and mountains, and an average of 77 inches of rain, mostly in October and May, it is no wonder that Jamaica is referred to as the “Land of Wood and Water.”

Jamaica is also home to more than 3000 varieties of flowers, 800 of which are found only in Jamaica and 200 species of birds, which include the national bird, the Doctor bird.

The average temperature of the island is 80 F. With so much plush vegetation, beautiful rivers and wide range of wild life Jamaica definitely has a lot to do and see in a warm welcoming climate.

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