For such a small island, Jamaica has had a massive influence on the world. This legendary nation, which celebrates 50 years of independence in 2012, evokes passion and affection even in those who have never visited, and brings a dreamy look to the faces of those who have.

It has produced the most celebrated reggae star in history, Bob Marley, and some of the greatest sportsmen in the world, including Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake. It has inspired writers, artists and filmmakers.

Jamaica

The very name conjures up images of an idyllic life, a laid-back place of Caribbean beaches and rum shacks; and indeed, Jamaica has all that and more.

Jamaica is the liveliest, most captivating and most compelling island in the English-speaking Caribbean. The experience is stronger here – Jamaica takes familiar strains from around the Caribbean and amplifies them.

Independent travellers should be aware that there are two major airports in Jamaica. Sangster International (MBJ) at Montego Bay in the north-west, serves resorts in the western end of the island (from Treasure Beach round the western point (Negril), Montego Bay itself, and along the north coast as far as Ocho Rios). For the capital, Kingston, the Blue Mountains and Port Antonio in the north-east, fly into Norman Manley International in Kingston (KGN).