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Jamaica

Jamaica

Region: Central America

Area: 10,991 km²

Capital: Kingston

Major cities: Kingston, New Kingston, Spanish Town

Climate: tropical with constant warm to hot temperatures all year round

Languages spoken: English

Religion: Christianity

Local time: GMT-5

Calling code: +876

Currency: Jamaican dollar

Credit cards: VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Diners club

Visa: not required for citizens of the USA for a stay up to 180 days; not required for citizens of EU, Israel, and Japan; required for CIS nationals. For more details please visit http://www.traveldocs.com/jm/

Transport: water transport, air transport

International airports (cities): Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios

Medical and tourism sectors of Jamaican economy are in the process of rapid development despite the global economic crisis. By the recent data of the Caribbean tourism organization, Jamaica has received over 600 thousand of tourists from June to September 2010, which is by 10 % more than during the same period in 2009. Noteworthy, over 10 % of overseas tourists arrive in this country for health improvement and appearance correction. According to local authorities, active dynamics of growth in Jamaica became possible because many companies today put in great efforts to achieve global level — both in medical services and attendance to foreign citizens.

Health care system of Jamaica is represented by both state and private medical facilities. They are furnished with modern equipment and apply cutting-edge medical technologies. The quality of medical services and service provision to patients meets world standards.

The Ministry of Tourism informs that in 2011 they are planning to invest over 230 mln Jamaican dollars into the improvement and upgrading of recovery resorts thus turning them into the island’s trademark.

The practice of combining recreation and medical procedures has become a well-established tradition in the country. Most overseas patients who made up their mind to have treatment done in Jamaica come here for receiving medical services in the field of plastic surgery, cardio surgery, dentistry, and post-traumatic rehabilitation.

Plastic surgeons of Jamaica complete their training and upgrade qualifications in the best clinics of Europe and USA, have adequate certificates and wide practical experience. The following procedures are largely popular among medical tourists: breast augmentation, contour face lift, rhinoplasty, liposuction in various body parts, eyelid and chin correction. Liberal price policy and high service quality combined with excellent recreation at luxury hotels and rehabilitation at local spa resorts attract floods of patients from the USA and the UK.

Affordable prices and the possibility to unite quality dental treatment and prosthetics with splendid rest gave a powerful impulse for dental tourism development in Jamaica. Overseas patients often choose such dental services as implantation, prosthetics, whitening, and preventive checkups.

Recommended time for treatment: October, November, March, April.

Clinics:

Jamaica’s geographical proximity to North America provides the country with a constant inflow of tourists from this continent. However, citizens of Western Europe and the CIS countries also started arriving here lately. Well-known Jamaican spa resorts targeted at overseas guests offer multiple choice of various recovery services: from balneotherapy to obsidian massage.

Jamaican complex massage is one of the most consumer-demanded spa procedures on the island. This massage implies various techniques: circular movements, stretching, kneading, and deep pressure. It also includes Oriental traditions of acupressure or massaging vital points. Taken as a complex, this procedure improves blood circulation, relieves muscle and nervous tensions, restores inner balance of the organism, and returns vigour. Traditionally massage is performed applying grapes, coconut, rose, and jasmine.

Depending on doctor’s recommendations, patients may choose from a variety of fields on the list of standard spa services in Jamaica: thalassotherapy, thermal waters, balneotherapy, or mud treatment. The regions of Clarendon and Saint Thomas are key centres of spa and wellness with international-class luxury spa centres.

In Jamaica, sea water for thalassotherapy is retrieved 380 m further away from the coastline and from the depth of 4 m. Sea water rich in mineral salts is heated to the temperature of 35°С and is purified and changed daily. As a rule, 30 minutes spent in a mud or sea-water bath are enough for human skin to absorb all necessary elements. For this reason thalassotherapy is recommended for increasing the overall tonus of the body. Procedures using sea water relieve joint aches caused by arthrosis and rheumatism. Mud and massage baths with seaweed and molluscs stimulate blood circulation and normalize the lymphatic system. Aqua aerobics (or physical exercise in heated sea water) facilitate quick recovery or considerable improvement after diseases of joints, spine, and extremities. Gymnastics in water also helps in obesity and stress treatment.

When coming to the island, be sure to avail of the services of spa saloons offering stone therapy. In Jamaica, marble and basalt are traditionally applied in stone massage. Due to its permanently low temperature, marble represents female yin energy and normalises the nervous system. In its turn, basalt is the source of male yang energy due to its property to become warm quickly and is also known to contain high concentration of iron. Some spas perform massage with obsidian, which is one of the types of volcanic rock formed during lava consolidation.

For most patients suffering from rheumatism or depressions, local rehabilitologists recommend taking mud baths. Sea water microelements are applied both in diet therapy and in mud baths. They aid in splitting of fat layer and normalisation of metabolism.

3*- from €40;

4*- from €50;

5*- from €60.

Jamaica’s national cuisine is a bold blend of Indian, African, Spanish, and English cuisine. Traditional dishes are based on fruits, pork, poultry, sea products, vegetables, various seasonings and spices (curry, pepper, hot chilli pepper, ginger, nutmeg, garlic, habanera pepper).

Meat dishes

Manish Water (the most ancient Jamaican dish prepared from goat head and leg, bananas, yams, white rum, and pepper); goat meat roasted on coals with beans; stewed chicken with rice; Jerk (a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meats are dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice and roasted on coals of capsicum wood); Picadillo — beef with rice; Creole pork.

Soups

Akee (Blighia sapida) soup; fish broth; broth with mussels; thick soup from Cows Cod (special kind of cod fish, pepper, white rum, bananas, yams).

Fruit dishes

Fruit salads and cocktails; fried bananas and pineapples; frosted bananas with rum; baked bananas; salads in a fresh-broken coconut; various beverages from local fruits (oranik, coal, akka (raw fruit is poisonous, when cooked resembles the taste of scrambled eggs), papaya, avocado, star apple, guava). 

Desserts

Jamaican coconut bread, rice pudding, banana cupcake, coconut cookies.

Beverages

Jamaican rum and rum-based liquors, coffee with cardamom and rum, tea (black, from flower petals, herbal), fresh-squeesed juices, Sky Juice (a drink from ice chips and syrup), coconut juice served in the nut.

Though Jamaica is a considerably small island, it has a number of wonderful places worth visiting. The most prominent among them are:

Kingston

The Institute of Jamaica; the National Gallery at the Roy West Building; King;s House (former official residence of a Governor-General of Jamaica, now a museum); Jamaican Military Museum; Spanish Town Cathedral, also known as the St. Catherine Parish Church (XVII century); Arawak Indian Museum’ Castleton Botanical Garden; National Dance Theatre Company; Caymanas Park; African Museum; Fort Charles Maritime Museum; Bob Marley Museum in the former house of the singer.

Negril

Y.S. Falls; scenic fisherman’s villages; picturesque Appleton Estate Rum Distillery (where the famous Jamaican rum is made).

Ocho Rios

Harmony Hall Art Gallery; Dance River Falls; operating fruit and coffee plantations.

Island’s coast

Cashew Ostrich Park, Long Bay area in the north-eastern part of the island, Port Royal (former capital of the pirates of the Caribbean), Saint Ann’s Bay, Nine Miles village (birthplace of Bob Marley), an excursion over the Blue Mountains on foot or horseback, water sports

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