Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea, comprising the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles. Jamaica is the fifth-largest island country in the Caribbean. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. Kingston is the country's largest city and its capital, with a population of 937,700.
Tourist attractions include Dunn's River Falls in St. Ann, YS Falls in St. Elizabeth, the Blue Lagoon in Portland. Port Royal was the site of a major earthquake in 1692 that helped form the island's Palisadoes. The climate in Jamaica is tropical, with hot and humid weather, although higher inland regions are more temperate. Some regions on the south coast, such as the Liguanea Plain and the Pedro Plains, are relatively dry rain-shadow areas. Jamaica lies in the hurricane belt of the Atlantic Ocean and because of this, the island sometimes suffers significant storm damage.
Much of the Jamaican Black population are of African or partially African descent with many being able to trace their origins to West Africa,as well as Europe and Asia. Many Mixed Jamaicans self-report as Black - as is the case with many other anglophone Caribbean islands.
Asians form the second largest group and include East Indians and the Chinese. The official language of Jamaica is English. Jamaicans primarily speak an English-African Creole language known as Jamaican Patois, which has become known widely through the spread of Reggae music. Though a small nation, Jamaican culture has a strong global presence. The musical genres reggae, ska, mento, rocksteady, dub, and, more recently, dancehall and ragga all originated in the island's vibrant, popular urban recording industry. Jamaica also played an important role in the development of punk rock, through reggae and ska. Reggae has also influenced American rap music, as they share roots as rhythmic, African styles of music. Some rappers, such as The Notorious B.I.G. and Heavy D, are of Jamaican descent. Internationally known reggae musician Bob Marley was also Jamaican.
Jamaica is a mixed economy with both state enterprises and private sector businesses. Major sectors of the Jamaican economy include agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, and financial and insurance services. Tourism and mining are the leading earners of foreign exchange. Half the Jamaican economy relies on services, with half of its income coming from services such as tourism. An estimated 1.3 million foreign tourists visit Jamaica every year.
Santorini (Greek: Σαντορίνη), classically Thera and officially Thira is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km southeast of Greece's mainland. It is the most southern island of the Cyclades in the south of the Aegean sea.
Intriguing history, awesome volcanic landscape, cosmopolitan atmosphere, breathtaking sunsets, deep blue sea, the volcano, are just some of the reasons that make Santorini the most popular holiday destination in Greece. Santorini has a metaphysical energy that becomes you as you sail into the Caldera rim and gaze up the steep cliffs. The capital, Fira, clings to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon.
Santorini was named by the Latin Empire in the thirteenth century, and is a reference to Saint Irene, from the name of the old cathedral in the village of Perissa. Before then, it was known as Kallístē (Καλλίστη, "the most beautiful one"), Strongýlē (Greek:Στρογγύλη, "the circular one"), or Thēra.
Santorini and Anafi are the only locations in Europe to feature a hot desert climate according to the Köppen climate classification system. Santorini generally experiences two seasons. April to October is the warm and dry season and the cold and rainy season lasts from November to March.
The expansion of tourism has resulted in the growth of the economy and population. The major settlements include Fira (Phira), Oia, Emporio, Kamari, Perissa, Imerovigli, Pyrgos, andTherasia. Akrotiri is a major archaeological site, with ruins from the Minoan era. Santorini's primary industry is tourism, particularly in the summer months. In 2007, the cruise shipMS Sea Diamond ran aground and sank inside the caldera.
The traditional architecture of Santorini is similar to that of the other Cyclades, with low-lying cubical houses, made of local stone and whitewashed or limewashed with various volcanic ashes used as colours. The unique characteristic is the common utilisation of the hypóskapha: extensions of houses dug sideways or downwards into the surrounding pumice. These rooms are prized because of the high insulation provided by the air-filled pumice, and are used as living quarters of unique coolness in the summer and warmth in the winter. These are premium storage space for produce, especially for wine cellaring: the Kánava wineries of Santorini.
Barbados is a sovereign island country in the Lesser Antilles. Barbados was discovered by Spanish navigators in the late 15th century and claimed for the Spanish Crown. In 1627 the first permanent settlers arrived from England, and it became an English and later British colony. In 1966, Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm, retaining Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. It has a population of 277,821 people, mostly of African descent.
Geography and climate The country generally experiences two seasons, one of which includes noticeably higher rainfall. Known as the "wet season", this period runs from June to November. By contrast, the "dry season" runs from December to May. From December to May the average temperatures range from 21 to 31 °C (70 to 88 °F), while between June and November, they range from 23 to 31 °C (73 to 88 °F). Infrequent natural hazards include earthquakes, landslips, and hurricanes. Barbados is often spared the worst effects of the region'stropical storms and hurricanes during the rainy season.
Demographics Barbados has a population of about 281,968 and a population growth rate of 0.33% (Mid-2005 estimates). It currently ranks as: the fourth most densely populated country in the Americas (18th globally), and the 10th most populated island country in the region.
Close to 90% of all Barbadians (also known colloquially as "Bajan") are of Afro-Caribbean descent ("Afro-Bajans") and mixed-descent. The remainder of the population includes groups of Europeans ("Anglo-Bajans" / "Euro-Bajans") mainly from the United Kingdom and Ireland, along with Asians, mostly Chinese and Indians (both Hindu and Muslim). Other groups in Barbados include people from the United Kingdom, United States and Canada.
Culture The influence of the English on Barbados is more noticeable than on other islands in the West Indies. A good example of this is the island's national sport: cricket.
The largest carnival-like cultural event that takes place on the island is the Crop Over festival.
Crop Over gets under way at the beginning of July and ends with the costumed parade on Kadooment Day, held on the first Monday of August.
In music, Grammy winner Rihanna (born in Saint Michael) is one of Barbados' best-known artists.