It has been said that Christopher Columbus had difficultly describing the beauty of Jamaica after he landed on its shores in 1494. In the centuries since Columbus explored the island, Jamaica has been lauded through music, art and the written word for its stunning natural splendor, friendly residents and appreciation for the good life. And long before Bob Marley's lyrics were tweaked to encourage people to "come to Jamaica and feel all right," the island was a favorite among wealthy Europeans who flocked to its white sand beaches. The reliance on tourism has created an environment that caters to the every whim of the visitor. There are small communities filled with local flavor, luxury resorts, adventure tours, plantations showcasing life as it was centuries before, museums featuring Jamaican artists, heritage and music festivals and restaurants serving up Jamaican cuisine.

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