JAMAICA  |  South Coast, Jamaica Travel Guide
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Mandeville, Jamaica

Mandeville, Jamaica


Mandeville is one of Jamaica’s hidden treasures, a community tucked high in the mountains at an elevation of 2,000 feet above sea level, ensuring cooler days and nights than in the coastal communities. The region first appealed to Jamaica’s English settlers, who came here to escape the heat and founded a town in 1816. Soon, an English-style community, with a central square and clock tower, was established. Small hotels arose to serve the expatriates and the travelers who came to do business in the area’s bauxite industry. But in the 1950s, Jamaica’s other assets, its beautiful beaches and coastal areas, began to outshine this getaway. Tourism in Mandeville declined, although the area became a favorite with Jamaicans who had lived abroad and returned to retire, building grand homes.

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Today Mandeville sits in sharp contrast to other Jamaican cities. Shiny new fast food outlets stand on clean, guttered streets. Jamaica’s omnipresent burglar bars are missing from many residences. Massive homes, as impressive as any along the California coastline, cling to hillsides. No vendors search for travelers. Still, the city remains true to its Jamaican roots. In this environment almost devoid of tourists, adventure travelers can meet Jamaica residents up close and personal. Take a stroll around town, dine in one of the small, local restaurants, and don’t be surprised by an invitation to join someone at a private party in their home.

It’s easy to see that Mandeville boasts the highest standard of living on the island as well as the lowest crime rate. Much of the wealth seen in the town comes from the Alcan Jamaica bauxite plant, the region’s major employer.

Last updated October 14, 2011
Posted in   Jamaica  |  South Coast
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