Police Patrol, Montego Bay
Photograph by Ian Cumming/Photo Library
A policeman rides along the coast of Montego Bay, or MoBay, as the locals call it. A scattering of Arawak Indian villages once surrounded Jamaica’s second largest and most visited city, but now high-rise hotels and restaurants dominate the coastal landscape. The perfect blue water and golden sands have been attracting tourists since the turn of the century.
Photograph by Sasse/Laif/Aurora Photos
A guide navigates his boat through a small winding river that flows into the ocean at Frenchman’s Cove. Nestled in Port Antonio, the cliff-sheltered, vest-pocket beach was a favorite hideaway for luminaries such as J.P. Morgan and William Randolph Hearst.
Photograph by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
A man looks for customers to ride his horse along a beach in Kingston, Jamaica’s capital and arguably one of the Caribbean’s most vibrant cities. Nearly 600,000 people live here, many making a living off the million-plus visitors who pass through the island's tourism capital every year
Photograph by Paul Zahl
Mist shrouds the wrinkled peaks of the Blue Mountains. Christopher Columbus described Jamaica's terrain by crumpling a piece of paper and tossing it on a table. This ecologically diverse wilderness—where prized coffee is grown—is rarely trekked by Jamaicans, let alone foreign visitors.
Poor Man's Orchid
Photograph by Michael Melford
A poor man's orchid shines in a Port Antonio garden. Some 3,000 species of flowering plants flourish in Jamaica, 800 of them unique to the island.
Snorkeling in Long Bay
Photograph by Michael Melford
In Jamaica's Long Bay, a snorkeler watches a school of sergeant major fish, named for the colorful stripes that resemble a sergeant insignia. Some of the island’s best snorkeling can be found two miles (3.2 kilometers) from Negril, where crystal water and coral reefs wait below the coastline’s rocky cliffs.
Photograph by Getty Images
Rows of pawpaw trees, growing up to 40 feet (12 meters) tall, line the forest floor. The trees produce a delicious edible fruit, similar to a creamy mixture of banana, mango and pineapple.
Photograph by Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Two boys play soccer in a Kingston neighborhood. While Kingston is a city known for its high crime rate, efforts are being made by community leaders to reduce the violence, which is often drug related and contained to the poorest areas. Nevertheless, the city’s spirit remains undeniable—jumping with creative energy, music, dance, theater, and art.
Rose Hall Great House
Photograph by Ken Welsh/Photo Library
The stately Rose Hall Great House rests on a grassy plantation near Montego Bay. The plantation home was built in the late 1700s, when Jamaica was on its way to becoming the world’s leading sugarcane producer. The three-story Georgian edifice comes complete with the ghost of former mistress Annie Palmer, the legendary "White Witch," a voodoo priestess who supposedly killed off three husbands and took a series of slaves as lovers.
Photograph by Joe Lasky/Getty Images
Ocho Rios, the country’s prime cruise ship destination, is a gauntlet of colorful craft shops, food stands, and juke joints. The main stretch can be walked from end to end in under an hour—but the stroll is not a quiet one. Sidewalk vendors use banks of speakers to pour out reggae music at an ear-thumping volume.
Photograph by Dina Litovsky, Your Shot
Rastafarianism venerates the late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassi, who is hailed by Rastafarians as an incarnation of God. At the heart of the faith is the Rastafarians' belief that the smoking of cannabis—ganja—enjoys biblical sanction and aids meditation and spiritual awakening. The wearing of dreadlocks, hair that is matted into ropelike strands, is also closely associated with the movement.
Dunn's River Falls
Photograph by Hiroyuki Matsumoto/Getty Images
Visitors attempt the slip-sloshing climb up 600-foot (183-meter) Dunn's River Falls, located near Ocho Rios. The famous 1657 battle of Las Chorreras, in which Spanish and English fought for possession of the island, is said to have occurred here. These cascading waters empty directly into the Caribbean Sea.
Photograph by Greg Johnston/Lonely Planet
The thatched-roof Pelican Bar, planted on a sandbar, serves passing boaters and tourists on Treasure Beach, a low-key fishing village on Jamaica's less developed southern coast.
2015 Traveler Photo Contest
Explore the submissions, share your favorites, and check back for the winning images.