Ask any Jamaican "Where is Jamaica?" and you'll see that we're visibly shaken. You know where the USA is, don't you? And the UK? Well, how could you possibly not know where Jamaica is located, seeing that we're the most important place in the world? Are you from planet earth? (Big smile!)
Everyone knows that we're just under Cuba, to the right of Mexico and the left of Haiti. A hop and a skip to the left and you'll be in Grand Cayman. We're close enough to Florida that the flights could be a lot cheaper. But so far away from the UK that you better take food along if you don't want to starve on the nine-hour flight.
All that, and you're still asking "Where is Jamaica located?" Well if you really have to be accurate, with latitudes and hemispheres and all that, here goes:
Jamaica is in the West Indies, which is an archipelago of islands between southeast United States and northern South America. The island is in the Northern and Western Hemispheres, located at latitude 17 degrees North (approximately), and between longitude 77 and 79 degrees West. It is surrounded by the Caribbean sea. We form a part of the Greater Antilles, which also include Cuba, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti). These are the largest islands in the archipelago, found in the north west Caribbean.
Our closest neighbours are Cuba which is 90 miles (140 km) to the north, and Haiti which is 118 miles (190 km) to the east.
Click on the thumbnail map below to see Jamaica's location in the Caribbean Sea, courtesy of www.paradise-islands.org (opens a new window).
The table below shows approximate distances and flight times from Kingston to some of the major cities of the Caribbean and the world. You'll notice that Jamaica is closer to Florida than it is to fellow Caribbean counries like Barbados, Trinidad and Guyana. Just goes to show how big the Caribbean actually is.
|From Kingston to:||Approximate distance in miles||Approximate flying time|
|Miami, Florida||580||1hr 25m|
|New York, New York||1578||3 hr 45 m|
|London, England||4690||9hr 45m|
|Toronto, Canada||1791||3hr 40m|
|Bridgetown, Barbados||1182||2hr 38m|
|Georgetown, Guyana||1474||3hr 5m|
|Port of Spain, Trinidad||1131||2hr 30m|
|Berlin, Germany||5252||10hr 50m|
|Beijing, China||8360||17hr 30m|
|Johannesburg, South Africa||7592||15hr 45m|
|Madrid, Spain||4550||9hr 30m|
|Mexico City, Mexico||1467||3hr 5m|
|Sydney, Ausralia||9294||19hr 20m|