BRITISH WEST INDIES: Island in the Sun

"It is the fairest land that eyes have beheld," wrote Christopher Columbus when he discovered the Caribbean island of Jamaica in 1494. This winter 100,000 sun-seeking North American tourists are discovering Jamaica and echoing Columbus. The lush British colony, only three hours by air from Miami, is the Temperate Zone dweller's vision of Eden: white sand beaches and an emerald surf, blue mountains and waterfalls in the distance, a green landscape of palms, banana and sugar cane, splashed with gaudy contrasts of scarlet poinciana blooms, yellow and coral bougainvillaea vines and fragrant orchards of mangoes, limes and tangerines.

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