The peaceful (now extinct) Arawak Indians were the first inhabitants of the islands. The existence of their warlike adversaries the Caribs made constant migration throughout the islands a necessity for these people. The island is still steeped in their ancient tradition.
Jamaica is a mountainous island of 4,244 square miles (10,991 square kilometres). The Blue Mountains in the east, composed in part of ancient volcanic rock, contains the island’s tallest peak at 7,402 feet (2,256 meters). The northern slopes of the Blue Mountains and the nearby John Crow Mountains are a completely uninhabited wilderness. Another unpopulated regions is the Cockpit Country in the centre of the island. A roadless jumble of limestone pinnacles and glades, the region is riddled with spectacular caves. In the west and along the coasts are savannahs, plains, and scattered trees. Most Jamaicans live on the coastal plains.

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