Geography: With an area of 10,911 sq km (4,244 sq miles), Jamaica is the largest island of the Commonwealth Caribbean and the third largest of the Greater Antilles, after Cuba and Hispaniola. A largely mountainous terrain reaches 2,256m (7,402ft) at the Blue Mountain Peak in the east, descending westward in a series of ridges and forested ravines. Over 1,000km (621 miles) of coastline offers fine beaches in the north and west. At its greatest extent, Jamaica is 235km (146 miles) long with a width that varies between 35 and 82 km (22 and 51 miles). The island is a quarter the size of Estonia, half the size of the Scottish Highlands, roughly the same size of the American state of Connecticut.
Government: Constitutional monarchy. Gained independence from the UK in 1962.