Jamaica was originally known as "the land of wood and water." This phrase came from the word Xaymaca, which is what the indigenous Taíno people called the island. Other nicknames for Jamaica include "the Rock," "Jamrock," "Jamdown" and "Ja."
Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean and the fifth largest Caribbean nation. In 1494, Christopher Columbus claimed the island for Spain, but the island was later claimed by the British in 1655 after defeating the Spaniards. On August 6, 1962, Jamaica became independent from the United Kingdom and a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Jamaica is a tourist destination and is featured as a port of call on many popular cruises. It is also home to several all-inclusive resorts.