May Pen, Jamaica

Reading Time: 6 minutes

May Pen, Jamaica

Region: Clarendon

Geographic Coordinates: 17.965000, -77.245000
Temperature Range: 25.0°C to 32.0°C (77°F to 90°F)
Climate: Tropical climate with a wet season from May to November and a dry season from December to April.
Population: 135142
Language: English

May Pen is a lively town located in Clarendon Parish, Jamaica. It is home to around 70, 000 people and boasts a rich cultural heritage that can be seen through its architecture, Music, And cuisine. The town’s market square is one of its main attractions and offers visitors a variety of fresh produce as well as handmade crafts and clothing. The market square also serves as a social hub with live music performances and street food vendors adding to the lively atmosphere.

For those interested in history and culture, May Pen has several fascinating landmarks to explore including the Milk River Bath Spa which dates back over 200 years. Visitors can enjoy therapeutic mineral baths believed to have healing properties for various ailments. Another popular attraction in May Pen is the Denbigh Agricultural Showground which hosts an annual agricultural show every August showcasing Jamaica’s rich agricultural heritage. Nature lovers will appreciate nearby attractions such as the Rio Minho Falls offering breathtaking views of cascading waterfalls amidst lush tropical vegetation.

Food enthusiasts will be delighted by May Pen’s diverse culinary scene featuring traditional Jamaican dishes such as jerk chicken or fish served alongside delicious sides like rice & peas or festival (a sweet fried dumpling). There are also several restaurants serving international cuisine including Chinese food restaurants popular among locals. Accommodation options for visitors range from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious resorts catering for all types of travelers’ preferences. Overall, May Pen offers an authentic Jamaican experience filled with culture history stunning scenery delicious food making it an ideal destination for anyone looking to explore this charming town!

Important Landmarks

  1. Clarendon Park
  2. Denbigh Agricultural Showground
  3. Milk River Bath
  4. Lionel Town Square
  5. The Edwin Allen High School Museum

Besides these attractions, May Pen is known for its bustling market and vibrant culture that visitors can explore by interacting with the locals and trying local cuisine like jerk chicken and rice and peas dishes.

Note: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions may apply in Jamaica. It’s always best to check with local authorities before planning any trip or visiting any tourist attraction to ensure your safety and avoid disappointment due to closures or limited access policies.

Primary Industries

Industries and Businesses in May Pen, Jamaica

  1. Agriculture
    • Sugar cane
    • Citrus fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Livestock
  2. Manufacturing
    • Textiles
    • Furniture
    • Food products
  3. Retail
    • Clothing items
    • Electronics
    • Household items
    • Groceries
  4. Tourism
    • Hotels
    • Resorts
  5. Healthcare
    • Hospitals
    • Medical clinics
  6. Education
    • Primary schools
    • Secondary schools
    • Tertiary institutions (e.g. Northern Caribbean University)
  7. Banking and financial services
    • Several banks with branches located within the town
  8. Transportation and logistics
    • Many transport companies operate within the town to provide logistics support for other industries (e.g. agriculture)

Noteable History

  1. The town of May Pen was established in the 17th century by Spanish settlers.
  2. During the 19th century, May Pen became an important center for sugar production and trade.
  3. In 1865, the Morant Bay Rebellion led to a period of unrest and violence in Jamaica, including in May Pen.
  4. In the early 20th century, Marcus Garvey lived in May Pen for a time; he was a Jamaican political leader and activist who founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).
  5. In 1957, Hurricane Hazel caused significant damage to May Pen and other parts of Jamaica.
  6. During the late 20th century, May Pen experienced significant economic growth and development as it became an important commercial center for central Jamaica.
  7. Notable people from or associated with May Pen include Olympic sprinter Asafa Powell, reggae singer Alton Ellis, and former Prime Minister of Jamaica Hugh Shearer.

Museums and Things To See

  1. May Pen Cemetery is a historic burial ground with graves dating back to the 1800s.
  2. Clarendon Parish Church is an Anglican church built in the mid-1800s that boasts beautiful architecture.
  3. Milk River Mineral Bath is a natural hot spring known for its healing properties and frequented by both locals and tourists.
  4. The Denbigh Agricultural Showground hosts an annual agricultural show every August, showcasing Jamaica’s farming industry.
  5. The Rio Minho River Walkway offers a scenic route along the Rio Minho river, perfect for a leisurely walk or picnic.
  6. Salt River Mineral Spa & Resort features mineral-rich waters believed to have therapeutic benefits, making it another popular natural hot spring destination in Jamaica.
  7. The Colbeck Castle Ruins are ancient castle ruins situated on top of a hill overlooking May Pen, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
  8. The Ebony Park HEART Academy is an agriculture-based institution that offers tours and hands-on experiences with various animals like horses, cows, sheep and goats as well as crops such as bananas and pineapples.
  9. The Lionel Town Heritage Park holds historical significance because it was once home to one of Jamaica’s first sugar estates.
  10. The Bustamante Museum pays tribute to Sir Alexander Bustamante who served as Jamaica’s first prime minister following its independence from Britain in 1962.

Sports Teams

  1. Jamaica is renowned for its sporting culture, with a particular emphasis on track and field. The country has produced numerous world-class athletes, including Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Veronica Campbell-Brown. Cricket is also a popular sport in Jamaica.
  2. May Pen is the capital town of Clarendon Parish in central Jamaica. The town has a rich history of sports participation at both amateur and professional levels.
  3. Some of the popular sports played in May Pen include:
    • Football (soccer)
    • Basketball
    • Cricket
    • Netball (similar to basketball but played by women)
    • Athletics (track and field)
    • Tennis
    • Volleyball
  4. There are several local clubs that participate in these sports at various levels from community leagues to national championships. Notable clubs include:
    • Jamalco Football Club which competes in the Jamaican National Premier League
    • Mile Gully Football Club which competes locally
    • Knox College which has a strong athletics program
    • Vere Technical High School which is known for producing top-level track athletes
    • among others
  5. Overall, May Pen boasts an energetic sporting culture that continues to produce talented athletes who represent Jamaica on national and international stages.

Cultural Events

  1. Clarendon Agricultural Show is an annual event that showcases the best of Jamaica’s agriculture. It features livestock exhibitions, crop displays, and food vendors.
  2. May Pen Jerk Festival is a festival that celebrates Jamaican cuisine with plenty of jerk chicken and pork dishes, live music, and dance performances.
  3. Labour Day Celebrations is a national holiday in Jamaica where communities come together to clean up and beautify public spaces.
  4. Emancipation Day Celebrations commemorates the end of slavery in Jamaica with cultural events such as drumming sessions, storytelling, and traditional dances.
  5. Independence Day Celebrations marks Jamaica’s independence from British rule on August 6th with parades, fireworks displays, and cultural events throughout the country.
  6. Reggae Sumfest is one of the largest music festivals in the Caribbean featuring some of Jamaica’s biggest reggae artists as well as international acts from around the world.
  7. Denbigh Agricultural Show is another agricultural fair held annually in nearby Clarendon Parish featuring exhibits on farming techniques, animal husbandry practices, and local foods.


  1. Jerk chicken and pork: This spicy grilled meat is a staple in Jamaican cuisine and can be found at many roadside stands, including Scotchies.
  2. Curry goat: A flavorful dish made with tender goat meat cooked in a spicy curry sauce. It can be found at many local restaurants like Sugar & Spice.
  3. Ackee and saltfish: Jamaica’s national dish made with ackee fruit (a type of fruit that looks like scrambled eggs) and salted codfish. It can be found at many breakfast spots like Miss T’s Kitchen.
  4. Fried fish: Freshly caught fish fried to perfection is a popular dish in May Pen, especially on the weekends when locals flock to the seaside for seafood feasts.
  5. Juici Patties: A fast food chain that specializes in Jamaican-style patties filled with beef, chicken, or vegetable fillings.
  6. The Oasis Restaurant & Bar: A popular spot for seafood and jerk dishes located on Manchester Road.
  7. The Verandah Restaurant & Lounge: Known for its upscale Caribbean fusion cuisine located inside the Clarendon Hotel on Main Street.
  8. Mother’s Restaurant & Bar: Famous for its authentic Jamaican dishes like curry goat, oxtail stew, and escovitch fish located on Manchester Road near Denbigh Agricultural Showground.

Parks and Recreation

  1. May Pen Town Park: a public park with playgrounds, walking trails, and picnic areas.
  2. Mineral Baths Park: a natural mineral spring with hot pools for swimming and relaxation.
  3. Jackson Bay Beach: a popular beach for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.
  4. Rio Minho River Safari: a boat tour along the scenic Rio Minho river with opportunities to see wildlife and explore local communities.
  5. Clarendon Park Sports Complex: a sports complex with facilities for basketball, football, cricket, and track & field events.
  6. Crocodile Reserve & Bird Sanctuary: an outdoor sanctuary featuring crocodiles and various species of birds in their natural habitats.
  7. May Pen Golf Club: an 18-hole golf course that offers golfing experiences to players of all skill levels.
  8. Bamboo Avenue: a scenic route lined by towering bamboo trees that provide shade from the sun while driving or walking through it.


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