At the center of what was once some of Jamaica's prime sugarcane land, Morant Bay is a laid-back town with little action beyond the central market. Between Morant Bay and Port Morant, 11 kilometers to the east, there are a couple of basic accommodation options that make a convenient base for exploring the rivers and valleys that cut across the southern slopes of the Blue Mountains, as well as the isolated beaches and Great Morass on Jamaica's easternmost tip.
The parish of St. Thomas holds an important place in Jamaican history. In the early colonial period, its mountainous terrain played an important role in providing sanctuary to the runaway slaves who formed the Maroon settlements of eastern Jamaica. Later, it became an important sugar- and banana-producing region under British rule. And finally, with the slaves freed but not being permitted advancement in society, the parish erupted in a rebellion that gave birth to Jamaica's labor rights movement.
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