That's how Christopher Columbus described Jamaica when he first distinguished its "sheer and darkly green" silhouette on the evening of May 3, 1494. Nearly 500 years later, modern visitors to the island would agree with Columbus. On the North Coast, where most tourists stay, the Caribbean, green in the shallows, blue in the depths, laps beaches from which gradually rise the forested slopes of the Blue Mountains (highest point: 7,402 feet). In Reach Falls, one of the cascades which course down them to the sea, cover girl Cheryl Tiegs lolls in a lacy polyester-cotton-Lycra suit by Monika Tilley for Elon ($58). At left, Paulina Porizkova stretches for the sun in a bikini by Keiko ($60). For a report on life—and sports—in and around steamy Kingston on the island's South Coast, see page 94.
Carol Alt (left) gets a grip on herself near Ocho Rios; she's barely laced into a suit from Keiko ($50). Carol and Kelly Emberg (above) chortle in the chilly waters of Reach Falls. Carol's bikini is by Connie Banko ($38), Kelly's suit from Marina ($65). It's blues in the night for lonesome Cheryl, who's at the Trident Hotel pool in Port Antonio in a creation by Marcia Friedman for Le Bag ($50).
Cheryl is really up a tree (a pandanus for you botanists) at Frenchman's Cove, though she and her suit by Anna Club ($140) are well supported by a plethora of prop roots.
At Negril (left), Kim Alexis' red suit in the sunset is by Marcia Friedman for Le Bag ($50). Aaaa-eeyaa-eeoo! Carol, quite an improvement on Tarzan, prepares to swing through the philodendrons at Port Antonio in a bikini from Gideon Oberson ($65) that's almost the last straw.
Kim obviously can't palm herself off as just a tourist as she surveys Negril's beach in a suit made in Jamaica by Soni ($80).
Up the White River with a paddle—but almost without a suit—is Kim in an outfit designed for a maxi-tan by OMO Norma Kamali ($55).
At Boston Beach, expert rider Hillary Satire goes hell-for-leather in a chamois-like suit by Leah Gottlieb for Gottex ($40).
You can tell by the cut of her jib that Carol (below) is very shipshape in this nylon-Lycra racing suit made in Israel by Diva ($60).
Carol, in a tricolor bikini by Keiko ($45), evidently takes the name of her boat seriously as she suns with two buddies near Ocho Rios.
At the Half Moon Club on Montego Bay, Paulina shows what mermaids do in off hours. Her hair is tied with the top of a Nelbarden suit ($18).
In a suit by Marcia Friedman ($54), Kim blossoms on a tile bench at the Montego Bay home of Mrs. Enriquillo del Rosario, the wife of the Dominican ambassador to the U.N.
Banned from Boston Beach? Not our Cheryl (left), especially when she wears this demure creation from Marcia Friedman ($56).
At the Trident, Cheryl, who starts each day with a few minutes of yoga, performs "the plow" in yet another suit by Marcia Friedman ($54).
Mellow yellow bikinis look twice as nice on Kim and Paulina as they head for an intriguing, unnamed island off the Royal Caribbean Hotel in Montego Bay. Kim's is by Keiko ($55), Paulina's by Anna Club ($95).
Spotting Paulina at Negril in sequins by Leah Gottlieb ($80) would be the bright spot of any beachcomber's day.
It's said this rock stands guard over pirate gold. Cheryl is some kind of lookout in a cotton bikini ($38) and sweater ($60) from Ralph Lauren. Tune in next year for more tropical treasures!