When you think of Jamaica, what comes to mind? What images do you associate with a visit to this lush tropical destination? Many people are limited to a view of Jamaica that only includes the pristine beaches and vibrant reggae culture.
You might not be aware that Jamaica also has many outstanding hiking opportunities. The island boasts picturesque mountain landscapes that are lush with nature and culture alike. Those that hike Jamaica’s Blue Mountains will get a true sense of the natural diversity that this Caribbean island has to offer, making it an activity that all active travelers should including In order to have the freedom to explore all that Jamaica has to offer, you should consider staying in one of the many private Jamaica vacation villa rentals available on the island!
Touring Jamaica’s Blue Mountains
If you’re interested in visiting the island of Jamaica, and you enjoy experiencing nature up close and personal, you should be sure to check out the Blue Mountains. This mountain range lies across the eastern portion of the island, stretching for a length of 28 miles, with an average width of 12 miles.
The Blue Mountains rise so steeply in such a relatively compact area that it is possible to drive from the island’s coastal plains up to an elevation of more than 7,000 feet, in just under an hour. The mountains got their name because, as they are Jamaica’s highest mountain range, they are perpetually shrouded in mist. This mist effect gives the mountains their bluish color.
When thinking about hiking in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, there are a few things you should consider. The roads that lead up to designated trailheads are narrow, winding, and unmarked. While they do present incredible views of the mountains in every direction, they can be difficult to navigate on your own.
For this reason, you might consider booking a tour of the Blue Mountains with an established company that can help you enjoy yourself, while not having to constantly be on the lookout regarding your safety and the safety of those around you. One tour company you should certainly consider is called Tourwise Jamaica.
Getting to the Trailhead
If you’re confident, adventurous, and experienced, you can organize an attempt of Blue Mountain Peak on your own, or with your family. There are two trailheads you can start from. One is on the south side of the island near Kingston, and the other is on the north side in Port Antonio. The southern trailhead is much more popular and it is recommended because it’s generally easier to find.
From Kingston, you’ll head north out of the city on Old Hope Road. The road turns to dirt after you make a right over the one-way bridge in the tiny foothills village of Gordon Town. From the bridge, it should take about 30 minutes to reach the town of Mavis Bank, which sits in the Yallahs River Valley.
From here, you’ll turn up the long, steep, winding road through the upper foothills to the trailhead at Penlyne Castle near Abbey Green Coffee Plantation, which sits at an elevation of 4500 feet. This is where you’ll begin! Best of luck hiking the Blue Mountains and be sure to enjoy your stay in beautiful Jamaica!