Jamaica’s highest mountain chain is the Blue Mountains. They have the highest point on the island, Blue Mountain Top, at 2256 metres. The island’s north and south coasts can be seen from the top, which is accessible through a walking trail. To anyone looking to go on a holiday in Jamaica, it is a must-visit place because there is a lot to discover. There are local flora and fauna that can only be found in the region. It is also home to the Blue Mountain Aromatic Coffee. Notable mountain sceneries include natural springs and waterfalls with outstanding swimming spots. You can also get a chance to visit the Rastafarian village, Maroon heritage sites, and dine at the ultra-luxury resorts to wind your evening.
Best time to visit
The climb to the Blue Mountain summit is considered of mild difficulty. It’s better to hit the mountain under the clear sky early in the morning, as you’ll be blessed with a spectacular Kingston panorama and unforgettable views of twinkling lights before sunrise over the Caribbean Sea. You ‘re never going to get tired of seeing the valleys lying between the lower mountains that began the large range. Don’t be shocked if you feel a little light with natural elegance.
Things to do
The Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park occupies the eastern half of Jamaica’s beautiful green state. Due to its unique and diverse flora and fauna, much of which is endemic to Jamaica, the park was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 2015. Largely undeveloped, this paradise of mountains is better visited on foot. Walking the Blue Mountains is one of Jamaica’s most satisfying opportunities.
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Holywell National Park
A trip up to Holywell National Park is by far the most enjoyable way to visit the Blue Mountains. Located about an hour south of Kingston on the Blue Mountain ridge at Hardware Break, Holywell is a scenic and quiet spot to spend the day. There is a visitor centre with solar power; picnic sites with firepits and shelters, toilets, campsites and well-marked trails. The park is managed by professional rangers who are delighted to talk about the park and are full of informative and valuable knowledge.
The hikes are all simple, and it should only take 30-45 minutes each depending on how many photo-stops are there. The pathways are punctuated with boards of knowledge describing the flora and fauna. View-points are marked with wooden platforms ideal for taking that perfect photograph. There are exceptional sunrises and sunsets to be seen by those who are up there at the right time of day.
In Jamaica, Catherine’s Peak is renowned for the proximity of a mountain spring that provides all of Jamaica ‘s available filtered water. The trail’s end is on the path to Holywell in the base of the Jamaica Defense Force at Newcastle and just a 45-minute drive from Kingston. The road goes right through the centre of the camp so it’s not hard to find. Park the car in the designated spot on the far side of the parade square. Then walk back to the other side of the square of the parade, keep left and follow the asphalt path up into the camp. Explain to the soldier that you intend to walk to Catherine’s Peak and that he will oblige by taking information and issuing the permit.
It takes about 45 minutes in each direction and is highly steep towards the top. The peak is marked with radio antenna masts and the original surveyors have installed a triangulation point. When the atmosphere is perfect, you can soak into amazing views. It is worth taking the additional 15 minutes to Holywell after the walk or staying at one of the cafes on the way back down to Kingston.
The Blue Mountain Peak
The Blue Mountain summit climb will be on the to-do list of any Jamaican tourist. The track is well marked and not too steep but it’s a long walk and it might be difficult for people who are less than fit. The most popular way to hike up to the peak is to spend the night in either Jah B’s or Whitfield Hall near Penlyne Castle, and start in the early hours hoping to reach the peak by sunrise.
The walk from Whitfield Hall to the summit is around 10 kilometres (six miles) and requires an elevation gain of 1000 metres (3000 feet). The summit can be reached in about two and a half hours when done at a brisk pace, although a leisurely stroll with frequent photo stops and food can take twice as that. A five to eight-hour round trip is common.
Most people want to use a guide, particularly if they do so in the dark and for the first time. Nevertheless, hiking to the peak without a guide is completely feasible. Waterproof and warm jackets, like water and food, are essential. Throughout the walk, the path goes across Portland Gorge, where a ranger station is situated (the ranger can receive the parking charge when you pass). This is the final location for top-up water bottles on the path. Camping here overnight is also feasible, but just be prepared to get soaked-in untimely rains in the mountains every day.
Plan your trip with Pickyourtrail
The incredibly beautiful scenery and plenty of fun-filled activities available make the Blue Mountains in Jamaica both a hiker’s and a campers paradise. It is the largest mountain chain on Jamaica’s eastern shore, whose summit; the Blue Mountain Peak forms the island’s highest point at 7402 feet or 2256 metres. Pickyourtrail not only guarantees a smooth and trouble-free journey but holds the cost-efficiency under check at the same time. Sign in to pickyourtrail.com to get more information about your Jamaica vacation. Please leave a Whatsapp inquiry for more options.
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