The Blue Mountains in Jamaica is taken into account each a hiker’s and a camper’s paradise due to it’s’ exceptionally magnificent scenery and tons of fun-filled activities available. It’s the longest mountain range situated on the Eastern side of Jamaica, whose summit; Blue Mountain Peak, forms the best point on the island at 7402 feet or 2256 meters.
It’s a must-visit site for those planning to go for a vacation in Jamaica as there may be rather a lot to be explored.There are indigenous natural world that may only be found exclusively within the region. Moreover, it’s home to the fragrant Blue Mountain Coffee. Notable sceneries within the mountain ranges include natural springs and waterfalls with excellent swimming spots. It’s also possible to get a probability to go to the Rastafarian village, Maroon heritage sites, and wind your evening by dining on the ultra luxe resorts. Essentially, there’s something for everybody. All you have got to do is to pick the activities which tickle your fancy.
Depending on how deep you propose to explore, you’ll be able to decide to hike or bike to get a first-hand feel of nature at its best. Nonetheless, there are also some wild tracks for individuals who may opt to have a road trip. In the event you are in favour of the latter, it’s best to consider a Blue Mountain day tour from Kingston.
In the event you are planning to go for a Blue Mountain Jamaica sightseeing tour or an expedition, a few of the to-do activities that ought to never miss your checklist include:
Learning about Blue Mountain Coffee
Blue Mountain peak coffee is thought for its heavenly mixture of flavours, aroma and memorable smoothness. For coffee lovers, the fame of excellence of this coffee brand shouldn’t be news. Whether or not this information is hype is very debatable. Nevertheless, it’s agreeable that it is determined by a person’s taste buds and the varieties of coffee they could have taken before.
What makes visiting the plantation worthwhile is the indisputable fact that despite Jamaica producing only 0.1% of the world’s coffee; this insignificant percentage still makes it the value setter in global markets. It is for that reason that Blue Mountain’s identity has been preserved and is protected by a certification mark awarded by Coffee industry Board.
There are numerous coffee farms within the Blue Mountain National Park. Those that are focused on learning more in regards to the infamous coffee variety should contact Tropical Trips Jamaica for every day activities. They are going to aid you make adequate preparations and prevent the trouble of driving through the mountains, you’re going to get to calm down and revel in yourself while getting the understanding of what makes the coffee unique. In the event you wish, you could pick just a few beans as souvenirs.
Interesting Facts in regards to the Coffee
- The maturity period of the beans is twice so long as the opposite varieties on this planet.
- 80% of the coffee is shipped to Japan. The remainder of the world, including Jamaica itself, shares the remaining 20%.
- Each bean is manually hand inspected
For a one-of-a-kind coffee experience, you’ll be able to drop by the Coffee factory, home to the infamous Blue Mountain Coffee. The factory has been in existence for 98 years now. Visiting the place is a treat that you just cannot miss. Upon arrival, your senses will likely be immediately activated by the fragrant atmosphere.
The highlight of the visit will likely be through the coffee tasting. Visitors are often given a probability to sample brewed coffee. The fresh brew is served under an enthralling gazebo, where you’ll be able to rest and recharge before you proceed along with your tour. Moreover, the gazebo forms an ideal photo shoot location, because the mountain peaks are visible from this point.
The Coffee estate is one other must-visit place through the Blue Mountain coffee tours in Jamaica. Having a tour within the plantation is a superb solution to get insightful information on the origin of the coffee plantation, and the way the beans are prepared. Here, you might have a probability to interact with the locals working within the farms. It’s going to be a pleasant experience as they at all times have a story to inform, and you’ll appreciate their culture.
To make the experience more difficult and memorable, you could opt to make use of a bicycle to ride through the winding terrain with steep and rugged slopes in your solution to one in every of the magical waterfalls within the hills.
Flora and Fauna: Discover the Natural Beauty
There’s at all times a calmand peaceful feeling that comes with being in deep forest, separated from any type of human contact or disruption from any external devices. Often, you get an inexplicable sense of tranquillity, awareness,and peace of mind. Nevertheless, too many individuals rarely get to experience this; but you might have a feel of this atmosphere within the Blue Mountains Jamaica. Who can dispute the indisputable fact that individuals who appreciate nature are happier, more revolutionary and are healthier?
The mountains boast of getting over 800 species of endemic plants with 500 of them being flowering. Which means you could get many varieties of flowers, with different shapes, scents,and sizes so as to add to your wildflower photo collection.
From Top left: Giant Swallowtail Butterfly, Blue Mahoe Flower, Jamaican Rose & Jamaican Oriole
Additionally it is believed that there are over 200 different bird species within the region, excluding those that are migratory. Along with that, the world has quite a few butterfly species including Swallowtails. Did that theHomerus Swallowtail, commonly often known as the Jamaican Swallowtail is the biggest butterfly within the Western Hemisphere?
While on a nature walk, you could see several native bird species similar to the red-haired Jamaican woodpecker, doctor bird – hummingbirds, white-eyed thrush parrots, cuckoos, mallards and green todies.
From left: Red-haired Jamaican woodpecker, Doctor bird, Green Tody
Some rare native Jamaican mammals that you could find within the mountain include the wild hog. In the event you are lucky to have a tour guide, you could learn just a few tricks on the best way to get close up photos of the hogs. Aside from that, you could see Jamaican Iguana, which is a protected animal species.
Those that are focused on seeing aquatic animals can go to the water spots similar to natural springs. The blue mountain waters contain several fish species. Common varieties of saltwater fish are jack, mackerel, tuna,and bonito. Freshwater fish include jewfish, black snapper,andsnook. In the event you are equipped with a fishing rod, you should have a probability to place your fly-fishing skills to check.
The flora exhibits luxuriant growth right from the bottom to the highest of the mountain forming impressive canopies. Some indigenous plants known to be traditional herbs include Jamaican Dandelion plant and the Leaf of Life. Other herbs that will arouse your sense of smell include the fragrant Jamaican Peppermint plant and the Ackee plant (produces edible fruits with the feel of scrambled eggs).
Marvels of Plants species within the Blue Mountains
- There are over 1000 plant varieties present in the mountain, with over 27% of them being exclusively on the mountain.
- Over 200 classified species of flowering plants, with many more still yet to be discovered and named.
- There are over 230 species of orchids, with about 60 of them being endemic.
- There are over 580 varieties of ferns, versus most regions across the globe which have roughly 20 fern species only.
The excellent news is that visitors shouldn’t be nervous about having long walks to explore the plant and animal life within the region. There are several short routes which go through strategic paths to be sure that you get probably the most out of the walk. One in every of these short-walk options is the Oatley Mountain Trail whichspansthree kilometres only.
Trail Mountain climbing
Mountain climbing within the Blue Mountains Jamaica is usually considered the crowning moment for most individuals who get a probability to go to the island. The summit, whose elevation is 7402 ft. (2256 m), normally has lower temperatures and it’s the mist that offers the mountain the outstanding blue shade. Those that are already starting to fret about their fitness levels and what not should feel encouraged considering that three distinctive mountain climbing routes with various distances and slope.
The Easy Hike: Holywell National Recreation Park
A visit to the Holywell National Park is best suited to the novice hikers. The situation of the park is roughly an hour’s drive from Kingston. It’s the simplest solution to get a view of the mountain’s scenery with none undue pressure resulting from long distance hikes.
View Blue Mountain Tours
On the 330 acre park, there are five signposted trails, a ranger station,and several other picnic sites. The Oatley mountain trail is very really helpful for first-time visitors. It’s a five-kilometre winding path within the forested area. Along the way in which, there are signposts which contain educational facts. Aside from that, there are 4 excellent viewpoints where you’ll be able to benefit from the majesty of the mountain.
Alternatively, you could accept the waterfall shelter trail, which is a two-kilometre trail that results in a chilly waterfall.
For the short routes, having a map will not be vital since their trails loop back to the start line. That doesn’t mean that there will likely be no magical moments. Descending the steep slopes in some sections and duckingthick canopies will get your heart pounding.
The Intermediate Hike: Catherine’s Peak
Catherine’s peak is thought for is natural spring waters. The trail passes next to Newcastle where Jamaica Defense Forces camp is situated and is lower than 40 minutes’ drive from Kingston. Because the route passes throughout the military camp, it’s courteous to clarify to the soldiers on guard of your intention, who will then provide you with a written permit.
It takes about an hour and a half to walk as much as Catherine’s Peak. Along the trail, there are several triangulation points which were marked by surveyors through the original survey of the route. At other points, you could notice there are radio antennae masts. So long as you see either the triangulation signs or masts, you’ll know you’re on the correct track. Should you’re taking a mistaken turn, you could find yourself on the coffee farm.That too is an element of the journey. While ascending, you will have to brace yourself for steep slopes as you approach the summit.
Adept Hikers Challenge: The Blue Mountains Peak in Jamaica
The 14-mile hike must be within the bucket list of anyone who claims to have had a life price living, especially if you have got not done it already. It’s best done within the wee hours of the night, or early morning such that you just will likely be at the height before daylight to observe thesunrise. Most individuals opt to spend the night near Penlyne Castle. The opposite option is to camp at Portland Gap.
The hike often begins at 2:00 am, so it’s essential arm yourself with flashlights. Within the darkness, you’ll climb steadily, though at a slower pace than you’ll ordinarily do if it were daytime. You’ll encounter very narrow sections similar to the Jacobs Ladder.
As one nears the highest, the forest outline becomes visible right before the daylight breaks. The unfolding panoramic view becomes more vivid because the day breaks.
Blue Mountains Peak in Jamaica.Photo by IUCNweb. Original photo here:https://www.flickr.com/photos/iucnweb/5949355491
Because the day brightens, Port Antonio’s Navy Island, Kingston, and even Cuba will likely be visible.
Mountain climbing down the mountain is comparatively easy. The paths wind through thick canopies, which seem like green tunnels. The view of wildflowers and bird species amplifies the plush tropical vegetation. The local guides may assist you in identifying some edible wild fruits in the event you have an interest.
Generally, the Blue Mountain mountain climbing in Jamaica takes about 8 hours walking at a leisurely pace.
Wine and Dine at Restaurants within the Blue Mountains Jamaica
One in every of the things that make any gateway or trip exiting is the considered having to sample different delicacies served within the regions. Luckily, the Blue Mountain prides itself of getting several restaurants, where you’ll be able to enjoy traditional meals along with other amenities offered.
Strawberry Hill. Photo by letseatoutguide. Original here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/49855688@N04/4666101221/
Some restaurants price visiting include:
Serendipity Holistic Resort
Serendipity is a resort situated in a deep valley inside the mountain. It was constructed inside the partitions of the valleys with some natural boulders forming side partitions. There’s a small stream which flows throughout the resort. Aside from that, there are several natural waterfalls inside the resort.
The incorporation of the natural environment in the development of the resort makes it a superb hideaway location after a day’s mountain climbing in Jamaica. After an extended day, you’ll be able to resolve to calm down next to the waterfalls and revel in the nice and calming effect of water because it gracefully flows downstream.
There are several traditional dishes which you’ll be able to sample at Sweet Stone Grille and bar, that are moderately priced, depending on the day’s special. Their signature dish is a solid Jamaican jerk chicken. It’s served with anyvegetable of your alternative, with a bowl of coconut stew. A lot of the drinks are natural and served fresh.
Alternatively, you’ll be able to resolve to arrange your meals, as each cabin has a completely equipped kitchenette. Other services that make the place much more relaxing are the holistic therapies and spa treatments. Yogis are also not omitted.
Starlight Chalet & Health Spa
The Chalet & Health Spais nestled at 5000 feet. Its appearance gives a repose vibe, while at the identical time maintaining its sophistication. Its location is ideal for those visiting specifically to have a series of Blue Mountain mountain climbing tours in Jamaica during their vacation. That’s since it is definitely accessible from each the waterfalls and Catherine’s Summit. Moreover, the intense height gives a picturesque view of the blue hue of the mountain through the early mornings, and the migratory birds could be visible from this height.
Other services offered include a spa and restaurants which offers specially prepared Jamaican cuisines.
Strawberry Hill Resort
One other exquisite resort within the Blue Mountains is the Strawberry Hill Resort. Its cottages are designed with a nineteenth Century artwork which makes the whole place a sight to behold. It’s situated on the slopes of the mountain, which is a 50-minute ride from Kingston. The simplistic yet blissful layout of the resort is visible from far. It’s infamous for its Sunday brunch.
Amenities offered include a spa treatment and sun loungers for those with restaurant reservations. Nevertheless, in the event you don’t intend to remain for the night, you could resolve to pay an entrance fee. That can enable you to have a taste of their signature meal- the strawberry bliss. Along with that, drinks will likely be served, and you’re going to get a possibility to go to their magnificent gardens for a photograph shoot.
Visiting the Hidden Rasta Settlements
While looking for peace and mindfulness in Jamaica’s Blue Mountain, or during a daily mountain climbing adventure, you could realize that at some points within the mountain there are signs of habitation. Although most visitors don’t get lucky to seek out the native Rastafarians, it could be relatively easy to locate them in the event you are in the corporate of a Blue Mountain Jamaica tour guide.
A number of miles from Mount Edge guest house, you could find a particular settlement consisting of Wood Houses. That’s the guts of Rastafarians; a community which has separated itself from modern societal practices.
The people there are very welcoming and are at all times able to share their values and practices of healthy living, more so to visitors. Whether you select to have a half-day tour or spend a complete day or much more, it’s going to be a one in every of a form opportunity that you’ll live to recollect.
About Rastafarian Indigenous Village
Rastafarian is a form of faith which began within the early 1930’s in a village which later got here to be often known as the Rastafarian village. The people practising it adhere to the Bible teachings, though they worship Haile Selassie 1, the primary emperor of Ethiopia.
Their religion opposes many practices which have include modernism similar to corruption and materialism.
An intriguing fact is that smoking marijuana is taken into account a spiritual act because it is regarded asa sacrament. Aside from that, the Rastafarians prefer having dreadlocks to maintaining a brief hair, though it will not be an absolute requirement for the believers.
Morning prayer. Photo by Stan Tzanis. Original photo here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eustathios/2789268515/
What to Expect
The primary stop will likely be on the residence of traditional drum makers. The Rastafarian culture stipulates that drum making is a person’s work, so don’t begin wondering why the women are missing in motion. These drums are hand-made through skills which were passed from one generation to the subsequent till the current times.
For the vegetarians, you could be focused on knowing that willing visitors are taken to vegetable and herb gardens. There, you’ll learn the rationale why Rastafarians select to keep up a vegan food regimen and the special herbs they use for medicinal purposes. Fortuitous guests are at times entertained with a conventional dance crew who perform with drums and singing at an open space within the centre of the settlement.
At the top of your trip, you’ll be able to visit theirjewellery store where traditional handicraft jewels are stored. There you’ll be able to get for yourself a souvenir as a future reminder of the times you spent Blue Mountain Jamaica tour.
Learning Concerning the Maroons Cultural Practices
The origin of the Maroons dates back to early seventeenth Century, through the colonial period. Jamaica had emerged as a key sugarcane planting nation. Consequently, there was a necessity for more African slave labour to work within the plantation. Nevertheless, there have been constant rebellions against slavery by the Africans. The slaves who successfully revolted escaped to the mountainous regions, where they believed they’d be secure from the European inversion.
With time, the black population within the Blue Mountains increased and up to now, they form an autonomous community with their very own peculiar lifestyle that’s entirely different from the remaining of Jamaica.
By visiting the Blue Mountains, you’re going to get a probability to have first-hand interaction with the maroon communities. It’s a one in every of a form opportunity as you’re going to get a probability to get their views on different facets of life and compare with the rumours posted in all places on the web.
It’s price noting that they’re sub-divided into two distinct groups- the leeward (Acompong Maroons) and the windward or the Moore town Maroons.
Insight into their cultural practices
- Most of their cultural traditions are much like that of specific tribes in West Africa similar to Ashanti, Hausa,and Igbo
- A few of their traditional foods include bammies, boyo, coconut drops, jerk pork,andTurn corn Meal. Moreover, they brew a conventional beer using ginger.
- Their language is a mixture of several African dialects, and incorporates just a few Spanish and English words.
- Some members of the community still prefer hunting and gathering to agriculture.
- Their festivals are marked by singing and dancing and preparation of traditional meals. A few of their festivals are considered sacred and are exclusively attended by the Maroons only.
Even in the event you get remotely excited by cultural diversity, then this is unquestionably a spot to go to.
Visit the Blue & John Crow Mountains in Jamaica
In any case, is claimed and done, for anyone aiming to get a worthwhile experience, it’s critical to link up with reputable Blue Mountain Jamaica tours and travel agencies. That is significant as it’s going to enable you to achieve a deeper understanding of the natural and cultural heritage and have a feel of the actual Jamaican experience with the area people.
Some notable advantages of using a good tour company similar to the Tropical Trips Jamaica include:
- The tour guides are natives. That implies that they know each corner of Jamaica, and their guides are equipped with the cultural knowledge to be sure that what the visitor gets is a real Jamaican experience.
- You get to travel in groups with other visitors from different parts of the world. Who doesn’t know the more the people in a trail, the merrier the mountain climbing experience? Nonetheless, you could also resolve to have a personal tour, possibly along with your friends, group or family.
- These tours have flexible schedules which could be modified to make sure they best fit your needs.
- Finally, by utilizing popular tours and travel experts, you’ll be able to get quite a few discounts on accommodation, meals, transportation amongst others. On the identical note, they will prevent the trouble of booking the correct experience in the event you contact them prematurely.