The Magical world of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains
The 2256m high Blue Mountains are situated on the eastern edge of Jamaica, offering spectacular scenery. Named for the bluish mists that always shroud its peaks, visiting the Blue Mountains is one of the premier Jamaica tourist activities. The area is of great ecological and historical significance. The forests boast some of the most diverse and richest species in the Caribbean and are home to a variety of wildlife and birds. These majestic mountains are the oldest feature of the island.
Roads to the nature reserve are generally fair but can be challenging at times, but that is part of the adventure. There are friendly local lodges where you can spend the night. A rambler’s paradise, don’t miss the opportunity to brush the sleep out of your eyes, flick on your flashlight, and make it to the summit for the unfolding sunrise. Bask in the spectacular vistas of the 45km-long Blue Mountain Range and morning bird calls. It is said that on a very clear day you can see the island of Cuba to the north, 210km away. On the hike downward, enjoy the quiet of the bamboo groves, eucalyptus trees, wildflowers, high tree ferns, rhododendron and azalea.
This is a paradise for orchid lovers, with over 65 orchids inhabiting the forests. In general, there are more than 500 flowering plant species, due to the especially cool and humid climate of this mountain range, much different from the rest of Jamaica. You will also find the famous national bird, a type of hummingbird called the Doctor Bird. If you’re lucky, you will encounter the world’s second largest butterfly during your rambles, the Papilo homerus. The native Jamaican bamboo which flourishes on these mountains flowers only once every 33 years – the next flowering is projected for this year – 2017, so make your way!
Besides hiking, it is also worthwhile leaving some time to walk around the surrounding area, visit the villages, and chat with the locals about the history and present day life of the area. A visit to a Bl[ue Mountain coffee farm is another one of the favorite Jamaica tourist activities. When Columbus arrived in 1494, the lower slopes were heavily forested. Now they are largely grassland and home to farms for the famous Blue Mountain Coffee, known to every coffee connoisseur worldwide.
Add a full day of exploring and adventure through our Tour & Activity Desk at Sunset at the Palm Resort, Negril