The Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains, situated at the eastern end of Jamaica, reach 7402 ft up into the clouds, and share some of the most spectacular views over Kingston and Cuba on a clear day. 
With over 200 inches of rain, 300 in some places,  and the cold climate they are home to a number of indigenous species of flora and fauna,  with huge trees at lower elevations, but stunted growth at higher elevations because of the cold.

Together with the John Crow Mountains, and the Port Royal Mountains, they were designated as a National Park, the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, by the Government of Jamaica in 1992 in order to protect the environment and promote sustainable development within Jamaica's largest watershed area. The 193,292 acre covers ten watershed areas in the parishes of St Andrew, Portland, St Thomas and St Mary.

  • It is home to many species of vegetation, including bromeliads, ferns, orchids and flowering plants many of which are native to Jamaica.
  • It is home to the Papilo homerus butterfly (the second largest in the world), the Jamaican Coney (a type of rodent), and four out of six endemic, non poisonous snakes including the Jamaican Boa
  • Frogs are Jamaica's only endemic amphibians. Out of 23 species of frog which are endemic to the island, 11 species can be found in the park, and 5 of these are endemic to the park
  • It is the home of 30 endemic birds including the Jamaican Blackbird, which should not be confused with other more vocal Blackbirds found in Jamaica such as the Cling Cling
  • It is the winter home of many migratory birds, and is in fact one of the Caribbean's largest habitats for migratory birds
  • And, of course, our famous Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is cultivated between 2000 and 5000 feet above sea level in the Blue Mountains.

The Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust manages the Blue and John Crow Mountains Park.

Where to Go and What to Do in the Blue Mountains

Climbing the Peak

The Peak is 7,402 feet above sea level and is located on the Grand Ridge of the Blue Mountains.
There are many places one can start their hike from including Papine in Kingston.
But more commonly people drive to Mavis Bank, Penlyne Castle, or Whitfield Hall and hike from there. you first climb Jacob’s Ladder to reach Lookout where the trail officially starts.

Blue Mountain Wilderness Retreat and Camp Site

Situated 1,000 ft. above sea level in the forests of the Blue Mountains, the Wilderness Retreat and Campsite offers seclusion, personal space, peace of mind, and is perhaps Jamaica's only true wilderness accommodation for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.


About an hour's drive from Kingston, just a few miles past Newcastle, this is one of my favorite places to visit. There is now a Visitor Centre, picnic areas, four nature trails, guided tours, bird-watching tours, cabins to rent, a camping area and a plant nursery.


A beautiful, if slightly run down, botanical garden which can only be accessed by road with a 4WD vehicle, and even with a 4WD you still need to a good driver. Cinchona trees were used for the production of quinine which was used to treat malaria.

Cunha Cunha Pass Trail

The Cunha Cunha Pass is a Maroon trail that goes from Hayfield to Bowden Pen and on into the Upper Rio Grande Valley in Portland. This is a very popular hike with visitors and locals alike.

Moore Town

Moore Town is one of the Maroon settlemnets in Jamaica and was formerly known as New Nanny Town.
Nanny of the Maroons is Jamaica’s only female national hero.

Charles Town

Charles Town is on the Buff Bay River.
You can visit the Museum, rich with information about Maroon history and traditions, and next door to the museum is the Asafu Yard, a festival meeting place.

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