The Blue Mountains are one of the most spectacular natural attractions on the island of Jamaica and are a major draw for nature lovers. The region is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna including Jamaica’s national tree, the Blue Mahoe; and the giant swallowtail, the second-largest butterfly in the world. The temperature in the mountains is noticeably cooler than down at sea level and the layer of mist that shrouds the peaks gives the mountains their bluish tint.
The Blue Mountains in Jamaica were once completely forested. The lower slopes have since been cleared for farming and today Jamaica’s famous gourmet Blue Mountain Coffee – considered to be among the best in the world – is cultivated on the hillside. The Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park covers 194,000 acres and preserves the remaining forested areas.
There are hundreds of paths leading throughout the region, the most popular being the 7-mile (11.3-kilometer) hiking trail that leads up to the top of Blue Mountain Peak. It’s a challenging and scenic hike that takes, on average, around seven hours to complete. If you’re short on time, it’s also possible to drive up to the peak in just under an hour. Once there, why not enjoy a cup of Blue Mountain Coffee while taking in the spectacular panoramic views overlooking the island of Jamaica.