Photo by Anne Fritzenwanker / oneworld picture/age fotostock
The Majestic Blue Mountains
Lush source of the mellow, world-famous Blue Mountain coffee, Jamaica’s longest mountain range is nature at its best, seemingly a world away from nearby bustling, noisy Kingston. In these mountains 7,400 feet above sea level, the air is cool, the views—of villages and falls across the mountains—are magnificent, and, yes, the peaks look blue. The winding narrow roads, though occasionally nerve-racking, add to the overall mystical atmosphere. A handful of hotels and cabins, including the prestigious Strawberry Hill, provide lodging. Staying in the mountains overnight is highly recommended so you can take the famous sunrise summit hike.
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Hike to the Summit
Feeling adventurous? Hike to the top of Jamaica’s tallest peak, up to 7,000 feet, to catch the sunrise. This trail is well marked, but you’ll likely start in the dark of night, around 2 a.m. Arrange for a guide through your guesthouse, especially if you are new to this sort of climb and need more than a flashlight to find your way. It takes about three to four hours, depending on pace. If you’re lucky, the weather will cooperate and you’ll get rewarded with a spectacular view from the top and a great start to your day.