Blue Mountains © Port Antonio Tourism
Towering across eastern Jamaica, the 28-mile (45km) long mountain range seems constantly shrouded in a mist that gives the mountains their bluish colour. The John Crow National Park, at the base of the mountains, was established to preserve the diverse range of species that call the Blue Mountains home. Among them are more than 800 endemic plant species, 200 bird species and 500 flowering plant varieties as well as the world's second-largest variety of butterflies. The mountains are also home to Jamaica bamboo, which only flowers every 33 years. The lowest slopes of the mountain are taken up by coffee plantations, as well as patches of vegetable beds and spice cultivation.
The coffee that is grown on the slopes is world-renowned and visitors can organise tours of some of the larger coffee estates. Visitors to the Blue Mountains can climb the highest peak by way of the Peak Trail, which starts at Abbey Green. Most hikers spend a night in one of the cabins on the mountain and local advice or guides are highly recommended. Bicycle tours of the Blue Mountains can also be arranged through local tour companies. Taking a bicycle tour is an ideal way to explore the foothills of the mountain range.