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Jamaica Walking Holiday

  • A wonderful hand-picked 11-day hiking combination to immerse yourself in Jamaica’s lush and bio- diverse Blue Mountains that span the eastern side of Jamaica down to the Caribbean Sea in Port Antonio.

    With expansive views from Jamaica’s highest mountains across the valleys which are dotted with Jamaica’s smaller traditional villages and famous coffee plantations, you will be able to take a dip in natural pools and waterfalls to cool off on along the way as you ramble through lush rain-forests, listening to Jamaica’s 28 endemic birds as you make your way down and onto the coast.

    Each night you will stay at one of Jamaica’s 4 leading independent inns and hotels, famed for their service, cuisine, large comfy beds (essential after a full day out hiking) and picnic lunches!

  • DAY 1
    Arrival in Kingston. Airport pick and transfer to Forres Park, Mavis Bank in the Blue Mountains

    Dinner and overnight stay at Forres Park

  • Hike to Rambles and Tower Hill via Governors Bench with a packed lunch

    Following a leisurely breakfast commence your first easy, half day hike to introduce you to the range of diverse landscapes and flora and fauna within Jamaica.

    This pretty trail with a variety of plants drops down to a stream at a small waterfall and then climbs gently up through the forest accompanied by the melodious flute tweets of the common Solitaire bird

    From Governors Bench at approx 1200 m there is a fantastic view of the Palisadoes, Port Royal and the Cays.  At the end of the track there is a narrow path along a ridge with spectacular views (not for anyone nervous of heights) . On the way back, there is the option to visit the island’s most famous coffee factory, Mavis Bank.  This is an additional coss and you will need to tell your host, Forres Park in advance for this to be arranged.

    Dinner and overnight stay at Forres Park

  • DAY 3
    Hike to Cinchona Botanical Gardens and then from St. Peters via Newcastle to Barbecue

    After a scenic drive through the hills the hike starts from the village of Westphallia which passes through small-holdings, coffee farms and banks of wild flowers to the 1524 masl Cinchona Botanical Gardens created in 1868.  Many cooler climate exotic plant species were found to flourish there and many still exist despite its 150 years of changing fortunes.

    From the Gardens there is a striking view of the Grand Ridge of the Blue Mountains and in the distance Jamaica’s southeast coastline (on a clear day).  The hike takes about an hour each way and is fairly easy. The gardens make is a stunning good picnic spot.  Afterwards you walk down to the village of St. Peters where you will continue your hike.

    This hike takes you up mixed forests with conifers and coffee farms and offer lovely views looking down the Yallas river Valley. The last part of the hike is through forested hillside till Newcastle. You will see Tree Ferns, John Crow Nose ( the only known plant parasite ) and other interesting fauna. This takes about 2 -2,5 hours and then the last stretch down to Barbecue where you will overnight in a historical former coffee estate building. Enjoy the views looking out to Newcastle.

    Dinner and overnight at Heritage Gardens

  • DAY 4
    Hike to Greenhills, visit Old Tavern Estate (private  coffee estate) and then continue hike  to Cascade

    After breakfast, set off off for Greenhills, past Newcastle and head to Hardwar Gap. On the way, you will have the opportunity to stop at Old Tavern Estate and learn about various aspects of coffee production and roasting. There are lovely views overlooking the Buff Bay valley and you will enjoy learning not only about coffee but generally about  Jamaica’s history and people. Dorothy is a charming hostess and you can sample which of the coffee roasts you prefer and after sampling a cup, have the opportunity to purchase some coffee from source at a fraction of what it sells for in high end stores such as Fortnum & Mason.

    Continue your hike down to Cascade where you will be picked up and driven to the Greencastle Estate. Enjoy the charm of a former colonial estate house with sweeping 360° views that overlook the coastline and the Mountains in the background and refreshing swim in the estate’s pool.

    Dinner and overnight at Greencastle Estate

  •  Day 5
    Hike to Robin’s Bay

    After 2 days of solid hiking, today is an easy day with time allowed for you take your first dip in the Caribbean Sea. After a leisurely breakfast, you will set off from the Guesthouse up the hill, though a scenic walk through small hamlets to the village of Robins Bay which allows you to get a sense of the diversity of people and different areas of the country.

    This is an easy hike of approx. 1.2 hours. At the end you can visit the local village school and then have lunch on the sea shore at the local eatery. You will be picked up and driven to the beach where you can spend the afternoon relaxing.

    Dinner and overnight at Greencastle Estate

  • Day 6
    Hike from Robin’s Bay Village to Black Sands Beach

    Today, you will start earlier and be driven to the starting point of your hike which will take you along an untouched part of the coastline to a lovely secluded black sand beach where you can enjoy your picnic lunch.  The hike takes about 1.5 hours one-way .

    There is the opportunity to enjoy a swim and then head back or for the more adventurous the opportunity to also continue the hike to Tacky Waterfalls before returning home. The last part of the hike to Tacky Waterfalls is along a sheer drop so not for those who fear heights.

    Dinner and overnight at Greencastle Estate

  • Day 7
    Hike to McKenzie Falls & rafting (Jamaican punting)

    Again an early start ( approx. 8.00 am) . You will be picked up and driven to the parish of Portland, where you will start your 3 hour hike from the village of Darley to the untouched, unknown and undeveloped McKenzie Waterfalls.

    Cool off by enjoying a natural “water massage” and some “Jellies” as the water coconuts are locally known and revive your energy levels with some bananas and sugar cane. You then hike approx.  another half an hour to the starting point of the famous “Rafting” (which is more like punting on a bamboo raft). Relax whilst the landscape glides past and enjoy the peace and quiet with just the sound of the water and wind to soothe you. Midway down the river, get off and savour a rustic, traditional Jamaican lunch cooked on the river stones. There is a deep pool in the river at this point where you can swim in the river ( there are many other spots as well where you can ask your raft’s captain to stop and allow you a swim if desired) before continuing your journey to the coast.

    Your driver will be waiting for you to take you to Mocking Bird Hill where you can relax after this adventurous day just watching the sun set behind the hills and enjoy the night concerto of crickets and tree frogs as night falls.

    Dinner and overnight at Mocking Bird Hill

  • Day 8
    Hike from Shotover down to Port Antonio, pm at Frenchman’s Cove

    Today is an easy day but  with lots to discover. After breakfast you will be driven up to Shotover from here you will hike approx. 1.5 hours.  The views here overlook on e one side the Rio Grande Valley where you rafted the day before and on the other, the views overlooking the twin harbours of Port Antonio. The hike along forested patches and down through the community gives a good sense of rural Jamaica.

    You then have the opportunity to walk around the town and visit the market and explore the historic Titchfield Hill of Port Antonio with the ruins of the old Fort and the Canons with which the British defended the port town. In the afternoon you can either rest in the gardens and enjoy a relaxing massage (optional) or be driven to Frenchmen’s Cove for a swim

    Dinner and overnight at Mocking Bird Hill

  • Day 9
    Hike from Ecclesdown to Reach Falls, explore North East Coast on return

    You leave early with a packed breakfast and are driven to the Ecclesdown area from where you hike to the village of Reach. Along the way we will stop at a point with incredible views to sit and eat breakfast. This is a very easy hike along a forest road with great birding opportunities.

    Below Reach you change guides and then continue with someone from the local community who takes you down to the river to escort you up the river to the falls. This “Riverwalk” involves walking across the river stones and boulders and swimming across pools. For this you will need water shoes. Your guide will carry your camera and rucksack . After enjoying cooling off for as long as you like, you then continue your explorations by being driven back along the coast and have the opportunity to stop at various beaches – Long Bay and Boston. You can try out one of the many eateries at these stops.

    Dinner and overnight at Mocking Bird Hill

  • Day 10
    Winnifred Beach & Ride with Fishermen

    Your last chance to tank up on some sunshine and enjoy the blue waters of the Caribbbean Sea. You are driven to Winnifred, one of the most charming and beautiful beaches in the area. Depending on the weather you can take a ride with one of the fishermen along the coast to Blue Lagoon ( optional) and swim and snorkel around the island located in front of it ( Peelu Island which the Aga Khan gave his third wife as a wedding gift). You can also snorkel off the reef at Winnifred and enjoy lunch at a beachside eatery. A wonderful lazy way to end a holiday packed with so many impressions and experiences.

    Dinner and overnight at Mocking Bird Hill

  • Day 11

    Enjoy a lazy start to the day with a leisurely breakfast on the perch ( weather permitting) giving you a lasting memory of the beauty of the place with the combination of the hills and the sea and allow you to reflect and remember on the many pleasant surprises and discoveries you have enjoyed.

    Depending on your departure time, you might even want to have a massage (optional) to keep you relaxed before the flight home. Transfer to Kingston for your departure flight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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