There’s a completely different world far removed from the heat of the island of Jamaica – but you have to get there via winding mountain roads first. So buckle up; a trip to the Blue Mountains is a must.
The Blue Mountains of Jamaica are absolute magic. A completely different climate, a different way of life, and a new outlook on Jamaica, you need to try it for yourself.
Blue Mountain Coffee
First of all, Blue Mountain coffee is a New Yorkers’ dream. Low acidity, sweet, and a smooth creamy flavor, you’re not going to want to drink anything else ever again. At the Craighton Estate Coffee Plantation, you arrive at this gorgeous misty overlook with lush greens. It’s about 70 degrees (much cooler than the usual humid 90 at the bottom of the mountain.) You come upon an old plantation house and are directed to the back patio for a coffee tasting and history of the beans.
I’ll let Michele tell you all about Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee here (she was on my trip!)
On my tour I absolutely became obsessed with the coffee – you don’t even need milk for this stuff! They talk about how the coffee is carefully harvested and quality controlled. It takes a long and intense process which is why the coffee is so expensive. The country exports this coffee mostly to Japan, so it’s actually quite rare in the US. We also walked through the plantation to see the beans growing for ourselves. Safe to say I never wanted to leave.
Pair your Blue Mountains adventure with a few stops in Kingston:
Looking for lunch after drinking a bunch of coffee? On your way down the mountain, hit up EITZ cafe. Traditional Jamaican food – with a view. No rush here. Just take your time, and take it in.
To make sure you get your fill of smoky jerk chicken and Red Stripe, stop at Scotchies. A casual spot, you can bring your peeps, sit outside and enjoy the flavors of Jamaica. Everyone goes to Scotchies – a popular lunch spot for locals and visitors alike. Try their conch soup if hey have it!
Port Royal is a little drive outside of Kingston, all the way at the end of a peninsula. The town used to be a trade port – the likes of many famous pirates stopped here. You can get to know them and their victims through a nighttime haunted tour of the area. In the daytime is cool too-you’ll see the famous crooked house, and the walled city of Port Royal. Don’t leave without stopping at Gloria’s seafood restaurant for brown stew fish. A local flavor that everyone needs to try.
I haven’t personally been, but I hear Bob Marley’s house tour is super cool, along with a bunch of other museums in Kingston. It’s called the Capital of Culture for a reason, you know.
Looking for another Jamaican adventure? Treasure Beach is one of my favorite places in the world.
*I worked for the Jamaica Tourist Board in a PR capacity for almost 5 years.