Jamaica's Blue Mountain Tour: Coffee, Cycling, and Fun
By Clarissa Buch
Calling all adventure buffs and coffee enthusiasts! Jamaica produces between four and five million pounds of coffee per year within the tropical jungle of Blue Mountains National Park. Replete with stunning waterfalls and exotic wildlife, these steep mountainsides, located north of Kingston, make for the perfect condition to produce unparalleled coffee beans.
Want a taste? Cue the Blue Mountain Bicycle Tour. This all-day, all-inclusive downhill bicycle ride will wind you through the Blue Mountains. As you ride, you'll cling to the mountainside and see various coffee plantations.
Ideal for couples, families, and lone travelers, the tour will pick you up from your Ocho Rios or Montego Bay property, such as Moon Palace Jamaica, and drive you up to the mountains inside an air-conditioned bus. Before you reach the Blue Mountains, your guide will discuss Jamaican history and make a few quick historical stops along the way. Keep an eye out for banana plantations and local outdoor markets.
Your next stop will take place at an open-air restaurant located 2,600-feet above sea level. Savor a traditional Jamaican brunch and sip on as much Blue Mountain coffee as you can drink! Though Jamaica produces a small amount of coffee compared to other coffee-producing countries, such as Honduras or Brazil, Blue Mountain java features a distinctly rich and smooth taste due to dense and flavor-packed beans.
After brunch, you’ll get ready for the three-hour downhill bike ride. Don't worry about the gear--the tour will supply everything from helmets to bikes. Then, you'll be taken up to about 5,600-feet above sea level where you'll begin the ride.
The tour moves at around five to 10 miles per hour. Since a majority of the ride is downhill, nearly the whole experience involves almost no pedaling! While coasting down the mountains, soak in the surrounding landscapes with streams, waterfalls, and lush vegetation all around you. Stop at your leisure to take photos and enjoy the scenery.
As you ride along, you'll end up back where you started at the open-air restaurant. You'll enjoy another meal before departing back to your resort by 5 p.m. You'll also have the chance to take a dip inside a secluded waterfall, so make sure you bring a bathing suit!
Tours are available Monday through Saturday and include round-trip transportation from your resort, along with brunch, lunch, the guided bicycle tour, and all equipment needed. Oh, and if you simply can’t get enough of Blue Mountain coffee, make sure to pick up a bag at Pier 27 at Moon Palace Jamaica.