Old Tavern Coffee Estate
On the hillside at 1280m near Hardwar Gap, just below the entrance to Holywell Recreation Area, the Gap Café Bed & Breakfast's cafe is a fabulous place to rest and take in the vistas over a soda or cappuccino. It offers dining either indoors or alfresco on a wooden terrace. A ‘Jamaican special’ breakfast costs US$12, and afternoon high tea is also served (US$25).
An exhilarating way to see the Blue Mountains is by mountain bike – the sturdier the better as the going can be steep and arduous. Blue Mountain Bicycle Tours in Ocho Rios offers pickup from Kingston or Ocho Rios, transfer to the Hardwar Gap and an exhilarating downhill cycling tour . Potential stops include a coffee-roasting facility. Up to 43 cyclists.
Established in 1923 and located 1km southwest of Mavis Bank is the largest coffee factory in Jamaica, producing Blue Mountain coffee sold under the ‘Jablum’ label. Ask the chief ‘cupper’ to demonstrate ‘cupping’ (tasting), the technique to identify quality coffee. You can tour the factory to see the coffee beans drying (in season) and being processed; call in advance.
Just north of Newcastle, you can take a one-hour tour of the attractive 200-year-old Craighton Estate Great House and coffee plantation. During the tour, your guide explains to you the basics of coffee cultivation and a mildly steep walk leads you up to a gazebo with wonderful views of the mountains and the villages below.
This trail begins beside the Anglican church, crossing Yallahs River and Green River and leading uphill for 8km (1½ to two hours) to Penlyne Castle and on to Blue Mountain Peak.
Highest of the highlights, Blue Mountain Peak reaches 2256m above sea level, and no visit to the area should neglect a predawn hike to its summit for a sunrise view.
A steep dirt road runs from the parade ground up to St Catherine’s peak (one hour) . You need to get permission first from the military encampment.
Manages trails in the national park and can recommend hiking guides.
Runs guided hikes and birding trips into the Cockpits for US$85.
Treks and walks in the Blue Mountains and surrounds.
Indulge your taste buds on a guided food tour of George Town, one of the culinary capitals of the Caribbean! Your 3-hour walking tour includes ten food and drink tastings — enough for a satisfying lunch. Visit well-loved local eateries and world-renowned restaurants featuring specialty products, and receive coupons at each venue.