Deriving its name from the azure haze that settles lazily around its peaks, this 45km-long mountain range looms high above the eastern parishes of St Andrew, St Thomas, Portland and St Mary. The Blue Mountains were formed during the Cretaceous Period (somewhere between 144 and 65 million years ago) and are the island’s oldest feature. 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.
Unsurprisingly, the Blue Mountains’ largely unspoiled character owes much to the difficulty of navigating around the area. Roads are narrow and winding, and some are dirt tracks that are utterly impossible to pass without 4WD, especially after heavy rains. If you are spending time in the area, it is highly advisable to rent a hardy vehicle, contact a tour guide or make arrangements with your hotel.