The Blue Mountains and John Crow Mountains National Park (BJCMNP) is a popular tourist attraction in Jamaica. It is filled with different types of flora and fauna.
The BJCMNP is situated in the eastern section of the island. The most practical way to reach it is via the city of Kingston. Majority of the buses at Kingston going to the BJCMNP leave from Papine.
What to See
The main recreational areas are Portland Gap and Holywell. Here you can take guided walks along numerous trails.
The BJCMNP has over 190,000 acres of mountain rainforest. One of the main attractions here are the bluish, mist-enshrouded mountains. It is due to this color that the park got its name. Some of the wildlife you will see are the Jamaican Blackbirds and the Giant Swallowtail Butterfly.
There are also plenty of ferns and orchids in the Blue Mountains and John Crow Mountains National Park. Visitors to the park will also get to see the Jamaican Hutia (Geocapromys brownii) and the Jamaican Boa (Epicrates subflavus). There are also several types of bromeliads and plants in the site.
The park spans an area over 495.2 km2. It makes up 4.5% of the island’s total land surface. When it comes to topography, the total area is 78,212 hectares (193,292 acres).
The park mountains are most conspicuous at the eastern Jamaican skyline. The site also makes up majority of the hinterland of the parishes of St. Andrew, St. Thomas and Portland. The mountain slopes make up the upper portions of ten of Jamaica’s watershed units.
The peak of the Blue Mountain is 2,256 meters. In truth, the BJCMNP is comprised of three ranges: apart form the John Crow and Blue mountains, there is also the Port Royal mountain. The park also has the biggest contiguous tract road in the country.
The admission fee to the park is 5 USD. If you want a guided tour, there is an extra 5 USD fee.
Holywell has accommodations that allow you to camp there. The cabins are at Holywell while the Blue Mountain Peak is located at the south. Other features of the park are habitats for numerous rare Jamaican birds. Many of them are endemic. The park is also frequented by many migratory birds.
The Blue Mountains and John Crow Mountains National Park Holywell section is open Tuesdays to Sundays 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. The Portland Gap & the Peak Trail access is based on reservations.