Fun Things to Do in Jamaica: Camping in The Jamaican Blue Mountains

The Jamaican Blue Mountains can be explored by eco-tourism and camping. Tourists having a thirst for exploring nature’s wonders and great outing have had a wonderful experience by camping and exploring in Jamaica.

The Jamaican Blue Mountains are popular among campers and people interested in outing because of the view from the mountains which can take your breath away and also for the popular coffee served out there. The JATCHA (Jamaica Alternative Tourism, Camping and Hiking Association) has been organized to help tourists interested in camping, due to the growing popularity of camping in Jamaica.

The Jamaican Forestry Department has supervised the areas for campgrounds. The accommodation in the Blue Mountains consists of dormitories and cabins, also forest camps have the availability of a few supplies. However, it would be necessary to bring your own blankets, kitchen supplies and linens.

Leaving alone the tourist enjoyment of camping in Jamaica, most importantly the campers must have a permit to reach a campsite and be able to use it. The JATCHA has the power to make these reservations and can leave permits for campers at the camping sites. Otherwise you can make payments for these permits to the Jamaican Forestry Department at the Kingston Office and pick them up well in advance.

There are a number of popular campsites to be visited at the Blue Mountains in Jamaica.

These include the Holywell National Recreation Area (Park). In this site, camping in tent is available. Also cabins are available with a full bathroom, fireplace and a small kitchen.

Clydesdale is a campsite which is about 3700 feet in the mountains. This site was previously a pine nursery and a coffee plantation. It also has a dormitory with bunk beds that can accommodate 30+, along with a fire cooking pit, showers and toilets with flush.

One hour walk from Clydesdale will lead you to Cinchona Botanical Gardens, which is a campsite having tent camping facility.

Whitfield Hall Hostel is a privately owned campsite. It allows tent camping and also provides linen.

One hour walk or more past Whitfield Hall Hostel is Portland Gap Forestry Hut. Here sleeping is done on the floor. However, it has space for 30 tents, running water and an outhouse. And it is 5,200 feet in the mountains.

Lastly, Blue Mountain Peak is a forest hut where tent camping is allowed. This site is frequented on weekends by the party groups from Kingston. Here water is not available readily. In this campsite, the weather is very cold between December and February.

There also other areas available for camping in Jamaica. You can access these other areas through resorts or hotels which allow camping on-site. Negril, is the best option for camping outside the Blue Mountains and nearby cities like Port Antonio and Kingston. In this area, front-lawn camping and beachfront are allowed in hotels for an average of $30(USD) per tent and also as low as $10 (USD) per night. However laundry, toilet and shower facilities are available in these campsites.

Jamaican Alternative Tourism, Camping and Hiking Association (JATCHA)
P.O. Box 216
Kingston 7, Jamaica
(876) 960-2848

Source: JTB