Jamaica's Beautiful Blue Mountains: Bed, Breakfast & Coffee
About this tour
Join us to learn the secrets of Jamaica’s renowned Blue Mountain Coffee, from bean to cup. We will introduce you to the islands most interesting and historic Blue Mountain Coffee Estates. Wonderful hiking trails carry you along quiet parochial roads, through fern forests, small farms, and rural communities. River pools and waterfalls provide many swimming opportunities. This is where you’ll find the best birding on the island. The Blue Mountains are home to all 28 endemic species of Jamaican birds.
The private Blue Mountain homes in the community of Greenwich are idyllic for enjoying and exploring the region. Near Newcastle*, at 4,000 ft. above sea level, the fresh mountain air is glorious, the views thrilling and the gardens are pure delight. You will enjoy exceptional Jamaica home cooking as well as Jamaica’s best restaurants and of course the world’s most coveted coffee.
Coffee Estates: Clifton Mount Coffee Estate, The Old Tavern Coffee Estate and Craighton - Ushima Coffee Company.
Trails: Marinanne North Trail, Gordon Town Trail, Settlement Trail, St. Mark’s Chapel and Hollywell options
Birds: Excellent birding guides available upon request.
Food: EITS, Cafe Blue, and Strawberry Hill.
Day 1 Welcome, Gordon Town Trail, Craighton Coffee Estate, EITS, Newcastle.
We are delighted to show you the best ways to enjoy the Blue Mountains, through coffee, hiking, gardens, birding, good food, and meeting people. You can be in the mountains and hiking within an hour, upon landing at the Kingston International Airport!
The Gordon Town Trail and Settlement Trails, are the original foot and donkey paths from the colonial outpost of Gordon Town, at the foot of the Blue Mountains, to Newcastle*, (4,000 feet above sea level) built in 1841 as a healthy base camp for the British Army. Today the picturesque old camp serves for training the Jamaica Defense Force. Newcastle's motto: No obstacle too difficult, no task too great!
The old trail can be walked in sections, at 3,000 ft. you will reach the community of Red Light and find St. Mark’s Chapel, and the Craighton Coffee Estate, both over 200 years old. Craighton is now owned by Ueshima Coffee Company (UCC), one of Japan’s largest roasters. Begin your Blue Mountain Coffee immersion with fascinating coffee historian Jr. Belsoe at UCC.
Later, enjoy farm to table dining at EITS Café and Food Basket Farm before settling into your Blue Mountain home. Walking trails at Hollywell National Park, gardens and excellent birding are at your doorstep. Your staff will light the fireplace, prepare a classic rum punch and serve an authentic Jamaican dinner. Any special requests?
Day 2 Clifton Mount Coffee Estate, Cold Spring Heritage Garden, Strawberry Hill.
Clifton Mount - Blue Mountain Coffee Estate, one of the oldest and finest Blue Mountain Coffee Estates in Jamaica, is the largest private exporter of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. The lovely Clifton Mount Estate House, in a garden full of flowers, is the last of few surviving 19th century Coffee Great Houses. Learn the process of growing, harvesting, pulping, and processing beans, then brew a cup of the world’s most prized coffee surrounded by the island’s most magnificent views over the mighty Blue Mountain range. A map dated 1773 shows a track between Clifton Mount and the Cold Spring estate. The Marianne North Trail (named for the intrepid Victorian lady traveler and botanic artist who spent time here) has been reopened, offering a lovely 1-hour walk through Blue Mountain woodland to discover Clifton Mount.
Follow Jamaica’s coffee story to The Heritage Gardens of Cold Spring designed around the fascinating architectural features of an 18th Century Coffee Factory, once owned by eminent naturalist Mathew Wallen. Wallen grew and processed coffee, and also introduced bamboo, watercress, nasturtiums and dandelion to Jamaica.
Strawberry Hill at 3,000 ft. marks the lowest boundary for growing genuine Blue Mountain Coffee. Strawberry Hill was the 18th century coffee estate of Sir Walpole the Earl of Orford. Coffee houses in Europe were as fashionable then, as now, and Jamaica was the world’s largest exporter of coffee, shipping 5 times the amount than is exported today. It is a pleasure to visit Strawberry Hill, a 16 room Hotel, Garden and Spa, set on a hilltop with 360 views. The Strawberry Hill garden features over 300 species of exotic plants, flowers and trees and an animated bird life.
Look forward to another night of perfect quiet, cool clean air, a fireplace and great home cooking.
Day 3 The Old Tavern Blue Mountain Coffee Estate, Settlement Trail, Farewell.
The Old Tavern was the first coffee estate to be awarded a license to process and sell their own estate coffee, opening the door for all single estate Blue Mountain Coffee’s marketed today. Mother and son, Dorothy and David Twyman are the islands’ only artisan roasters, offering several types of roasts as well as the specialty Peaberry and Aged Coffees.
Hiking enthusiasts can opt to walk the Settlement Trail, rather than drive, part of the way back to Kingston.
A few nights escape to the Blue Mountains, combined with a beach holiday, is the ultimate Jamaica travel experience. We are delighted to help you reach a north coast destination via the Buff Bay Road - the most scenic route in Jamaica.
Comfort Level: Private mountain retreat, Unique property, Agritourism, Comfort camping.
Exertion Level: From Easy - little required physical activity to Active - some physical activity daily. Challenge Scale 1 - 4, Hikes = 2/3
Can you accommodate Bird Watchers? Yes!
This is Jamaica’s prime bird watching region, where all but one endemic (the Black-billed Streamertail Hummingbird) can be found. We have a special affection for birders and can cater to their needs - predawn coffee and excellent bird guides. Relish the dawn chorus of bird song, specially the haunting flute-like call of Rufous-throated Solitaire, symbiotic to the Blue Mountains. Look for high-elevation bird species - White-eyed Thrush, Greater Antillean Elaenia, Jamaican Becard, Blue Mountain Vireo, Jamaican Pewee, and the often-elusive Crested Quail-Dove. This is where you find Jamaica’s most endangered species, the Jamaican Blackbird, known locally as Wild-pine Sergeant. You can also look for mixed flocks of tanagers and warblers and listen for the noisy Jamaican Woodpecker. Common to the Blue Mountains is the Arrowhead Warbler, Orangequits and Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo, the “old man bird”, as well as the adorable bright green Jamaican Tody.