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The Island

Jamaica is an island nation located in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba and west of Haiti. It is known for its white sandy beaches, reggae music, and spicy cuisine.

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Jamaica has a rich cultural heritage rooted in African, European, and indigenous Taino influences. The island's economy is based on tourism, agriculture, and mining, with bauxite being the main export. 

Some of the top attractions in Jamaica include Dunn's River Falls, Bob Marley Museum, and Blue Mountain National Park.

The capital city is Kingston, and the official language is English.


Many trails have proper roads which provide good access to regular cars. Road to trails at higher elevations may be unpaved and have 4WD only access. For these latter, it is advisable to use local providers who provide transport to recreational areas and trail heads, rather than to rent vehicles and try to drive there by yourself.


Elevations climb rapidly as you leave the coast and this provides spectacular scenery both on the access roads and the trails. There is even the elusive sighting of the Pico Turquino in the Sierra Maestra Mountains of Cuba, on a clear day. Lush tropical vegetation, waterfalls and winding roads add diversity to the scenery. 

Communities and People

Lifestyles in mountain communities are very different to that of the cities. Agriculture is the main economic activity and hillside farming (often of coffee) is the mainstay.

People in mountain communities are friendly and helpful and can be very curious about your motivation for hiking and camping in the mountains. Local guides are available in many mountain communities.

Colonel Wallace Sterling


Jamaica has no dangerous wildlife (bears, mountain lions, poisonous snakes) and the feral hogs which are in the densest forests of the Blue Mountains will make themselves scarce at the approach of humans. At lower elevations, mosquitoes may be an issue, so prepare by taking repellent along.


Always stay on trails and do not venture into unknown areas without a local guide. Inform others of your travel plans. Cell phone service is generally available over most of the mountains. Make sure to have enough food and water and a first aid kit for your planned trip.
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