Visitors in search of nature's splendors and the great outdoors have found exploring and camping in Jamaica to be an incredible experience.
The Blue Mountains are one of the most popular regions for campers and outdoor enthusiasts, not only because of their famous coffee, but because of the breathtaking vistas. Due to the popularity of camping in Jamaica, the Jamaica Alternative Tourism, Camping and Hiking Association, more commonly called JATCHA, was developed to help travelers with an interest in this type of recreation.
Campgrounds are found in areas supervised by the Jamaican Forestry Department. Cabins and dormitories account for most of the accommodations in the Blue Mountains, but few supplies are available at forest camps. You will need to bring your own linens, blankets, and kitchen supplies.
Travelers cannot simply arrive at a campsite and pay to use it, you must have a permit. JATCHA can make reservations and leave permits waiting for you at the sites. Otherwise they must be paid for and picked up in advance at the Kingston office of the Jamaican Forestry Department.
Some of the most popular sites in the Blue Mountains include the following:
|Hollywell National Recreation Park
(also: Holywell National Recreation Area)
|- Tent Camping Available
- Cabins available with fireplace, small kitchen and full bathroon.
- Four hiking trails
- Covered gazebos for picnics.
|Clydesdale||- Former coffee plantation and pine nursery.
- 3,700 feet in the mountains.
- Bunk bed dormitory that can sleep 30+ with flush toilets, showers and a fire cooking pit.
|Cinchona Botanical Gardens||- One hour walk from Clydesdale.
- Tent camping available.
|Whitfield Hall Hostel||- Privately owned coffee farm.
- Provides linens.
- May permit tent camping.
|Portland Gap Forestry Hut||- 5,200 feet in the mountains.
- One hour or more past Whitfield Hall Hostel.
- Sleeping is on the floor.
- Has running water, outhouse, and space for 30 tents.
|Blue Mountain Peak||- Forest hut; tent camping permitted.
- Often used by party groups from Kingston on weekends.
- Water may not be readily available.
- May be very cold between December and February.
Camping is available in other areas of Jamaica. It is most often accessed through a hotel or resort that allows on-site camping. The best choice for campers outside the Blue Mountains, including the nearby cities Kingston and Port Antonio, is Negril. Beachfront and even front-lawn camping may be allowed at hotels in this area for as low as $5(USD) per night, though the average is closer to $10(USD) per tent. Generally shower, toilet and laundry facilities are available at these campsites.
Vacationers who love the outdoors will want to consider the opportunities for eco-tourism on the island. In addition to the eco-lodges you'll find, some unique eco-resorts are another choice. Click on the link to each accommodation to read further info.
Those wanting to stay in Jamaica will be interested in choices like Mocking Bird Hill. The 10 rooms at the Hotel Mocking Bird Hill combine elegance and comfort, at an affordable price. All rooms are decorated with locally handmade furniture comprised of sustainable woods, and the fabrics, art, and shuttered windows give the rooms a very tropical feel. If you're looking for something specific, try calling them at (876) 993-7267.
Zimbali Mountain Retreats is a popular choice in Jamaica. The main villa at Zimbali is called Serenity and features two bedrooms, one bathroom, a spacious living space and dining room that runs inside and outside, cable television, and a stereo. The second space is a cottage that is studio-sized with a kitchenette, private bathroom, and veranda. You can call them at (876) 252-3232.
Country Country Beach Cottages is another noteworthy option. Experience old Jamaican country charm alongside modern conveniences at Country Country Beach Cottages. Located on famous seven-mile beach in Negril, these individual cottages afford guests both seclusion and the sea in their very own tropical paradise. If you are looking to call before you go, do so at (876) 957-4273.
The following table summarizes more information about the 17 eco-tourism choices you'll be able to find.
|Name||Type||Phone Number||Star Rating||Location|
|Bay View Eco Resort and Spa||Eco resort||(876) 993-3118||
|1.9 mi. East of Central Port Antonio|
|Bourbon Beach Hotel||Eco resort||(876) 374-4982||
|2.0 mi. South of Central Negril Beach Hotel Zone|
|Camp Cabarita Eco Lodge||Lodge||(876) 520-7825||
|6.6 mi. Northeast of Central Georges Plain|
|Chippewa Village Hotel||Lodge||(876) 957-4676||
|1.2 mi. South of Central Negril Beach Hotel Zone|
|Country Country Beach Cottages||Eco resort||(876) 957-4273||
|0.8 mi. South of Central Negril Beach Hotel Zone|
|Crystal Ripple Beach Lodge||Lodge||(876) 974-6132||
|0.8 mi. East-Northeast of Central Ocho Rios|
|Golden Shore Resort||Eco resort||(876) 982-9657||
|1.1 mi. Southeast of Central Morant Bay|
|Great Huts||Lodge||(876) 353-3388||
|3.0 mi. Southeast of Central Fairy Hill|
|Mocking Bird Hill||Lodge||(876) 993-7267||
|0.7 mi. Southeast of Central Turtle Harbour|
|Negril Treehouse Resort||Eco resort||(876) 957-4287||
|0.8 mi. South of Central Negril Beach Hotel Zone|
|Prince Valley Guest House||Lodge||(876) 892-2365||
|6.8 mi. Northeast of Central Kingston|
|Salem Resort||Eco resort||(876) 971-3859||
|0.5 mi. North-Northeast of Central Salen|
|Satori Resort and Spa||Eco resort||(876) 952-6133||
|2.9 mi. South West of Central Montego Bay|
|Sea Garden Beach Resort||Eco resort||(876) 979-0943||
|2.1 mi. North-Northeast of Central Montego Bay|
|Tingalaya's Retreat||Eco resort||(202) 741-9720||
|2.1 mi. South-Southwest of Central Negril|
|Whispering Bamboo Cove Resort||Eco resort||(876) 982-1788||
|1.7 mi. West of Central Belvedere|
|Zimbali Mountain Retreats||Eco resort||(876) 252-3232||
|3.1 mi. West-Southwest of Central Grange Hill|
If you would prefer having a wider variety of properties beyond what's offered here, you should find others. Click here to read our discussion of other kinds of accommodations for Jamaica.
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