The 4 Best Hiking Destinations in Jamaica

categories: caribbean travel

Most people book a trip to the Caribbean seeking white sandy beaches, a warm turquoise ocean and great rum. But there’s a growing market of active travelers, people who want to do more than simply listen to Bob Marley and lay on the beach for seven consecutive days (not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s your vacation!). If you’re one of these active travelers, this is one blog post you’ll enjoy.

If you’ve never been to Jamaica before it’s important to note that this is one of the larger Caribbean islands. To give you a rough idea, it takes about two hours to drive from Montego Bay to Ochos Rios and that’s just the northern part of the island. But size does have its advantages, and Jamaica offers would-be travelers some of the best hiking in the Caribbean.

Blue Mountain Peak Trail

Ascending from the Portland Gap, the Blue Mountain Peak Trail should take you approximately 2.5 hours as it’s a 5.6 km (3.5 mile) hike. You’ll get to enjoy Jamaica’s highest peak but and the beautiful, natural landscape on your way up. Coffee lovers take note: this is home to Jamaica’s famous Blue Mountain Coffee! Active travelers can choose to hike with or without a guide; it’ll depend on your comfort level and experience hiking.

Cockpit Country Trails

Located on the north western part of the island, Cockpit Country is a challenging area as it features steeper hills. Make your way to the Barbecue Bottom Road which runs north-south and from there you’ll find two old historic trails: The Troy Trail and The Quick Step Trail. These trails are not easy to find and are seldom used, so a knowledgeable local guide is absolutely essential on these routes.

Mount Zion Hill Walk

This is not a traditional hike but rather an interesting 2-mile walk from Montego Bay, to an authentic rural community on Mount Zion. At a leisurely pace you’ll reach Mount Zion in 2 hours (you can run it in 40 minutes!) along a well worn path that winds upward through pastures, farms and orchards. Mount Zion boasts a church built in 1861, a primary school that serves the hill communities and a rum shop where the Red Stripe beer is always ice cold.

Memories of mini-cascades & swimming holes...

Mayfield Falls

Nestled in the Dolphin Head Mountains near Westmoreland, Mayfield Falls offers one of the most refreshing hikes in Jamaica! With 2 waterfalls, natural pools, and plenty of tropical plants, birds and butterflies, it’s far enough off the beaten path so as not to be an overly commercial destination. The climb takes anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours, all dependent on how long you want to splash around in the many pools – the “Washing Machine” falls are the most fun. A delicious jerk chicken lunch awaits at the end of the waterfall climb.

This article was written by Susanne Richards for Luxury Retreats, a great place to find villas in Jamaica to rent.

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The 4 Best Hiking Destinations in Jamaica

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Susanne Richards

by Susanne Richards

Susanne Richards is a student based in Montreal, Canada whose passion is exploring new beaches and adventures in the Caribbean and beyond.

16 Responses to “The 4 Best Hiking Destinations in Jamaica”

Jason Laloux


I never realized that Jamaica was such an interesting destination for hiking. I’ll definitely have to check out these trails next time I’m there.

Katherine Scott


Great post! I’m not usually one for hiking, but the Mayfield Falls sound like fun. 🙂



A nice way to burn off those Red Stripe calories!

Naldo Gray


One error, its not calked Cockpit County, but rather “Cockpit Country”…



Naldo, thanks for the correction!

Denise Allen


Great article on trails in Jamaica



There are a few trails out there, such as Judgement Cliff that #VisitStThomasJamaica caters to. An all-inclusive hike, history food etc event.
Jamaica has so many untainted and untouched area’s the beauty that is my Island of Jamaica.



That isn’t a picture of Mayfeild falls, that is a picture of Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios



Thanks Winifred, I replaced the photo

Carol Kee


Could someone please help me to know how we can sign up for a hiking tour in the Blue Mountains. It would be best if we could find a guide or an organized hiking group to go with. We will be in Jamaica between February 1 and February 7.

Thank you.

Alexandra Parfenov


I can’t find on Google maps mt.Zion – where is it?



search for mount zion jamaica, it shows up right by Faiths Pen



For blue mountain hike you can contact Leon Barnaby 894 7990 or Stokely rose 366 0435



There is either another Montego Bay or another Mount Zion because I see it on a map as 70+ mile walk



Yes, looks like there are more than one and Google does not seem to know “Mt Zion Hill”.

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