Top Ten Caribbean Classic Adventures

Jamaica: Get Blue
By Paris Permenter & John Bigley

If you know coffee, you know Jamaica's Blue Mountains; indeed, many hikes into this cool, rugged region weave through coffee fields. Just keep in mind that Jamaica is not the safest place to veer off the beaten path without a guide or at least some direction from a tour company—there are some well-protected ganja fields hidden out there. The Blue Mountains-John Crow National Park is filled with sites to challenge adventure travelers of all types—hikers, birders, mountain bikers, and more.

For a real lung-expanding hike, set your sights on Blue Mountain Peak, the highest mountain in Jamaica at 7,400 feet. Intrepid climbers begin their ascent very early (4 a.m.) to watch the sunrise from the mountaintop, but it's advisable to hire a guide if you plan to climb in the dark. You'll trek through coffee plantations and banana and papaya groves, which change to wilder forest as you reach the higher altitudes.


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