“Located over 900 metres (3,000 feet) above sea-level in the cool, tropical mist forests of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, Holywell (pronounced Hollywell) is the perfect escape from the heat and stress of city life. Just an hour’s drive from New Kingston, it is the largest recreation area within the National Park, and the closest to the capital.”
A fitting description of the Holywell Recreational Park on the JCDT website.
When you think about Jamaica, sometimes the first thing that comes to mind is sun, sea and sand, but I think we forget that our Arawak ancestors first described our tropical paradise as the “land of wood & water.” I’ve found Holywell to be a place I make a priority to visit every few months. It’s not even just for the scenery, but I think I’ve developed a connection with its environment and mystique. My friends & I all work in the business district of New Kingston, Jamaica. Personally I work six days per week, and my job is so fast paced, that I really and truly need an escape from time to time.
Usually when we plan a trip to Holywell, it’s in the form of a drink up. We put out the word, grab our jackets & sweaters, buy some food & beverages, & make our pilgrimage up the mountain. This trip though was a bit different from the norm, because we stayed over in one of the cabins for the weekend. This wasn’t the first time I’ve stayed overnight at Holywell, so even though the experience wasn’t new, it’s never something that feels old (maybe I should tell you all about the time we slept over in tents!).
Holywell has three cabins on site, and trust me when I tell you they are always booked! Only the Lord knows how we finessed one for the weekend, but I’ll sum it up to the simple one word motto me & the crew have; persevere. The drive up from Papine is about 30-40 minutes. The drive up to the park is manageable, but if it’s your first time please take your time because at some points the road can be a bit intimidating. We arrived at about 7PM on Friday night, and our two bedroom cabin comfortably fit our small group of four. The cool temperature in the Blue Mountains is of such stark contrast to the heat of the city, that you have to wonder if you’re in the same country. On the plus side, the cabin had a water heater, which made the water at least room temperature when we were ready to take a shower. The cabin also came equipped with a fully functional kitchen, fire place & a comfortable dining and living area. As long as you can find activities to occupy your time, you’re bound for a relaxing stress free weekend.
I really wish I could give you all a detailed & more exciting run down of the weekend activities, but literally all we did was sleep, eat & play kalooki. Makeda tried to get me to watch this movie called “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” but I WAS NOT HAVING IT! Some more of the crew came to hang out on the Sunday afternoon & surprise surprise we played some more Kalooki. All in all, it was a great weekend! I can’t wait till the next adventure!
Check out the vlog of the weekend as well as pictures below.
For cabin rental fees, entry fees & general information on Holywell Recreational Park and activities offered, check out the Jamaica Conservation & Development Trust website or hit me up for some advice.
Check out #DownDiRoad – Episode 2