Monday was National Hero’s day here in Jamaica a national holiday marked to celebrate the lives, sacrifices and legacies of our National Heroes and Heroine. I had been home all weekend and just couldn’t fathom the thought of lying around for a third day so my fiance and I decided to take a trip to Holywell Recreational Park. This would be our second time going there so we had a good idea what to expect and boy were we looking forward to it. After being in the city commuting to work day in day out and working in an office the idea of being out in nature was irresistible.
Holywell Park is a beautiful nature park nestled in the Blue and Johncrow Mountains above Kingston. Aside from the breathtaking views of Kingston it offers crisp cool fresh air, misty mountain trails that wind their way along the mountain range revealing new treasures of exotic flora and fauna at every turn and enough serenity to have you feeling rejuvinated and refreshed.
The Park is run by the government of Jamaica and offers amenities for just about any type of nature lover. There are numerous benches and picnic tables where you can relax, have a snack and enjoy the beautiful scenery and views. There are gazebos scattered across the main grounds where amenities are provided to do some good old fashion wood fire cooking. You can even take your “jerk pan” and really throw down! If you feel like getting a workout in that feels nothing like a workout, the take a hike by along one of the many scenic trails that crisscross the mountain range. Last but definitely not least Hollywell Park offers cabins that can be rented at a very affordable price. So if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life or you are a tourist looking for an off the beaten path experience then this is for you. It does get quite chilly at night’s ( and during the day in winter months) so pack a blanket and a few sweaters if you get cold easily like me. I wanted to take some pictures of the cabins, benches and Gazebos but they were all booked or occupied and I didn’t want to disturb the guests but I will update this post with pictures of those at another time. The first time I went to Holywell I did get to look around the cabins and inside looks very cozy and inviting with modern amenities. Each cabin has a fire pit which I remember got me very excited! Can you imagine roasting anything really with a group of friends around one of those fires on a cool night and cracking jokes – heaven on earth! I’m definitely staying overnight on my next trip there I just need to gather some good friends.
Anyway, enough fantacizing and back to this past Monday. It took us about an hour to drive up to the park from Kingston. The roads are winding and a rough in some areas especially now that they are being resurfaced, but once the road rehabilitation is complete it shouldn’t take more than 45 mins. We paid $100 Jamaican for each of us at the entrance and parked.
Walking into the park the view of the rolling St. Andrew hills cascading like a tropical water fall into the plain of Kingston and ultimately the Kingston Harbour complete with the spectacle of the Palisadoes Strip and the Causeway leading into Portmore took our breaths away. It’s a view that you can never grow tired of seeing no matter how many times you have seen it.
Being that it was a public holiday the park was busy but not bustling. It was a laid-back crowd and there was more than enough spaces to find a quiet space where we sat and had a quick snack before we started our hike.
So tummies full we were off to find the waterfall. On our first trip there we hiked with some friends along a much longer trail that took us all the way into Portland (a neighbouring parish) then wound around and brought us back. So naturally we wanted to try a different trail and we had heard about the waterfall trail before so we decided on it and off we went. It was an easy hike that took us about half an hour to get to the falls.
It’s not a type of fall that you can climb but the water looked very inviting -I will be taking a bathing suit next time- and the spray cooled our heated bodies with a cool fine mist.
After taking a million and one pictures and staring at the flowing water for a small eternity we managed to pull ourselves away and headed back to the car park walking along a different trail than we took to get to the falls.
By the time we got back to the car it was setting up to rain, I took a few more pictures and decided to leave before we got soaked. We waved goodbye to the friendly staff at the gate and headed down the hill feeling completely renewed! We spent the trip down planning our next trip back vowing that we have to stay in the cabins next time with a group of friends.
If you live in Kingston or even Jamaica, what are you waiting for?! If you plan on visiting Jamaica in the future definitely add Holywell to your list. It is very affordable, different and beautiful and even if you are not a nature lover it will turn you into one.
Do you enjoy nature? Where is you favourite place to go and rejuvenate?
More information on Holywell Park can be found here