There are a number of interesting and unique spots in this rugged, largely inaccessible area, which spans more than 5,000 acreas covering parts of St James, Trelawny, St Ann, St Elizabeth and Manchester. The Cockpit Country is Jamaica’s richest biodiversity site, housing 79 species of birds, 28 of which are endemic to Jamaica, the highest local diversity of amphibians and reptiles, and 13 of the island’s 21 bat species and more.
The Cockpit Country is a great escape for nature lovers, with activities such as birdwatching, camping, hiking tours and caving. The Southern Trelawny Environmental Agency (STEA) offers a number of great packages through its Cockpit Country Adventure Tours (CCAT), which is headquartered in Albert Town, Trelawny. These include:
Burnt Hill Nature Walk – This is a leisurely trek along the fringes of the Cockpit Country, which culminates at Stewart’s Farm in Rock Spring, with an authentic ‘bush-style’ meal.
Quashie River Sink Cave Exploration – The entrance to the cave is guarded by 20 foot waterfalls and crystal-clear pools, but accessing the cave requires a 150-foot climb, aided by ropes and small hand-rails.
Rocky Fort Cockpit Trek – The starting point of this hike is located in Alps, Trelawny. You will learn about the various medicinal herbs and bushes in the hills of the Cockpit Country and also have the opportunity to view centuries-old plantation houses, wells and tombs of some of the earliest Cockpit explorers.
McKenzie’s Farm Riverside Picnic – If caving or hiking are not your cup of tea, you can take it easy with this tour. The farm is located along the banks of one of the Roaring River’s waterfalls, so there are a number of water-based activities for you to enjoy, including tubing, water swings, rafting and swimming.
Find more STEA tour package information here.