When you think of Jamaica, you think of white-sand beaches, Appleton rum, jerk chicken shacks, and reggae. It’s all true, but rising up behind the beaches are misty mountains and soaring ridges that are home to one of the most unique mountain biking scenes in the world, where singletrack has been carved from steep, centuries-old walking trails that link rural hill towns to the turquoise Caribbean.
THE ACTION: Join expat-owned Singletrack Jamaica (singletrackjamaica.com) for a heart-pounding rush, careening down trails like the 5,000-foot, 10.5-mile route from the summit of Blue Mountain Peak, where you’ll encounter roots, rocks, and rotten mangoes, not to mention goats, farmers, and little old ladies walking to church. Singletrack Jamaica worked with locals to develop trails, building flowy berms and jumps to enhance the ride. One of its personal favorites is “Pressure Drop,” a 1,000-foot descent with forever views that ends at an empty black-sand beach.
LIVING IT UP: Shackup at River Lodge, a rustic guesthouse converted from a 17th-century Spanish fort in Robin’s Bay. Scotchies, in nearby Ocho Rios, has the best jerk pork and chicken anywhere.
ESSENTIAL CARRY-ON: Singletrack Jamaica will set you up with a full-suspension bike, but you should bring your own lid, like a Troy Lee Designs A1.
GETTING THERE: Fly into Montego Bay; drive or shuttle to Ocho Rios.
Top 10 Adventure Trips for a Good Cause >>>