The Story of Lovers’ Leap St. Elizabeth, Jamaica

The beauty spot known as Lovers’ Leap emerges where the Santa Cruz mountains come to an abrupt end at Jamaica’s south coast, exposing a 1,700ft vertical drop down to the waves crashing on Cutlass Bay below. The lookout provides a fantastic vantage point to look for miles out to the Caribbean Sea. Along the coast the view stretches as far as Rocky Point (Clarendon) to the East and to Treasure Beach in the West. You will be reminded of how high you are standing when you notice birds, clouds and light aircraft flying below you!

The legend of Lovers’ Leap

Wooden Sculpture of Slaves at Lover’s Leap, St. Elizabeth. Photo by Janeen Johnson

Lovers’ leap is named after two slave lovers from the 18th century, Mizzy and Tunkey. Legend has it that their master “Chardley” took a liking to the girl and, in a bid to have her for himself, he arranged for her lover to be sold to another estate. The pair fled to avoid being separated but were eventually chased to the edge of a large steep cliff. Rather than face being caught and separated, the pair chose to end their lives by jumping together. However, the exact details of the story vary depending on who is telling it!

The legend provided the inspiration for the novel “Lover’s Leap”, written by Jamaican author Horane Smith who grew up nearby. The legend is also remembered by a wooden carving of the two lovers at the site.
Lovers Leap restaurant

A restaurant is located on site providing unpretentious meals and drinks. The restaurant takes a great deal of inspiration from the romantic story of the two tragic lovers and is appropriately adorned with heart shaped motifs. If you’re lucky your portion of rice and peas may even be set in to a heart shape! Of course, the restaurants biggest draw is the unparalleled view over the cliff of Lovers’ Leap.

Lovers’ Leap lighthouse – famous for two reasons. One is that this is the most recently constructed lighthouse in Jamaica, the other reason is that it is actually powered by three power sources (electricity, generator and battery).

A range of domestic instruments are on display outside of the restaurant to give visitors a taste of Jamaica in days gone by.

A three mile trail leads down to Cutlass Bay below, however, the rough waters at the bottom make swimming inadvisable.

Photos by Sheryl Stark for, hannes cmarits for
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