If you’re looking for a unique and exciting way to explore Jamaica, why not try crossing the Flat Bridge? This beautiful bridge spans the Rio Cobre on the A1 road connecting the Jamaican capital Kingston and is one of Jamaica’s most iconic landmarks.
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In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at this incredible bridge and provide helpful tips on how to make the most out of your visit!
Introduction to Flat Bridge Jamaica
The Flat Bridge is a beam bridge across the Rio Cobre on the A1 road connecting the Jamaican capital Kingston, with the north coast tourist areas of St. Catherine.
It is one of Jamaica’s oldest bridges, with its origins dating back to the 1700s. The bridge is 45 metres or 148 feet long and is composed of planks on a frame of timberwork which rests upon two stone piers.
Between the years of 1881 and 1915, the floor of the bridge was ravaged by the waves of the river and eventually replaced with iron girders and buckle plates from the May Pen bridge. Today, this three-span bridge is held in place by two piers and two abutments, which have been reinforced with metal handrails since the 1930s
It is not very wide, with just enough room for two cars to pass each other.
Over time, traffic lights were installed to help regulate traffic flow and ensure safety for all drivers crossing the bridge.
History of Flat Bridge Jamaica
It is believed that mermaids, or “River Mummas” as they are called in Jamaica, live in a bottomless hole just below the bridge.
The Flat Bridge, believed to have been constructed by the Spanish some time before 1724, stands proudly as a magnificent beam bridge spanning 45 metres, or 148 feet, across the Rio Cobre. Despite its slender frame, it is still strong enough to hold one lane of traffic – a testament to its creators.
Eventually, flooding from the Rio Cobre destroyed this bridge and it was rebuilt by slaves in 1774 using planks on frame of timberwork which rests upon two stone abutments. When travelling from Kingston to the central north coast it is most likely you will take the A1 route which will bring you along the river and over this historic bridge.
Overview of the Attractions on the Bridge
The Flat Bridge, located in St. Catherine Jamaica, is considered to be one of the oldest bridges in Jamaica. It was built sometime between 1881 and 1915, and legend has it that slaves rebuilt it.
There is a story that the ghosts of all those who drowned there gather at the bridge every Good Friday. The Flat Bridge is a beam bridge across the Rio Cobre on the A1 road connecting the Jamaican capital Kingston, with the north coast tourist areas of Phillippo Baptist Church, Spanish Town.
For those interested in attractions near the Flat Bridge Jamaica, there are many activities to enjoy such as rafting on the Martha Brae, visiting Dreamz Premium Lounge, exploring nearby Spanish Bridge Tours and more.
Tips for Exploring the Area Around Flat Bridge
When exploring the area around Flat Bridge in Jamaica, it is important to take safety precautions. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for the terrain.
It is also advisable to bring plenty of water and snacks, as well as a map of the area. Additionally, it is a good idea to let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
When visiting Flat Bridge, be sure to take in the stunning views of the Bog Walk Gorge.
There are several nearby attractions worth visiting, such as Phillippo Baptist Church in Spanish Town (about a 120-minute walk away). People’s Park is also nearby and offers a great spot for picnicking or relaxing.
How to Get to and from Flat Bridge Jamaica
The Flat Bridge is located in the parish of St Catherine, Jamaica and is accessible via the A1 road connecting the Jamaican capital Kingston with the north coast tourist areas.
The bridge is a beam bridge design that stretches 45 metres or 148 feet across the Rio Cobre. To get to and from Flat Bridge Jamaica, you can take a bus or taxi from Kingston or any other nearby town.
Alternatively, you can rent a car and drive yourself. It is important to note that there are gates at either end of the bridge which are closed during certain times of day, so it is best to check before crossing.
What to Bring for a Great Day Out at Flat Bridge
When visiting the Flat Bridge in Jamaica, it is important to bring a few items to ensure a great day out. These include a camera with a fast shutter speed for capturing quick shots, comfortable shoes for walking, and snacks and drinks to keep you hydrated.
Additionally, it is recommended to bring identification of the famous rock located near the bridge and some knowledge of the history of the bridge, as it was built by slaves in 1774.
Finally, be sure to bring an open mind and an appreciation for the myths and mysteries associated with this iconic bridge.
Food and Drink Options Available at Flat Bridge Jamaica
At Flat Bridge Jamaica, you can find a variety of food and drink options.
You can try out some of the local dishes such as oxtail, conch dishes, rice and peas, and other traditional Jamaican cuisine.
There is also a small river with a restaurant where you can rent water resistant cameras to take Instagram worthy pictures.
Additionally, there are many bars and restaurants in the area that offer drinks such as beer, rum, and cocktails.
Things To Do on the West Coast of The Island near The bridge
On the West Coast of Jamaica near the Flat Bridge, there are plenty of things to do and see.
Visitors can explore the Cranbrook Rainforest Gardens, take a dip in Reach Falls, go zip-lining and tubing at Chukka Ultimate Park Admission with Bamboo Rafting, or take a hike to Mayfield Falls.
Other popular attractions include Dunn’s River Falls, the A1 road connecting Kingston with the north coast tourist areas, and the Rio Cobre.
The Best Time to Visit flat bridge jamaica
The best time to visit Flat Bridge Jamaica is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and warm, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
The bridge itself is a popular tourist attraction due to its scenic views of the Rio Cobre gorge and its historical significance as a site of slave labor during its construction.
Visitors can also take advantage of the nearby attractions such as the Bog Walk Gorge and Barry’s River Road.
Safety Tips When Visiting flat bridge jamaica
When visiting Flat Bridge Jamaica, it is important to take safety precautions. Be extra vigilant along the Bog Walk Gorge, where earlier a tree fell from the hillside temporarily impeding access to the bridge.
Keep your money safe in a fanny pack, money belt, or in the safe in your room. Obey traffic lights and signs and be aware of your surroundings.
Sources of semi-circular spheres are now the only protection on the bridge itself. Find a safe space to park as roads are narrow. Be aware that signage is poor and lights may not always work properly.
Local Culture & Customs To Be Aware Of At flat bridge jamaica
Many believe Flat Bridge is the gathering place for the ghosts (duppies) of the slaves who died during the construction of the bridge.
It is important to be aware of local customs and traditions when visiting Flat Bridge Jamaica. Jamaican culture is a mix of African, European, and Caribbean influences, and visitors should respect local customs and etiquette.
Tipping isn’t part of local Jamaican customs and certain venues and attractions may have their own rules about tipping.
Aspects of African traditions can be seen in Jamaican culture, in terms of the music produced on this island, as well as traditional beliefs such as obeah.
It is important to be respectful when visiting Flat Bridge Jamaica and to be mindful that it is a sacred place for many locals.
Getting Around On Foot or By Bicycle At flat bridge jamaica
Yes, it is possible to get around on foot or by bicycle at Flat Bridge Jamaica.
The bridge is located in the Bog Walk Gorge in St Catherine and offers stunning views of the Rio Cobre and lush valleys. It is a popular spot for sightseeing, walking, and cycling.
There are also several trails nearby that are suitable for hiking and biking. Be sure to take safety precautions when exploring the area as there may be some traffic on the bridge.
Local Wildlife To Look Out For In And Around The Area Of flat bridge jamaica
Local wildlife to look out for in and around the area of Flat Bridge Jamaica include a variety of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.
Some of the most common species include the Jamaican iguana, Jamaican boa, Jamaican parrot, and the endangered Jamaican hutia.
Other animals that can be found in the area are bats, mongooses, snakes, frogs, lizards, and butterflies. Additionally, there are a variety of plants that can be found in the area such as ferns and orchids.