Love lost for Lover’s Leap

Love lost for Lover’s Leap

Written by Editor

Topics: Heritage & Culture, Travel & Leisure

It’s one of the most breathtaking coastal vistas you’ll ever see in Jamaica, or anywhere in the world for that matter. However, despite its stunning beauty, Lovers’ Leap in Yardley Chase, near Southfield in the parish of St. Elizabeth, has become a kind of unpolished jewel in the South Coast tourism crown that has been left to languish on the throne of neglect.

Celebrated for its majestic, picture-postcard view, romantic allure, timeless love story legend and its power to inspire awe in even the most jaded adventure seeker and cosmopolitan traveller, the facilities at Lovers’ Leap have sadly fallen into desuetude. What was a restaurant and museum now stands as an abandoned edifice in the midst of the overgrowth of plants. The unkept grounds at the front of the property makes the attraction uninviting at first, but a walk to the side of the building and up the stairs to the rear balcony reveals a panoramic view and dramatic 1,700ft vertical drop down to the blue, rolling waves of Cutlass Bay below.

Lovers’ Leap is situated at the point where the Santa Cruz mountains abruptly descends to the sea. One can look for miles out to the Caribbean Sea and marvel at the surreal confluence of turquoise waters and cerulean skies. The view of the jagged coastline extends from Port Kaiser to Treasure Beach on the Great Pedro Plains in St. Elizabeth. Standing adjacent to the property is the most recent lighthouse built by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ).

There are many versions of the story tracing the origin of the toponym Lovers’ Leap, but the most widely accepted account tells the story of Mizzy and Tunkey, two slave lovers who jumped off the cliff after being faced with impending separation by a jealous slave master. A wooden monument in honour of the two slaves can be found on the property.

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There are many in the Yardley Chase community who lament the manner in which such a national treasure has been placed on the back burner. It is their hope that the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) dollars from the Ministry of Tourism will eventually start to work for them and revive the attraction. South Coast tourism has largely been a victim of neglect through the years, and the general feeling is that the political directorate, stakeholders and power players in the industry need to come together and improve the area’s tourism product and support it with the same marketing thrust as the North Coast. All that’s needed to break through the inertia  is just that one decisive leap…

4 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Leo the Yardie Chick says:

    Wow, that’s pretty sad to read. I was 12 the last time I went, and I remember how the buildings were in top condition. It’s a shame that it’s no longer like that. :(

  2. Kiepskie says:

    hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked up

  3. john adams says:

    I visited the leap many times while in peace corps stationed in lacovia in 1971-73 and again in 2001-03. my older daugbter born in mandiville and i married a girl from black river, FOND MEMORIES– TRYING FOR ANOTHER TOUR IN PEACE CORPS, HOPE–HOPE–WALK GOOD

  4. Horane Smith says:

    As the author of the popular novel Lover’s Leap: Based on the Jamaican Legend, this is truly touching – a very sad story. My hope is this unfortunate situation won’t linger for much longer.

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