Port Antonio is a lush green paradise where the Blue Mountains meet the Cabibbean Sea.
In the late 19th century Port Antonio, capital of the parish of Portland, was known as the Banana Capital of the World and boats came to its harbour to collect the "green gold" and this put it on the world map. Wealthy Jamaican merchants built summer homes here and in the next century it was discovered by the rich and famous, including many Hollywood Stars during the 40's and 50's.
Portie as its know, is now gaining favour again with visitors from around the world who appreciate is incredible natural beauty.
Its an unusual mix of lush green hillsides where the Blue Mountains meet the azure Carribean Sea and provides small patches of white sand beach. Port Antonio has a tropical rainforest climate with a dryer period from Feb. through April.
It is located on Jamaica's Northeast coast about a 2 hr. drive from Kingston and 4 hrs from Montego Bay.
A new highway makes getting there easy.
Port Antonio has a tropical
Its laid-back attitude makes it a perfect destination for travelers seeking to get away from it all....and see the real Jamaica.
It is a less touristy area so no crowds. In years past it was a booming tourist area but was soon passed by Montego Bay and Ocho Rios as a tourist destination. It is growing and attracting new business and travelers who are looking for a slower paced vacation are discovering this hidden gem.
What to do
Blessed with abundant natural beauty many activities involve nature. Bird -watching, hiking in the Blue Mountains, visit secluded Reach Falls to enjoy the beauty and swim in the refreshing spring water, take a leisurely 2 1/2 hr trip on a 30 ft. bamboo raft down the Rio Grande River while your captain guides you through gentle rapids, try surfing at Boston Bay ( the only place to surf in Jamaica, snorkel or swim in the famous Blue Lagoon with dept to 180 ft., visit Titchfield to enjoy the Georgian architecture ( now falling into repair but it still give you an idea of how vibrant this are was in past time), visit Reach Falls ( recently re-opened) and take a boat ride to a hidden falls, visit Errol Flynn Marina (yes movie star Errol Flynn...he visited, fell in love with this area and made it his permanent home)., snorkel and swim. Rent a kayak to visit Monkey Island. Drive 30 min east to enjoy Boston Bay the home of Jerk.
Where to Stay
Most resorts/hotels/villas are outside of the town of Port Antonio. Many are located on hillsides overlooking the Caribbean, some right on the water and some have a beach. Accommodations run from luxury to simple and comfortable so every budget will have options.
Where to Eat
Most resorts/hotels with have a restaurant/ bar on property. Independent restaurants offer everything from International, Jamaican, fresh fish, burgers, Vegetarian, Italian to Chinese. As accommodations are spread out you will need a taxi to visit other restaurants.
If you still have energy after all your outdoor activities you can dance the night away at a few local hot spots.
La Best Club and The Roof Club in town start hopping after 9 pm and go to the wee hours.
Maybell's Pub on The Pier ( in Errol Flynn Maria) servers drink and light meals over looking the water.
Anna Banana Restaurant and Sports bar on the water has darts, pool and a local DJ on Fridays.
The coast line near Port Antonio offers light golden or white sand beaches where you can relax and enjoy yourself. Most do not have hotels on the beach. Some charge a small entrance charge/ some have facilities for food and drinks.
Frenchman's Cove Beach is unique in that a fresh water stream runs into the sea. The secluded cove is in Frenchman's Cove Resort and a small daily fee is charged. Beach Bar and Restaurant.
Winnifred Beach is a golden sand beach with shops offering Jerk and drinks for locals and visitors alike. Snorkeling off a reef is very good.
This beach remains public so no entrance charge. Gets lively with locals on weekend and has a party vibe.
San San Beach - another beautiful beach on a private cove.
Long Bay Beach is the longest beach and about 30 min. east of Port Antonio. This is an authentic and charming fishing village with places on the beach offering food and drinks. This beach is best for walking as there can sometimes be a strong undertow.
Boston Bay Beach - try surfing at this mostly local beach/ lessons and board rental available as well as food and beverages. A short walk down the road and you are at Boston Bay....the home of Jamaican Jerk. A variety of vendors cook jerk chicken and pork over coals and fresh fruit juice as well as rum drinks and beer are available. Eat there or take back to your hotel. Don't forget to pick up a bottle of home made Jerk Sauce.
Portland is a clean parish and the locals are friendly and welcoming. Use common sense and precautions as you would traveling anywhere.