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JAMAICA TRAVEL GUIDE

Port Antonio (Portland)

On the far corner of Jamaica’s northeastern coast is the town of Port Antonio, capital city of the Jamaican “Green” parish, Portland.



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PORT ANTONIO (PORTLAND)

With a population of about 85,000, Portland is predominately rural and known for its agricultural produce due to rich soil and high rainfall, with farms growing Coconuts, Bananas, Coffee, Breadfruits, Mangoes and Ackee.


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With little commercial tourism and chain resorts, Port Antonio is both backpacker and eco-friendly with empty beaches and a more low-key feel. Offering a wide variety of activities, Port Antonio is also Budget Friendly with something to offer every type of traveler.

Not only is the town of Port Antonio a shipping port for Portland’s farm produce, it’s also a great one stop vacation spot and gateway to the Blue Mountains for breathtaking scenery!

Port Antonio is peaceful, relaxing and quiet, featuring the spectacular Blue Mountains as a backdrop – covered with its indigenous Jamaican ecosystem of plants, animals and birds – plus green pastures, rivers and waterfalls all flowing gently down to gorgeous beaches and the blue Caribbean sea!

Along the Port Antonio coast, a small tributary of the Rio Grande river empties into the sea, mixing fresh and salt water in a tropical oasis called Frenchman’s Cove. The cove’s is located between jungle covered cliffs, with a beach made of almost perfect white sand!

Reach Falls is one of Jamaica’s most beautiful waterfalls and was once a refuge for runaway slaves from the plantations in St. Thomas. The unspoiled waterfalls can be found in a densely vegetated area offering spectacular views and over 23 species of fern and various species of birds.

Reach Falls is one of our favorite waterfalls in Jamaica but still an oasis of peace and serenity, far from tourist crowds at other waterfalls like Dunn’s River in Ocho Rios. There are two entrances to the falls, one is the official government entrance costing $10 directly outside the main waterfall, or you can go by taxi to another entrance where a local guide will lead you up to the main falls.

There is no entrance fee at the local entrance but if you go up with a local guide they will charge you about $10USD too…


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Portland has long been a 2nd home for the global rich and famous, like 50’s and 60’s Hollywood stars Errol Flynn and Ian Fleming – and for even longer, Portland has been home to the Maroons of Moore Town, the mountain fortress community of Jamaica’s only female National Hero, Nanny.

The Maroons were bands of escaped slaves who lived self sufficiently in the hills, fighting and winning many battles with the British colonial government. They were also creators of the “jerking” process for meat and Portland, specifically Boston Bay, is the birthplace of jerk chicken and pork as we know it today!

Hikers can also find Cornwall Barracks in the hills above the Rio Grande for majestic off the beaten path solace and scenery.

The Rio Grande is one of the largest rivers in Jamaica and Errol Flynn, the Hollywood actor, would use the bamboo cargo rafts passing by on the gentle river as a recreational activity for his guests. Today a 2-3 hour bamboo raft tour for two costs about $100USD and the large, gentle river is perfect for easing the bamboo rafts through untouched natural scenery, for an inside peek of Jamaican beauty than most will never see!

The Blue Lagoon made famous by Brooke Shields’s movie is located a short taxi ride away from Port Antonio and just a few miles up the road from Frenchman’s Cove. The Blue Lagoon is an underwater sinkhole about 180 feet deep that was once believed to be bottomless.

There is no entrance fee to the Blue Lagoon. Boat tours are available and a few people offer short but pricey bamboo raft tours. One of the most beautiful and untouched natural wonders in Jamaica, the Blue Lagoon’s water changes color through every shade of jade and emerald throughout the day, depending on the angle of the sun in the sky.

Surrounded by lush vegetation, the lagoon’s water is unusually warm, a mixture of fresh and salt water from the warm Caribbean Sea and cold underground stream water.

For Bird Watchers, Ecclesdown Road close to Reach Falls, is the wettest forest on the island and the most endemic-rich spot in the entire Caribbean, making it an ideal place to see for the rare Jamaican Blackbird or the smaller, darker and longer-tailed “Black-billed Streamertail” which is only found in this region of the island.

Other Port Antonio sights include Folly – historical 19th century mansion ruins, Nonsuch and Foxes Caves, Scatter and Somerset waterfalls, and the Errol Flynn Marina, plus white sand beaches and the Boston Jerk Center!

Port Antonio is the town furthest away from Montego Bay and it’s airport so you can consider renting a car or using route taxis for the duration of your stay in Portland. You can also get to and from Kingston by minibus for about $500JMD. In Kingston you can catch the Port Antonio bus from either Halfway Tree or Parade for a three hour ride across beautiful Jamaican scenery..



Attractions in Port Antonio (Portland)

 

Accommodations in Port Antonio (Portland)

 

Tours & Transport in Port Antonio (Portland)

 

Events & Festivals in Port Antonio (Portland)

 


Cities, Towns & Districts in Portland Parish
Town or District City / Parish Population (Approx.) GPS Coordinates
Moore Town Port Antonio 1,054 18.07°N 76.43°W
Hope Bay Port Antonio 1,569 18.20°N 76.57°W
Manchioneal Port Antonio 2,185 18.05°N 76.28°W
Buff Bay Port Antonio 2,596 18.23°N 76.67°W
Port Antonio Port Antonio 13,246 18.16°N 76.38°W
San San / Drapers Port Antonio Not Available 18°10’21.8″N 76°25’07.8″W

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