Portland Jerk Festival is the largest annual jerk and food festival in Jamaica which has been a major calendar event for the past 14 years. This food and music juncture is staged at the heritage site at Folly Estate in Portland. The event includes live family entertainment, Jerked food, and other tasty delights
Spicy food lovers will have a fun-filled day at the second staging of the Portland Jerk Festival. Jerk is heavily seasoned meat that is prepared over an open wood fire. The finished product, a favorite with locals and visitors alike, is lightly flavored with smoke. Make sure to have a couple of cold beverages handy to minimize the effect of the pepper.
The aroma of sizzling barbecued pork drifts in the air of Portland Parish, as visitors and Jamaican residents, are invited to sample lobster, fish, chicken, and pork cooked in the traditional island ‘JERK’ way.
Traditional entertainment by local performers will provide that authentic Jamaican atmosphere. While the kids are entertained by fairground rides, face painting, and a bouncy castle. This promises to be a great family event.
Arts and crafts are on sale from stalls, and there is no shortage of food and drink on sale. Held in Boston since its inception in 2000, the festival moved locations to Folly Great House in 2007.
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The Roof Club, Port Antonio’s longest standing nightclub is a sure thing when you are ready to party. Dancing to reggae, dancehall, rap, R & B, drinking from a well-stocked bar all lead to a fantastic night of partying. Jamaicans are known for their freedom in their dance. It’s a great time to try some new moves.
The Roof Club gets going in the later evening, around 11 pm or midnight and goes until… well just until. It’s a great night scene. The Roof Club is located right downtown Port Antonio across from Musgrave Market. Usually, there are food vendors on the street with drum chicken, soup, pork etc. If you like to party, the Roof Club is a must.
Young men and women move from partner to partner. You’re fair game for any stranger who wants to try to extract a drink from you. It’s relatively dead midweek when entry is free, but on weekends it hops.
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This imposing Anglican church has been serving the parish of Portland for over 161 years. The red and white brick building commands attention, its beauty and sturdiness have defied the hands of time. Tall windows provide both light and refreshing breeze to the interior.
The three-story, rectangular shaped building is completed by a belfry and clock. The modest interior has a brass lectern of note. The baptismal font is a study in the decorative artwork. The present congregation is 650, although the church can hold 1500 members.
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Navy Island is a small island off the coast of Port Antonio in Portland Parish, Jamaica, formerly owned by actor Errol Flynn. It is Opposite the Titchfield Peninsula and West Harbour. Navy Island gets its name from the British Naval base which was set up there in the 18th century to protect the Port Antonio and to service ships.
In 1950 Errol Flynn the pass owner of Navy island entertained his jet-setting friends. Until the Island has been maintained as a tourist resort and attraction, with a club bar, beaches, watersports facilities, marina, wedding chapel and African style cottages.
Navy Island is immediately visible lying just offshore as you enter along the coastal road from either direction into Port Antonio. You can take a ferry across to the island, which gained its name from its role as a naval station during much earlier colonial times. Passing into private hands. It’s said that Errol Flynn won it during a poker game; whatever the case, he adored Jamaica and Navy Island and came here frequently during the 1940’s in his yacht, the “Zaca”.
Near the bar area is a wall with posters and mementos of the adventurous Mr. Flynn and his swashbuckling movie career. Get yourself a window table at the restaurant for an excellent panorama of Port Antonio harbor and surrounding coastline.
Spend a day on the island once owned by actor Errol Flynn. It’s just a seven-minute boat ride from the mainland to this hideaway, which is home to several small cottages, a bar, and a watersports operator. The ferry operates around the clock from West Street Harbor. Navy Island is a quiet place for a picnic.
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Frenchman’s Cove is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and famous beaches in Jamaica, known for its isolated scenic cove and freshwater river emptying into the sea (which makes the seawater colder there than at most other beaches in Jamaica).
Frenchman’s Cove, however, is also a 45-acre resort. Once a popular hangout spot for the Hollywood “rich and famous” in the 1960’s, its guests included Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Today Frenchman’s Cove is home to mainly European tourists and locals who value the quiet scenic beauty of Portland. Frenchman’s Cove beach was recently featured in the movie Knight and Day starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.
frenchman Beach is also considered as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is complete with a freshwater stream and its own sheltered white sand beach.
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SanSan Beach is a private strip of sand that has warm and shallow waters, and some offshore reefs that are ideal for snorkeling. This is a beautiful beach with calm waters protected by a coral reef, perfect for swimming and scuba diving.
There are plenty of advantages to visiting a beach that’s a long way from the nearest major city, like having a quiet stretch of sand to enjoy for yourself and San San Beach offers just those advantages
SanSan Beach is a private beach near Frenchman’s Cove that has a narrow but lengthy white sandy. A variety of small reefs are just offshore for good snorkeling, while it is easy to book a fishing, scuba diving, or windsurfing adventure with the people who work there.
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There are indeed, many wonderful places to enjoy your vacation in Jamaica, but some of them might not be suitable for a family. The needs of children and the needs of adults are not often adequately provided for in one location. But there are some exceptions. So, we have compiled a list of 10 of the most family friendly resorts on our north coast to have a vacation. Check it out...
Beaches Ocho Rios is a part of the the Sandals family of resorts. There is a 27,000-square-foot Pirates Island Waterpark on-site which has several water slides. It features a variety of activities for all ages, including an Xbox Garage for teens and water activities like kayaks, scuba diving, and paddle boards are free. There is even a private golf course for those so inclined.
Half Moon occupies a 400-acre property and it offers ample amenities for families, including full-time nannies. WiFi, non-motorised water sports, use of golf range, fitness centre, putting green, and tennis courts are all complimentary. Also, children under 16 eat and sleep free here. Half Moon even has a private dolphin cove.
One of the spacious bedrooms at Iberostar Rose Hall
Iberostar Rose Hall is super kids friendly with a water park, a playground showered by fountains and even a video game centre. Amenities include a gym, free wifi, professional shows, Game room/reading room and more. Restaurants feature a la carte meals with kids menu. Now the Family Junior Suite with a capacity for 6 adults has connecting rooms which allows everyone some freedom and space.
Hilton Rose Hall is a 4 star hotel with many kids friendly features. It is home to the Sugar Mill Falls Water Park, Jamaica's largest. The 488 rooms have large flat screen TVs, free WiFi and private balconies. There is a free shuttle service which provides free transportation to various destinations since the property is somewhat secluded. There is also a spa, a kids club and a top-of-the-line golf course.
Address: Rose Hall Rd, Montego Bay, St. James
Jewel Runaway Bay offers kayaking, golfing, and weekly bonfires as part of the entertainment. There are quite a few kids attractions like the water park seen above and there are 3 free form pools. The site is in the midst of lush foliage, scenic beauty and exotic adventures. The hotel is all-inclusive, all-ages and is situated on more than 22 acres on Jamaica’s famed North Coast.
Panoramic view of beachfront.
As per the Royalton White Sands website, the resort masterfully blends Jamaica’s unique culture with a luxury product featuring top quality service, great attention to detail and exceptional personalized service. It has multiple bars and restaurants (including a jerk hut) and a water park. Benefits include 24-hour room service, unlimited free calls to North America and parts of Europe, 24-hour concierge service, free resort-wide Wi-Fi and more.
This is what 5 star accommodation looks like
Hotel Riu Ocho Rios has over 800 rooms which is typical of the Riu brand. A property so huge feels like a small town, with its seven restaurants, a large private beach, two pools (including a kiddy pool), a kids' club, and a theater. Highlights include free gym, sauna and whirlpool bath as well as free wireless Internet throughout the hotel.
Address: Mammee Bay, Ocho Rios, St. Ann
Phone: (876) 972-2200
Restaurant Maria Bonita at Grand Palladium
Grand Palladium has 540 spacious rooms that are done in a traditional colonial style, with flat-screen TVs, minibars, and large furnished balconies or terraces. The massive resort features 5 swimming pools, water sports rentals and views of the Caribbean Sea. This luxury all inclusive oceanfront resort is 20 miles from downtown Montego Bay. But with a first class spa & wellness center, a casino and shopping center, that may not be necessary.
Sunscape Cove allows up to 2 kids to stay free. It neighbours its less starred sister, Sunscape Splash with which it shares amenities. There are four pools, five restaurants, multiple bars, a 24-hour cafe, a state-of-the-art waterpark, water sports, a fitness center, spa, a beauty salon, and excellent Wi-Fi across both properties.
Franklyn D. Resort is a mid range resort targetting families. There are supervised arts and crafts projects, a Teen Center with activity coordinators, and even free nanny services for all guests. Pools (which include a mini-pool for toddlers), a waterslide, dock space for easy access to water sports, tours to off-site attractions, and many other amenities are also available.
Getting around town and out of town can be a real hassle...even risky. So in selecting a taxi service, you need someone who is trustworthy, reliable and knowledgable about the roads. These 10 companies made our top ten list in respect of those criteria:
On Time Taxi has been around for 18 years. They claim that clean cars and qualified drivers make On Time Taxi the most preferred taxi service island wide. They get mixed reviews, but I decided to highlight this favourable one from a satisfied customer: Very reliable. I called and they showed up early. Got me to work on time while my car was in the shop. Very friendly and courteous. Would definitely use again if I’m without a car. Thanks!!!!
Open: Sun - Sat: 12 midnight to 11.30 pm.
OTH is really an online tech company offering intermediate cab services between passengers and drivers via android and iOs Apps. They claim that you will be able to track your driver every step of the way and you can rest assured that if a car is booked and your driver details are logged you are in a safe cab. You can request a taxi by phone, online or by using their app. It is an international company and they also seem to be introducing a Uber like feature to their cab services.
876 On The Go is a company that provides scheduled chartered transportation for now or later through the 876 On The Go App. They claim to provide customers with the finest transportation services available at a reasonable price driven by Quality and Service. Quite Uber like, but it is Jamaican, and many supporters see that as reason enough to give their support. One satisfied customer said: As a parent, 876 On The Go has given me the security and peace of mind that I need in getting my daughter to and from school.
Gadgepro Taxi and Tours provides taxi services to local and international clients. Their cabs are air-conditioned and equipped with free wi-fi. Their drivers are uniformed and are trained tour guides. Services include Residential Work, Commercial Work, Emergency Services, Uniformed Drivers, 24 Hour Survelliance & Tracking and many more.
Adress: 49A - B Lyndhurst Road, Kingston
Phone: (876) 349-1453
El-Shaddai Taxi Service declares itself a member of Jamaica’s Hackney Carriage Association. They claim to provide 24 hour efficient, friendly safe and reliable services. They also provide bus services, day/night transportation, courier services, voucher systems, airport pick-ups and drop-offs, transportation for funerals, uniformed drivers and marked vehicles. Lots of positive reviews, one satisfied customer was to the point: "The sevice was fast. The driver was very intelligent and friendly. Thumbs up guys."
Address: Shop 23 94a Red Hills Rd Kingston 10
Apollo has been in business for over 25 years. Apollo provides transportation & logistics services: A/C car & bus, airport pick-up & drop-off, executive travel and courier services. They also have an app that you can download from the play store or the app store. This enhances the service. Corporate Services include: Executive Transportation Service, A cashless Voucher System, Customized Transportation Solutions.
Address: 90b Red Hills Rd, Kingston
Phone: (876) 969-9993
One of City Guide's cabs
With over 20 years of experience (established in 1996), City Guide operates a 24-hour service that is quick and reliable, and they make sure that you get to your destination safely. They operate marked vehicles with professional and experienced drivers. City Guide Taxi: provides airport pick ups, school pick-ups, bus services, overnight booking, corporate charters, taxi services , courier services and tour & excursions all over jamaica.
Address: 70 1/2 Molynes Rd Kingston 10
Phone: (876) 758 2604
Express Taxi Service asserts that they are perfect for tours, outings, school and airport travel to and from location. They offer 24 hr services and strongly believe that ‘service is the key’. One patron who has been using Express for years had this to say: "Been using Express since my daughter was about 2, she's now 18. I have my drive but whenever I need a cab I call Express without reservation, they are reliable and clean."
Address: 81A Molynes Rd Kgn 10
Klassique describes themselves as a new Chartered Taxi Service that operates in and around New Kingston with affordable rates and prices.
They also claim to have clean cars and well-mannered drivers.
Have Faith Taxi Tours declares that it is based on the belief that their customers' needs are of the utmost importance. Further, that their entire team is committed to meeting those needs and as a result, a high percentage of their business is from repeat customers and referrals.
They offer taxis for Kingston & St. Andrew, Portmore and Spanish Town along with island tours and courier services throughout Jamaica. They also offer emergency services, uniformed drivers and 24-hour surveillance and tracking.
Address: 58 Abberville Ave, Kgn 20
Whether you are in need of accommodation or somewhere to host your wedding, you need to find a place that gives you your money's worth- the best bang for your buck. That is why we have put together a list of 10 of the top hotels in the corporate area, so it becomes easier for you to decide.
The hotel's tag line goes: A breath of fresh air in the heart of New Kingston. Formerly the Sutton Place Hotel, it was acquired and rebranded by Kevin Hendrickson. It gets good reviews from customers, not just in relation to its price, but also in relation to service, ambience and food. Great for events, dining, short or long stays.
Cozy comfort at the Pegasus
The Pegasus has been one of the Corporate Area's leading hotels for about 30 years now. They make the claim to being "Home" to royalty, dignitaries, and celebrities, and is also a constant buzz of activity for local clientele. They get good reviews for their hospitality and accommodation and patrons have access to a fleet of JUTA taxicabs available for airport transfers or sightseeing tours.
The Spanish Court's facebook page says it is a five star quality hotel in the heart of New Kingston, Jamaica, catering to the discerning traveler whether for business or leisure. They offer free WiFi, free parking and breakfast, located near National Gallery of Jamaica. they began operations in 2009. Taxis are readily available for transit.
Reggae Hostel is close to Half Way Tree and has a relaxed, friendly vibe. Private rooms are spacious and have air-con. There's a communal kitchen, patio bar and friendly staff. Highly sociable – helpful if you're looking for people to hook up with to go to a dancehall street party or on a weekend beach trip. There are non smoking rooms, a bar and free wifi.
Address: 8 Burlington Ave, Kgn 10
Phone: (876) 920 6528
The Liguanea Club is a members’ sports and recreational club in New Kingston, and also offers accommodation, meeting rooms and event facilities. Listen to this from their website: With just 38 rooms, the hotel evokes the feel of a Georgian inspired country cottage. And there's more. Their rooms have air conditioning, flat screen cable tv, free wifi, and more.
According to Eden's website, from the moment you walk through your suite door, you will experience excellence at every touch point; designed furniture, contemporary colours, cable TV, high quality layer bedding, premium bathing amenities and spacious comfort, making it ideal to relax, unwind and work. Services provided include corporate and social banqueting services, restaurants, accommodation, full service gym and more.
Open: Mon - Sat: 9.30am to 8pm; Sun: 9.30am to 6pm.
Altamont court boasts being within 10 minutes walk of Devon House, Emancipation Park, Bob Marley Museum, Fedex, cambios, shopping malls etc. On their website, they claim "All our guest rooms have, as standard features, refrigerator, air conditioning, private bathroom with bath, hot and cold water, LCD TV with cable with premium channels, complimentary internet service and an in-room safe."
Christar Villas is centrally located and has a fitness room and business center for the convenience of its guests. The amenities provided at the hotel include simply styled rooms that are equipped with a cable TV, work desk, private balcony and a seating area. Guests of Christar Villas are offered continental breakfast, free wired internet and guest rooms with full kitchenette.
On their website, the Courtleigh shows off the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence as well the Observer Food Awards Best Place for Lunch, given to its eatery, the Alexander Restaurant. It is the sister hotel to the Knutsford and is appropriate for accommodation and events. It has complimentary High Speed Wireless Internet access in all rooms and throughout the hotel as well as complimentary Alexander’s Breakfast.
The Terra Nova is described on its facebook page as A beautiful mansion with its broad arches, elegant balustrades and lush gardens, a delightful respite in the city for both the business traveller and holiday guest alike. The hotel has been around since the 1950's and features amenities such as complimentary internet access, buffet breakfast and 24 hr room service.
For the past 30 years, Sista P as she is affectionately called has been living in Portland where she has dedicated her time to preserving Jamaica’s traditional culture and heritage, improving literacy, exposing Jamaicans to live on the continent and has attained the status of Cultural Ambassador among her peers.
The Nayamka Drummers who were the first Jamaican group to win the coveted World Champion Trophy at the World Championships of the Performing Arts held in Hollywood, California in 2001. Jamaica Tourist Board representative for culture at the Rototom music festival in Italy. Contributor and occasional host of Irie FM’s Running African program.
Every Saturday night at great huts in Boston bay you can enjoy the rhythms, beats, and chants of this Jamaican drum troupe. Guided by Sista P of Portland, these drummers were the 2001 overall world champions at the world championships of the performing arts in Los Angeles California. They capture the very rich Afrocentric and religious feelings of the Jamaican music
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The long bay beach is one of the reasons you choose Bay View Eco Resort & Spa as your vacation destination in the first place. Now are you tired of the crowded places and you want a beach to feel as if you have it all to yourself. It is located about a half hour east of Port Antonio, Long Bay is just that” long bay”, it’s a one mile stretch of beach on the glorious Caribbean.
It is boastfully the longest beach in the parish of Portland, and in Jamaica. The exception being the occasional local holiday or weekend celebration, you will find Long Bay to be a tranquil refuge where you can sort your thoughts, spend a relaxing day or perhaps start your own party.
You will find little restaurants, bars, guest houses and mini grocery shops dotted along the beach. It is a great place to savor home-style cuisine and regional lore. Part of the authentic experience of visiting a local beach is to indulge in the custom offerings. The residents of Long Bay are genuinely interested in your positive experience and make sure you feel welcome and at home. There are no admittance fees. The locals only ask that you leave nothing behind on the beach but your footprints.
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Reich Falls is another of Jamaica’s amazingly scenic rivers cum waterfalls, but is less well known than the famous Dunn’s River Falls in St. Ann, and therefore much less crowded.
The main waterfall is about seven meters high and twenty meters wide with a large natural pool (great for swimming) and a cave (hidden by the waterfall) at the bottom of the falls. You can also climb to the top of the falls and jump into the pool below, or take a trek higher up the river, although a guide is recommended for both. Now managed by the UDC, there are stairs all the way down to the river as well as toilets and changing facilities. Parts of the Tom Cruise movie Cocktail were filmed there.
This is truly beautiful setting. The water is cool, refreshing, and crystal clear. Vines hang and natural bamboo stand throughout the falls. You will see species of plants here that you won’t see anywhere else in the world. If you go beneath the waterfalls you will see hidden holes that are naturally carved out by the water. You’ll even find a secret cave behind one of the falls that you can step in, then climb out just above the cascade.
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Winnifred Beach, also known as Fairy Hill Beach, is one of Portland’s best-kept secrets but in all seriousness, it is one of the most beautiful beaches in Jamaica. Located at the bottom of a steep hill, the beach is usually a quiet spot frequented primarily by locals, although on public holidays it can be crazy.
This beach is home to a delightful reef just offshore that is not only perfect for snorkeling but for its clear, calm, bright-blue water justly popular with locals.
Along, unpaved road leads to the wide, white-sand beach that stretches along a sheltered bay. Thick groups of trees and vines act as a backdrop to the aquamarine water filling the foreground.
It is, however, possible to reach down to the beach without an SUV or a 4-wheel drive vehicle. The best way to find your way down there though is to ask locals which road to take then follow it all the way down to the beach.
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Summer is right around the corner and Jamaica is the place to spend your summer vacation this and every other summer. Jamaica hosts thousands of travelers a year between these months and is one of the best times to come to the island to one of the gorgeous and well-equipped resorts that call Bay View Eco Resort&Spa.
Day trips, snorkeling trips, and all sorts of various excursions can be arranged in Portland with the only limit being your imagination and adventure level. Whether you’re more into whiling away the hours on the pristine sandy beaches of the area, or you want to get out and around, hiking to waterfalls and driving through some of the diverse jungles you can find something for you and everyone.
Spicy jerk, smooth rum, reggae&dancehall music, beautiful beaches and spectacular natural wonders like Bay View Eco Resort & Spa they all come together to make Portland a wonderful vacation destination. And the people, who really are as friendly and laid-back as their reputation, enhance the island’s beauty and culture.
Come summer, Portland tends to gets overlooked, but it really is an ideal season for an island getaway. Summer is a time for fun, sun, relaxation, and adventure. Its hot in Jamaica but that just means you get to spend more time in the ocean, or by the pool with an icy rum punch or a frozen hurricane cocktail.
Here are ten places and things you can enjoy when you come to Bay View Eco Resort &Spa this summer:
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The history of Nanny Falls
Nanny Falls is a beautiful treasure which falls under the jurisdiction of the Moore Town Maroons.There are steep steps that lead to crystal clear waters flowing off rocks approximately 35 feet in height, tumbling into a five-feet pool of water.The sight of the waterfall is breathtaking.
This natural beauty is exactly 35 minutes away from the Bay View Eco Resort & Spa. Jamaica's Eco-friendly pearl resort, nestled perfectly in Dolphin Bay, Port Antonio. Adventurers and nature lovers from all over the world make Bay View their choice hotel because of its eco-centric ambiance, it's close relations and proximity to Nanny Falls and other awesome attractions in and around Portland, Jamaica.
Who is Nanny?
Nanny was a leader of the Maroons at the beginning of the 18th century she was an Ashanti a small, wiry woman with piercing eyes. She was born in Ghana around 1686. Brought to Jamaica as a slave, she and her brothers, Accompong, Johnny, Quao, and Cudjoe all ran away from their plantation and hid in the mountains. Later, they separated to organize more Maroon communities – Cudjoe to St. James (Cudjoe Town), Accompong to St. Elizabeth (Accompong), Nanny and Quao to Portland, where they controlled an area known as Nanny Town.She was known by both the Maroons and the British settlers as an outstanding military leader who became, in her lifetime and after, a symbol of unity and strength for her people during times of crisis.Her cleverness in planning guerrilla warfare confused the British and their accounts of the fights reflect the surprise and fear which the Maroon traps caused among them.
Why was the fall named after the national heroine?
They named the falls after Nanny of the Maroons because of her bravery and her great leadership skills.They named the falls after her to show and remember her for her great work. Nanny’s life and accomplishments have been recognized by the Government of Jamaica and she has been honored as a National Hero and awarded the title of “Right Excellent”. Currently, there are only seven such National Heroes and Nanny is conspicuous as the only woman.
Are the Nanny Falls rumors true?
The Nanny Falls has healing properties and the warriors, in times gone by, would come here to prepare for battle. While they were preparing, they would take a cut and then take a dip in the waters of the falls. If they returned with the cut they would not be allowed to go into battle. This is the healing power of the falls,"
Visiting Nanny Falls soon? Coming to Bay View Eco Resort & Spa! We want to introduce you to Jamaica's wonderful culture while having a lot of fun and adventure. Bay View Eco Resort & Spa is an experience you will never forget. Come enjoy Portland's glorious falls, beaches, and our rejuvenating spa. And don't forget the food. Ven y disfruta!!!!
For 20% OFF on your next Bay View Jamaican vacation & FREE Jamaican travel tips, every week. Just click here.
Spread along the eastern Port Antonio seashore is The Craft Village shopping center. Some of the best-handcrafted artisan items in all of Portland is found in these wooden huts. There are one of a kind paintings, carvings, wicker works and other souvenirs abundantly available in the various artists' shops. There is a full-service bar midway through the stretch of The Craft Village that provides refreshment and great views of the sea. The Craft Village offers an outdoor playground for the kids and a covered gazebo for special events.
A crescent-shaped patch of sand in the middle of a small round bay, this beach offers protected and warm waters for swimming and a clear ocean floor. Located about 0.9 miles east-southeast of Fairy Hill, Zion Hill Beach. Visitors can enjoy an isolated locale at Zion Hill; with no buildings flanking the beach, just brush, trees and a rocky cape on one edge. The waters are fit perfect for snorkeling, however, there are no bathroom facilities available.
The town was a British naval stronghold in the 18th century and the remains of the old Fort George still dominate the Titchfield peninsula, while fine examples of Georgian Architecture can be seen in the main square.The main square in Port Antonio is effectively the town center and is found at the junction of West Street, Harbour Street and Fort George Street. One of the main features on the square is the Port Antonio Courthouse.
Tourism began here in the middle of the last century when the banana trade brought wealth and visitors traveled here on sailing ships to enjoy the hospitality of Jamaica's first resort town.
Blue Mountain Peak is the 6th highest mountain in the Caribbean at 7403 ft (2500 m). The hike to the peak of the Blue Mountain should be on the to-do list of every visitor to Jamaica. The track is well marked and not too steep, but it is a long walk and people who are less than fit might find it difficult.
The hike from Whitfield Hall to the peak is circa 10km (six miles) and involves a 1000m (3000ft) gain in elevation. Done at a brisk pace, the summit can be reached in about two and half hours, although a leisurely stroll with frequent stops for photos and food can take twice that. A round trip of between five to eight hours is normal. On the hike, the trail passes through Portland Gap, where there is a ranger station. As the trail ascends high into the mountains, it is fascinating to observe the changing vegetation – the Elfin Wood near the peak is a magical place.
The world renown Jamaica Blue Mountains experience is an awesome experience for coffee lovers. The coffee tour gives visitors the hands-on experience from the farm to the cup; visit local growers, experience their farm, learn techniques and have a cup of the best coffee in the world. Coffee beans are available for purchase… the perfect souvenir and gift to take back home!
Clydesdale is a campsite which is about 3700 feet in the mountains. This site was previously a pine nursery and a coffee plantation. It also has a dormitory with bunk beds, a fire cooking pit, showers and modern toilet facilities. One hour walk from Clydesdale will lead you to Cinchona Botanical Gardens, which is a campsite with tent camping facility.
The Blue Mountain Wilderness Retreat (BMWR) situated 2,000 ft. above sea level in the magnificent Blue Mountains and is located near to the coffee growing mountain village of Bangor Ridge, d. Just 25 minutes drive from Jamaica's north coast; a 1.0 km. hiking trail from the village square through the forest leads to this rustic but comfortable retreat. The site offers services/facilities that include: guided tours, catered meals, cabin dormitory, tenting (tents/sleeping bags and airbeds, an) equipped kitchen, showers and restrooms. The Blue Mountain Wilderness Retreat and Camp Site is perhaps Jamaica's only true wilderness accommodation for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The Retreat consists of two separate campsites; the Grand Ridge View and the Bamboo Grove. The Grand Ridge View campsite boasts panoramic views of the Blue Mountain Range and adjoining valleys and hills. On this site is the Jamaica House Cabin. The Bamboo Grove campsite is cozily tucked away beneath the arches of the surrounding bamboo forest. The Blue Mountain Wilderness Retreat and Camp Site offer a holistic experience of being in a place that is secluded but safe, peaceful but not boring, rustic yet comfortable, and remote but still easily accessible.
The Buff Bay River Estate was owned by the Hossack family during the period of plantation enslavement. The property was established as a sugar estate from the early 19th century. However, these activities ceased by the mid-nineteenth century with the economic crunch that faced many sugar estates on the island. By 1872 the property was sold and it became the site of what was to be a model school that was established with the Charles Merrick Trust.
The school was attended principally by the children of the Charles Town Maroons. The property changed ownership again in the 20th century. Oral sources confirm that at this time the proprietor of the estate was Mr. Benbow an Englishman who prior to becoming the proprietor of the Buff Bay River Estate and two other properties in St. Mary sold course salt and herring at the Annatto Bay market.
Situated two km west of the Buff Bay River, near the base of the Blue Mountains in the parish of St. George (now Portland), the ruins of Orange Vale plantation reminds us of the agony of Jamaica's legacy of enslavement. To the immediate east of Orange Vale's boundary lies property belonging to the Moore Town Maroons. Orange Vale operated from the late 1700s until its abandonment in 1847 and was an example of the thriving mono-crop coffee industry that supplemented the enslavement economy of "king sugar," once common in the mountainous regions of Jamaica.
The site was initially owned by John Elmslie, a "London proprietor," from 1782. Although shaded under the cover of large tree branches and heavily covered in vines, the extensive and well-preserved ruins of the plantation were clearly visible. Except for the occasional tourist adventurous enough to make the trek to the site, the plantation ruins have remained relatively intact and untouched. The isolation of the site has contributed to site integrity and the potential for future archaeological research appeared to be high.
Located between Hope Bay and Port Antonio, Danny River is the tumbling waterway that creates what is known as Somerset Falls. Daniel’s River makes a beautiful painting of the landscape. Miniature waterfalls along the narrow gorge add to this awesome scenery, with the mist and the steady rush of water blotting out the outside world. Somerset Falls sits behind a hedge of bright red ginger lilies and green bottlebrush plants. Once an old sugar plantation that extended from the mountains to the sea, today Somerset is a 97-acre property with a breathtaking garden growing on the banks of the Daniel (Danny) River, complete with ponds and waterfalls.
Cattawood Springs was originally a Maroon settlement in the parish. Its name probably derives from the Twi word katá which means to cover conceal or protect. The original inhabitants left Cattawood in 1730 to join up with Cudjoe in Clarendon Parish. Firstly, a group of one hundred men, women and children went to join Cudjoe, and then the rest of community followed suit in small groups. They retained their name subsequently settling in Cotterwood in Saint Elizabeth Parish.
Millbank is the last district when you pass through the Rio Grande Valley and head towards the Blue and John Crow mountain range. This is an approximately 17.5-mile journey from Port Antonio on roads with patches of dirt, gravel and asphalt, a direct result of the extremely high rainfall in these areas. However, the scenery in this section of the “Rio Grande Valley” is so awesome, quaint, and majestic and the climate so pleasant and refreshing. Millbank is one of the districts populated by the eastern Maroons who are the descendants of black Africans who had been enslaved by the Spanish but who refused to submit to British control when the Spanish were defeated.
Today, these maroons have a unique system of communally-held treaty lands, a local council which uses their own political structure, and for ceremonial purposes, they still use of the abeng; a side-blown horn, as a means of long-distance communication. To ascend into Millbank, you cross the Alligator Church bridge and pass through quaint districts and villages such as Fellowship, Ginger House, and Comfort Castle.
Lime Tree Farm is an environmentally friendly coffee farm set in 10 acres at the heart of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains. As well as growing coffee, Lime Tree Farm provides a wonderful opportunity to see the real beauty of Jamaica.
For those looking for activities in the Blue Mountains, enjoy fresh air and rambling there are wonderful local mountain trails to be followed, enjoying Jamaica’s most prized natural treasures -its 3000 flowering species, 100s of orchids and nearly 600 types of ferns along with the myriad species of birds endemic to Jamaica. It also offers a guided day hike to the summit of Blue Mountain Peak allowing visitors to gaze across to Cuba just 90 miles away. There is also tours of Lime Tree coffee farm where visitors can watch or join the cherry red coffee beans being picked and follow the process through to coffee roasting and have a drink of the freshly roasted coffee.
This is a flat, grey sand beach without much adornment, this spot has easy acceptability and a quiet ambiance located near the heart of Portland about 1.7 miles east of Buff Bay. While Spring Garden Beach is certainly not secluded, it makes a great option for families who want to enjoy a beach with mild activity but wish to stay away from the most populated spots.
The best features of Spring Garden are the trees that line the shore, the softness of the sand and its long length for beach-combing and sunset walks. There is an on-site snack bar but no public restrooms. Spring Garden Beach grants a calm and tranquil getaway, due to the fact that the region surrounding the beach is more rural than urban.
This town lies between Annotto Bay and Port Antonio on the north coast highway. Buff Bay is the capital of the former parish of St. George. St George was absorbed into Portland in 1867 when the number of parishes in Jamaica was reduced from 22 to 14.
Today, Buff Bay is a small, quiet town which is mostly frequented by coffee and banana farmers from the fertile lands surrounding the Buff Bay River and the Blue Mountains. The most striking building in Buff Bay is the Georgian style Anglican Church, this was formerly St. George's Parish Church (when the parish St. George was in existence). The Church was originally a wooden building, constructed in 1750. However, this sustained serious damage from an earthquake in 1813 and was reconstructed from cut stone. Another striking building in Buff Bay is the courthouse which once had a workhouse in the backyard and a dungeon to hold prisoners.
This is a three and a half hour hike from Beacon Hill somewhat well-maintained, and has knowledgeable and certified tour guides. On the tour, you get educational insights into the fauna and flora, especially the indigenous medicinal and culinary uses of the plants. Corn Puss Gap resembled a small crossroad, with a clearing and trails leading off in several directions, one over the hills to Portland northwards, and several trails to adjacent hills such as Crown Hill, surrounding the gap. There are many streams on the trail and you can sight protected endemic and beautiful Giant Swallowtail Butterfly, Papilio homerus.
The Roof Club located on West Street in Port Antonio is the longest standing and most nightclub in the Parish. It is a sure thing when you are ready to party; dancing to reggae, dancehall, rap, R & B, drinking from a well-stocked bar all lead to a fantastic night of partying. It is considered a great night scene. The Roof Club gets going in the later evening, around 11 pm or midnight and goes until… well just until.
This is one of the few nightclubs in Portland. It is located on West Street in Port Antonio. It is a scene that caters more to the locals than tourists but offers a good nightlife experience in the Parish.
This five hour hike over moderate grade offers two options to reach Watch Hill, once used by the Maroons as a lookout. Along the way, visitors will pass banana plantations still in use and an 18th century sugar plantation.
This seven hour hike over difficult terrain starts at Bellevue. The trail winds into the heart of the Blue Mountains, following the Guava River where visitors can swim and dive in the then, continue upstream to see hot springs.
This attraction is suited to visitors with a sense of adventure as it promotes respect for the scenic views of the natural environment located in the beautiful Rio Grande Valley. All trails have been chosen for their unusual beauty and history. The excursions include visits to the Valley communities to meet descendants of Nanny of the Maroons, Jamaica's only national heroine and observations beneath a forested canopy that is home to many endemic bird species as well as the swallowtail butterfly. Valley Hikes also works to promote environmental conservation by organizing special training for trail guides, sponsoring clean–up activities and environmental awareness programs:
This is one of the lushest and most dramatic valleys in the Caribbean, it lies directly south of Port Antonio. The Rio Grande river itself is fed from drainage from the John Crow Mountains, creating luxuriant growth along with waterfalls, a tropical rain forest, and roaring rivers. Among its beauty spots are Nonsuch Caves and the Athenry Gardens. Tours are operated by one of 18 trail guides from the surrounding communities; all have been trained and certified by the Jamaica Tourist Board. The various hikes take place under a forested canopy that is home to many endemic bird species as well as the swallowtail butterfly.
The Rio Grande Valley is also the home of the Windward Maroons, whose descendants still live in the area, practicing bush medicine and following ancient rites little changed from the days when their ancestors lived in Africa.
The Port Antonio Railway Station was constructed in 1896 along the Jamaican Georgian lines of architecture and is considered as the finest example of highly decorative finishes. The Station was of significant importance to Jamaica's transportation system as it was the terminus of the line that started at Bog Walk in St. Catherine. When the banana trade was at its height and Port Antonio was a flourishing port, this was the scene of much activity.
This property has on it the ruins of the Seaman's Valley great house, and the first European cemetery in this area of Portland where George Fuller, famous English Superintendent of the Moore Town Maroons, was buried. The Seaman's Valley road leads to Moore Town, which is not only the oldest Maroon settlement in the entire valley but also the headquarters of the Eastern Maroons.
Port Antonio is the capital of the parish of Portland on the northeastern coast of Jamaica, about 60 miles (100 km) from Kingston. It is the island's third largest port, and quite famous as a shipping point for bananas and coconuts, as well as one of its most important tourist attractions, tourism is a major contributor to the town’s economy.
Portland formally became a parish in 1723 by order of the Duke of Portland, after whom it is named. The existing port was to be called Port Antonio and was slated to become a naval stronghold. To that end, by 1729, the British began to build Fort George on the peninsula separating the twin East and West harbors known as the Titchfield promontory. The fort was intended to protect settlers from attacks by the Spanish from the sea, and from the Maroons (enslave runaways) who lived in the mountains.
This estate took its name from the original owner, the Duke of Darlingford. Currently, it is owned by a prominent Portland family which produced a former Minister of Works, Ken Jones, and his brother, author Evan Jones whose poem "Banana Man" captures the essence of the Portland small farmer. Their mother, a Quaker missionary came to Portland from America, defying race and religious prejudice she married Fred M. Jones a hardworking farmer who later became the richest man in the parish.
The Golden Vale plantation is a well-known property in Portland located alongside the Rio Grande, Corn Husk and Back Rio Grande Rivers, four miles in the interior region behind the hills of Port Antonio. With its beautiful landscape and formidable past, the Golden Vale Estate has been the home successive generations of people including the native Tainos, the Africans.
They were enslaved during the sixteenth to the nineteenth century and compelled to labour on this estate, as well the descendants of the free Maroons of the Rio Grande Valley and Indentured East Indians that Britain brought to the island shortly after the emancipation. The plantation’s former owners include George Paplay, Alexander Kinloch, John Steel and the Boston Fruit Company. Today, there are a number of historical sites and relics that are located on Golden Vale plantation telling its story.
The Port Antonio Craft Market located inside the Musgrave Market offers a variety of arts and crafts. Crafts include hand-loomed fabrics, embroidery, silk screening, woodcarvings, oil paintings, woven straw items and sandal making.
This stone and brick building was erected in 1895 under the direction of the Colonial Secretary. It has two stories and has an upper verandah both at the front and rear of the building. The upper verandahs are surrounded by an ornate iron baluster and are supported by columns of cast iron work made by William McFarlane and Company of Glasgow, Scotland.
Soon after its erection, the Parish Council obtained use of the lower section of the building in exchange for another building they used on Harbour Street. A plaque on a wall inside the building, dated November 16, 1918, bears a message to the then Governor from the Secretary of State for the Colonies.
At the Reach Falls, there are series of cascades over limestone tiers from one hollowed, jade-colored pool to another. A half mile hike upriver through unspoiled rainforest leads to Mandingo Cave; a quarter–mile long cave with a whirlpool in the middle that's ideal for wading.
Located on the grounds of a Port Antonio luxury hotel, owner Barbara Walker and other Jamaican artists display some marvelous paintings and sculptures. There are rotating exhibitions or drawing class by the gallery manager. Guests and visitors can take advantage of workshops and cultural events that are hosted throughout the year.
Situated right on the beach with its own 55 acres to explore, Dragon Bay has served as a backdrop for several Hollywood films, including "Cocktail" with Tom Cruise. There are 2 restaurants, 2 bars (one on the beach), a nice seaside pool, tennis courts, and an onsite scuba and snorkeling center.
The sun-drenched cove is on the private property of the Dragon Bay Beach Resort but is open to the public. A restaurant and three tiki bars are available for snacks and liquid refreshment.
Charles Town is located inland near the town of Buff Bay. The settlement emerged around 1754. Charles Town as a Maroon Community was not named on maps until 1832. Prior to this date, it was identified as New Crawford Town. Unlike other Maroon settlements, Charles Town is not located in the deep mountain valleys, but rather, on the flat coastal plains. It is one of four major Maroon settlements in Jamaica.
Three major attractions in the community are the museum, the library, and the Asafu Ground. In front of the museum is a library which has many books on Maroon heritage. The Asafu Ground is the venue of the annual Charles Town Maroon celebrations.
Charles Town is regarded by the Maroons as the haunt of Quao, Maroon leader, and hero. It was home to Captain Quao, military strategist for the Windward Maroons, a signer of the Peace treaty with the British in June 23, 1739. Charles Town rests on just under 1,000 acres of maroon community lands which is governed by the Maroon Council under the leadership of Col. Frank Lumsden.
Rowan’s Royale farm is part of Jamaica’s rich coffee history and heritage. It is the southern, uppermost portion of the Cedar Hurst plantation (sometimes called Cedar Valley, and which eventually came to include Wallenford) in the Parish of Portland. In the 18th century, Cedar Valley was a sprawling plantation of some 3000 acres (1215 hectares). The Great House was situated, at about 2000ft (610m) beside a swiftly running tributary of the Buff Bay River but the coffee lands surrounding it rose to over 4000ft (1220m).
Coffee was first grown here in the 1770’s which later resulted in the area being described as a coffee factory and plantation. There is a great house on the property which is designed to accommodate a narrow aqueduct leading from the river beside the house to a large water wheel which was used to process the coffee. It also boasted a large water tank exquisitely decorated with Italian tiles.
Today, Rowan’s Royale accentuates the naturally high-quality coffee produced in the Jamaican Blue Mountains through an organic and biodynamic growing and harvesting process.
Bangor Ridge is a wilderness retreat situated 1,000 feet above sea level, in the magnificent Blue Mountains. Named after a nearby coffee-growing mountain village, the hiking trail from the village square through the forest leads to this rustic but comfortable retreat.The site offers services which include: tents, cabin (Sleeps 4), beds, outdoor cooking, showers, laundry area, and bathrooms. Meals are served on request or self-catering.
Bangor is a true wilderness, peaceful and quiet. While there is no electricity, there are beautiful vistas, great birding watching opportunities, hiking trails to scenic rivers and breathtaking waterfalls in the Blue Mountain.
Tucked sensuously away in a cove bathed by pellucid seas, Manchioneal is the most easterly town in the parish of Portland. Manchioneal was one of the first banana-shipping ports in Jamaica. Today, colorful canoes of the large fishing community have replaced the transatlantic steamers of yesteryear. Manchioneal is a favorite destination for Jamaicans and eco-minded tourists; the former mainly for the wide selection of seafood available, the latter for the beauty and mystique of the secluded and undeveloped Reach Falls, two miles away from the town center.
The town got its name from the manchineel trees; pretty green trees with small round fruit that look like crab apples. As many sailors and other visitors to the area soon realized, the tree is highly poisonous, and even sitting beneath its branches is a dangerous prospect since the dripping sap can cause blisters and burns.
The Quakers also referred to as the Society of Friends, were among the earliest settlers in Jamaica having come to the island after the English conquest in 1655, located just outside of Hector’s River, Portland, near the border with St. Thomas.
The Quakers believe that God is in every man, therefore there’s no need for priests to speak on their behalf. That was revolutionary thinking at the time and many were charged with religious blasphemy. Some were jailed in the UK, others were sent to abroad to serve their sentences. In Jamaica, the Quakers continued their religious dissent. They refused to serve in the militia or to be sworn in as jurors. In 1671, George Fox, founder of the Quakers visited Jamaica and established seven meetings on the island and by the start of the 18th century, there were nearly 10,000 Quakers on the island.
Although the Quakers became the face of the movement to emancipate the slaves, for a time some were involved in the trade. Following abolition in 1834, there was an “apprenticeship period” before full freedom, but the ill treatment of the almost free slaves continued. In 1837, Quakers Joseph Sturge and Thomas Harvey traveled to Jamaica and other islands to investigate reports of brutality on the plantations. Sturge and Harvey’s journal notes were published under the title, The West Indies in 1937, and were used to create the storyboards at the Hanover Workhouse.
In 1898, the Quakers established the Happy Grove High School in Portland. They also created the first public health facility in Jamaica in the 1970s and boys’ and girls’ homes for orphans.
It is a bay off-the-beaten-path near the small community of Hector's River. Turtle Bay is a great place to take it easy and enjoy the picturesque rocks that crop up from the sea. Named for the turtle-shaped monolith that rises from the water, we suspect the adventure side of this activity will be in getting there as it is apparently a well-kept secret.
Located over 900 meters (3,000 feet) above sea-level in the cool, tropica-mist forests of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park on the borders of Portland and St. Andrew. Holywell (pronounced Hollywell) is the perfect escape from the heat and stress of city life. Just an hour's drive from New Kingston, it is the largest recreation area within the National Park, and the closest to the capital.
The five-mile Cunha Cunha Pass trail links the parishes of Portland and St. Thomas. This site represents some of the most intense battles between the British Colonists and the Maroons. On the trail, visitors are exposed to the history of the Maroons as well as the fauna and flora of the Blue Mountains. A significant part of the trail and the nearby Corn Puss Gap trail are part of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park.
The Bowden Pen Farmers’ Association with funding from the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica has reopened this historic trail. This is part of the wider ecotourism project in the Rio Grande Valley.
Christ Church, Port Antonio's Anglican Church was built in 1840 and is located at the corner of Harbour Street and Allan Avenue. This imposing red and white brick building commands attention, its beauty and sturdiness has stood the tests of time. Tall windows provide both light and refreshing breeze to the interior. The three–storey, rectangular shaped building is completed by a belfry and clock. The modest interior has a brass lectern of note. The baptismal font is a study in decorative artwork.
Bump Grave is located in the Maroon village of Moore Town. It is simply a stone monument wherein lies the body of National Hero Nanny, the founder of the town and legendary chieftainess of the Windward Maroons. Here, the flagpole flies the Maroon flag next to the Jamaican flag. Cornwall Barracks, another Maroon settlement, lies just across the Wildcane river.
Fort George is situated on the Titchfield Peninsula in the town of Port Antonio. The idea for a fort was born in 1728–29 when a committee of the House of Assembly met to consider measures to be taken in the face of a possible Spanish invasion. The fort served a dual purpose, firstly as a source of defense against foreign invasion, and secondly to deal with the menace of the Maroons in the area. The fort which was built to hold 22 guns and several George III cannons, has walls ten feet thick. The fort was used during World War I. The barracks of the fort now houses classrooms for the Titchfield High School.
The Titchfield Peninsula was the first place to be settled by the English and is known as the oldest settlement of the town. It separates the East Harbour from the West Harbour. In the early stages, the Peninsula was separated from the town center at high tide until the area was later filled.
The buildings in the Titchfield Peninsula possess excellent examples of the architectural styles representing different periods in the formation and development of the town. They reflect Jamaican Georgian, Victorian New England, Cape Cod Victorian, Jamaican Vernacular and Victorian gingerbread styles.
Bath Fountain Hotel rises majestically, with the Blue Mountains serving as an encompassing backdrop. Built as a hospital by the British in 1749, the stone hotel is now owned by the people of Jamaica. Revitalized after Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, the hotel perches above the Bath River, more like a stream, like a moldy relic from a bygone era. Mineral springs rise up in Bath and have been used to cure ailments for longer than anyone can remember.
Here you can experience two extremes of Jamaican tourism, the world inside the gate and the world outside the gate. It reflects a Colonial luxury of times passed. The Maroons first discovered the healing waters, but the British developed the hospital with twenty clean, but spartan hospital rooms, and the 16 beautifully restored tiled baths in the basement.
The Mariana Araujo flows from south to north, the height of its delta is 0-40m. The Spring Garden, near the Spanish River, was one of the earliest sugar plantations in Jamaica. This river tends to be in very shady regions.
The Swift River is known for the massive floods during the 1930s (1932-1940), which nearly brought the only major settlement, which shares the same name, to extinction.
The town of Swift River was once one of the most thriving communities in the parish.
The village was a commercial, civic and cultural centre, and the weekend meeting place for residents of Buff Bay, Hope Bay, Port Antonio and other parts of the parish. Small farmers in Swift River and the surrounding communities contributed to the lucrative banana industry that Portland then enjoyed.
Recovery from the floods was slow, but the spirit that once made Swift River a vibrant community was not dead. In September 1988 Hurricane Gilbert struck setting back efforts to rebuild. With the financial help of the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ), the community now boasts facilities that are used extensively by environmentally conscious agencies.
This valley is nestled deep in rural Jamaica amidst the backdrop of the spectacular Blue Mountains; Jamaica’s Highest Mountain Range. Descending from the mountain mist forest at 4,000 feet above sea level to the traditional fishing seaport of Buff Bay, travelers along the Valley find themselves escorted by the meandering Buff Bay River, numerous cascading roadside waterfalls, and magnificent postcard panoramas.
On and off the beaten path are nature trails with lush vegetation much of it endemic to the island, caves, more waterfalls, historical buildings, agricultural displays and demonstration facilities and well preserved Maroon traditions. The districts that make up the Buff Bay Valley are direct descendants of our slavery past and in particular, the resistance movement championed by the Maroons.
The Buff Bay Valley intends to offer World Class standards of service targeted at ethical travelers who travel with a conscience, appreciate Green Tourism and enjoy and healthy lifestyle. In return, it offers five package tours, four supporting facilities, and over 35 different sites.
Situated in the settlement of Hope Bay is a beach of the same name. It is quite accessible right off a main coastal road in the heart of Hope Bay. The beach is relatively uncrowded, allowing visitors who want a quiet day at the beach to enjoy just that. Hope Bay is lined with tropical greenery which help to block out the cars driving by on the road that backs the beach. The sand is almost grey and leads to waters of a deep blue sea.
This pier is located about 15 minutes east of Port Antonio is an interesting 15-minutes. A few small cruise ships visit this pier from time to time. It is a beautiful place to take an early morning or evening stroll to catch a glimpse of the beautiful sunrise and sunset. The pier was named after a local politician.
This forestry community is located east of Port Antonio, 1 mile east of the Blue Lagoon and 3 miles from Nonsuch Caves. It is an inland farming area that produces a wide range of produce including coffee and cocoa. Its lush greenery is a scenic attraction for visitors who love to explore and enjoy the fruits of nature. It gives picturesque and panoramic views of sections of the Blue Mountains.
The Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park is one of the richest biodiversity sites in the world and a nature lover's paradise. It is home to over 1,300 flowering plant species, the largest butterfly in the Americas - the 6-inch Giant Swallowtail (Papilio homerus) and over 200 species of native and migratory birds. The broadleaf forest bears the footprints of two of the oldest communities in the Caribbean - the Amerindian Taino and the Windward Maroons.
The national park covers over 100,000 acres (41,000 hectares) in eastern Jamaica and includes Jamaica's highest point - the Blue Mountain Peak at 2,256m. Visitors can enjoy nature walks and hiking, birdwatching, camping and stays in wood cabins complete with fireplaces.
The Blue and John Mountains National Park was inscribed to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site for mixed criteria (cultural and natural) in 2015. The park is managed by the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT); a registered charity. The JCDT maintains three main recreational areas within the park, Holywell Recreational Area and Cabins, the Blue Mountain Peak Trail and Portland Gap Cabins - the last rest stop on the Peak Trail.
Moore Town is a Maroon settlement located in the Blue Mountains and John Crow Mountains. Formerly known as New Nanny Town, Moore Town was founded in 1739 when the Peace Treaty was signed between the English and the Windward Maroons.which allotted the Moore Town Maroons 500 acres of land. In 1781 the initial 500 acres was augmented with another 1270 acres. This larger plot of land was to be named Muretown, as recorded in survey documents.
Moore Town is today governed by a Colonel, a Maroon given the honorary title earned by his ancestors. The present Colonel of the Town is Colonel Sterling.
Old Nanny Town was a village on the southern slope of the Blue Mountains in the Stoney River Valley which was a stronghold of Jamaican Maroons (enslaved escapees). They were led in the early 18th century by an Ashanti enslaved escapee known as Granny Nanny or Queen Nanny. The town held out against repeated British colonial attacks before being destroyed in 1734. This was the most famous settlement of the Maroons known as “the great negro town” with over 140 houses, many of which were burnt by the militia but re-built by the Maroons during the four years of fighting which preceded the Peace Treaty of 1739.
It has been named after Nanny, the great Maroon leader who brought the Maroons many of their victories during the first Maroon War. Built around 1723, it was not discovered by the English until 1728.
This 150-acre eco-park was formerly a sugar cane plantation established by the English in 1655. Now it is the home for one of the largest orchid collections of the Caribbean with over 15,000 varieties of plants. This delightful property also includes a bird sanctuary that holds bird watching tours and a picnic park. It is a place of beauty where you can experience the wonders of nature and tranquility.
Rainfall feeds into this natural spring, that rises on the property meanders through the exotic garden of lush vegetation. The verdant mountains, natural landscape are harmonious with nature to surround you with peace and quiet. The Crystal Springs Centre of Wellness is also located on the property which is an environmentally protected area of Portland.
Musgrave Market is the “go to” place and the heartbeat of Port Antonio especially on Friday and Saturday mornings, the market is the hub of downtown activity. The market has on sale various fruits and vegetables brought in by the local farmers as well as meats and fresh fish in the section assigned as a meat market. One can also make purchases of varying clothing and apparel.
A very popular area of the Market is the craft section which is laden with works of some great local talent. From hand-crafted beaded or leather jewelry, coral and lignum vitae (the hardest wood in the world) made into jewelry to hand-woven purses, baskets, and delightfully artistic paintings.
It is the closest beach to downtown Port Antonio, however, it is a hidden gem. On the west edge of downtown, this beautiful white sand beach is a favorite with residents. The beach is spacious, with the magnificent colors of Bryan’s Bay reflecting the glory of the sea. The beach area is well kept glorious smooth sand. There is no entry fee and there are changing facilities. Shanshy is a laid back fishing beach with a bar, restaurant, and great ambiance
ShanShy beach is a beautiful white sand beach tucked away to the West of Port Antonio. Shan Shy is a laid back fishing beach where the pace of life is a whole lot slower. There is a cafe on the beach and you're a short walk from Dickie's Best Kept Secret restaurant. Vistors can take boat trips from the beach which can include fishing, snorkeling and sightseeing of sights such as Navy Island and The Blue Lagoon.
Guava River is a stream rising just north of the Grand Ridge of the Blue Mountains on the border of Portland. It runs east then north and then east again to its confluence with the Rio Grande. The mineral Manganese has been documented at "Guava River." Manganese is present at a grade sufficient to have a strong effect on the economics of an excavation project.
DeMontevin lodge is situated on Titchfield Peninsula, an English settlement, situated between East and West Harbour. This venerable Victorian guest house was built at the turn of the century in 1881 for Hon. David Gideon, the then custos of Portland. It has been refurbished and restored in an essence that blends tastefully modern designs with antiques. It now enjoys the status of being a National Heritage Site.
The Folly Mansion or Folly Ruins was built in 1905 by a retired mining engineer, Alfred Mitchell, for himself and his wife, heiress Annie Tiffany. The Mansion was a grand structure in its heyday, styled on a Roman Villa with 60 rooms spread over 2 floors. The mansion was equipped with all sorts of modern conveniences for its day, including a wind-powered generator which pumped seawater into an indoor swimming pool, its own power station and independent water reservoir. The Mitchell's kept all sorts of animals at their property, including peacocks and monkeys.
Alfred died in 1911 and Annie continued to live at Folly Mansion until the outbreak of World War One, when she returned to the USA. The Mansion has since fallen into a state of abandonment, has crumbled into the ground with time and is now somewhat vandalized. This has not stopped it from becoming an alluring destination, attracting many sightseers, photographers, and models for fashion shoots and directors shooting music videos.
Built in 1888, Folly Lighthouse is a brick tower with lantern and gallery. The Tower is constructed of masonry and is fireproof. It flashes a white, solar powered light every 10 seconds is visible for 13 miles (21 km). The lighthouse marks the entrance to the East and West Harbour of Port Antonio. Drive to the end of Folly Peninsula and you will encounter Folly Point Lighthouse, which makes a good spot for a picnic as a garden surrounds it whilst it overlooks Monkey Island. The lighthouse is maintained by the Port Authority of Jamaica, an agency of the Ministry of Transport and Works.
Navy Island is a small, 64 acres island off the coast of Port Antonio opposite the Titchfield Peninsula and West Harbour formerly owned by actor Errol Flynn in the 1950s. It got its name from the British Naval base which was set up there in the 18th century to protect the Port Antonio and to service ships. The Island was maintained at one point as a tourist resort and attraction, with a club bar, beaches, water sports facilities, marina, wedding chapel and African style cottages. It's just a seven-minute boat ride from the mainland to this hideaway.
Starting in the Milbank a village deep in the Rio Grande Valley, you can hike to this beautiful but not so popular waterfall along the White River Trail. Along the way you witness the spellbinding views of nature; lush greenery, swallowtail butterflies and the scenic White River which has a spectacular view of the seven fall upstream. This adventure is about 2 hours from Port Antonio.
It is considered one of the most unique shopping malls in Jamaica. The mall was built as a tribute to European architecture and features interior and exterior sections of a tastefully designed medieval castle; Georgian, Gothic, Tudor and Art Deco architectural styles. This magnificent architecture is located at the corner of West and Harbour Streets, Port Antonio just stone's throw away from the turquoise Caribbean Sea. The three-story complex features several upscale shops selling jewelry, crafts, books, stationery, and clothing.
This beach is located about 5 minutes from Zion Country.It is a fairly new beach is developed in a small bay. Though small it is quite nice and romantic and there is no entry fee. There is food on sale and in the season you can eat on the beach.
Somerset Falls is a picturesque waterfall that has many redeeming qualities despite its relatively small size. The falls run through a former indigo and spice plantation and are set amongst a scenic backdrop of woodland and rocks. Located a short distance past Hope Bay on the A4 and about 10 miles west of Port Antonio. There is an entry fee to enter the property on which this waterfall is located and you can access a restaurant, bar, changing space as well as view aviaries and many tropical plants.
To get to the hidden falls you need to take a boat trip up the Daniels River which takes you into another world of a cave rock formation spilling a breathtaking waterfall. Enjoy a waterfall massage, a dive off the rocks into cool waters, or just a relaxing immersion into the beauty of the cave.
Fishdone Waterfalls is one of the secret water attractions located on a secluded and private coffee farm 2 miles from Buff Bay, Portland. Along with the waterfall, the property also features gardens and a small museum operated by Maroon Colonel Lumsden. A visit to this fall is usually accompanied by a tour and brief history lesson on maroon culture; which includes iconic artifacts and herbal Maroon medicines.
Across the Rio Grande by bamboo raft at Berridale then take a short hike you will arrive at Scatter Falls. A glorious sight to behold and take a swim just beneath it or head to the nearby Fox Caves for an adventurous trek through the amazing limestone stalactite formations and underground tides. The larger cave, which is lighted has 10 chambers, the smaller one boasts a stream and waterfall.
The Thaxters family who is said to be the owners have developed the area with restrooms and a bar for the convenience of visitors.
San San Beach is a private beach near Frenchman's Cove that has a narrow but lengthy half-mile stretch of white sandy beach. A fee is required for entry onto this beach where visitors can enjoy activities including snorkeling, swimming, windsurfing and scuba diving. It is also quite close to the Pellew Island.
The Portland Art Gallery is a simple gallery and hub for visual arts in Port Antonio. Since 2004 it called the old Port Antonio Railway Station home. It is operated by Hopeton Cargill, a self-trained artist with years of experience who is from Mount Pleasant in the parish. The gallery specializes in fine arts, landscapes, portraits and signs for local businesses.
Monkey Island is situated offshore from the folly ruins in Port Antonio. It is a small, uninhabited plot called "Pellew Island," also called "Monkey Island"; a colony of imported monkeys inhabited the island at one point in its history. The stretch of water separating the island from the mainland is very shallow at low tide making it quite easy to walk across. On the island, you will find a well-shaded beach, a small walking trail, a diving platform and great views of the coast. It is a perfect spot for visitors can go snorkeling or kayaking.
Located near the historic Nanny Town and about 45 minutes from Port Antonio is the clear, refreshing waters of the Nanny Fall. The 600-acre stronghold was named after the National Heroine, Nanny of the Maroons, who led many who were enslaved to freedom. The property includes a mini-museum and occasional African cultural performances. The Nanny Falls flows directly into the Stony River.
From an elevation of 3,000 feet in the Blue Mountains nestled along the Rio Grande River and the Back and Stony Rivers, this gorge lies between that range and the John Crow Mountains with mainly banana fields crowding its banks. It is one of the lushest and most dramatic valleys that lie in the Caribbean. The valley has vast eco-tourism attractions including magnificent waterfalls, glaringly lush vegetation, roaring rivers, and glorious tropical rainforests. There are many hiking trails which lead to places like Scatter Waterfalls, Fox's Caves, Moore Town, Nanny Town and Corn Puss Gap. This valley is home to many endemic bird species as well as the giant swallowtail butterfly, the largest in the western hemisphere can be spotted in some of these areas.
The valley was once home to the Windwards Maroons who fiercely fought with the British for freedom from enslavement. Now, their descendants live, work and carry on cultural practices, medicine, and rituals
Boston Bay Beach is about a 40–minute drive eastward from Port Antonio, located along an uninterrupted stretch of natural coastline. It is a one mile stretch of scenic ‘bay beach’ on the beautiful Caribbean Sea and is the longest beach in the parish of Portland and one of the longest in Jamaica. Long Bay is a tranquil oasis where you can relax and rejuvenate.
There is no admission fee to enter this attraction. You can enjoy the cuisine and refreshments of the little restaurants, bars, guest houses and mini grocery shops along the beach. Many locals make their living from the sea, and their fishing boats, evocative of canoes, can be seen along the shore.
This beach was used as a setting for the cable movie Treasure Island. Offshore is a tiny islet: Pelew Island.
Di Ole Marina is located on the east end of Port Antonio, next to the old railway station, in the historic district where much shipping and receiving used to take place in the early days of Port Antonio.
This is the original main marina in Port Antonio, which most notably started, and still hosts the International Marlin Tournament for over 50 years. The Sir Henry Morgan Angling Association organizes this catch (and release) tournament competition to entice anglers from all over the globe to snag the prized Atlantic Blue Marlin. Even though there is a new marina in Port Antonio, the restaurant and bar here have become a destination in itself; hosting visitors in a relaxed atmosphere, with a variety of seafood eateries, music, and dancing.
The Errol Flynn Marina is a world-class yachting marina, located in the center of Port Antonio, just to the west of the Titchfield Peninsula. The marina is named after Errol Flynn, one of Port Antonio's most famous residents. Flynn discovered Port Antonio in 1942 when sailing his yacht, Zaca to the Galapagos Islands.
Errol Flynn Marina has a designated helicopter landing area with parking for up to four helicopters. It offers 32 fixed dockage berths (European) and excellent facilities for a superior yachting experience in one of the world’s most beautiful and protected harbors and has the distinction of being the only Caribbean marina capable of handling the largest yachts in the world. The Errol Flynn marina was built in 2002 by the Port Authority of Jamaica and offers world-class facilities for yachters.
Ennis Bay Beach (Innis Bay) is an “un-touristy” beach. It is one of the very few natural, untouched by developers, beaches around Port Antonio. To persons who enjoy this attraction it feels like your own private and deserted island. It is a small protected inlet with a river flowing into it, giving you the best of both worlds.
Located about a half hour drive east of Port Antonio and down either a rocky footpath or jungle-like lane, this rustic setting offers beauty and tranquility. It is quite popular with the locals but you should take your own food and drink, as there is currently no a restaurant or food vendors in operation on a regular basis.
About 8 miles east of Port Antonio on the Boston Beach is Boston Jerk Center, home of the authentic Jamaican Jerk. It is a mall of eateries focusing around jerk cooking; with 7 jerk pits smoking mainly chicken or pork seasoned and prepared with indigenous and authentic Jamaican spices.
It is a community where the traditions of this meat preparation techniques are passed down many generations. What brings most people to this destination is the famous Boston Jerk Festival which is usually held during the summers where various chefs and cooks compete and showcase their knowledge and skill in the art of Jerk.
According to the history, the Jamaican Jerk started in the mountains by the Maroons, who adapted Taino/Arawak techniques for preserving meat. Initially, this was wild boar, being cooked in pits in the ground with a slow long burning fire. This allowed the wrapped and buried pork to be cooked with some discreteness as they hid from the English. This method of roasting the pork would also trap most of the moisture into the meat leaving it tender and succulent.
In 1739 they were officially granted the lands so they did not need to hide from the English so cooking was above grown in a traditional jerk barbecue style, using sticks of pimento wood to hold the pork above a fire using various spices like pimento, scotch bonnet, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to season which morph into the various bottled Jerk Seasonings Or Marinades.
Boston Beach is one of the most fun, unique beaches in the Port Antonio area as it is one of the few surfable waters on the island. It is small cove nestled in between cliffs between Long Bay and Port Antonio and is well known around Jamaica and beyond for the area’s Jerk Pits and for surfing. There are surfboards and other water equipment for rental, as well as lessons available for surfing, windsurfing, and snorkeling.
It is a local hotspot, with numerous Jerk Pits and bars where you can dine and enjoy music from the locals. This attraction is great for picnics and other family outings.
Around 1870 traders from Boston, Massachusetts began transporting Bananas from Portland, Jamaica to Boston for sale. The Boston Fruit Company was established and the area experienced an economic boom. Eventually, the company would merge with others and become the United Fruit Company which would go on to dominate the banana trade in the Caribbean and Latin America. The United Fruit Company would eventually become United Brands in the 1970s and eventually be bought by Del Monte Corporations. The beach itself was donated to the Jamaican Government by the author Robin Moore.
This beauty is located 6 miles northeast of Port Antonio on 3–acre of tropical wonderland which includes scenic caves made accessible by concrete walkways, railed stairwell, lighting and a knowledgeable tour guide.
The Seven Hills of Athenry has impressive caves where Arawaks lived before Columbus and a former coconut plantation and agricultural research station. Today, the gardens boast many exotic and native species of flora whilst the hills host rock formation from coral and limestone.Within the caves, there are very good stalactite and stalagmite formations home to numerous bats and you can find rare fossils and Indian relics. The cave itself is estimated to be 1 ½ millions years of age, older than the island itself. Indicating that its formation began before the island rose from the sea.
The Rio Grande is one of Jamaica’s largest rivers coming from an elevation of 3,000 feet in the Blue Mountains. The river has been used in the past to transport bananas and others produce via rafts from the interior of the island to the coast. Rafting was said to be popularized by Hollywood star Errol Flynn in the 1950’s who made Port Antonio his home.
Aboard a 20ft bamboo river raft, 2 people can be seated on a little-elevated platform at the rear of the raft whilst the guide stands at the front guiding the craft down the river using a pole. The three-hour journey will take you down this beautiful, slow-moving, clean and clear river for an adventure – under towering bamboo arches, past fern–shrouded groves, over rippling shoals and through a narrow passageway of moss-covered stone known as Lovers Rock. It is one of the most peaceful and relaxing experiences you can have while in Portland; Rio Grande rafting provides gorgeous and scenic views of Jamaica’s interior. While rafting, you can also go swimming, eat lunch, or just relax on the banks of the river.
Winnifred Beach, also known as Fairy Hill Beach, is one of Portland’s best-kept secrets located in the Fairy Hill Community at the bottom of a steep hill with a long, unpaved road that leads to the wide, white-sand beach that stretches along a sheltered bay. It is also home to a fantastic reef that is perfect for snorkeling. This beach, like many others in Portland, has streams running into the sea and is good for swimming.
The clear, calm, bright-blue water is quite popular with locals as it is one of the last remaining FREE beaches in Jamaica where you can enjoy food and drink including the specialty of Portland, the JERK. Attractions include a mini-field (perfect for a game of football) and on weekends horseback riding tours down the beach and a boat trip to nearby Monkey Island.
Frenchman’s Cove is one of the most beautiful and famous beaches in Jamaica located 4.5 miles from Port Antonio. This small, isolated and scenic cove boasts one of the prettiest white sand beaches for miles and freshwater river emptying into the sea.
To get to the beach from the front gate you have to walk through a natural garden, cross a small bridge over the river that flows to the sea with lots to see along the way including interesting birds, butterflies, flowers, and luxurious foliage.
Frenchman’s Cove beach was also featured in the 2010 movie Knight and Day starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.
The Blue Lagoon is one of Portland’s best known natural attraction, located seven miles from Port Antonio. It features a mystical and strikingly spectacular, turquoise colored water (changing throughout the day to a deeper sapphire or even royal blue) surrounded by lush vegetation. The site was originally called The Blue Hole, however, after the success of the 1980 Brooke Shields film The Blue Lagoon which was filmed there, the site was renamed "The Blue Lagoon".
This waterhole or lagoon is a mixture of freshwater and saltwater as it is open to the sea and fed by underground freshwater springs. It is said to be approximately 200 feet deep with alternating temperatures fed by its two water sources.
Along the shoreline is a casual restaurant where you can dine or enjoy the amazing site of the blue water. The local tour guides offer water skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, rafting, and glass bottom boat rides. Visitors can enjoy the waters, hear the history and enchanting stories behind this amazing natural attraction. Tripadvisor gives this attraction 4 stars.
The Blue Lagoon was also once home to the famous writer Robin Moore, who wrote the French Connection whilst living here.