Port Antonio has retained its charm, as a quiet rural township, and is home to one of the most beautiful harbors in the world.
Capital of the parish of Portland - the town was described by the American poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, who vacationed here, as “the most exquisite port on earth”.
Port Antonio’s twin harbors are among the finest in the Caribbean. This is a place where you can truly escape from the stress of daily life. Commercial tourism has not discovered this tiny piece of paradise on earth ... yet.
A SHORT, LONG HISTORY - Port Antonio was a sleepy coastal town up until the 1880s, when Lorenzo Dow Baker started the banana trade in Jamaica, simultaneously promoting Port Antonio as one of the most amazing destinations for wealthy American travelers.
“Porty” became a “boom town” as a result of the growth of the banana trade, with more and more tourists arriving and departing in the banana boats. There were so many at one point, it's claimed that weekly sailing from Port Antonio was greater than weekly sailing from the great English port of Liverpool.
In the 1940's & 50's, the island was glamorized by Hollywood, as it became the epitome of paradise for the silver screen. This was endorsed by the arrival of world-famous movie star, Errol Flynn, who arrived in Port Antonio in 1946 when his yacht “Zacca” washed ashore in bad weather. Members of Royal families, movie stars, great musicians and well known politicians who have visited Port Antonio over the years, are countless.
It's no wonder Hollywood selected the Port Antonio area to shoot films such as "Club Paradise" and "Cocktail". Over the years, Port Antonio has become an elegant vacation spot for stars such as Randolph Hearst, Ginger Rogers, Bette Davis, Brooke Shields, Raquel Welch, Tom Cruise, Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington, Linda Evans, Sharon Stone, Grace Jones and the list goes on and on.
There are quite a few sites to see in this area. One of them is the magnificent Blue Lagoon. This turquoise lagoon owes its color to its 200 ft depth. You might also take a slow raft ride down the Rio Grande River or climb the Reich Falls. Port Antonio is worth the trip. Not only are the accommodations pleasant for the most part, the area itself is gorgeous.
Although many tourists come to Port Antonio looking for the nice beaches and the sun, rainy days occur. The exuberant rainfall is the mainstay of the lush, beautiful green landscape that surrounds the entire area. Port Antonio’s weather often changes quickly, if you see clouds when you wake up, do not worry. Take a shower, have breakfast, relax a while and... get ready for the beach!
Although some travel guides warn about harassment in Jamaica, this is not a problem in Port Antonio, considered one of the safest place in all the Caribbean. If anyone approaches you selling wares you’re not interested in purchasing, just say "no, thank you", and smile and that should be enough.
A walk through the town is a walk through history, with its narrow streets lined with buildings from another era including the neo-Romanesque Anglican stone church (1840) and the charming gingerbread DeMontevin Lodge (1881), now a popular guest house on Titchfield Peninsula.
Fort George (1729) overlooks the harbors, with its cannons pointing out to sea. Just outside of town lies the ruins of Mitchell's Folly built in 1905 of cement and sea water. Don’t forget a visit to the new beautiful Errol Flynn Marina.
People who want to experience a fantastic getaway have plenty of options for a getaway. For people who love going to the beach, the options are going for cheap cruises or spending time in the beach. If you are looking for a perfect destination for such activities, then you should definitely go to Port Antonio. Here, you and your loved ones can experience a peaceful time under the sun while admiring the stunning scenery that this place has to offer.
Things to know about Jamaica
Had electricity before the United States.
Had running water before the United States.
Had phone cards before the United States.
Their phone system was so sophisticated it was copied by AT&T.
Jamaica has the most "churches" per square mile of any country in the world. Source-Guinness Book of World Records.
Over 1,600 "churches" all over Jamaica. That number is growing.
Jamaica was the first country in the Western world to construct a railway, even before the United States ! This was only 18 years after Britain !
Jamaica is the first Caribbean Country to gain Independence.
Jamaica is the first team from the English-speaking Caribbean to qualify for the Football (Soccer) World Cup. This was the 1998 championship.
Jamaica stands strong in 3rd place on the list of countries to win the Miss World titles the most. The only countries to have won it more than Jamaica is India, Venezuela and the UK , but considering the size of Jamaica this achievement is monumental!
On his second voyage to the New World in 1494, the tip of the Blue Mountains in Jamaica was the first land sighted by Christopher Columbus.
Jamaica was the first commercial producer of bananas in the Western Hemisphere.
Jamaica also was the first island in the Caribbean to produce rum on a commercial basis.
The Manchester Golf Club in Jamaica , established in 1868, is the oldest in the western hemisphere!.
Apart from the United States , Jamaica has won the most world and Olympic medals.
2006-2007: World Fastest man and woman- you bet, are Jamaicans [Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson].
2008/2009 - Olympic/World fastest man and woman - Usain Bolt and Shelley-Ann Fraser.
Jamaica has more multiple (two or more) live births than anywhere else in the world.
Jamaica was the first country to impose economic sanctions against the apartheid regime of South Africa.
Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean.
Jamaica was the first Caribbean island to enact legislation, "The Motion Picture Industry (Encouragement) Act" to promote the making of films.
Jamaica is the first country to sign a Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria grant agreement.
Jamaica was the first tropical country to enter the IOC Winter Olympics. The bob sleigh team's efforts inspired the film ‘Cool Runnings’.
Jamaica was the first colony England acquired by conquest. This was in the year 1655 when the Spanish were driven from the island.
We have the second largest butterfly in the world? (The Giant Swallowtail).
Jamaica was the first British colonial territory to establish a postal service (in 1688).
Jamaica was the first Caricom country to liberalize the telecommunications sector.
Jamaica is that Jamaica was the first country in the Caribbean region to launch a web site, jamaicatravel.com. This was in 1994!
Jamaican Flag is the ONLY flag in the world, that doesn't share any of the colors of the American flag.
And if you know none of the above, (which is fine) I expect you at least know that Jamaica is the birth place of Robert ("Bob") Marley!