Boasting a lush landscape and breathtaking seaside vistas, Port Antonio has often been referred to as heaven on earth. The capital of the parish of Portland is nestled between twin harbors in the northeast corner of Jamaica. Whether surfing at Boston Beach or sunbathing in Frenchman’s Cove, there’s something to appeal to every traveler. This region is also known as being one of the birthplaces of jerk chicken, and is among the best places in the world to sample this staple of Jamaican cuisine. Here’s how to make the most of your trip to Port Antonio, Jamaica.
Sunbathe at Frenchman's Cove
Routinely referred to as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the white-sand inlet of Frenchman’s Cove Beach is not to be missed. The cove is surrounded by tropical jungle and cliffs on either side, and a rope swing dares travelers to launch themselves into the waters below. Travelers looking to maximize the tropical beach vibes during their stay should consider booking a room at Frenchman’s Cove resort. Once you visit this paradise, you'll never want to leave.
Bamboo Rafting on the Rio Grande
One of the most popular activities in Port Antonio is a Bamboo Rafting Tour along the Rio Grande river. The customizable tour takes place on the Rio Grande river upon a custom raft built for two adults (and one small child). The tour’s duration lasts about 2.5 to 3 hours and is an iconic activity in the region not to be missed.
Eat Jerk Chicken at the Boston Jerk Center
Though the popularity of jerk chicken has now grown to worldwide fame (and appreciation), the cuisine has its roots in Jamaica—and the history of the "jerk" technique has strong roots to Boston. Explore the Boston Jerk Center and taste your way through this historic Jamaican dish—it’s one of the best places on the island (and in the world) for jerked meats, and you’ll learn more of the island's history while you’re tasting away.
Surf at Boston Beach
While you’re in Boston, make your way over to Boston Beach—this picturesque coastline is also the preferred surfing destination in the area. The waves are high enough to hang ten, though we recommend you opt for surfing earlier in your outing (prior to indulging in too much Jamaican cooking at the Jerk Center). Even if you elect not to catch any waves, it’s still a beautiful place to sunbathe and relax.
Shop at Musgrave Market
If you'd like to spend your days exploring the “heartbeat of Port Antonio,” look no further than Musgrave Market on West Street Peruse the little shops that can be found throughout the town, and collect some irreplaceable local craft items to bring home with you after your vacation is over.
Go Deep Sea Fishing
Port Antonio is home to some of the best deep sea-fishing in Jamaica, available in the waters just off the coast. Head out on a fishing boat and expect to discover a plethora of marlin, tuna, and kingfish. In fact, the International Marlin Tournament is held in Port Antonio every October.
Snorkel at the Blue Lagoon
Aside from being outrageously gorgeous, with its turquoise blue waters surrounded by tropical greenery, the Blue Lagoon is a must-visit destination for underwater explorers. The Blue Lagoon is fed by freshwater springs and believed to reach a depth of 200 feet—and legend has it that a dragon resides within its waters, making it all the more intriguing for curious scuba divers and snorkelers. Travelers hoping to stay awhile can book a reservation at Moon San Villa, which overlooks the Caribbean Sea and is only 300 feet from the Blue Lagoon—offering the best of both worlds.
Take a Boat Ride up the Daniels River to Somerset Falls
Sign up with Explorer Jamaica Tours to go on a boat ride up the Daniels River to Somerset Falls, where you can swim in the deep rock pools. You will pass by a historic indigo and spice plantation on your journey, and enjoy the lush landscape of the rainforest. You also have the option to customize your itinerary by adding highlights like the Blue Lagoon, Frenchman’s Cove, and Boston Beach. The adventure departs from Hope Bay, which is a settlement close to Port Antonio.
Kayak to Pellew Island
This uninhabited island off the coast of Port Antonio is officially called Pellew Island, though it’s better known as Monkey Island. While the titular monkeys are no longer in residence, the island is still well worth exploring. Head to San San Beach in the mornings and rent a kayak and snorkeling gear to explore the pristine environs just offshore, and prepare to be dazzled by the island’s scenery both above ground and in the surrounding waters below.
Mountain Bike in the Blue Mountains
If you’ve ever considered mountain biking, where else to try it for the first time (or brush up your skills) than in the Blue Mountains? Sign up for a cycling excursion with Blue Mountain Bicycle Tours, or—for the slightly more timid traveler—opt for a nature walk or hiking trip in the Rio Grande Valley.