Port Antonio is the “real Jamaica” with its charming markets, street vendors and Georgian architecture in various states of disrepair, its greenery and nearby beaches. There are no Margaritavilles here; just a tangle of backstreets, browsing goats and friendly locals.
Jamaican tourism first found purchase in Port Antonio. The island’s major banana port began luring visitors at the turn of the 20th century. Celebrity visitors descended on the town in the 1940s. When the tourist attentions moved on to the west of the island, Port Antonio reverted to bananas. As a gateway to lush Portland parish, its laid-back attitude makes it a perfect destination for travelers seeking to get away from it all. Come visit wonderful Port Antonio! And for other great Jamaica beach destinations, visit our Jamaica Travel Guide.
Port Antonio Jamaica Weather (When to Visit)
Port Antonio Jamaica enjoys a hot and humid tropical climate all year round, which is exactly what you want for a relaxing vacation. Temperatures range from 66°F to 99°F. Even though they are known for sunshine, they have two rainy seasons a year, from May to June, and September to November. Hurricanes may pass over the island during the months of June to November, so keep an eye on the news. The busiest months for tourism in Port Antonio, Jamaica is January, May and December. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance.
Best Port Antonio Jamaica Beaches
Folly Ruins Beach
Set along the eastern outskirts of Port Antonio, Folly Ruins Beach is on the East coast of Jamaica. You should consider stopping by even if you aren’t staying in the immediate vicinity. Folly Ruins Beach stands out from other beaches because it’s perfect for getting away from vacation stresses, like overly crowded restaurants and attractions. Other nearby beaches in Jamaica offer views of the sea that are just as pretty, but are usually busier because they’re frequented by tourists looking for a lively scene.
Frenchman’s Cove is a rather small and narrow beach whose beauty derives from a sandy bottom, and from clean fresh waters that flow into the sea from a freshwater stream flanked with lush gardens. You’ve always wanted to enjoy elaborate, fruit-flavored cocktails on a beautiful tropical beach, so here’s your chance; this beach offers spectacular sand, surf and service.
Clean and well maintained, and dotted with vendors selling jerk food, it lies just to the east of Dragon Bay Beach, en route to Boston Bay Beach , within about a 25-minute drive from the center of Port Antonio. The half-moon-shaped strip of sand attracts more islanders than foreign visitors, and as such, provides a sometimes-charming spectacle of contemporary Jamaican life.
Boston Bay Beach
Boston Bay is more famous for its jerk-pork stands than it is for its sands. Lying 11 miles east of Port Antonio, it’s a strand of golden sands opening onto turquoise waters that aren’t always tranquil. Hidden away on a secluded cove, you’ll find lots of picnic tables where you can enjoy your recently purchased lunch of jerk pork, chicken, or whatever.
The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is not on a beach. But when you see these beautiful waters, you’ll forget all about sands and take the plunge. On-site is a small restaurant with changing rooms, along with a little mineral spring bath. Many visitors flock here for a Saturday night bash, when live reggae is played.
Best Port Antonio Jamaica Tours & Activities by Viator
Blue Hole and Secret Falls Private Tour
Explore some of Jamaica’s natural wonders during this private tour of the Blue Hole and Secret Falls. With a dedicated guide, swim in the bright azure waters of the Blue Hole, or leap from the rocks high above the pool. Take an easy hike up to Secret Falls through the lush jungle, enjoying engaging commentary from your guide on the way. Round-trip transportation in an air-conditioned private vehicle from your hotel is included. Learn more about the Blue Hole & Secret Falls Private Tour.
Day Trip to Bob Marley’s Nine Mile from Montego Bay & Grand Palladium
Visit the birthplace and hometown of reggae legend Bob Marley during this day trip from Montego Bay. Explore the remote village of Nine Miles, located in St. Ann parish, to see where Bob Marley was born and spent his formative years. See Mt. Zion, where Bob frequently meditated and composed music. Learn about the Rastafarian religion that the musician practiced through informative, engaging commentary from your local guide. Learn more about the Day Trip to Bob Marley’s Nine Mile.
Scenic Blue Mountain Tour from Port Antonio
A hike up Jamaica’s tallest peak may seem daunting, but with a guide in the lead to ensure your comfort and safety, you can focus on the scenery of the Blue Mountains. Lace up your hiking boots and make your way up the 7,200-foot (2,195-meter) Blue Mountain Peak, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a guide providing directions and commentary along the way. Learn about the region’s geology, flora, and fauna through guided narrative and take a rest at the top of the peak to enjoy the panoramic views and snap photos. Learn more about the Scenic Blue Mountain Tour from Port Antonio.
Black River and YS Falls Sightseeing Cruise from Montego Bay
Cruise down the Black River and swim in the YS Falls on this full-day tour from Montego Bay. With your local guide, explore the mangrove swamps during a trip down the longest river in Jamaica; keep your eyes open for native crocodiles in their natural habitat. Feast on a traditional Jamaican lunch, then take a rejuvenating dip in the YS Falls. This tour includes round-trip transportation from your Montego Bay hotel. Learn more about the Black River & YS Falls Sightseeing Cruise.
Jamaica Dunn’s River Falls Party Cruise with Snorkeling
Cruise to Dunn’s River Falls aboard a catamaran on this 3.5-hour excursion. Sail to a snorkeling location to swim among live coral reefs and schools of tropical fish. Dig in to a beach-side buffet of traditional Jamaican food accompanied by an open bar. At Dunn’s River Falls, climb the terraced falls to the top, accompanied by your local guides, for views of the surrounding countryside. Lunch, open bar, snorkel gear and round-trip hotel transportation are included. Learn more about the Dunn’s River Falls Party Cruise with Snorkeling.
Best Port Antonio Restaurants
Wilkes Seafood $11 – 30
This place looks like an unassuming beach bar from the front, but is a delightful small restaurant inside, overlooking the sea and with a semi-open kitchen that lets the cooking aromas make you hungry. Nothing you order will disappoint, though we found the coconut curried fish to be a particular winner. Dining here is a real Port Antonio highlight. For more information call +1 876-378-5970, or visit them on the web at Wilkes Seafood.
The Italian Job $11 – 30
This is a jolly, Italian-run, checked-tablecloth sort of a place, with great pasta dishes, pizza and salads, plus crepes for dessert. Keep an eye on the specials board too, as the chef puts a great twist on local offerings, such as lobster ravioli dressed with avocado. The wine is pretty good too. For more information call +1 876-573-8603, or visit them on the web at The Italian Job.
Dickie’s Best Kept Secret $11 – 30
Dickie’s is a tiny pointy-roofed seaside hut on the western outskirts of Port Antonio that offers enormous five-course meals in rooms best described as Bob Marley meets Alice in Wonderland. There’s not always a menu, but trust their suggestion that anything will be delicious. Reservations essential. For more information call +1 876-809-6276, or visit them on TripAdvisor at Dickie’s Best Kept Secret.
Yosch Cafe $11 – 30
This cafe on the edge of the craft village complex is all decking, driftwood and bamboo, open to the sea breeze and looking back onto Titchfield and the bay. The breakfasts and sandwiches are winners, as is the fish if you come here for dinner. Very refreshing. For more information call +1 876-
993-3053, or visit them on TripAdvisor at Yosch Café.
Anna Banana’s Restaurant & Sports Bar $11 – 30
Need seafood? Jerk? An open-air bar? Head to this perennially popular breezy restaurant-bar, overlooking the beach on the southern lip of the bay, which specializes in jerk or barbecued chicken and pork, and groaning plates of conch and lobster. For more information call +1 876-715-6133, or visit them on TripAdvisor at Anna Banana’s Restaurant & Sports Bar.
Best Port Antonio Nightlife
This is Port Antonio’s infamous hang-loose, rough-around-the-edges reggae bar. 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. For more information call +1-876-844-3298, or visit them on the web at Roof Club.
Club La Best
The liveliest spot in Port Antonio, La Best assumes a different identity depending on the evening. Dancehall throbs into the wee hours on Friday; Sunday grooves to a mellow blend of reggae and old-school R&B; ladies’ night is Friday; and periodic live shows occur on Saturday. For more information call +1 876-715-5882.
Marybell’s Pub on the Pier
Inside Errol Flynn Marina, this is a good place to spend an afternoon (or evening) away from the pace of the town, at the cabana bar or one of the tables overlooking the bay. Light meals are available. For more information visit them on the web at Marybell’s Pub on the Pier.
This place plays vintage ska and reggae on Tuesday and Sunday, but on other nights it’s pretty sleepy. For more information call +1 876-993-3823, or visit them on TripAdvisor at Shadows.