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.
Weather (When to Go)
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.
U.S. Citizens traveling to and from Jamaica must present a valid passport when leaving and or re-entering the United States. Residents must present their Alien Resident Card (Green Card) together with passport of country for which they hold citizenship. All visitors are required to travel with a return ticket or onward ticket for entry into Jamaica.
Port Antonio Attractions
Folly & Folly Point Lighthouse
This rather appropriately named two-story, 60-room mansion on the peninsula east of East Harbour was built entirely of concrete in pseudo-Grecian style in 1903 by Olivia Tiffany Mitchell, heiress to the Tiffany fortune. It was only lived in for 35 years before being abandoned and given to the government in lieu of unpaid taxes, after which it fell into disrepair. Near the Folly mansion stands the orange candy-striped Folly Point Lighthouse, built in 1888, which overlooks Monkey Island.
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.
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.
Legend has it that a dragon resides in the bottomless Blue Lagoon, yet still visitors flock to the lagoon each day to experience the breath taking lagoon that was made famous around the world by Jacques Cousteau and Brooke Shields. You won’t find a more beautiful natural watering hole in Jamaica than Blue Lagoon. The waters are indeed a striking hue of blue, and surrounding the lagoon is not powdery sand, but thick forestry.
Reach Falls is spectacularly breathtaking! Crystal clear water cascading from tall and river-wide rock face into its naturally made pool, which continues flowing down river, creating more and more playgrounds. It’s fascinating to go ‘behind the falls’ where you are sheltered under a jutting rock section and see the falls from the inside.
Things to do in Port Antonio
Explore Jamaica Tours
ExplorerJamaica Tours is unique and separate from all the other companies in Jamaica. Why? They don’t set tour packages and lock-in tours for their visitors. They give the client’s the opportunity to choose and customize their tours. With 24 hours notice you can make changes to your reservation. So what are you waiting for, take the journey. For more information call +1 876-654-1893, or visit them on the web at Explore Jamaica Tours.
They offer safe, comfortable diving without the usual complications of a large “cattle boat” operation. They are fully insured and licensed with the Jamaica Tourist Board, and have a staff of two Master Instructors and an experienced support staff. They also offer Charter Fishing tours along the coast line and out to the Holmes Banks. For more information call +1 876-995-0246, or visit them on the web at Lady G’Diver.
Tropical Video Tours
Tropical Video Tours offers private day tours to Port Antonio, Kingston and Ocho rios, Enjoy Rafting on the Rio Grande, Hiking up the World Heritage Blue Mountain and Climbing Cascading Waterfalls including Dunn’s River. They also do customized tours to include anywhere in Jamaica. For more information call +1 876-518-2364, or visit them on the web at Tropical Video Tours.
Peregrine Transport & Tours
Tour operator located in Portland ,Jamaica offering Private sightseeing and cultural tours for small and large groups around Jamaica. For more information call +1 888-486-5169, or visit them on the web at Peregrine Transport & Tours.
Experience Real Jamaica
Experience Real Jamaica…tour Jamaica with us. We will take you beyond the confines of the resort and show you Jamaica’s hidden gems, introduce you to its culture, its people and their life-style. We will take you diving, swimming, snorkeling, rafting in the balmy waters of Portland. For more information call +1 876 -487-8824, or visit them on the web at Experience Real Jamaica.
Best Port Antonio Restaurants
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$$ – $$$ Wilkes Seafood
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
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
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
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
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.
Best Port Antonio Hotels
While blending all the creature comforts of home, it’s very much a portal into authentic Jamaican culture. Nestled in the heart of the bush, this property’s seven double rooms consist of three deluxe cabins, one suite, and a self-contained three-bedroom villa. Also included are a state of the art Recording Studio, Healing Spa, Swimming Pool (Sanwood only), Gym and Bushbar, forming an exclusive universe within the natural beauty of the grounds. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Geejam.
The Trident’s thirteen oceanfront villas are seductive, cloistered retreats that blend modernist design with an inspired take on 50s and 60s era artwork and décor. Residential in feel, the spacious, airy interiors flow organically between bedroom, bathroom, and living areas, while private terraces with pools complete an environment of clean, conscious and very luxurious living. Each villa is appointed with hand-selected furnishings, accent pieces and original artwork complemented by a contemporary tropical aesthetic. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Trident Hotel.
Hotel Mocking Bird Hill
Best eco boutique hotel in Port Antonio, Jamaica. Set on a hilltop on Jamaica’s northeast coast between the majestic Blue Mountains and the Caribbean Sea, Hotel Mockingbird Hill is Jamaica’s foremost ‘green’ hotel minutes from the most romantic Frenchman’s Cove Beach. A tranquil, serene, sanctuary with breathtaking vistas, laid back luxury and world class cuisine, Hotel Mockingbird Hill is the ultimate, authentic Jamaican experience. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Hotel Mocking Bird Hill.
Goblin Hill Villas at San San
Facilities include a swimming pool and two tennis courts. A white-sand beach (with entrance fee), protected by a coral reef and perfect for snorkeling, is a ten-minute walk away. A nature trail around the grounds leads you through a miniature rain forest and over rolling lawns. Quiet surrounding roads are ideal for hilly walks under a canopy of trees. A reading room, the Hummingbird Terrace and its bar complete the picture of a relaxed vacation resort. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Goblin Hill Villas at San San.
Moon San Villa at the Blue Lagoon
Moon San Villa at the Blue Lagoon overlooks the Caribbean Sea and is 300 feet from the Blue Lagoon. It offers daily complimentary breakfast for two, free use of the African Star boat for snorkeling and sightseeing and passes for the Blue Mountain Bicycle tours. Free Wi-Fi connection is available in every room. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Moon San Villa.