Set against the towering backdrop of the Blue Mountains' peaks and two stunning twin harbours, Port Antonio is known for its sleepy charm, dramatic coastline, sparkling
waterfalls, romantic coves and beaches. It remains one of Jamaica's jewels. Famous Hollywood actor Errol Flynn described the town as “more beautiful than any woman I've ever seen”. A walk through its streets is like taking steps back in time tranquil but with a hint of previous activity, past glory and future promise.You can visit the Errol Flynn Marina, shop at the Royal Mall and Musgrave Market or enjoy a evening at one of the colorful rum bar, sound systems or nightclubs.
Port Antonio is rich of natural attractions – including the Blue Lagoon, Rio Grande River Rafting and Somerset and Reach waterfalls – that resonates with the legacy and uniqueness that define this part of the island.
The Blue Lagoon’s timeless glamour and exceptional setting makes it one of Jamaica’s most unique destinations. The largest of the island’s spring-fed lagoons has a depth of nearly 180 feet – some claim it has no bottom – and blends tones of emerald, turquoise and sapphire to create a water pardise. The mix of warm tidal and ice-cold mountain waters welling up from a mineral spring offers the perfect balance of soothing and invigorating restoration. The already famouse property landed on the world map in 1980, when “Blue Lagoon” starring Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins made its cinematic debut.
Rafting on the Rio Grande
The beautiful Rio Grande River passes through the heart of Jamaica and is one of the major attractions of the island. The water in the majestic river comes from the torrential rains which flow down from the Blue Mountains valley. The river is the birthplace of Jamaican rafting that was originally used as a means of transporting banana crops from the local plantations to Port Antonio harbour. Once the banana boom dwindled the rafting tours down the gently winding river became a popular leisure activity. Guests may also stop off at Belinda’s Riverside Canteen for an authentic, freshly prepared Jamaican meal that can be enjoyed right on the river’s edge. When the tide is low you can see blue herons and flamingos.
Unlike other Caribbean island with overpopulated, all inclusive attractions, Port antonio beaches are generally secluded and unspoiled, defined by their unique character and pristine beauty. Surfing, horseback riding, kayaking, river rafting, private boat tours, snorkeling, scuba diving and yoga retreats are just a few of the recreational activities that can be enjoyed at this locations. Search-Me-Heart is located within walking distance to the most beautiful beaches of the area.
Frenchman’s Cove has been named by Condè Nast traveler as “one of the five most beautiful beaches in the world”. The beach is stunning, with its curve of of fine sand enclosed by verdant hills and naturally manicured rainforest, and a fresh-water river, its bottom alluringly lined by white beach sand, running straight into the sea. In addition to its breathtaking scenery, the beach is one of the oldest and most historically renowned watering holes in Port Antonio and beyond. It has been the location for many international films including Lord of the Flies and Knight and Day.
San San Beach
Within close reach of Frenchman’s Cove, San San is one more private beaches with a gourgeous strip of white sand beside a wide crescent bay, with rich reefs a few yards from the shore that provide some of the best snorkelling around. Just across from the beach is the small but beautiful Pelew Island, also known as Monkey Island, great for snorkeling or lazing.
Located in the idyllic village of Fairy Hill, Winnifred Beach is just a few miles east of Port Antonio. A charming escape, and a popular local hangout, Winnifred is the perfect Sunday retreat for a relaxing sunbath or an ocean swim and has plenty of good food and drink facilities.
Boston Bay is the birthplace of the world famous jerk seasoning that is so indelibly linked to Jamaican cuisine. Situated at roadside stands along the coast are the large vats used to make these potent and delicious jerking blends. Outdoor grills serve jerked chicken, pork, sausage and fish from noon to dust. The annual Boston Jerk Festival is held nearby, while the Portland Jerk Festival is held on Folly Oval. Boston Bay is also a favourite outpost for surfing due to it unique setting and abundance of breaks.
Long Bay Beach
Located along an uninterrupted stretch of natural coastline, Long Bay is one of the most dramatically scenic beachfronts in the Parish of Portland. Surrounded by coconut palms and the Caribbean turquoise waters, here you can find the best surf in Jamaica. Visitors should, however, watch out for a dangerous undertow and rip tide and never swim out further than they can stand.
Reach Falls is considered one of Jamaica's more beautiful waterfalls. A guide will take you up the cascades of the Driver's River where you can swim in the turquoise pools sheltered by rain forest, hanging vines and bamboo stands. The water is crystal clear and refreshing. The pool below the thirty-foot main waterfall has been the location for the film Cocktail starring Tom Cruise.