This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Port Antonio. To help you make friends with Port Antonio before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Port Antonio is the capital of the parish of Portland, on the northern coast of Jamaica. It was the first tourist destination on the island of Jamaica, thanks to the film star Eroll Flynn who arrived here amidst the banana plantations. Today, however, banana plantations are the main source of economy, though tourism is second.
Port Antonio is the gateway to the lush paradise that is the Portland parish. It is a bit tricky to get here; if you are in Kingston, then its easiest to drive the two hours to Port Antonio. If you are on the other side of the island, in Ochos Rio or near Montego Bay, then you can board a direct flight from Montego Bay to Port Antonio. Getting around in the town of Port Antonio is easy enough but for destinations outside of the town, like hiking and beaches, you may prefer your own vehicle. Otherwise, taxis and drivers are plentiful.
Port Antonio’s city centre is separated by the Titchfield Peninsula, which is a National Historic Site. The “hill,” as its locally called, is full of Victorian gingerbread-style houses and the ruins of Fort George (1729). The historic DeMontevin Lodge is also on the peninsula.
There are only a few hostels in Port Antonio, and they are very basic. Do not expect hostels here to be as spacious or as clean as backpacker hostels in Australia or Europe. If you prefer accommodation with more, consider a guesthouse or bed and breakfast instead of a hostel.
Nearby sights include the Blue Lagoon, a sinkhole of over 200 feet deep, and the haunting ruins of Folly Mansion. Once a destination for the rich and famous, Port Antonio is where to go chasing another era. Don’t miss the secluded Frenchman’s Cove, the Folly Point Lighthouse, or the Reach Falls, all which provide a glimpse at once upon a time Jamaica.
Written by local enthusiast for Port Antonio hostelsJakob Lombardi