It took us several trips to the island to get there, but we eventually found our way to Port Antonio, Jamaica. This is our recap of travel tips for visiting this beautiful location.
We took our driver’s heckling in stride. “But, you’re not the typical tourist,” he said on several occasions throughout the day with a laugh. It was said often when we passed an attraction that the majority of visitors would have flocked to.
Six trips to Jamaica and not one had taken us to Port Antonio. That is, until this past December. I searched high and low for a private driver to get us there from Ocho Rios. Our original desire was to visit Twyman’s Old Tavern Coffee Estate in the Blue Mountains, but with a road damaged from the last hurricane I could not find a driver in our price range that also had the appropriate vehicle to navigate the terrain.
We settled on a day sightseeing in Port Antonio. After several drivers offered a day full of raft rental, swimming and extra entrance fees upwards of 150 USD, I finally found Paul. He gladly took us where we wanted to go, but that wasn’t without a comment here and there indicating that he didn’t quite understand why these were our choices.
Since I first discovered Port Antonio through websites and blog posts, I wanted to see if it would keep the promises made about its beauty; its uniqueness among other cities of Jamaica. When experiencing the Parrish of Portland first hand, I wanted to watch, to see, and to eat; not ride, splash, and spend the time with hoards of other visitors.
I don’t know exactly what I was expecting as we set off on the two hour drive from Ocho Rios. We’d taken a similar driving tour of Antigua a few years before, but the experiences were not at all similar. It was another reminder that while the area is referred to as “the Caribbean,” each island has its own identity; its own vibrant personality.