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Port Antonio Travel Guide, Jamaica

Situated on the northeast coast of Jamaica, at 97km (60 miles) of Kingston, Port Antonio is the perfect destination for a special vacation in a place surrounded by turquoise waters and misty mountains.

This peaceful town with two twin harbors is the capital of Portland. Melancholic Port Antonio's still has the fresh air and tropical lassitude of a maritime harbor, and there is little of the hustle of Montego Bay or Ocho Rios. Port Antonio is a charming seaside town nestled in tropical green hills with sidewalks full of mini-markets where locals talk, shop or play dominoes. The architecture covers a wide range from old Georgian houses, modern concrete buildings to tin-roofed shacks.

Famous for its rivers and waterfalls, the town is annually the tourist destination chosen by Europeans and Americans.

You don’t know how to get there? It’s simple: take the Highway A4/A3 from Ocho Rios along the east coast and you will arrive to Port Antonio after passing through small fishing villages such as Port Maria.

Port Antonio is known to be the rainiest place in Jamaica so make sure you bring your umbrella and raincoats because you never know when sudden, short downpours will take you by surprise.

The first settlers of this town where Spaniards. They named the twin harbours Puerto de Anton and Puerto de Francisco after the sons of an early Spanish governor. Conquered by the British in 1655, land grants were given to English families in order to develop the place. Thus, was built a fort and a navy station on Navy Island. But the turbulent history of these places did not end here. Although protected by the British army against the Spanish, the French and even pirates, the bands of the Windward Maroons proved to be a real problem until 1734 when a treaty was signed and the guerilla warfare was ended.

The history of this town also includes names of famous people, actors and artists, who decided to escape from the fuss of the modern world and find their peace here: actor Errol Flynn, billionaire Garfield Weston.

Although with an undeveloped tourism potential Port Antonio represents an attraction most for its mountains and highlands. It is the ideal place for those in search of an oasis of peace and relaxation. This colourful town invites you to interact with locals in the crowded markets situated along the sidewalks; here you can buy fruit, spices and craftworks.

With waters ranging from shades of jade and emerald, to turquoise and cobalt blue, Port Antonio is home to some of the Caribbean's most beautiful beaches. The advantage of this destination is that you can choose from a number of beaches, each with its own individual style and atmosphere. You can enjoy a wide variety of experiences and select whatever suits your mood best from the laid back atmosphere to the more formal.

Port Antonio's waters are home to some of the most celebrated game fish in the world, making it one of the most sought-after places in the Caribbean for deep-sea fishing. Being a harbour, the town offers the possibility of sailing in one of the most expensive yachts. The crystal-clear, serene waters offer numerous spots for snorkeling and diving.

Port Antonio offers hotels, villas and intimate guesthouses to suit your needs and fit your fancy. There is a wide range of lodgings varying from villas like Tiamo to Banana King Baker's Titchfield, the first hotel that accommodated tourists. Choose from a range of amenities to suit your taste and your finances, then relax and enjoy the friendly staff and sublime setting!

A walk through town is a walk in history, with its narrow streets lined with buildings from another era, including the Court House, built in the 1890s in the Georgian style, the Victorian Railway station built in 1896 and the Christ Church, an Anglican church that dates from 1840.

Leaving the church there is Port Antonio Market, a great market where you can find any type of food.

From downtown, you can arrive to the tiny Titchfield Peninsula, a small piece of land that separates the town's East Harbour from West Harbour. At the end of the peninsula, you'll come to Titchfield High School, erected on the grounds of Fort George by the British. The old 22 cannons and some decaying walls of the former fort can still be seen.

You can also visit the two harbours of Port Antonio, the East and the West Harbour. Along these two major attraction sites is Ken Wright Cruise Ship Pier. From here leaves The Caribbean Queen Cruise ship that takes a weekly tour to Santiago, Cuba. Port Antonio has been twinned with Santiago and you can enjoy a tour of Santiago’s old city and a night spent at the Santiago de Cuba Hotel. Boundbrook Wharf is also located along the waterfront.

A fascinating Jamaican flora overlooks the mystifying lagoon from the surrounding hills. This pool of deep azure water that changes color throughout the day has underground mineral springs, and is thought to be about 185 feet. With hills around, the Blue Lagoon makes for a great place to swim, scuba dive or just relax. There is a lovely terrace restaurant serving mouthwatering Jamaican cuisine.

With lush vegetation, one of the most dramatic valleys in the Caribbean lies directly south of Port Antonio. The river itself created luxuriant growth along with waterfalls, a tropical rainforest, and roaring rivers. Most visitors go rafting on the Rio Grande. It is recommended that you always explore this valley in the company of an experienced guide.

Somerset Falls provides the beautiful setting where lush vegetation and colorful flowers highlight the experience. Reach Falls, one of the most beautiful spots in all of Jamaica, has many waterfalls fed by Driver's River.

Located on a coconut plantation, at Nonsuch Caves, visitors can descend into chambers to view stalactites, stalagmites (columns formed by the slow dripping of water rich in dissolved limestone) and fossilized sponges.

The Folly Great House was built by Arthur Mitchell.

At the end of Folly Peninsula, there is Folly Lighthouse, a great picnic spot overlooking Monkey Island

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