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Explore a breathtaking piece of Jamaica when you visit the parish of Portland on the Eastern side of the island. Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, surrounded by lush forests rising from the shadows of the Blue Mountains, this destination will not disappoint.
See amazing sights like the Blue Lagoon, Reach Falls and Rio Grande River, where nature’s beauty is undeniable. Make sure to add Portland to your list of must-see destinations on your Jamaican vacation and things to do in Jamaica list.
Top Things To Do In Portland Jamaica
Here are some of the best things to do in Portland Jamaica, during your stay.
1. The Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon in Portland is truly a sight to behold, it is one of the best tourist attractions in Portland Jamaica. Believed to be an extinct volcano crater, this iconic natural attraction draws visitors year-round to take in the dazzling blue-and-green waters that are kept cool by hundreds of tiny mineral springs beneath.
With depths believed to be bottomless, you can explore up to 200 feet (61 m) as you jump or swing from overhanging tree vines.
Whether you’re seeking an adventure or simply peaceful surroundings, The Blue Lagoon is sure to give you the perfect blend of thrill and tranquillity–all that’s left for you to do is dive in.
Once called “The Blue Hole”, the name was changed to “The Blue Lagoon” after it become the filming location for the 1980 acclaimed Brooke Shields movie, The Blue Lagoon.
Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular things to do in Portland Jamaica. In addition to swimming, Blue Lagoon also offers boat tours and the opportunity to float on a bamboo river rafting guide by an experienced raft captain.
🛶 On the Somerset Falls or Frenchman Cove and Blue Lagoon, you’ll pick you up from your hotel and take you to two of the most beautiful spots on the island- Somerset Falls and Blue Lagoon. You’ll have plenty of time to swim, relax, and take in the stunning views.
2. Frenchman’s Cove
Frenchman’s Cove is one of the best beaches in Portland, Jamaica. You won’t regret a visit to Frenchman’s Cove in Portland, Jamaica.
With its crystal-clear water and miles of beautiful beaches, this exclusive getaway has been attracting visitors for over 50 years now.
The stunning view of the Caribbean Sea mixed with lush tropical growth and parkland adds to the exotic atmosphere. Not surprisingly, many visitors rate Frenchman’s Cove as one of their favourite locations when visiting Portland.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect way to relax or plan on exploring the nearby Blue Mountains and river, Frenchman’s Cove is one destination you definitely don’t want to miss.
3. Reach Falls
This hidden gem is one of the most romantic things to do in Portland it was discovered by runaway slaves who found refuge in the lush hills of the John Crow mountains.
Reach Falls itself is an eco-attraction with a jaw-dropping waterfall cascading down into an emerald river pool and surrounded by verdant greenery.
While exploring this picturesque setting, keep an eye out for over 23 species of ferns and a variety of birds. Reach Falls is one of the best places to visit in Portland Jamaica.
You can enjoy the views while relaxing at the nearby picnic area before making your way back downstream via a guided tour. Thus, make sure to add Reach Falls to your must-see list when booking your trip to Portland!
Reach Falls is truly impressive and has been featured in the remake of Lord of the Flies. It’s renowned for its beautiful natural features, including a stunning heart-shaped jacuzzi that offers visitors an experience unlike any other. Paying the entrance fee to access these majestic falls is well worth it.
4. Romantic Things To Do In Portland Jamaica – Raft The Rio Grande River
Rafting on the Rio Grande River is the most romantic things to do in Portland Jamaica for couples looking for a unique experience in Portland.
You and your special someone will be transported along the Rio Grand the island’s island’s longest river on a bamboo raft, made from long bamboo logs that were historically used to transport bananas and other produce.
One of the best places to visit in Portland Jamaica is the Rio Grande. While making your way down this majestic river, the experienced raft captains provide commentary along the way so you can learn more about Jamaica’s culture and history.
On top of that, you’ll have the chance to spot exotic birds and animals, really taking in all the island’s beauty.
Enjoy a peaceful ride down one of Jamaica’s longest rivers on an unforgettable romantic adventure. Rio Grande rafting is one of fun things to do in Portland to experience Jamaican culture and learn about the island’s history.
🛶 The Rio Grande bamboo rafting tour from Port Antonio is the perfect way to spend a few hours outdoors. With this package, you’ll get round-trip transportation from your hotel in Port Antonio, as well as fees for the rafting trip included. Plus, you’ll have a private tour with a local guide who will make sure you have a great time.
5. Errol Flynn Marina
If you’re a fan of classic Hollywood, then Errol Flynn Marina is a must-visit during your time in Jamaica. The Marina was made famous by Errol Flynn, who bought the private island in 1946.
Flynn famously described the Marina as “the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes upon” and instantly fell in love with the place and is one of the top places to see in Portland Jamaica. Unfortunately, he lost the island in one night of gambling.
Today, the Marina is world-renowned for its yachting facilities and is home to Norma’s at the Marina, a popular restaurant among locals and tourists alike.
Lady G’Diver scuba diving school is also located here, making it the perfect place to learn how to dive or brush up on your skills. Lastly, be sure to try the Devon house I-Scream – it’s a local favourite.
6. Folly Mansion & Folly Ruins
Folly Mansion is one of the top things to see in Portland, Jamaica. Step back in time and visit Folly Mansion in Portland, Jamaica. This historic house was built in 1905 by Alfred Mitchell and Annie Tiffany and is a replica of a Roman villa. Offering 60 rooms, marble floors, wooden doors, running water, and electric lights – amenities unheard of at the time.
Not to mention a steam-powered generator, the Folly Mansion was decades ahead of its time. Although it has since fallen into disrepair, visitors today can still appreciate this beautiful building that looks just as spectacular as it did 100 years ago.
So if you’re looking for something unique and special to do while visiting Portland parish, plan a trip to see the cherished Folly Mansion it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Portland Jamaica.
7. Explore Turtle Bay in Manchioneal Portland
Are you ready to experience one of the most beautiful places on Earth? Look no further than Turtle Bay, it’s one of the top places to go in Portland Jamaica. Here, the rocky coastline and soaring cliffs give rise to views that take your breath away.
Local guides will take you on an unforgettable journey throughout the area, bringing its wonders up close. If you’re staying at the Serendipity Villa, you’ll be granted direct access to all that Turtle Bay has to offer; a must-see for anyone who loves natural beauty. Portland’s Turtle Bay is truly a one-of-a-kind spot – one that should not be missed.
8. Climb Blue Mountain
Looking for fun things to do in Portland Jamaica? Climb Blue Mountain one of the most famed mountains in Jamaica and part of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, which spans 4 parishes — St Andrew, St Thomas, Portland, and St Mary.
This is a must-do for any adventure seeker or nature lover as the flora and fauna found here are unique and diverse.
The Blue Mountains and the national park is home to over 150 bird species, species of native mammals, reptiles and amphibians and over 700 flowering plant species.
Hiking the Blue Mountain range is a challenging but rewarding experience with three difficult trail levels to choose from: The Easy – Holywell National Park, The Intermediate – Catherine’s Peak, and The Hard – The Blue Mountain Peak.
Before you begin your hike, it’s important to note that two designated car parks are within the national park. Once you’ve parked your car, you can grab some Blue Mountain coffee, and you’re ready to begin your climb.
Whichever route you take, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience, as this is one of the unique things to do in Portland.
⭐️ RATING: 4.0 out of 5 Stars (133 reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 8 hours | ☕ BOOK NOW
9. Nanny Falls
Still wondering what to do in Portland Jamaica? Then visit Nanny Falls is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Moore Town, and it’s easy to see why.
The spectacular waterfalls are surrounded by lush greenery and rock formations, and the hike to the top is a moderate uphill climb.
However, the reward is well worth the effort, as you’ll be treated to stunning views of the water cascading into the pool below. Nanny Falls is also notable for its historical significance.
The falls are named after Nanny of the Maroons, a leader of the Maroons who was declared a National Heroine in 1975. Nanny and her warriors fought against overwhelming odds to defend their freedom, and today her memory is honoured at Nanny Falls.
So whether you’re looking for a fun-filled day trip or a chance to learn about Jamaican history, Nanny Falls is sure to exceed your expectations and is one of the natural attractions. It’s one of the top things to do in Portland with kids.
10. Charles Town Maroon Community
Visiting Charles Town is a must! This is one of the few historical sites in Portland Jamaica. It offers travellers the best of traditional and contemporary Maroon culture and provides access to Jamaica’s storied history.
Here you can experience the museum, library, and Asafu Ground so you can get a deeper understanding of the Maroon people.
Charles Town is even recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site – talk about taking an insight into their history to the next level. Don’t let this opportunity pass to explore one of Jamaica’s most renowned communities.
11. Monkey Island
When it comes to exploring unique natural wonders, you don’t have to look any further than Monkey Island off the coast of Jamaica. As the name suggests, this destination is known for its population of Monkeys, who call it their home.
Comprised mainly of mangrove trees and located right next to Alfred Mitchell’s mansion, the island is also referred to as Pellew Island.
Whether you want to get up close and personal with some furry friends or just enjoy stunning views from afar, Monkey Island is a great spot for you to explore.
At low tide, water levels drop so that you can easily wade over and take in all its beauty from the shoreline.
12. Somerset Falls
Somerset Falls is at the top Portland Jamaica attractions list. Located in Portland and surrounded by lush greenery, visitors of Somerset Falls can marvel at a 32-foot waterfall flowing down the Daniels River.
Not only will you take in the beautiful sight of the Hidden Falls emerging from the gorge, but you have the opportunity to go for a swim in some of the aquamarine natural pools near the area as well.
If a stunning sightseeing trip is what you’re after, Somerset Falls should be at the top of your list for places to visit in Jamaica.
And if that’s not enough, you can take an epic boat ride through the falls. If you want to maximise your Jamaican experience, definitely add Somerset Falls to your itinerary.
13. Anglican Church
Anglican Church is one of the best attractions in Portland Jamaica, and should definitely be on your travel itinerary. The grand building has been a staple of the parish for more than 161 years since it was erected in 1895.
You’ll find the Anglican Church has some remarkable features, such as stunning stained-glass windows and an ornate altar – it’s definitely worth checking out. Even if you’re not a religious person, you’ll appreciate the uniqueness of this historical architectural masterpiece.
Other beached in Portland to visit include:
14. Boston Bay Beach
One of the most unique things to do in Portland Jamaica is to surf! For those looking to test the waves and learn to surf, Boston Bay beach is the perfect place. Known for its large and powerful waves, Jamaica’s surfers flock here to ride them.
But you don’t have to be an experienced surfer to enjoy the beach plenty of surf schools are located right on the waterfront, providing rental boards and lessons both private and group. Even if you’ve never tried it before, a quick lesson can have you up in no time. Boston Bay Beach is one of the best spots in Portland for surfing.
15. Winnifred Beach Portland Jamaica
One of Jamaica’s hidden gems is a beach known as Winnifred Beach. It’s located in the parish of Portland and is a short distance from Port Antonio.
Accessing this beach requires a bit of effort as you must walk along rocky pathways to get there, but rest assured, it’s well worth it. Winnifred Beach is one of the top places to see in Portland.
Once there, be prepared to revel in the stunning surroundings powdery white sands and vibrant blue waters creating an eye-catching backdrop making it one of the beaches in Portland Jamaica.
Plus, even during peak tourist season, the beach remains relatively tranquil so you can take your time to relax and enjoy the sun in peace.
So if you’re planning on visiting Portland, then put Winifred Beach on your must-visit list for that slice of Caribbean paradise.
16. Long Bay Beach
Long Bay Beach in Port Antonio Jamaica is a must-see for your next Caribbean getaway. Its sandy coasts and dramatic scenery offer unparalleled views of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
Plus, there’s something for everyone on this beach from sprawling coconut palms offering shady respites from the sun to powerful waves perfect for those looking to catch some surf or have an adventure.
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced surfer, Long Bay Beach offers waves suited just for you and will be sure to provide an unforgettable experience!
17. San San Beach
Another of the top places to visit in Portland Jamaica is the San San Beach. If you’re looking for a perfect tropical getaway, where you can switch off and relax, then San San Beach in Portland Parish is the ideal destination.
This little-known beach boasts idyllic calm waters, making it perfect for swimming or scuba diving along the coral reef – home to an incredible array of marine life. Brimming with plenty of non-touristy things to do in Portland and stunning views.
Where To eat in Portland Jamaica
Boston Jerk Centre
The moment you step into the Boston Jerk Center, it’s clear that you’re in a special place. This Jerk Centre is a homegrown business, with jerk cooking that dates back to the 1940s. If your taste buds are up for something extraordinary, this is the spot.
Enjoy seven jerk pits where succulent jerk pork and jerk chicken are cooked to perfection. Authenticity reigns at the Boston Jerk Centre, and it shows in their excellent fiery cuisine you may have tasted good jerk food before but nothing quite like this. It’s no wonder Portland locals love to come here; experience this speciality for yourself and get ready for your taste buds’ delight.
You’ll love the deliciously unique dishes at BushBar that blend traditional Jamaican cuisine with modern culinary innovations.
In addition to an amazing spread of tasty eats, you can sip on exquisite cocktails by the infinity pool, take a break for a game of outdoor pool, or swoon over stunning views of the forest and sea. So make sure the first stop on your Portland culinary adventure is BushBar.
Where To Stay in Portland, Port Antonio
If you’re looking to make the most out of your trip to Portland, Jamaica, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Firstly, prices during peak season can be quite steep; however, if you’re flexible and willing to forgo some creature comforts and luxury amenities, then you could score yourself a great deal on accommodations.
We’d recommend checking out one of these choice selections all located right in the epicentre of Portland’s action for your next stay. From beachfront resorts to quaint guesthouses, they are outfitted with everything you need to feel right at home.
Jamaica Palace Hotel
For anyone looking for the perfect place to stay while they visit the city, the Jamaica Palace Hotel is an ideal choice. Located right in the city’s heart, you’ll be within close proximity to all the top attractions, including restaurants and nightlife.
What’s more, this hotel has the amenities you need for a comfortable stay its own pool, free WiFi, and parking make it easy to relax or explore however you choose. Just remember that during peak season prices do go up a bit so be sure to book early to secure your space.
⭐️ Rating: 7.9/10 |📍 Location: Portland | 🏩 View Latest Price On Booking
Moon San Villa at the Blue Lagoon
When you make a reservation at Moon San Villa at the Blue Lagoon, you’re setting yourself up for an unforgettable Caribbean getaway. Start your day right with a complimentary breakfast for two and then venture out to explore Port Antonio or wander one of the nearby beaches.
Take in the views of the Caribbean Sea while sipping a cup of Jamaica’s famous Blue Mountain Coffee. At Moon San Villa, you can also enjoy access to several beaches, snorkelling and hiking opportunities- all just 6.8 miles from restaurants, shopping plazas and the craft market.
⭐️ Rating: 7.5/10 |📍 Location: Portland | 🏩 View Latest Price On Booking
How To Get To Portland Jamaica
How To Get To Portland Jamaica: There are a few ways to get to this lovely place. The most common way is flying into Montego Bay airport, one of the busiest airports in Jamaica. You can take a quick 4 hours drive east along the coast to Portland.
Another option is to fly into Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport, although this will require a longer drive of over 3 hours. Whichever airport you choose, enjoy the scenic views as you make your way to Portland!
Best Things To Do In Portland Jamaica
There are endless things to do in Portland Jamaica. From relaxing on the beach to exploring nature, and hidden gems in Portland, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during their stay. Add these activities in Portland Jamaica to your list so you can make the most of your time in this beautiful Jamaican parish.
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