Port Antonio and the East Coast


The parishes of Portland and St. Thomas form Jamaica’s easternmost region and contain the island’s least exploited natural treasures. A quiet town in the center of Portland’s coast affectionately known as "Portie," Port Antonio boasts some of Jamaica’s most secluded beaches among a handful of other stunning natural wonders.

The world-famous Blue Hole, or Blue Lagoon, where ice-cold spring water mixes with the warm waves lapping in from the sea, is surreal beyond measure and reason in itself to visit the region.

Navy Island, an abandoned little paradise in the middle of Port Antonio's twin harbors, is surrounded by coral reefs and sand bars. Steep, lush hills rise from a coastline dotted with beaches, inlets, and mangroves. Reach Falls is a nature lover's paradise, where local guides take visitors by the hand along trails that only they can see through the middle of the river. In Bath, natural hot springs have a mineral composition that is said to cure almost any ailment. When one of these destinations occupies top priority on your daily agenda, life just seems to flow at the right speed. Perhaps the languid pace of this side of the island is just meant to be, and as a visitor you won't be sorry for the lack of crowds.

Located about 65 kilometers from Morant Bay around the eastern flank of the John Crow Mountains and about 95 kilometers east of Port Maria, Port Antonio is the largest town in Portland, and the parish capital. The fact that the area attracts only a minute fraction of the three million or so visitors Jamaica gets each year is either the way it should be, or a crying shame, depending on whom you ask. Those who depend on the tourist trade complain the area is not marketed to its potential, while it is said those who own the area's most extravagant private homes prefer it just the way it is.


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Car rental

Airport Lounges



Cliffhanger Restaurant & Lounge

Cliffhanger Restaurant & Lounge (5 kilometers/3 miles southeast of Long Bay, noon-10pm Fri.-Sat., noon-9pm Sun., US$11-50) serves seafood, specializing in lionfish five different ways, with wine and beer, escoveitch, coconut sauce, curried, and jerk. Oxtail, curried goat, fried and stewed chicken, and vegan fare are served.


In: Food

La Familia Restaurant

Transplants from Bologna, Italy, run La Familia Restaurant (by reservation only, US$15-35), serving the best lasagna, tagliatelle, and ceviche. Pizza and bread are baked in a conventional gas oven.

In: Food

Gurley Aston WIne & Grill Bar and Boston Jerk Stop

Savory jerk chicken and pork and fresh sea- food are served in a hassle-free environment at Gurley Aston Wine & Grill Bar and Boston Jerk Stop (10am- 10pm Sun.-Thurs., 10am-midnight Fri.-Sat.).


In: Food

Glen's Bar & Jerk Centre

On the east side of town, Glen's Bar & Jerk Centre formerly known as G&B Jerk Centre (10am-midnight daily) is the best spot for a roadside bite of jerk pork (US$20 per pound) or chicken (US$5 per quarter pound).



In: Jerk, Jamaican

The Veranda

The Veranda (reservations required for nonguests, 7am-10am breakfast, noon-4pm lunch, 7pm-9pm dinner, daily, US$20-50). On Saturday the hotel’s semi-formal Mike’s Supper Club boasts live cabaret music and specials that include whole lion fish, jerk pork, curry goat, and a Portland seafood platter. Regular entrées include grilled rack of lamb, spinach and mushroom ravioli, surf and turf, and mutton vindaloo.

In: Food

The Italian Job

Launched by Gianmaria Pedroli, a native of northern Italy who came to vacation in Portland and fell in love with the area, cozy restaurant The Italian Job (noon-10pm Tues.-Sat., US$7-20) has pizza, salads, calzones, lasagna, carbonara, and seafood spaghetti.

In: Food

Wilkes Cuisine Seafood Restaurant & Bar

Wilkes Cuisine Seafood Restaurant & Bar (10am-9pm daily) serves seafood dishes as well as chicken, beef, and pork.


In: Food

Fish Cove

Fish Cove (11am-11pm daily, US$20) is a roadside bar and restauarant serving fried escoveitch and steamed snapper, as well as other preparations including brown stew and garlic, with the appropriate sides of bammy, water crackers. 

In: Seafood

Longboarder Bar & Grill

Longboarder Bar & Grill (Tues-Thur 12-8, Fri-Sun 12-9, USD 8-25) serves fresh snapper, lobster and burgers beachfront on a quiet surfing beach in Roselle, St. Thomas between White Horses and Morant Bay. The restaurant was opened in early November, 2015 by Peter Silvera, a longtime surfer who'd been thrashing the waves at this spot for years and created the venue to share his little piece of paradise with likeminded souls over fresh seafood and beer.

In: Seafood


Dr. Aris La Tham is the owner of Sunfired Ra Foods and www.sunfired.com. He, along with his partner, Verona Rowe, own Juice'Is'. Juice'Is' is Moon Jamaica's top pick for delicious, raw vegetarian food and fresh natural juices in Portland. Enjoy splendid eatery, a beautiful view of the hills and free wifi!

In: Vegetarian