Hop on the Peregrine Tours bus and let us take you back in time to enjoy a day at the Maroons village. Listen to the epic stories of the Jamaican Maroons narrated by a modern day Maroon and visit the Maroon Museum to witness historical artifacts of the their culture. Don’t forget to stop at the craft market to get a little piece of history with you.
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Winnifred Beach (sometimes called Fairy Hill Beach because it’s located on Fairy Hill Bay) is one of Jamaica’s last remaining, authentic public beaches loved by both Jamaicans and visitors to Jamaica. The beach is a secluded golden-sand crescent. A coral reef offshore provides for good snorkeling and protects the bay from the waves making for crystal clear water! There are usually several food and juice vendors at the beach. Parties are held here on some weekends. The turnoff to the beach is opposite the Jamaica Crest Resort. The road leading to the beach is bumpy and treacherous so drivers are advised to leave their cars at the top and walk down, but you can drive it – very cautiously. The government plans to improve the facilities with proper sanitation, changing facilities, and parking above the beach. The beach may therefore be closed at some point whenever they decide to do this. The ride is bad but the destination is worth it!
The three-story Village of St. George was built to resemble an eclectic European village, combining several architectural styles into one to represent Jamaica’s many cultures. It contains shops, restaurants and cafes and is at the corner of West and Harbour streets in Port Antonio, behind the Shell Gas station. Some of it is now occupied by offices as well. You really can’t miss it!
White River Falls are at the end of a three-hour hike from Millbank, a village deep in the Rio Grande Valley. Getting to Millbank means a torturous drive along exceptionally bad roads, but with spectacular scenery. The drive takes at least two hours from Port Antonio, but the end result is reportedly well worth the effort.
In Hector’s River at the south end of Portland Parish, just before entering Saint Thomas Parish, you cannot miss Under the Rock, the two-level bar/dance club at the bend in the road. It gets its name because the bar is surrounded by naturally-carved stone. Well, a nice little beach has recently formed here in the cove below and alongside the club! The beach is small but lovely. Entrance is free unless there is live music or sound system going on. You can buy drinks at the bar and there are usually food vendors on the beach. Every Sunday night there is music at Under the Rock and sometimes they have live shows with local talent. Nice bar, nice beach!
In the Rio Grande Valley, you begin your journey by crossing the Rio Grande on a bamboo raft at Berrydale and finish with a short hike to the Falls. The Thaxters, owners, have developed the area with restrooms and a bar. A short but steep hike from there you will find Fox Caves.
This private beach, one mile away from Frenchman’s Cove, was used as a setting for the cable movie Treasure Island. It is open 10am to 4 pm daily. There are some reefs a few yards from the shore that offer good snorkeling. The whole marine life area around San San Beach is protected by law. No fish shooting, fishing or fast boats are allowed here. Offshore is the tiny Pellew Island. Watch out for spiny sea urchins if you swim out to the island.
This is Port Antonio’s hottest dirty dance hall located at 11 West Street. It is one floor above street level in an industrial building in the heart of town. This rough-around-the-edges spot is rather dark with mirrors and neon colors on black walls. The DJ’s and the sound system are excellent. The Roof Club is open nightly from around 6pm, but the best action happens after 11pm, especially from Thursday through Sunday. It’s loud, crowded, raunchy, and you’ll probably get a contact high. Reggae music is pounding, bodies are gyrating all over the place and strangers will try to get you to buy them drinks, but this is Jamaica’s dance club scene!
Coming from an elevation of 3,000 feet in the Blue Mountains, the Rio Grande River and its main tributaries the Back and Stony Rivers have carved a gorge between that range and the John Crow Mountains. Mainly banana fields crowd its banks. Rafting on the Rio Grande from Berrydale to Rafters’ Rest at St. Margaret’s Bay is one of the favorite things to do in Portland, Jamaica for locals and tourists alike. Errol Flynn supposedly initiated rafting on the Rio Grande during the 1940’s.The scenic 6-mile trip takes two and a half hours. Rafting first developed as a means of transportation on the river as the rapids prevented the use of boats. Raftsmen spend many years as apprentices.
Originally held in Boston Bay, this annual festival is now held at the Folly Great House at the eastern side of East Harbour in Port Antonio. The aroma of sizzling pork fills the air and both visitors and Jamaican residents are invited to sample lobster, fish, chicken and pork cooked in the traditional island “jerk” way. There is great reggae entertainment along with things for kids to do. The festival has been expanded from a 1-day event to a 3-day weekend event and is held in early July.
Stop inside the old Port Antonio (Orange Bay) Railway Station to see the Portland Art Gallery which specializes in the paintings, landscapes, etc. of Hopeton Cargill, a self-trained artist from Mount Pleasant. Mr. Cargill runs the gallery and other artists from Portland display their works here as well.