go to content go to search box go to global site navigation

Introducing Portmore

There is little of interest in this sprawling residential suburb besides Fort Augusta, at the eastern end of Port Henderson Beach, dating from 1740. The original fort was destroyed when lightning struck the magazine holding 3000 barrels of gunpowder, killing 300 people. The fort is now a women’s prison, housing a number of Western inmates guilty of drug smuggling.

At the west end of the beach is Port Henderson, a fishing hamlet backed by some fine examples of Georgian architecture, notably Rodney Arms, a restaurant and pub serving very good seafood, though now the sea view is spoiled by the malodorous squatter settlement across the road. About 200m uphill from the Rodney Arms are the ruins of a semicircular gun emplacement replete with cannon, and an old fort and the Apostles Battery. It is worth the visit for the views across the harbor, especially at sunset, when Kingston glistens like hammered gold.

The horse races at Caymanas Park, one of the best race tracks in the Caribbean, make for a lively outing; it’s best to come with a local to understand the complicated betting system.

A nearby outdoor area is the Jamworld Entertainment Complex, the venue for Caribbean Heritagefest in mid-October and the edgy all-night dancehall event, Sting, at the end of the year.

Buses 17, 18, 20, plus frequent route taxis and minibuses run from Kingston’s Parade; buses 17A, 18A, 20A (J$80) from Half Way Tree.