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Port Antonio

We're hesitant to describe anywhere as the 'real' Jamaica, but Port Antonio, with its charming mess of markets, higglers (street vendors) and Georgian architecture in various states of disrepair, its greenery and nearby beaches, does a pretty good approximation. There are definitely no Margaritavilles here; just a capillary-like tangle of backstreets, browsing goats and friendly locals. Wandering past the old houses lining the Titchfield Peninsula, it’s very easy to think you’ve roamed into some quaint colonial ghost town.

Ironic, then, that the tentacles of Jamaican tourism first found purchase in Port Antonio. The island’s major banana port, its prosperity began luring visitors at the turn of the 20th century. Celebrity visitors, led by cinematic swashbuckler Errol Flynn, descended on the town in the 1940s. When the tourist attentions moved on to the west of the island, Port Antonio reverted to bananas. As a gateway to lush Portland parish, its laid-back attitude makes it a perfect destination for travelers seeking to get away from it all.

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Port Antonio.

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