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Nestled on one of the Caribbean's most spectacular bays, Port Antonio is encircled by the Blue Mountains. It goes back to the 16th century, and is encircled by waters rich in game fish. Sights worth seeing include include Mitchell's Folly, a two-story structure erected by the American millionaire Dan Mitchell in 1905, and the ruins of the 60-room Great House. Rafting is available on the Rio Grande, consisting of two-hour trips on two passenger bamboo rafts, which commence at Blue Mountains at Berrydale, sail past plantations of bananas and sugar cane, and conclude at Margaret's Bay. The picturesque Somerset Falls nearby are a much sought after picnic spot. Beaches in the Port Antonio area include San San , while the Blue Lagoon is a breathtakingly beautiful salt-water cove replete with several activities including fishing, swimming and water-skiing, and is known to be one the best coves in the Caribbean.
 
From Ocho Rios, drive east along Highway A4/A3, which takes you through some sleepy fishing villages, including Port Maria, until you reach Port Antonio. Situated on the coast just north of the Blue Mountains, the town is surrounded by some of the most rugged and beautiful scenery in Jamaica. Many visitors prefer to visit the mountains and highlands from a base here, rather than starting in Kingston, to avoid the capital's urban sprawl.
 
This is the parish of Portland. It's the rainiest, greenest parish in Jamaica, known for its many rivers and waterfalls. Once the cradle of Jamaican tourism, the region has since been eclipsed by Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Negril. It remains a preferred hideaway, however, for a chic and elegant crowd that comes for a handful of posh hotels.
 
Port Antonio itself is a verdant and sleepy seaport 97km (60 miles) northeast of Kingston. You may have seen it in the 1988 Hollywood film Cocktail (still talked about here as if it were shot yesterday). Here you can still catch a glimpse of the Jamaica of old. This small, bustling town is like many in Jamaica: clean though ramshackle, its sidewalks surrounding a market filled with vendors, tin-roofed shacks compete with old Georgian and modern brick and concrete buildings. Locals busily shop, talk, and laugh, while others sit and play dominoes (loudly banging the pieces on the table, which is very much part of the game).
 
Go to the colorful markets to browse for local craftworks, spices, and fruits -- or just to listen to conversations, negotiations, and the news of the day.
 
Navy Island and the long-gone Titchfield Hotel were owned for a short time by film star Errol Flynn, who was much loved and admired by Jamaicans and totally integrated into his community. Locals still talk of Flynn in Port Antonio, especially the men, who speak of his legendary womanizing and drinking in almost reverent tones.
 
We find Port Antonio an elite retreat, a virtual Shangri-La when compared to busier Ocho Rios or Montego Bay. It also has some of the finest beaches in Jamaica, and has long been a center for some of the Caribbean's best deep-sea fishing. Some of the most expensive yachts sailing the Caribbean can be seen here with the opening of the first-class Port Antonio Marina. It's a good place to go to get away from it all.
 
Cruise Port Location
The few smaller size cruise ships visiting Port Antonio Jamaica Cruise Port tie up at the Ken Wright Pier in West harbor. The heart of Port Antonio is an exciting 15-minute walk east. Montego Bay are the primary ports of call for cruise ships. There is a reliable bus service in Kingston and Montego Bay; less reliable for trans-island travel. Coach and minibus tours can be reserved at most resorts. Taxis are the cheapest and fastest way of getting around the island. Most significant towns, as well as airports, have rental car facilities.
 
A major improvement to the infrastructure of Port Antonio, the Errol Flynn Marina (tel. 876/715-6044; www.errolflynnmarina.com) opened in stages beginning in 2003. It takes the form of a fenced-in compound dotted with shops, gazebos, and waterfront diversions specifically built with cruise ship passengers in mind. There is dock and wharf space for small and medium-size cruise ships, berths for up to 32 private yachts, a restaurant (Norma's at the Marina), a scattering of lawns and ornamental gazebos, an outdoor swimming pool reserved for use by yacht owners and cruise ship passengers, and a very limited handful of boutiques. Completed in 2005 at an overall cost of US$50 million, its aim is to increase the visibility of Port Antonio as a colorful option for cruise ship stopovers.
 
Sightseeing
The wharf area is fenced and totally off limits to vendors and unlicensed taxis. There is no bus service from the piers to town. Tourist information is available from the Tourism Product Development Company office at Errol Flynn Marina and the Jamaica Tourist Board office in City center Plaza on harbor Street. Open Monday-Friday 8:30 am-5:30 pm.
 
Port Antonio 68 miles east of Ocho Rios, has been the capital of Portland since the 18th century. It was Jamaica's main banana port. Melancholic Port Antonio still has the rakish air and tropical lassitude of a maritime harbor, and there is little of the hustle of Montego Bay or Ocho Rios.
 
Tours/Excursions/Transportation
Don’t be wary of the Jamaican local buses. They are much cheaper than tourist taxis. Don't let the tourist taxi drivers rip you. Local taxis are an interesting way to get around and far cheaper than tourist taxis.
 
Things to See and Do
Consider signing up for the sightseeing offered by your ship. This may not be the cheapest way to see the area, but you won't have to waste your limited time making arrangements yourself-and you won't have to worry about missing the ship. Shore trips and their prices-vary from cruise line to cruise line. Typical excursions include swimming and snorkeling, riding down the Rio Grande on a bamboo raft, discovering the fossilized sea life in Nonsuch Cave or visiting the famous Athenry Gardens, a tropical paradise with spectacular vistas. 
 
Somerset Falls
Between Hope Bay and Port Antonio, Somerset Falls sits behind a hedge of bright red ginger lilies and green bottlebrush plants. Once an old sugar plantation that extended from the mountains to the sea, today Somerset is a 97-acre property with a breathtaking garden, complete with ponds and waterfalls. Overflowing with crotons, bamboos, ferns, cocoa plants, indigo and moss-covered trees (to name only a few), the garden grows on the banks of the Daniel River.
 
A concrete path leads up the gurgling river to the back of the property. Along the way, small waterfalls trickle down the bushy hillsides and shady benches, where visitors enjoy a moment of tranquillity. The path ends at a deep river pond that entices you to take a plunge into its invigorating clear, turquoise water. There, a guide is waiting to take you on a rowboat ride through a narrow tributary, encircled by limestone caverns to the spectacular main attraction - the "Hidden Falls." Here, you can cool off in the 20-foot-deep pool or snap away at the falls. Some advice for photographers: to best capture this cascading shower and luminous pool, turn off your flash. You won’t be disappointed!
 
And when the ride is over, enjoy a meal of fine seafood or spicy jerk pork at the Garden Restaurant or a cocktail at the Rhythm and Booze bar, which on Sundays livens up with classic Reggae, dominoes and dancing. ( A4, Somerset Falls, Portland Parish, Jamaica )--  Opening Times Every Day: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
 
Reach Falls
Reach Falls was discovered by runaway slaves from plantations in the neighboring parish of St Thomas who sought refuge in the hills of the John Crow mountains. Reach Falls is a luxurious eco attraction hidden in the Montane Forrest on the John Crow Mountain Range. 
 
The attraction offers a unique blend of comfort, relaxation, and adventure. Reach Falls is centred on an exotic waterfall cascading down a rock face into an emerald river pool. The lush greenery from the Montane Forrest and the refreshing pool beneath the cascading waterfall promises a memorable experience. Reach Falls offers the opportunity to enjoy the cascading waterfall, a picnic area, and a guided tour upstream the Driver’s River (which feeds the waterfall) featuring a visit inside our legendary underwater cave.
 
Local Flavor: 
Reach Falls has over 23 species of ferns and it is nestled in the Montane Forrest of the John Crow Mountains which is home to a variety of birds, including the black, and yellow-billed parrots.
 
Famous For: 
Reach Falls has been featured in Hollywood films including Tom Cruise's Cocktails and the remake of Lord of the Flies.
 
Don't Miss:
If visitors are lucky they may catch a glimpse of a wild pig trotting across the mountain. Reach Falls features a natural heart-shaped jacuzzi which invigorates the body with every stroke from the water rushing through the channel.
 
What to bring: swim wear, water shoes, towel, camera, and credit card/cash
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 8:30 - 4:30 - Also open on public holidays Tel: (876) 993-6606Fax: (876) 993-6512 Email: reachfalls@udcja.com Website: http://www.udcja.com/attractions/reach-falls

YS Falls, Saint Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica
 Boasting a magnificent seven-tiered cascading waterfall, an expansive wading pool fed by underground springs, exciting canopy rides which careen you down the alley high above the falls, river tube rides and spectacular views, adventure waits for you in the jungle!
 
Swimming and tubing are subject to river conditions. No discounts due to inclement weather. Tel: 876-997-6360/383-7159 Fax: 876-965-2076 Email: ysfalls@cwjamaica.comWebsite: http://www.ysfalls.com
Tuesday - Sunday: 9:30 am - 3:30pm Children: 5 - 14 years; under 5 yrs. are free. No group rates. No groups over 25 persons. Closed on Mondays and public holidays.
 
The Fi Wi Sinting Foundation
The Fi Wi Sinting Foundation continues their priority to bring the celebration of African heritage in Jamaica to the masses. We recognize and acknowledge the importance of preserving vital and living elements of our cultural heritage as well as the positive effect creative activity has on individuals; providing enjoyment, enlivening spaces and enriching lives
 
The 25th staging of the Annual Fi Wi Sinting Festival will be held in February 2015 at Somerset Falls Water Park, Hope Bay Portland.
 
The only one of its kind,  each year people attend the festival from as far away as Europe, Africa North America and the Caribbean and is a family filled day of live African and traditional Jamaican dance, drumming, African marketplace, storytelling, poetry and more. 
 
Festival activities center on preserving and presenting the links that currently exist between Jamaica and Africa, such as Jonkunoo, Kumina, Anancy story telling all brought from Africa along with Mento and Nyabinghi chanting both of which originated in Jamaica.   Completing the day is the pouring of libation, a lecture delivered by an invited guest speaker, poets, fashion show, a dance party where only African music is played and special performances by a renowned drum/dance company.  Our sponsors include The Jamaica Tourist Board and The Jamaica National Foundation. located at (Tucker Road, Hope Bay P.O. Box 9, Portland, Jamaica)  Tel: 876-913-0103Fax: 876-913-0103Email: info@fiwisinting.com Website: http://www.fiwisinting.com
 
Winnifred Beach, Portland Parish, jamaica
Just a mile on from the closed beach where Tom Cruise once juggled bottles in Cocktail, Winnifred Beach is one of the most appealing beaches in all of Jamaica. Located in the Fairy Hill community, Winnifred Beach is home to a delightful reef just offshore that’s not only perfect for snorkeling, but for its clear, calm, bright-blue water justly popular with locals.
 
A long, unpaved road leads to the wide, white-sand beach that stretches along a sheltered bay. Thick groups of trees and vines act as a backdrop to the aquamarine water filling the foreground. At the base of the hill, large trees shade a flat strip of land, where several food and drink-vendors prepare fresh fish dishes and jerk delights, a specialty of Portland. There’s also a mini-field, perfect for a game of football. And on weekends, there are horseback riding tours down the beach and boat trips to nearby Monkey Island.
 
Port Antonio Walking Tour
At the close of the 19th century, Port Antonio burst onto the international stage as the banana capital of the world. The boats that came to collect the “green gold” also brought hundreds of visitors to the scenic port. Quickly, the town became a revered vacation spot for the world’s rich and famous and a haven for wealthy merchants, many of whom built “winter homes” throughout the town. Although the banana trade waned in the early decades of the new century, this charming town was soon rediscovered and glamorized by the Hollywood stars of the 1940s and 50s. Still frequented by movie stars and visitors looking for a quiet escape, the Port Antonio of today is a low-key, peaceful spot, cradled by nature’s profuse beauty. In and around the town center, elegant old buildings beckon, silently reminding us of the town’s celebrated history, while new developments promise to reposition “Portie” in the limelight once more.
 
Start: Musgrave Market on West Street Finish: Folly Point Lighthouse Distance: 2.5km
 
West Street And Market Square
The center of life in Port Antonio, West Street is always abuzz with activity as locals navigate its narrow sidewalks, sometimes spilling into the middle of the road. West Street runs along the northern side of Market Square. In the middle of the square stands a white cenotaph, forever expressing Jamaica’s gratitude to the sons of Portland who died during World War I and II. Musgrave Market faces the cenotaph. Shops and stores, offering a cornucopia of items for sale, including fresh produce and straw items, surround the market.
Directions: Travel east along West Street, to the intersection with Harbour Street, and you will see a Victorian clock tower facing a two-storey, red brick building, which is the:
 
Parish Counsil Building And Corthouse
Erected in 1895 on the order of the Colonial secretary, this Georgian building houses the parish courthouse, offices of the parish council and the post office. There are ornate metal verandas both at the front and back of the building. Atop of its pyramidal roof sits a white octagonal cupola. Inside the graceful structure is a plaque, dated November 16, 1918, given to the governor from the Secretary of State for the British Colonies.
Directions: To your left you’ll see a colorful building with fantastic murals, painted on its outside walls. This is the Village of St George, now known as the Port Mall. It lies in front of the main entrance to the Port Antonio Marina.
 
Port Mall
This astounding complex will live on in your memory as a fabulous melange of architectural trends. Its design is a delightful combination of Elizabethan, Renaissance Tudor, Art Deco and Postmodern architectural styles with palladian columns, decorated cornices, gothic arches, and domed and vaulted ceilings. The mall also has lively mosaic patterns inlaid in its floors and walls, which are made from marble, red brick or stone. At the mall’s center, you’ll find a covered courtyard with impressive columns and an imposing statue of the Madonna. Built between 1995 and 1997, the four-story building features a collection of small local shops, a café, lounge and nightclub.
Directions: Climb the spiral, wrought-iron staircase to the second floor where you’ll find The Gallery Café, a bright spacious spot that offers a bird's-eye view of the Marina.
After you’ve explored the Port Mall, walk across to the entrance of the:
 
Port Antonio Marina
This "brand spanking new" marina stretches for half a kilometre [one-third mile] along the southern side of the West Harbour, and houses the Ken Wright Cruise Ship Pier, the Marine Police and Coast Guard stations, and the customs and immigration offices of Port Antonio. It also has berthing facilities for small yachts. Attractively landscaped with gazebos and a beautiful wooden promenade, the Marina is set to have a host of recreational activities, including boutiques and souvenir shops, a restaurant and bar, as well as a few swimming pools.
 
Directions: From the Marina, you may hire a boat to the picturesque Navy Island. Originally called Lynch’s Island, after a former governor of Jamaica, the island was used by the British Navy in the 1700s as a place to careen and repair their ships. Once owned by Errol Flynn, Hollywood star and renowned playboy, Navy Island now belongs to the Port Authority of Jamaica.
 
Exit the Marina’s main entrance and turn left onto Fort George Street, heading uphill. This area is known as the Titchfield Peninsula, named after the former Duke of Portland, Marquis of Titchfield and Governor of Jamaica in 1723. Rising between Port Antonio’s twin harbors, the peninsula was once home to the town’s most wealthy residents. The Titchfield Hotel, the Caribbean’s first “big” resort with 400 luxury rooms, crowned the peninsula’s landscape until the 1930s, when it was destroyed by fire. Today, many tattered buildings still stand on the peninsula, reminders of its glory days. As you walk along, look out for old wooden houses with delicate fretwork and charming balconies, reflecting architecture of a bygone era. About midway up the hill, you will see a wonderfully restored three-storey, red brick building with intricate white iron work. This is the:
 
DeMontevin Lodge
Built in the early 1900s, this Victorian-style building was home to the then custos of Portland, David Gideon. It is thought that Gideon brought the elaborate ironwork, barley columns and veranda rails, which adorn the exterior of the house, from America. In recent years, DeMontevin Lodge has been extensively renovated and refurbished and has been declared a National Heritage site. The lodge operates as a guesthouse and restaurant, and is widely recognized for its comfortable accommodations and scrumptious local fares. On the ground floor, you’ll encounter numerous antique pieces, some of which are approximately 100 years old.
 
Directions: Continue heading north along Fort George Street. At the tip of the of the peninsula, you’ll find the:
 
The Portland Parish Church (Christ Church)
Built during the late Georgian Period (in 1837-1840), this impressive red brick structure boasts a high, vaulted ceiling and a bell tower with a clock. From the church grounds, you are treated to a stunning view of the East Harbour, while inside the building, you’ll discover memorial plaques that offer an insight into 19th-century Jamaican life.
 
Directions: You may end your walking tour here, or if you are feeling energetic continue to the Folly Estate, which lies about 1km from the church. Although it is a very pleasant walk along the harbor, you may opt to hire a taxicab to take you to Folly.
 
If you decide to continue on foot, from the church’s entrance gate, turn right, toward the harbor, onto Allan Avenue. Head east along Allan Avenue, away from the town center, keeping the sea to your left. Along the way, you may pass fishermen tending their nets and canoes, or cleaning their latest catch. You may also stop and grab a bit to eat or a cool drink at one of the colorful shops and restaurants that line the seaward side of the road. Continuing on your walk, you will eventually see a large field, called the Folly Oval. If you’re in luck, you may find local men, donning white uniforms, playing cricket. Should you see a match being played, stop to catch your breath and watch the entertaining game! Just before the field, there is a stone gate leading to a dirt road. Head north along this road, following it as it curves to the right. At the end of the road, you’ll see the remnants of:
 
Folly Mansion
Alfred Mitchell, an American millionaire, visited Port Antonio and fell under the town’s spell. In 1901, he bought a 90-acre estate and began constructing a grand two-story mansion with 60 rooms, Doric columns, inner courtyards and impressive stairways. Mitchell reportedly built the mansion as a home for his family. Some years after its construction, the mansion began to crumble and many fantastic stories now surround the house. Some Jamaicans will tell you that Mitchell’s wife, for whom he built the house, broke his heart and so the symbol of their love, the mansion, fell to pieces. Others may say that in his haste to build the house, Mitchell allowed saltwater (or sea-sand) to be used in the cement mixture, which compromised its strength. The most logical theory is, however, that the use of an ill-proportioned mixture of marl and cement, as well as the position of the house, facing the full brunt of the ocean breeze, caused it to fall into ruin. Today, what remains of the Folly Mansion offers a great tale of wealth, love and loss.
Directions: Beside the mansion stands the Folly Point Lighthouse. To get to the lighthouse, retrace your steps along the dirt road. At the fork, continue north to the point or you may cut across the fields to the northwest of the mansion.
 
Foll Point Lighthouse
This Port Antonio landmark has lit the shoreline of the East Harbour since 1885. About 40 feet high, the red-and-white striped lighthouse stands proudly atop honeycombed limestone, overlooking the sparkling Caribbean Sea. Coconut trees, their bases uniformly painted white, adorn the immaculately manicured grounds, surrounding the lighthouse. Check in with the lighthouse keeper, and spend some time exploring the limestone rocks and lawn around the tower. From these vantage points, you’ll see picturesque views of Port Antonio, Navy Island and Folly Mansion.

Deep-Sea Fishing
 
Northern Jamaican waters are world-renowned for their game fish, including dolphin fish (mahimahi), wahoo, blue and white marlin, sailfish, tarpon, barracuda, and bonito. The Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament is held at Port Antonio every September or October, depending on the phases of the moon (and presumably, the migration patterns of the marlin) for that particular year. Most major hotels from Port Antonio to Montego Bay have deep-sea-fishing facilities, and there are many charter boats. For more information on this loosely organized annual event, contact the Sir Henry Morgan Angling Association, c/o Dr. Ronald Duquesnay (tel. 876/909-8818; or e-mail him at rondq@mail.infochan.com).
 
Nadine, a 12m-long (40-ft.) sportfishing boat (tel. 876/993-3209 or 876/909-9552; www.jamaicascene.com), with a tournament rig, is available for charter rental. Designed for up to six passengers at a time, it charges US$1,000 per half-day or US$2,000 per full day, with crew, bait, tackle, and soft drinks included. It docks at Port Antonio's Marina, off West Palm Avenue, in the center of town. Call Captain Paul, or a member of his crew for bookings.
 
Golf
Port Antonio may never rival Montego Bay as a golfing mecca, but the 9-hole San San Golf Course & Bird Sanctuary (tel. 876/993-7645), lying 6km (3 3/4 miles) east of San San Beach, offers dramatic scenery, with a backdrop of lush vegetation on one side and the ocean on the other. A round of 9 holes costs US$50. You can also play the course twice for US$70. Caddies cost US$12 with pull carts going for US$5. Clubs are rented at the pro shop for US$10. Birders often flock to the area to see the many species here.
 
Hiking
The Rio Grande Valley is one of the lushest places in the Caribbean to go on hiking jaunts. Hiking trails often follow paths blazed decades ago by hunters seeking wild pigs.
 
If you're not a serious hiker and want only an easy preview of this luxuriant valley, you can take the 30-minute hike to the Scatter Waterfalls from Berridale, 10km (6 1/4 miles) southwest of Port Antonio. Here bamboo rafts will transport you across the Rio Grande, where you can walk to the falls in about 20 minutes. There you'll find pools for cooling off and a little bar serving fresh tropical punches.
 
Most other hikes are far more strenuous. One of the most difficult is the 19km (12-mile), 2-day hike to Nanny Town, named after Queen Nanny, the Amazon-like warrior goddess of the Maroons. One of the most remote places in all of Jamaica, this was the legendary hideout of the Maroons in the 1700s, who came here to escape from the British and went undiscovered for years. A campsite can be found along the Makunnu River. This hike is only for the seriously in-shape and valiantly stout of heart who are intrigued by, rather than daunted by, some of the roughest terrain within the Blue Mountains.
 
Less difficult is the 5-hour hike to Watch Hill, a former lookout point for the Maroons. You'll pass miles of banana groves and the decaying ruins of an 18th-century sugar plantation. This hike is graded moderate.
 
Our favorite trail is the 6km (3.75-mile), 7-hour White River Falls ? hike starting at Millbank, a hamlet south of the Maroon stronghold of Moore Town. Know before you embark on this hike that the drive from Port Antonio to the debut of the hiking trail, because of horribly maintained roads, will require up to 2 bone-bruising hours of transit time, each way. This hike takes you along the White River, and you can also go upstream to the Seven Falls. After a swim in the first one or two falls, you may decide not to press on, as the going gets rough and the trail is slippery. If you're lucky, you'll see colonies of the rare swallowtail butterfly. These beautiful insects are enormous, and make for one of the most memorable sights nature has to offer in Jamaica.
 
Shorter and easier hikes in the Lower River Valley can also be arranged, including a 4-hour hike, rated medium grade, along the Darley Trail.
 
One final trail, also difficult, is the 7-hour, 11km (6.75-mile) Guava River Trail, starting in the hamlet of Bellevue. The trail goes along the Guava River in the heart of the Blue Mountains. You can swim in the river and continue upstream until you come to some hot springs.
 
Rafting
Although it's not exactly adventurous (it's a tame and safe outing), rafting the Rio Grande is the best rafting experience on the island, and the most fun. Rafting started on the river as a means of transporting bananas from plantations to waiting freighters. In 1871 a Yankee skipper named Lorenzo Dow Baker decided that a seat on one of the rafts was better than walking, but it was not until actor Errol Flynn arrived that the rafts became popular as a tourist attraction. Flynn used to hire the rafts for his friends, and he encouraged the rafters to race down the Rio Grande against one another, betting on winners. Now that bananas are transported by road, the raft skipper makes perhaps one or two trips a day down the waterway. If you want to take a trip, contact the Rio Grande Experience, Berrydale (tel. 876/993-5778).
 
The rafts, some 10m (33 ft.) long and only 2m (6 ft.) wide, are propelled by stout bamboo poles. There's a raised double seat about two-thirds of the way back. The skipper stands in the front, trousers rolled up to his knees, the water washing his feet, and guides the craft down the lively river, about 13km (8 miles) between steep hills covered with coconut palms, banana plantations, and flowers, through limestone cliffs pitted with caves, through the "Tunnel of Love," a narrow cleft in the rocks, and then on to wider, gentler water.
 
Trips last 2 to 2 1/2 hours and are offered from 9am to 4pm daily at a cost of US$72 per raft, which holds two passengers. A fully insured driver will take you in your rented car to the starting point at Berrydale, where you board your raft. If you feel like it, take a picnic lunch, but bring enough for the skipper, too, who will regale you with lively stories of life on the river.
 
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
At a depth range of 24 to 27m (80-90 ft.), Alligator Long is one of the most visited dive sites east of Port Antonio. Advanced divers come here. Divers go along a narrow coral ridge 9m (30 ft.) high and peppered with sea fans, sponges such as the azure vase sponge, soft gorgonians, and many coral heads. Marine life includes the pork fish and several species of hamlets (the indigo hamlet, for example). You'll see squirrelfish darting about, along with stingrays, triggerfish, and spadefish.
 
The best outfitter, Lady Godiva's Dive Shop, lies within the Port Antonio Marina (tel. 876/993-8988), 11km (6 3/4 miles) from Port Antonio. Full dive equipment is available. Technically, you can snorkel off most of the beaches in Port Antonio, but you're likely to see much more further offshore. The best spot is at Winnifred Beach on the other side of Dragon Bay. The reef is extremely active and full of a lot of exciting marine life. Lady Godiva offers two excursions daily to this spot for US$21 to $30 per person including snorkeling equipment for the day.
 
Dining
Mille Fleurs, Port Antonio, Jamaica
Restaurant Mille Fleurs offers romantic dining on the verandah with magnificent views overlooking Port Antonio, the Blue Mountains and the Caribbean Sea. Enjoy the spectacular setting and savor the calm and serenity while enjoying culinary delights, beautiful sunsets and candlelit dining. Discover creative Caribbean cuisine breakfast, a light lunch or romantic dinner. Mille Fleurs is also a perfect location for small weddings and celebrations. Tel: 876 993 7267 Email: reservations@hotelmockingbirdhill.com Website: http://www.hotelmockingbirdhill.com/restaurant-mille-fleurs/
 
Shopping
Port Antonio is not a shopping bazaar like Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Most activity centers around Musgrave Market, on West Street, in the center of town. This is one of our favorite markets in all of Jamaica. It evokes a movie set on which the director is about to call, "Lights, camera, action!" The most active market day is Saturday. To see the market at its most frenzied, go any day of the week from 8am to noon.
 
The sprawling Fort George Village Shopping Arcade, which opened in 1997 to immediate denunciations, is not a mirage. To call it an architectural monstrosity would be too kind; this three-floor structure looks like some of the world's major architectural ideas, thrown into a blender -- baroque, English Tudor, French Gothic, with hints of Syria and Iraq thrown in for spice -- and spat out. In theory, at least, the arcade was designed to represent various architectures from around the world.
 
Regardless of what you think of its design, the arcade is fun for a shopping jaunt, thanks to outlets for jewelry, antiques/junk, CDs, computers, and more. the center of town across from the courthouse, en route to Titchfield Hill.
On Harbour Street, you'll come to the City Centre Plaza, but it's rather dull. As for its crafts, we've seen better. Still, it might come in handy for souvenirs and those things visitors always need: postcards for the ones you left behind, suntan lotion, and that Nora Roberts paperback for the beach.
 
At the Gallery Carriacou, on the grounds of Hotel Mocking Bird Hill, on Mocking Bird Hill (tel. 876/993-7267), you can view the sensuous and evocative paintings and sculptures of Barbara Walker, who is one of the partners in the hotel. Her works, and those of other noted Jamaican artists, make up the finest collection of art for sale in the area. Walker also conducts classes, on request, in sculpture and painting.
 
At the Errol Flynn Marina, you'll find space for up to 32 different shops and boutiques, even though only some of those spaces will be occupied by the time of your visit. The most appealing of the lot is Things Jamaican (tel. 876/715-5347), where gift items, fashion accessories, and housewares -- each made in or pertaining to Jamaica -- are lined up for easy-on-the-eyes shopping.



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