Portland, Jamaica – The Parish That Welcomed Me Home!

Portland is a beautiful parish located on Jamaica’s northeast coast. Situated north of St. Thomas (where the famous dancehall artist Popcaan is from) and to the east of St. Mary (the Parish my father grew up in). The capital of Portland is Port Antonio.
Portland Parish is known for its natural beauty, lush vegetation, multiple caves, stunning beaches, and rivers. And is also credited as the original birthplace of jerk cuisine. The Boston area of Portland, just west of San San and Port Antonio, is still home to the original jerk pits, which eventually became the Boston Jerk Center, dating back to the 1940s.

Getting Here:
When I arrived in Jamaica, I landed at Norman Manley International Airport (KIN), which can be a 2.5 – 4 hour car journey from the airport to Portland. And I believe my initial drive was close to four hours, with a few stops in between for mangoes, a coconut water break, and a failed attempt at getting a phone SIM card and money from a western union.

Getting Around:
I recommend hiring a driver if you don’t feel comfortable enough to rent a car. The roads are pretty rough along the A4 Highway, so getting a taxi can be a nightmare. (I once had to wait three hours to get a cab to go home from the Blue Lagoon.)

Portland is also said to be one of the most rural parishes in Jamaica, making getting groceries difficult if you’re staying far from the capital.

Favorite Attractions:
Blue Lagoon (Temporarily Closed)
Boston Beach
Folly Ruins

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