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Port Antonio on a budget

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brooklyn, ny
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Port Antonio on a budget

I am booking a last minute trip to Port Antonio and i had a few questions. I'll be there from Dec. 9th to the 13th!

a. What's the best cheap way to get to Port Antonio from the Norman Manley airport in Kingston?

b. Should I rent a car?

c. Is it easy to get to Frenchman's Cove, Blue Lagoon and other points East without a car?

d. Where can I stay in the area for a modest price that will have hot water and not have fire ants?

e. anything in the area that is a must do / must see?

thanks for the help!

NY, NY
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1. Re: Port Antonio on a budget

koleeko-

i'm totally in the same boat as you. I have all the same questions you have. Can anyone help us out? How much should a private taxi cost from the airport to PA? Will it be easy to find someone? Anyone have references?

Thanks!

Kingston, Jamaica
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2. Re: Port Antonio on a budget

It will be quite easy to get a taxi from the airport to Port Antonio. A lot of the JUTA cars and buses are parked outside the arrivals section. (Make sure that you see JUTA written either on the side or front of the vehicle). Taking a private taxi is not cheap so be sure to budget for that. Renting a car is a lot cheaper but I wouldn't recommend it. The roads to Port Antonio from Kingston are not the best on the island particularly following Hurricane Ivan last year. Even a somewhat experienced driver like myself won't venture to that side of the island without the help of my friend who was born down there. Another option is ofcourse taking a private air charter with AirLink www.intlairlink.com or Timair www.timair.com. Ofcourse this is not cheap either.

In terms of accomodation try the Jamaica Palace Hotel. It is operated by some great Christian folk and the prices are pretty reasonable. I also like Goblin Hill and Trident Villas www.tridentvillas.com. There is also a hotel located at Frenchman's Cove. (I forgot the name). Finally visit the following website to find out where you can get a villa for as low as $50 www.seemenomore.com.

Must visit places:

1. Boston Beach-home of Jamaica's original jerk

2. Reich and Sommerset Falls

3. Rafting on the Rio Grande

4. I believe you meantioned the Blue Lagoon-you will absolutely love it!!

5. Navy island (of the coast of Port Antonio)

6. Go mountain biking on the famous Blue Mountains!! Tour includes a stop at a coffee plantation.

There is a lot to do and see in Port Antonio. That part of the island is a nature lover's paradise and is quite untouched and unspoilt.

Kingston, Jamaica
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3. Re: Port Antonio on a budget

Correction:

The Hotel meantioned should be Jamaica Crest and not Jamaica Palace. (Jamaica Palace is however a great hotel as well).

Cuenca, Spain
Destination Expert
for Jamaica
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4. Re: Port Antonio on a budget

Hello koleeko,

What time does your flight get into Kingston?

If the arrival time is late afternoon then getting to PA wil take about 2.5 hours and the trip will be in the dark.

This is not good as you will miss the best part of being able to enjoy all the panoramic views along the way.

Spend the night at MORGANS HARBOUR HOTEL Port Royal

beachesparadise.com/Caribbean/morgans.html

Taxi will take you the folowing morning.

Take a boat ride out to Lime Cay –

From Port Royal take a speed boat ride out to these sandy keys.

jamaicans.com/tourist/…limecay.shtml

In the town of Port Royal. Buchaneer´s Roost Restaurante...

Lively local place. Enjoy a delicious hot soup and Lobster dinner.

OR go over to the popular GLORIAS for a fish dinner and the ambience.

OR have a nice meal at the hotel.

This hotel has the best and most spectacular romantic setting.

Looking out to the harbour with the mountains of Kingston in the background.

At nightime the lights add a special effect to the whole setting.

Mixing with the owners who will become your friends.

BOSTON BEACH BAY (Guest House)

http://www.sweetharmonyjamaica.com/index.html

OR http://www.searchmeheart.com

PA offers a wide variety of hotels depending on your taste.

Your own self contained unit. http://www.go-jam.com/oceancrest-e.html

Read all about PA.

visitjamaica.com/resorts/port/default.aspx

http://www.discoverjamaica.com/

http://www.portantoniotravel.com/

RAFTING

jamaicans.com/tourist/…portantonioDoSee.htm

Have fun!

Baton Rouge, LA
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5. Re: Port Antonio on a budget

Hi, guys!

I'm so jealous that you will soon be in Port Antonio! ;)

Frenchmans's Cove and Blue Lagoon are within walking distance from each other, but Boston Bay and other points east seemed a little far for a walk, a few minute drive by car. Route taxis can take you around within Port Antonio, and is a very cheap way to get around.

I stayed at Moon San Villa, which I like a bed and breakfast, it's a four room villa where you can rent just one, all the same price, $125/nt. The master bdrm was the only one with an ac if that is important, we didn't really need it but if this is preferred you can request this room.

A very nice man named Michael works there and offered to take us anywhere that we would like to go, although we had already rented a car. Even if you don't decide to stay, you could certainly call Michael to ask for a ride from the airport, or for excursions. His number is (876) 381 3494.

The villa is just footsteps from the Blue Lagoon(we made it our own swimmiing hole :) ).

Staying there will include breakfast(I had wonderful french toast everyday!!), and they actually allowed us to use their kitchen which really helped.

Goblin hill is very nice as well, and very close to Frenchman's cove.

www.goblinhillvillas.com

I believe the link for places to stay at Frenchman's cove is

www.fantasyisle.com

btw, Frenchman's Cove can be reserved for a sunset lobster dinner after the beach closes. :)

Must dos:

1. Move there. ;)

2. If you hire a driver, ask if they know of any hidden waterfalls, that may not be part of an attraction.

3. Relax on the beautiful sand of Long Bay.

4. Make reservations one evening to have dinner at the "Best Kept Secret." I'm sorry I really must insist. It's a secret, so I can't really give details, but you will have a lovely dinner, and it will be reasonably priced. Wherever you decide to stay, just ask them to call and make a rsvn, as it is required, and pick up a bottle of wine on the way, as no drinks are served, only water. OK, you're not getting anything else out of me.

5. Stop at a local fruit stand at least once. The jackfruit is delicious. :)

6. If you want an out of body experience, there's always the mineral bath. About a 30-45 minute drive away, the Milk Mineral Bath will cure what ails you. It's 140F water coming straight off of the rock, and there will be "doctors" there who will massage you with special oils(another secret) and just bathe you in the water. And he's gonna wet your towel with it, so might wanna take a spare. He said that this would cure anything, and his special method would cleanse you completely. I left feeling like a new woman. If you go, ask the driver to take you in the back way where the locals go, otherwise you can go in through a hotel closeby, but the other way is more fun. :)

I hope that you have an amazing trip!!!

-Leah

Central Ohio
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for Negril, Port Antonio
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6. Re: Port Antonio on a budget

Once in Portland you can get route taxis along hte main road and they'll get you to most beaches nad things as those are along that road,. Won't be quite as easy to get inland to waterfalls and such.

If by "budget" you mean under $50, look at Ivanhoe Guest House ( www.go-jam.com and go to Guest Houses), ther ooms there are $25-50 and I know two people that love staying there. Palmer's Guest House is another option.

Further east look at Zion Country at www.zioncountry.com - rooms there are basic but unusual, $30 single, 40 dbl. Shared bath but very private cove and beach.

Drapers San is also $25 pp.

I wouldn't stay at Frenchman's Cove, the mildewy small rooms are $99 - unless you are local.

Do look at www.go-jam.com - there are several more inexpensive options there.

Lots of things to do and see, do a search for "Portland" on this board.

I love having a rental car in this area but if you haven't been to JA before I wouldn't recommend it until you see how things are. I also wouldn't recommedn taking public transport (bus or route taxi) from Kingston to PA, but once in PA I would.

NY, NY
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7. Re: Port Antonio on a budget

Wow! Thanks so much for all the advice everyone! I knew this board was great as soon as I found it. hopefully all will go well and i'll let you know how it went when we come back.

-mike

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