The stronghold of Jamaica’s Windward Maroons, led by Colonel Wallace Sterling since 1995, Moore Town is a quiet community located along the banks of the Rio Grande, about an hour’s drive south of Port Antonio. Prior to the election of Colonel Sterling, the Moore Town Maroons were led by Colonel C. L. G. Harris (from 1964), and before him, it was Colonel Ernest Downer (from 1952).
Nestled between the Blue Mountains and the John Crow Mountains are the culturally rich communities of the Upper Rio Grande Valley. These include the farming communities of Millbank and Bowden Pen and the Maroon community of Moore Town. Trails, including Cunha Cunha Pass, lead into the lush rain forest of the park and provide an opportunity to see the endangered Giant Swallowtail, the largest butterfly in the Western Hemisphere. The best way to get to know this area is by contacting the Maroon Council to learn from the people who have staked out this land as their own for centuries.
This paradisiacal beach a few minutes east of Port Antonio is nestled between Alligator Head and the Blue Lagoon
Shan Shy Beach on Bryan’s Bay charges no entry fee and is home to a beach complex run by Donovan "Atto" Tracey . An open, covered building has a billiards room with two tables.
One of the less-frequented beaches in Port Antonio, Shan Shy is a good place to take off on snorkeling or fishing excursions, which can be arranged through Atto or Dennis Butler (US$2050 depending on number of passengers and distance. The beach is located five minutes west of town at a sharp curve in the main road.
Just east of Port Antonio along Alan Avenue, a left onto a dirt road before the cricket pitch follows the edge of East Harbour out to Folly Point Lighthouse. A right turn after the cricket pitch along a grassy vehicle track through low-lying scrub forest leads to Folly Mansion, which is an unmanaged attraction (free and always accessible) on government-owned land. Folly was for a few years after its construction the most ostentatious building in Jamaica, before it started to crumble.
Blue Hole is also commonly known as the Blue Lagoon thanks to a 1980 Randal Kleiser adventure film of the same name starring a teenage Brooke Shields. This Blue Lagoon has no relation to the film, though locals will make the connection erroneously. Portland’s Blue Hole is Jamaica’s largest underground spring-fed lagoon, of which there are many smaller ones scattered across the island. The Blue Lagoon is made all the more unique by its location in a 55-meter-deep protected cove along the coast, where warm tidal waters gently mix with fresh water welling up from the depths.
Errol Flynn Marina (8 a.m.5 p.m daily) has slips for 32 boats. Vessels under 50 feet are charged US$0.75 per foot per day, over 50 feet US$1.25 per foot per day; electricity and water are also available at metered rates (US$0.24/kWhr for electricity and US$0.09/gallon of water). A well-laid-out and planted promenade along the waterfront has benches. Wireless Internet is included for marina guests, and there is an Internet cafè open to nonguests (US$4/hour).