Being a person of Jamaican descent has its perks. For starters, there's the food. I get pretty regular access to some very good Jamaican food — jerk chicken, curry goat, oxtail, ackee and saltfish, patties and so on. I just don't think you can really go wrong with a Jamaican meal.
The other thing I love about being of Jamaican descent and having most of my family still live in Jamaica is getting the opportunity to go there. I've visited the Caribbean island more times than I can count, and one of my absolute favorite places in Jamaica is Port Antonio, what I like to call Jamaica's natural gem.
Port Antonio is on the northeastern coast of Jamaica and is about a two-hour drive from Kingston and a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Montego Bay. Though not as popular a tourist destination as Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril, Port Antonio is slowly but surely being discovered by those willing to venture a bit off the beaten path. It's not the easiest to get to, but it's more than worth it.
What I love most about Port Antonio is its natural beauty. So much of the area is still very lush and tropical, from the Rio Grande to the Blue Lagoon. Unlike other tourist destinations in Jamaica, you won't find large, all-inclusive resorts here. Rather, it's the place where you rent a vacation property or a more intimate room at a local hotel or, for a fancier stay, a room at one of the luxurious accommodations like The Trident Hotel or Geejam. It's the place you go to connect a little more with your natural surroundings.
Earlier in the year, I got the opportunity to return to Port Antonio for my cousin's wedding and was reminded, once again, how wonderful Port Antonio truly is and why it's a place worth visiting. I'll let the pictures below do the talking. Just don't all go to Port Antonio (or Portie as it's also known) at once:
Have you ever been to Port Antonio?