I’m convinced that Portland has Jamaica’s best beaches! Boston Beach was a long drive from Kingston but that was quickly forgotten by time I arrived. Although it was my first time visiting this beach, I was always aware it existed because just next to it is the Boston Jerk Centre, home to Jamaica’s most famous jerk chicken and pork, a place of which I’ve always heard but never visited.
Boston Jerk Centre is actually a cluster of several rustic stalls offering taste-and-buy meats, meaning you get a sample of the jerk you’re purchasing before paying and if you change your mind and no longer want theirs, no worries. While I’m not 100% convinced that their chicken is the best I’ve ever had, it was certainly fantastic. The pork though? Phew, child! It definitely wins the title of Jamaica’s best jerked pork. Please visit their stalls and take your pick. I wish I remembered the names of the ones I bought from. Sides include festivals, breadfruit, roasted yam, sweet potato and plantains. If you come across a Rasta man trying to sell you cane juice too, bargain with him for a fair price and take a bottle with some cups of ice chips. It was absolutely refreshing and the perfect accompaniment to a sultry Jamaican afternoon. You can learn more about Jamaica’s unique eats here. Anyway, I’m here to talk about the beach so let’s dive into that.
From Kingston, there are two ways to approach Boston Beach. One is via the Junction main road which links rural St. Andrew and St. Mary, and serves as the gateway to Portland. The other goes through Bull Bay, another rural end of St. Andrew, then through St. Thomas and eventually Portland. I took the latter route this trip despite Google Maps listing it as 10 minutes longer, simply because I planned to stop at Reach Falls afterwards. In fact, Reach Falls was the main reason for this trip but I decided to make the extra half hour drive to experience what is reputed as Jamaica’s best jerk. Thus, I hadn’t even researched Boston Beach in the least, except consulting Google Maps to find out how long the drive to the jerk centre was from Reach Falls.
My heart was absolutely full. The drive is long but oh-so-beautiful and filled with lush countryside, cool mountain air, quaint churches and houses, jaw-dropping coastal views and fresh sea breezes. The road surface fluctuates between excellent and freshly paved to pothole-riddled so drive carefully. In fact, the communities through which you’ll drive are farming villages so don’t be too alarmed if you see cows or goats leisurely crossing the roads. Unfamiliar with livestock on main roads, I stopped in the hopes that these cows would get the message but they continued to saunter across unbothered until I made it clear I needed to pass. That’s when they stopped in their tracks, much like a pedestrian who thought better of jaywalking into the path of oncoming traffic. It was actually hilarious and brought back memories of my Gut River trip last year where the several hundred goats we passed were not accustomed to vehicles using the road at all.
Boston is open every day of the week from 9am till 5pm, and admission is JM$200 per adult. They have restrooms, changing rooms, showers, a restaurant and bar, lifeguards and surfing is available. In fact, Boston Beach is one of Jamaica’s best surfing spots and you’re likely to see a few surfers in action like I did. You’re allowed to bring and eat outside food on the beach too, huge plus. Thus, I bought food from the jerk centre which is a minute’s drive away then ate it at the beach instead of buying from their restaurant. Covered seating is available also.
Re surfing: Boards can be rented and instructors are available at a price (didn’t check the cost though, sorry).
Truly, I’ve not been this pleasantly surprised by a place in a long time. Mind you, I’m always happy to visit the places I do but I tend to at least have seen them before on social media or a website, so I always know what to expect before I see the place for myself. Boston? I hadn’t the slightest clue and in fact, I was wondering if it would be worth spending money on a beach I didn’t plan to spend long at (err.. only wanted to have lunch at). It ended up becoming the best $200 I’ve spent in a few months!
The waves were perfect! Not gentle but not too rough, not cold but not too warm, crystal clear, not too salty, literally perfect. This is the most refreshed I can recall ever feeling by seawater in my life. The temperature was even too, not fluctuating like at Frenchman’s Cove where one step it’s warm and the next you’re shivering due to the river which ends its course there. In fact, a Jamaican author, blogger and friend of mine, Alexis Chateau, mistook a throwback post I made on Instagram at Frenchman’s Cove last month for this beach and I can see why. Boston Beach looks identical (I know! uncanny), albeit wider, minus the river and much, much cheaper.
As a nice perk, there’s a very Instagrammable swing and some adorable puppies call this beach home. This was also the first time I’ve ever seen surfing in real life. You could tell the lone surfer was having the time of his life being centre of attention, but it looked so exciting. With a life-jacket on, maybe someone could’ve convinced me to try.
Spontaneous is good! It goes against my meticulous nature but these are the moments you cherish just as much as the moments where everything went according to plan. I left a little sliver of my heart at this beach which I rate full stars, ☆☆☆☆☆. Next time I visit though, I must stay overnight. The drive from Kingston while running on E post-exams was exhausting and I really had to leave too quickly. I imagine sunset from this beach would’ve been wonderful.
If you enjoyed reading about this beach, you’ll also enjoy:
Look out for part 2 to this post (Reach Falls) next weekend. Do give my Facebook page a thumbs up to ensure you don’t miss the next post, and show your support!
‘Til next time, ✌.