Winnifred Beach, Portland

Winnifred Beach in Portland, Jamaica is a success story of what can happen when a community works together and fights for a worthy cause. Majority of Jamaica’s best coastline is in the hands of private owners, auctioned off and sold by the Jamaican government to large hotels and investors who rather keep the beaches of their beachfront hotels and resorts exclusive for paying guests. This practice prevents citizens from enjoying most of the country’s best beaches. It’s a prevailing notion in Jamaica that only tourists get to see and enjoy Jamaica’s finest attractions since the prices charged for us to visit these places, even with cheaper rates for locals, still make them inaccessible to many. This wasn’t something I thought much of until visiting another Caribbean island last December and realizing that not a single one of their beaches had an admission fee, and for the other attractions which did, both locals and tourists were charged the same. In fact, many Jamaican businesses which cater for tourists often ignore locals when we enter their establishments so it’s an interesting turn of events that many of these places are now trying to attract and capture support from locals since tourist arrivals are at an all-time low for obvious reason.

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Blue Lagoon & Monkey Island Tour, Portland

Blue Lagoon is located in Port Antonio, a quaint picturesque town in Portland which hasn’t been hit with mass-tourism like our other resort towns. Portland is my favourite parish in Jamaica because literally around every curve is a beautiful beach, cay, river or waterfall waiting to be discovered. Does Blue Lagoon look or sound familiar? Well, there may be a reason for that. Brook Shields’ movie by the same name Blue Lagoon (1980) was filmed in Jamaica, and it’s also a popular spot used in filming numerous Jamaican music videos. This coastal lagoon shrouded by thick lush greenery is rumoured to be bottomless in Jamaican folklore but is actually 65m (210ft.) deep at its deepest point, and its colour ranges from a deep mesmerizing royal blue to shimmering turquoise depending on the way the light hits its surface throughout the day.

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22 Photos Which Show Why Portland is Jamaica’s Most Beautiful Parish

Portland is easily Jamaica’s most beautiful parish with a great diversity in landscapes ranging from Jamaica’s highest mountain peak at a chilly 7,402 feet and dipping as low as to sea level with warm tropical breezes wafting in from the Caribbean Sea. What’s even lovelier is that this parish is relatively untouched from the droves of tourists which flock our major three tourist cities and towns, so it’s possible you’ll find many of these gems 100% empty (and uncommercialized) if you visit. Portland attracts a more ecoturist laidback vibe so it’s no wonder yoga and wellness resorts have been growing in popularity in this side of the island. I’ll let the pictures do the talking– here’s why Portland is my favourite ❤ and Jamaica’s most beautiful parish.

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Fish Dunn Falls, Portland

Last month I decided to see what lies beyond the road to Holywell and what awaited was a pleasant surprise. I’d intended to visit at least one more waterfall from the parish of Portland going by this list of all the waterfalls in Jamaica, but ended up seeing three: Cascade waterfall which I already wrote about here, an unnamed pair and this mesmerizing beauty named Fish Dunn/Done Falls in the community of Silver Hill.

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Cascade Falls, Portland

Jamaicans are so matter-of-fact when it comes to naming places. Cascade waterfall is located in a tiny rural district by the name of– you guessed it– Cascade. What Cascade lacks in breadth it makes up for in height measuring over 100 feet tall! The waterfall is visible from the main road and that seems to be where most people are content with getting their view of this beauty. Of course, that wouldn’t be adequate for an adventurous soul like myself.

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Reach Falls, Portland

Well well well, if it isn’t more of my favourite parish in the whole of Jamaica! Portland is an ecotourist’s haven with idyllic beaches, cool forests, relaxing rafting on the Rio Grande, nature resorts, sanctuaries and close to a dozen majestic waterfalls, both named and unnamed. The elysian Reach Falls in Manchioneal is a series of delightful cascades along the Driver’s River. It was first discovered centuries ago by runaway slaves from plantations in the neighbouring parish of St. Thomas who sought refuge in the John Crow Mountains.

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Boston Beach, Portland

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.

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Frenchman’s Cove, Portland

Indisputably one of the best beaches in Jamaica, Frenchman’s Cove in Port Antonio is an estuary which gives one the opportunity of swimming in fresh and salt water at the same beach. The beach receives its name from a fiery battle between the British and French near the Cove centuries ago after which the defeated French soldiers sought refuge there.

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Conquering Blue Mountain Peak: Part 2 of 2

This is part 2 of a 2-part series. This post covers the Blue Mountain peak, day 2 descent, tips and additional info on how to conquer the peak safely and affordably. Part 1 covered the ascent. Completing my track analogy from last week, the peak trail would be GO! 🏁

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Conquering Blue Mountain Peak: Part 1 of 2

Clocking 7,402ft. (2,256m) above sea level, Blue Mountain Peak is Jamaica’s highest point. It majestically towers over the entire nation and its waters. The Peak forms part of the Blue and John Crow Mountain National Park (BJCMNP) in the eastern corner of the island, and holds the proud title of Jamaica’s first UNESCO world heritage site which it achieved in 2015.

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