Reach Falls (sometimes spelled Reich Falls) is the most natural and undeveloped large waterfall in Jamaica. The main waterfall is about seven meters high and 20 meters wide, falling in to a large pool below. It is here that scenes from the Tom Cruise movie cocktail were filmed
The scenery surrounding Reach Falls is stunning and showcases natural Jamaica at its best; tropical rainforest, hanging vines, bamboo canes and natural caves envelope the falls. Unlike many of the larger falls in Jamaica, Reach Falls is firmly off the tourist trail, it is not usually busy and never crowded. Some days you may even have the entire waterfall to yours
Torrential rains rushing down from the Blue Mountains feed the Rio Grande River. Bamboo rafts where originally used to transport produce, especially bananas, from the interior of the island.
The legendary Hollywood star, Errol Flynn, who made Port Antonio his home, introduced rafting for fun. Today Rio Grande Rafting is an established attraction enjoyed by visitors and Jamaican’s alike.
A bamboo raft for two passengers is poled downriver by a skilled licensed raft captain for your river adventure down the Rio Grande river valley which is dominated by bamboo and banana groves.
Errol Flynn allegedly created river rafting in Jamaica on this river, this was our 2nd or 3rd time doing one of these trips and our guide was the least personable one that we've had. The raft ride was much longer than the one we did on the Martha Brae River but it's the same principle, you sit on a little bench at the back end of the bamboo raft while your boatman ferries you down the river. On previous trips our guides have stopped to show us wildlife, provided foot massages, told jokes, but this guy was all business barely saying more than 10 words the entire trip. Other people in our party said their guides were wonderful and entertaining.
Our 2nd stop was at Frenchman's Cove, a small beach near Port Antonio. For our group they had a buffet lunch served, for everyone else there were just beach chairs and loungers, I presume for a small fee. The cove is a lovely place to go for a dip in the water or relax on the beach, there was nothing in the water that required water shoes although one of the local fisherman pulled out a poisonous lionfish, hopefully he was beyond the cove when he caught it.
Our visit to the Blue Lagoon was just a brief stop, we didn't even have time to take a quick dip. Tour guides stop you here because it has been used as a film location for several movies including "Cocktail", "Club Paradise", "Mighty Quinn" and "The Blue Lagoon" but there was no one in the water and big signs saying swim at your own risk.
The mountains around Port Antonio not only provide for a spectacular backdrop to the city, but they make a great place to get away from the city too.
Spend a day and hike in the mountains and take off a little weight you may have put on by just lazing on the beaches all day :-P
One hundred years ago (give or take) Titchfeild peninsula used to be an exclusive gated community for the wealthy. These days though the houses on Titchfeild peninsula are old and run down, as illustrated in the opposite picture. Up here you will find several guesthouses, including the one we stayed at, Ivanhoes. As well, a tiny military base and a highschool set on the ruins of an old British fort.
This picture was taken from a window of a house on Titchfeild. It is looking east across the, apply enough titled, east harbour and to Folly Point in the distance.
Though Port Antonio's main draw is it's ideal location for exploring the mountains, rafting down the rio or just lazing at the beach all day, since you are here get out and see the city.
The cities main landmarks are the clocktower, the georgian courthouse and an interesting looking mall that has several architectural styles mixed. It's pretty neat to see, though not that good looking of a building.
Port Antonio has a newly redesigned waterfront area complete with benches, walkways and spaces to park yaghts. It is a nice quite place to take a short stroll or eat some lunch. When I was in Port A. there was no restaurant on the waterfront, but apparently a nice seafood restaurant called Norma's has recently opened here (thanks Island_luv for info). The other option would be to bring a picnic lunch.
Also, as with seemingly every other park area in Jamaica, there are no ashtrays. Please don't through your butts on the ground or in the water, put them out on your foot then use the trash bin.
About 8 or 10km east of Port Antonio is Winnifred beach. You couldn't make a better choice in choosing a beach in the Port A area to spend the day at.
Though Winnifred is technically a public beach, and hence should be free of charge, I came across a fellow claiming that he cleans the beach and I should pay him to get in. If you meet such a person, whether or not to pay him is up to you. I chose to, as he was twice my size, and it seemed an appropriate way to rid myself of worthless small change.
If you are hitching or taking a taxi from Port Antonio, they will drop you off on the main road, a short walk from the beach. You go down and walk on a gravel road, through a small community called Fairy Hill, until the road makes a sharp right. Continue strait off the road and down a little path that will lead you to the beach.
The beach included a changing room, a drink stand (of sorts), some people making and selling stew as well as people selling silly *** like seashells.
Imagine a virgin forest that seems to plunge into a bright blue-green sheet of water. This is the Blue Lagoon, even called Blue Hole. The lagoon is about 64 metres deep, but for the romantic souls it is without end.
Frenchman's Cove: the nature all around looks like a paradise, so my husband and I felt like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (unfortunately just for a moment!!).
In the tropical garden of Frenchman's Cove there are many trees, the same little plants that I try to grow with difficulty at home. I wondered to see them so big in their habitat.
Frenchman's Cove is a small bay with a beautiful white beach and a little river sorrounded by a garden that looks like a jungle. Here you can sunbathe hearing the chirp of birds.
Frenchman's Cove, just east of Port Antonio on the main road, is one of the nicest beaches in the Caribbean.