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Getting There

By Plane -- If you're going to Ocho Rios first, you'll fly into the Donald Sangster Airport in Montego Bay or the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. Some hotels, particularly the larger resorts, will arrange for airport transfers. Be sure to ask when you book. You can also fly to Port Antonio's small airport on private chartered craft, booking your connection through International Air Link (tel. 876/940-0195) in Jamaica. The local airport, Ken Jones Aerodrome (tel. 876/913-3173), lies 10km (6 1/4 miles) west of the center of Port Antonio, and several taxis always meet arriving planes to take you where you want to go along the northeast coastline. There are no more direct flights from the Kingston airports into Port Antonio. The only way to reach Port Antonio from Kingston by air is to fly across the country to Montego Bay, board a separate flight, then fly back across the country to Port Antonio (it takes hours).

By Rental Car or Taxi -- You can rent a car in Montego Bay for the 216km (134-mile) drive east along the A1. The highway becomes the A3 and then the A4 before it reaches Port Antonio. Figure on at least 5 hours to make this drive safely. Expect some rough going, as the road is traffic-clogged in many spots and broken up with horrendous potholes in others. (Jamaican officials keep promising massive improvement in the highways. But, because money is a factor holding them back, don't count on a smooth ride when touring the island.) You also must compete with bikes, goats, pedestrian traffic (within the towns), and the like. Even though it's at times tedious, it does provide the opportunity of seeing a roadside view of down-home, down-scale Jamaica for a bit. A private taxi will charge between US$240 and US$280 for the one-way transit between Montego Bay and Port Antonio -- a dauntingly high fee.

A private taxi between Kingston and Port Antonio charges around US$130 each way, and the drive takes less than 2 hours. Therefore, if Port Antonio is your final destination within Jamaica, it's more convenient and cheaper to fly into Kingston.

Officially sanctioned JUTA (Jamaica Union of Travellers Association) taxis (tel. 876/927-4534), found at both the Montego Bay and Kingston airports, will take you over land to Port Antonio.

Visitor Information

The local office of the Jamaica Tourist Board is on the second floor of City Centre Plaza (tel. 876/993-3051), at the west end of Harbour Street in the center of town. Hours are Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm. If you want information about Jamaica in general (information that's not necessarily related to tourism), go to the Jamaican Information Service, 23 Harbour St. (tel. 876/993-2630; www.jis.gov.jm), which maintains the same hours.

The Town Layout

Separated by the Titchfield Peninsula, the heart of Port Antonio lies between two harbors. Divided only by a narrow channel, the privately owned Navy Island, still called "Errol Flynn's Island" by some old-timers, lies just offshore.

There are no clever names here, only literal ones. The western part is called West Harbour; the eastern bay is known as East Harbour. West Palm Avenue is the major avenue running at the southern tier of West Harbour. The larger East Harbour is bordered by Allan Avenue going east.

The town center is crisscrossed by three main roads -- Gideon Avenue, Harbour Street, and William Street -- each running parallel to the others. Linking up with Harbour Street, Fort George Street rises uphill along the Titchfield Peninsula. West and Harbour streets converge at a clock tower, flanked by the courthouse and the post office.

The center of Port Antonio is easy to traverse on foot, although if you get lost, asking directions can be frustrating (or amusing): Townsfolk often defy mapmakers, calling streets or roads by local nicknames. Allan Avenue, for example -- which begins at the junction with Harbour Street, near Christ Church -- is locally called "Folly Road" for some reason we can't discern.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.