Frenchman's Cove is a favourite of Jamaicans and visitors as its clear waters and stretch of sand invite swimming and sunbathing, and local cuisine is served directly on the beach. This is one of the prettiest beaches and often features on the Jamaica Tourist Board promotional material. The beach is flanked by lush vegetation and a cool stream winds its way to the white-sand beach. Admission is about US$ 2.00 per person. From the parking lot, you walk a couple of minutes through a lush tropical garden to the beach. Outside showers are available to wash off the sand in addition to the fresh water stream. Changing facilities are also provided. You can rent lounge chairs and have lunch served at table.
One mile away from Frenchman's Cove is San San Beach. Perfect for swimming and snorkelling, the water is warm and shallow . Some villas and properties in the San San area have arrangements to use the beach at no cost.; others pay a US$8.00 admission fee. There are some reefs a few yards from the shore that offer good snorkelling. Just across from the beach is the tiny but beautiful Pelew Island, also known as Princess Island which is also great for snorkelling or just lazing if you are up to the swim there.
Winifred's Beach (also known as Fairy Hill Beach) , is one of the biggest and most appealing public beaches. The wide, golden crescent of sand is popular with local citizens and visitors looking for an informal, lively setting. The small reef just offshore is perfect for snorkelling (bring your own gear) and protects the bay from the waves ensuring clear, calm, bright-blue water that shelves gently from the sand. At the eastern end a small mineral spring offers a fresh water rinse. The road leading to the beach is in bad condition so drivers are advised to leave their cars at the top and walk down or drive very cautiously. The government plans to improve the facilities with proper sanitation, changing facilities, parking above the beach amongst a range of other plans to help protect it from environmental degradation and beach erosion. The beach may therefore be closed at some stage while these developments are taking place.
Boston Beach is 11 miles east of Port Antonio and conveniently located near the famous Boston Jerk Stand. It is highly popular among body surfer s as tides are often high. This is a small, rocky cove with bright, blue water but unfortunately not much of the beach is left This is where jerk pork first gained notoriety and is known more for it's collection of jerk stands. You can buy jerked chicken or pork served with hardough bread, breadfruit or yam and also buy a jar of the fiery home-made jerk sauce.
Long Bay Beach has one of the most dramatic settings in Jamaica. The view of striking turquoise waters along the area's longest beach and the sound of waves crashing against the shore sooth the senses. The crescent-shaped bay has white sand, a palm-fringed beach, deep turquoise water, and strong breezes that make it a consistent surf spot on the island. Good for swimming especially if you would like a little bit more excitement than most of the very placid waters but watch out for a very strong undertow. It is best not to swim out further than you can stand. This is a beach for bouncing around in the waves. There are a number of rustic, beachside eateries that offer refreshments and Reggae music.
Snorkelling & Diving
Port Antonio's crystal-clear, serene waters offer numerous spots for snorkelling and diving. San San Beach is recommended for snorkelling with its shallow and protected waters that are frequented by an abundance of tropical fish. Divers will enjoy the area's extensive coral reefs and ocean walls stretching eight miles. Two of the most notable dive sites off Port Antonio's coast include Alligator Head and Fairy Hill Bank. Alligator Head is a favourite of advanced divers for its unique sponge formations while Fairy Hill Bank is notorious for hammerhead sharks. Lady Godiva's Dive Shop located at the Port Antonio Marina offers snorkelling and diving excursions complete with equipment and instructions from $21 per person per day. All dives are drift dives in waters with a minimum 60-foot visibility. It takes less than 15 minutes to get to any of the 13 dive sites. Dive sites average 30-110 feet, with drop-offs of over 300 feet. Stingrays, grouper, eels, triggerfish, spadefish and squirrelfish are among the most prolific marine life in Port Antonio. You will find amongst the best preserved reefs of Jamaica in this area. For more information, please call the Dive Shop at 1-876-993-8988.
Deep Sea Fishing
Port Antonio's waters are home to some of the most celebrated game fish in the world, making it one of the most sought-after places in the Caribbean for deep-sea fishing. A vast array of species inhabits the waters such as Blue and White Marlin, Mahi-Mahi, Wahoo, Tarpon, Sailfish and Barracuda. Charter boats are available for day trips. Every fall, Port Antonio hosts the Jamaica International Blue Marlin Tournaments, drawing award-winning fishermen from around the world.