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Port Antonio from MoBay?

Cleveland, Ohio
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Port Antonio from MoBay?

Hi Folks

We REALLY want to spend 10 days in Port Antonio but flying into Kingston is a big problem (expense, huge layovers, etc, etc). Flying into MoBay is a piece of cake!

Is MoBay a practical entry point for a Porty visit?

Any advice on making this work?

Thanks...Dave

Kingston, Canada
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1. Re: Port Antonio from MoBay?

It's a loooong drive and the road between Ochi and Pt. Antonio is a mess. It's doable but is best done with a stopover midway. Kingston is easier. Have you looked into a puddle jumper like Tim Air?

Horsham, United...
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2. Re: Port Antonio from MoBay?

Dave

I think that this can work! The trip from Mobay to Ocho Rios is about 2 hours drive along the excellent North coast road. From Ochi round to Port Maria and Annotto Bay the road is still pretty good though there are some areas of road works, but that's where the good news ends. After Annotto Bay, which itself has lots of roadworks, the road is terrible - deeply potholed and very slow going. Overalll I would say it will take about three hours from Ochi to Port Antonio, making it a 5 hour drive in total.

I have been working in Kingston since January and have travelled on all these routes recently. If you were to try driving to Porty from Kingston it would still take about 4 hours going round the coast road to the East (and it's a terrible road most of the way)and maybe half an hour quicker going across the mountains to Annotto Bay. Overall Mobay may be a good option. There are plenty of places to break up the journey on this route too.

Good luck with it - we spent a few days in Port Antonio in February and had a really good time. Let us know if you want any tips on things to do and see in the area.

Roundy

suz
Derby, Connecticut
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for Ocho Rios
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3. Re: Port Antonio from MoBay?

We drove from Ocho Rios to Port Antonio in March - due to the bad road conditions and the construction, the drive was about 4.5 = 5 hours! If you can travel the road in off hours, you will have a quicker trip = but if you are travelling during working hours, there are a ton of delays due to the roadwork.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Port Antonio from MoBay?

not much that is a truly practical entry point for Portland, and it is as lovely and perfect as it is because of that... it's off the beaten path because the path is so beaten i guess....

If Kingston isn't doable (and 4 hours to me sounds a little steep, I'd say about 3 to 3.5), I've done it in 4 going the scenic, contstant springs to stony hill pass way), the mobay is quite possible, and worth it for a 10 day stay... it is a LONG drive... budget 5.5-6 hours I'd say (took me 8 to get from Boston Bay to Negril in August, peek construction time tho, right before elections... was very slow going)....

now here's where it gets sticky... What time is your flight getting in? just because of the nature of these roads and the elements of possible detours up into the hills (I'm not sure where there are detours and how familiar your driver would be with the back roads), you'd probably want to do the majority of this driving during the day time... so you'd have to have a flight that got in fairly early, before 1-2pmish at the LATEST... I'd say look for flights before noon to be safest.. otherwise you're looking at an overnight in Mobay.... visa versa on the same back.. your flight would have to be later afternoon or evening and you'd want to get a very early start on the day (having to reach the airport the alotted 2-3 hours before hand you'd leave at 7am to safely reach a 5 pm flight)...

basically you'll loose an entire day to travelling each way when it comes down to it... sooo.. if you need 10 days in portland, you might want to budget your trip for 12 days, that way you actually get 10 days IN portland... but as i said in the beginnning, it's worth it... most stunningly beautiful place on the island IMO... I'd do the 8 hour drive again in a heartbeat (but i've driven from Georgia to Toronto many many times)

Enjoy

Chelle

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Port Antonio from MoBay?

oh... and the going rate at the airport for a transfer would be about 200ish each way... 250 for prearranged... not cheap... car rentals are an option, but do understand that roads out in St Marys, Portland and areas of St Thomas are in total dire straits and will be much much much different than the worst road you've ever travelled in back home... throw in driving on the other side of the road, construction, detours, aggressive drivers who live by their horns, ppl and animals frequently on the roads..... well be prepared if this is on your agenda...

Chelle

Central Ohio
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for Negril, Port Antonio, Treasure Beach
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6. Re: Port Antonio from MoBay?

"mobay is quite possible, and worth it for a 10 day stay"

I agree 100%.

If the timing of your flight doesn't permit driving all the way to Porty the day you arrive, consider a night spent partway...not far from the airport is Time n Place in Falmouth, a great place to unwind and spend a night, maybe check out Glistening Waters and then head on the next day and take your time, stopping along the way.

Or you could go further along the route stop in Ocho Rios...or consider staying at Blue Harbor in Port Maria, just 1/2 or so past Ochi and a cool place to kick back and not have much of a drive the next day. From Blue Harbor you could run up to Noel Coward's other home, Firefly, one heck of a view from up there, then head on to Porty.

It is expensive to get to Porty from Montego Bay via private taxi. You could rent a car or take local taxis, the latter is not practical if you have luggage beyond a backpack and is a mode of transport for the fairly adventurous and not in too much of a hurry traveler.

Texas
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7. Re: Port Antonio from MoBay?

I like the idea of breaking up your first day....maybe take a shuttle from mobay to ochie hotel tropical tours is one inexpensive shuttle that comes to mind......then the next day take a private taxi to port antonio do the same thing on the way back....hopefully by taking the shuttle service to ochie you will save some on the private taxi charges

maine
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8. Re: Port Antonio from MoBay?

i've done the drive from Mobay to Porty in one day. Our flight arrived in Mobay a little after 2...we stopped in Ochi for some late lunch/early din and beverages and then continued on our way. We arrived in Porty around 730-8. All in all...i didn't find the drive all that taxing...but i LOVE to ride around.

On another trip...we overnighted in Ochi both to and from.

Minneapolis, MN
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9. Re: Port Antonio from MoBay?

We were just in Portland a month ago. We LOVED it and it is well worth going. One of my fave trips ever.

We (3 people) flew into MoBay about 4:30 and stayed one night at a little resort close to airport, and had hired a private driver to take us to Port Antonio the next day. It was almost a five hour drive on a weekend day. Even on the weekend there was some construction work going on, but not much traffic. It was a beautiful drive much of the way, but it was fatiguing. The roads were pretty bad for the last one to two hours, though not unbearable. I'm glad we weren't driving, though. We loved our driver! New country, new money, new culture, new side of the road - it was nice to just sit and take it in, and get the scoop on stuff from the driver. After you get past about Annotto Bay, and esp. in Portland, there are a lot of kids and goats and puppies along the road. That main road seems to function as the main conduit for all vehicle, bicycle, animal and pedestrian traffic in the area. It is not a wide road once past Port Maria or so. You will be visiting a place where regular people live regular lives, not just a resort community.

We had six nights in Portland and I would have loved more. The beauty and the people can't be beat. On the way back we left for MoBay at 1 PM on a Saturday and got there before 7. We stayed at the hotel again and flew out the next AM. I would fly to MoBay again to go to Portland, but would try and get an early flight in and go directly to Port Antonio that same day because it was way nicer than Montego Bay. If we had rented a car and driven ourselves, I like the night in Ochi or Port Maria idea, to break up the drive.

Jamaica
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for Ocho Rios
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10. Re: Port Antonio from MoBay?

Driving is cool and although you can't chose the weather but I drove back from P.A. to Mo Bay last year from a wedding and it poured down rain bad and took us 6.5 hours. So I suggest a big SUV for the drive.

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