Travel Memories: Portland, Jamaica

I think that Portland is one of Jamaica’s most picturesque parishes.  It certainly is very lush.  It’s been some time since I visited — *sniffle* — but looking through my pictures soothes the longing to go back.  It really is a mellow, calming, soul-refreshing experience to be in Portland.  I think that Portland and St. Elizabeth are Jamaica’s most untouched parishes and I think that they should remain that way.  No, I don’t mean that there should not be improvements to infrastructure and services; I do not mean that those parishes should be condemned to backwardness.  I mean that for environmental and tourism purposes, it shouldn’t be overbuilt and overcrowded as Negril, Ocho Rios, and Montego Bay have become.  I hope that whenever next I go home, I’ll be able to visit Blue Lagoon having heard so much about it…

On the way to Portie…one can get lost enjoying the scenery. It’s so beautiful, calming.

Mommy, Grandpa, and my little sister waking toward the beach.


...the edge of the island...

Most fun I've seen children have in some time...

a storm rolls minute the beach was bathed in sunlight, the next it was pouring

So why is Blue Lagoon in Portland – apparently one of Jamaica’s (some say the Caribbean’s) most beautiful and well-known spots – being destroyed? An artificial beach? Garbage galore? Why?  

Sadly this degradation isn’t unique (see above references to Negril, Ocho Rios, and Montego Bay), Hellshire, Portmore, Long Mountain, Jack’s Hill…  I mean, the monstrosities that are the RIU hotels along the north coast of Jamaica make me wonder if anyone at the responsible government agencies realize that as a bare, practical matter everything must be done to preserve Jamaica’s environment since (at present) we put so much emphasis on tourism.  Heck do private citizens, the private sector and the nonprofits realize how much we’re asking and expecting of the environment? The sand and sea won’t be there to attract vistors if you destroy them with artificial beaches and massive structure built so close to the shoreline.  Look at what some visitors have to sayabout visiting Blue Lagoon.  Heh. Beyond the scope of tourism there’s also the matter that Jamaica is an island that is home to almost 3 million people who need a clean, healthy place to live.

6 Responses to “Travel Memories: Portland, Jamaica”
  1. Aurie says:

    This is easily the most gorgeous parish in Jamaica. I am partial to Portland…mi naah lie!! I would retire here for sure.

  2. petchary says:

    Oh, don’t get me started Cucumber Juice. The “tourism interests” just haven’t made the connection between preserving what’s left of Jamaica’s environment and visitor numbers. Tourists DON’T generally want to see vast expanses of concrete. I remember the feeling of horror (and depression) when we first traveled along the north coast and saw those hideously ugly Spanish hotels, one after the other, along what was once a beautiful coastline. I’m planning to repost Diana Macaulay’s blog on Blue Lagoon on my blog shortly (should have done it already). But what’s done is done, and the environmental damage can’t be undone now. We will regret it, and probably sooner rather than later. If I was a tourist, I wouldn’t visit Jamaica.

  3. Ms. Nikks says:

    Wow, you make me wanna go home asap! That water looks so inviting. Never been to Portland, but it’s now on my list.

  4. shumpynella says:

    I saw that video and it was shocking & upsetting to the extreme. I get annoyed just thinking about it 😦 Portland still is gorgeous and my family took a couple vacations to the untouched west – one to Blue Fields and one to Treasure Beach and I loved both trips. I do hope we Jamaicans value what we’ve been gifted with in terms of natural treasure and stop fudging it up!!!

  5. sebrezzy says:

    Sorry for my delay comment but I must say I love this post and it’s solely because it’s about Portland. I love my hometown sooo much and it saddens me to see that video. I like to think of Portland as Jamaica’s best kept secret. It’s so lush and green due to it raining everyday literally. I think everyone should have the opportunity to visit it either to see one of the five beaches, one of the two waterfalls, blue lagoon is my favorite spot there or rafting on the rio grande (did it with my family great experience)

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] would be the same Winnifred Beach that I recently wrote about in Travel Memories: Portland, Jamaica.  The spot where I took one of my favourite pictures: two young boys playing football with […]

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