Contrary to common belief, it is quite safe to drive yourself around Jamaica. However, driving in Jamaica is a little adventurous, but if you take it easy you can have a lot of fun and meet wonderful Jamaicans along the way.
For a downloadable PDF of how to get to Mocking Bird Hill click here
Driving from Jamaica’s 2 International Airports to Port Antonio & Hotel Mocking Bird Hill
If you decide to rent a car, here are the directions to Port Antonio from both Kingston and Montego Bay along with an indication of the distances.
Kingston to Port Antonio (2-3 hours):
- The easiest route is around the eastern coast of the island as you do not need to drive through the city. Just turn right at the second roundabout after the airport and you’re on your way. The drive will take about 3 hours.
- Through Kingston and then through the hills, along the Wag-Water River, on the beautiful but very curvy “Junction Road”. This is the main road joining the south to the north and is the best road with the shortest driving time (2 – 2½ hours).
- Through Kingston and over the Blue Mountains. The shortest distance, but the longest driving-time. This is a spectacular route with breathtaking views, but we don’t recommend it on your first day in Jamaica or in bad weather. This route is currently not open due to road blockages caused by major landslides that have occurred during the last 2 years. Although most guide books describe this route, they may not have been recently updated and therefore do not contain the most current information.
Montego Bay to Port Antonio (4½-5 hours)
- The drive along the coast is lovely but long . Make a day of it, stop on the way, see the sights, visit the Reggae Explosion at Island village in Ocho Rios, then have lunch at Toscanini’s at Harmony Hall, a couple of kilometres east of Ocho Rios.
Jamaican Car Rental Companies
Island Car Rentals
For the weary traveller you can request a car with a driver to drive you to Port Antonio after your long flight. Most hotels will make the arrangements for you; just give a day or two’s notice, as there is no office in Port Antonio. Island Car Rentals is convenient because they give island wide coverage and will have the car ready for you at the airport.
Address: 16 Well Street, Port Antonio
There are 2 official types of taxis in Jamaica: Charter Taxis and Route Taxis.
Charter taxis are similar to taxis in most countries, they collect you from your location and take you to another location and you are the only passenger. These cabs are officially licensed and insured.
The route taxi is a collective taxi. These cars are licensed as public passenger vehicles and have red license plates. They are very cheap and any easy way to do short distances as long as you don’t mind sharing with others.
These are also collective taxis and they have low fares. The problem with these taxis is that they are often not licensed as public passenger vehicles and are often not fully insured and are therefore not liable if there is an accident. We therefore recommend that you do not use these cabs. As a result of not being licensed as public passenger vehicles they do not have red license plates and are thus easy to tell apart from the route taxis. Jamaican taxis do not have meters so make sure you settle on the price of your trip before you set off.
To budget on the cost of getting around Port Antonio and to nearby attractions click here.