Port Antonio is the capital of the parish of Portland on the northeastern coast of Jamaica, about 100 km from Kingston. It had a population of 12,285 in 1982 and 13,246 in 1991. It is the island's third largest port, famous as a shipping point for bananas and coconuts, as well as one of its most important tourist attractions, tourism being a major contributor to the town’s economy.
Port Antonio was a sleepy coastal town until the 1880s, when Lorenzo Dow Baker started the banana trade in Jamaica and successfully promoted Port Antonio as a destination for wealthy American travelers. “Porty” became a “boom town”. The banana trade, and the tourists who came in the banana boats, was once so large that at one time, weekly sailing from Port Antonio was greater than weekly sailing from the great English port of Liverpool.
The island was glamorized by Hollywood as a model of paradise for movies in the 1940’s and 50’s, such as "Club Paradise" and "Cocktail". This image was added to by the arrival of the movie star Errol Flynn in 1946 when his yacht “Zacca” washed ashore in bad weather. He subsequently bought nearby Navy Island, the 18th century base of the British Navy in Port Antonio.
Many members of royal families, movie stars, great musicians, and well-known politicians have visited Port Antonio.