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Portland to Montego Bay
How Will You Get There?

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Travelling from Portland to Montego Bay | Portland Welcome SignTravelling from Portland to Montego Bay | Portland Welcome Sign

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

Many Jamaicans take the trip between Montego Bay and Portland quite often on road trips. While the ultimate goal is either to get from Portland to Montego Bay or vice versa, the journey is just as exciting. Here is how to travel between both places and other general information I think will be quite useful.

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How long is the drive from Portland to Montego Bay?

This drive will take on average 4 hours and 4 minutes and this is on a non-stop drive. If you were to travel via route taxi or buses it will take considerably longer seeing that you will have to stop and switch cars or buses multiple times.

How far is Portland, Jamaica from Sangster’s International Airport?

Sangster's International Airport is in Montego Bay, which means this airport is 4 hours away from Portland. For persons who are only visiting eastern parishes like Portland, the easiest way is to travel through the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

Getting from Portland to Montego Bay

What are the modes of transportation when travelling from Portland to Montego Bay?

You have the option of picking one of 4 choices to get to and from Portland and Montego Bay.

1. Public Transportation - Jamaica has a pretty reliable route transportation service, especially in urban areas. You can travel via taxi or bus. However, this will be very tedious, especially if you are travelling with minors, older persons or individuals with special needs. If you have lots of luggage with you there will be challenges as well.

Note too, that you will have to be changing buses and the wait gets long at times. If your choice is public transportation, you could get a bus into Kingston and then from there to Montego Bay in most cases. If not, you might have to take a bus or taxi to Kingston, then from there you will hgead into Ocho Rios, then finally to Montego Bay.

2. Private Transportation Companies - These companies make trailing a little less of a hassle. They have scheduled buses that travel to different parts of the island at certain times. Knutsford Express is a good example of this. You can travel in a relaxed environment directly from one station to the next without having to switch vehicles at any point. Also, the trip is non-stop to your destination with the exception of scheduled pick-ups or drop-offs at other stations along the way.

Some of these stations have rest-stops where you can use the restroom and get a snack, but if you would rather stay on the bus, there is, in most cases, a restroom on board. The reservation or payment can be made on their website or it can be done on the day of travel, however, seat availability is not promised. It is a little more expensive than route taxis but it does save on time and is far less tedious.

3. Personal Vehicle - If you would like to drive yourself from Portland to Montego Bay, then you most certainly can. You will have full control over how much you are able to bring, when you get there and who travels with you.

Driving yourself also gives you the opportunity to make it into a road trip and visit the many must-see stops on the way. There are many car rental companies Montego Bay as well as Portland to choose from.

Travelling from Portland to Montego Bay | The Portland Parish SignTravelling from Portland to Montego Bay | The Portland Parish Sign

There are restaurants and many attractions to visit. Plus you will of necessity, pose for the iconic photo beside the parish sign, just to remind yourself of the trip!

4. Airplanes - If your budget allows, you can take a flight into Montego Bay from Kingston but you will have to travel via bus or car from Portland to the airport first. Where other methods of transport can go even up to 5 hours, the flight will reduce travelling time significantly.

I would recommend private transportation services or personal vehicles when travelling that far. Public transportation is quite the undertaking, even for us locals. It means waking up early, getting to the bus park with luggage, waiting on a full load of passengers and making various stops before getting to your destination.

Also, it usually takes at the very least two vehicle changes before you get to the town you are heading to, not to mention getting to your place of accommodation while you’re here.

How much will it cost to get from Portland to Montego Bay

This depends on the option you decide on. If you are travelling via public transportation, it is best to budget at least $2,000 JMD ($13 USD)  per person. It can cost more or less depending on the route you have to take and the amount of luggage you have. If you decide to take private transport companies, then it can cost up to $3,700 JMD ( $24 USD). 

Places to stop while travelling from Portland to Montego Bay

  • You can stop by a vendor to get craft items, jewellery, clothing and many other souvenirs and keepsakes.
  • Stop by the fruit or food vendors to purchase freshly picked fruits or any of our street food delicacies (soup, corn, jerk chicken festival). One popular stop on the way is in Priory, St. Ann is by the pudding man. Here you can get the best, most mouth-watering sweet potato or cornmeal pudding. Experiment with the taste of pumpkin pudding if you're adventurous. You can also grab jerk chicken, saltfish fritters, various fried foods and a drink, but the pudding is definitely the star of the show. You must also stop and get a patty from one of the many patty outlets you will pass on your journey.

Where should I visit when I get there?

Whether your destination is Portland or Montego Bay, you are in for quite a treat. Both places have their own must-see places. You might have heard of some already but here is a small list.

Places to Visit In Portland

That's not all! There are many other attractions such as beaches and historical sites in Portland for you to visit on your trip.

Places to Visit in Montego Bay

Montego Bay caters mainly to the partiers among us, but you will still be able to fit in a lazy day by the beach or a tour of an old great house. You can visit:

  • Pier 1
  • Rose Hall Great House
  • Doctor’s Cave Beach 
  • Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records
  • Harmony Beach Park
  • Coral Cliff
  • Jamzone
  • Fort Montego
  • Margaritaville

Montego Bay has many other attractions you could visit while on vacation as well. The Hip Strip is always a good place to start.

Each town has its own inviting factors. Portland is the haven for the laid back adventurer while Montego Bay is perfect for those among us who love a little more excitement in a town full of activities both night and day. It is up to you to decide!

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Return to Jamaican Travel Essentials from Portland to Montego Bay
Return to My Island Jamaica Homepage from Portland to Montego Bay

References & Sources For Portland to Montego Bay

  1. Attractions in Portland Jamaica - Fun Places To Visit in Portland Jamaica,
  2. Historical Sites In Portland Jamaica | 10 Places You Should Visit, 
  3. Montego Bay Things To Do - 6 Must Visit Places And Attractions,
  4. Best Beaches In Portland | 8 Of The Most Beautiful Beaches In Portland,
  5. Distance from Portland to Montego Bay,
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