Port Royal

Travel Guide
Port Royal showing general coastal views, boating and a bay or harbour

Explore the city where buccaneers and cutthroats once ruled. Learn about the earthquake that caused most of it to sink into the sea.

Wander around the sleepy fishing village of Port Royal and imagine it as it would have been in its heyday, with pirates, sailors and merchants crowding the streets and taverns. Visit Fort Charles and some of the other buildings that remain from the town’s former glory and eat the freshest fish in Jamaica at one of the town’s restaurants. Take a trip to the idyllic Lime Cay and spend an afternoon snorkeling or reading in the sun.

The town of Port Royal was founded in 1518. Used as a naval base by the Spanish and subsequently the English, it was once the New World’s busiest city. Traders from all regions used it as a stopover. It was also called the wickedest city in the world due to its high numbers of pirates, prostitutes and drunkards. Many of the buildings associated with this decadence sank under the ocean following an earthquake in 1692. Bring your dive gear to visit this world-renowned underwater archeological site.

Wander the quiet streets and enjoy the change of pace from bustling Kingston. Walk down Church Street to find St. Peter’s Church, which dates back to 1725, and see historic relics in its courtyard. Make your way to Fort Charles to discover how the English retained control of Port Royal for nearly 200 years. Two small museums also contain artifacts recovered from the 1692 earthquake.

Other attractions include the Old Gaol and the Old Naval Hospital. The inner ironworks of the latter building were actually constructed in Bradford, England, making the hospital one of the oldest pre-fabricated buildings in the world.

Hire a pilot to give you a boat ride to Lime Cay, a small, uninhabited island just off the coast. Spend an afternoon snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing. Return to Port Royal to have dinner at Jamaica’s best fish restaurants. To make your evening last longer, head to one of the town’s bars and nightclubs.

To reach Port Royal drive southeast 17 miles (27 kilometers) from Kingston or take the bus. You can find accommodation here, though most visit the port as a daytrip from Kingston.

Grand Hotel Excelsior Port Royal
Grand Hotel Excelsior Port Royal
3.5 out of 5
The price is £76 per night from 23 Oct to 23 Oct
Situated on the boardwalk, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Fort Charles, and within 16 mi (25 km) of Jamaica Conference Center and National Gallery of Jamaica. ...
2.9/5 (549 reviews)
"The rooms were clean, comfortable and came with a refrigerator and sink. We had a view of the pool, the habour and parts of Port Royal. The staff was nice but the food was way too expensive. Liquor at the bar was limited. The TV had HDMI for our kids’ Xbox which kept them occupied during the ..."

Reviewed on 4 Oct 2021

Grand Hotel Excelsior Port Royal
AC Hotel by Marriott Kingston, Jamaica
AC Hotel by Marriott Kingston, Jamaica
38 Lady Musgrave Rd, Kingston, St. Andrew Parish
The price is £139 per night from 6 Nov to 6 Nov
Located in the heart of Kingston, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Peter Tosh Museum, Little Theater and Bob Marley Museum. National Arena and National ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (148 reviews)
"Jeovany the server was the highlight of the stay. I have never in my life in any country received such excellent customer service."

Reviewed on 20 Oct 2021

AC Hotel by Marriott Kingston, Jamaica
Courtyard by Marriott Kingston, Jamaica
Courtyard by Marriott Kingston, Jamaica
3.5 out of 5
1 Park Close, Kingston
The price is £133 per night from 29 Oct to 29 Oct
Located in the heart of Kingston, this hotel is steps away from Sunshine Amusement Complex and Emancipation Park. Centre Stage Theatre and Little Theater are ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (306 reviews)
"Great service"

Reviewed on 3 Oct 2021

Courtyard by Marriott Kingston, Jamaica
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
The Gardens
The Gardens
3 out of 5
The price is £63 per night from 23 Oct to 23 Oct
Located in Barbican, this apartment building is within 1 mile (2 km) of United States of America Embassy and Bob Marley Museum. Devon House and Hope Botanical ...
3.1/5 (21 reviews)
"It was ok. Needs renovation. Sheets smell like bleach."

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2020

The Gardens
Casa Royale Guest Apartment
Casa Royale Guest Apartment
3.5 out of 5
19 Three Views Avenue, Kingston
The price is £129 per night from 23 Oct to 23 Oct
Located in the heart of Kingston, this apartment building is within 3 miles (5 km) of Super Value Town Center, Tropical Plaza and Mandela Park. Manor Park Plaza ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (65 reviews)
"This was a great place to spend my time in Jamaica. It was clean, very quiet and had an amazing view of the hills and in a great neighborhood. The manager was fantastic, she helped us every step of the way, understanding. I would not think of a better place to stay."

Reviewed on 22 Aug 2021

Casa Royale Guest Apartment
Cozy Studio
Cozy Studio
Kingston, Saint Andrew
The price is £151 per night from 27 Oct to 27 Oct
Located in Half Way Tree, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Devon House and Peter Tosh Museum. Mandela Park and Tropical Plaza are also within ...
Cozy Studio
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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