Blue Lagoon is one of the many gems of Portland that you really must see.
It used to be called Blue Hole but was renamed after the movie Blue Lagoon starring Brooke Shields was filmed there in 1980.
It is such a beautiful natural attraction that has the ability to totally transform your day from whatever state it was before to instant peace and tranquillity. During my entire stay here, I was in awe of nature and truly appreciated the beauty of my country.
I was with visitors who all have Caribbean heritage but live in Canada and they all were just wowed by the beauty of the spot and the magical colour of the water. They’ve definitely never seen anything like this before.
How to Get to Blue Lagoon Jamaica
Your drive will be a little over two hours if you’re coming from Ocho Rios. You’ll travel along Jamaica’s north coast and begin to be wowed already by the views. I love travelling to Portland via the north coast since the Caribbean Sea is your companion for much of the journey.
I drove from Kingston, through the hills of the interior of the island, passing Castleton Gardens and the banana fields of St. Mary on some very wind-ey and bumpy roads. My guests almost lost their lunch a couple times and getting stuck behind trucks along the way who were navigating the narrow roads made for quite an interesting ride.
Even so, the hills are beautiful and the river below that you’ll travel along for some of the stretch provide a scenic route. The weather was absolutely perfect that day. This was a surprise to me as the hills are known for rainy afternoons and it always rains in Portland, being such a lush parish.
Simply stay on the main road through the town of Port Antonio. You’ll pass Somerset Falls, the Trident Castle and Frenchman’s Cove Beach at which point you’ll want to begin looking out for the sign. You can’t miss it. It’ll be on the left, a big sign that says “Welcome to the Blue Lagoon.” If you get to Reach Falls, you’ve gone too far.
Veer left, down into the little slip road and park at the beach opening. You’ll be welcomed by the boaters, rafters and vendors awaiting you.
Related: How to Prepare for a Jamaican Vacation – Common Visitor Questions Answered
The Costs at Blue Lagoon
There’s no entrance fee here, it’s not a regulated space and it’s free for you to enjoy. You can walk past the guides and head to the little dock area and jump right in if you please.
That was our plan until we got to the dock and saw how beautiful it was but how wide and deep it was. The thought of swimming across to the beachy area was a little scary, even for a good swimmer as myself. This is because the lagoon, which was once thought to be bottomless, is actually about 180ft deep.
The image above is the view from the boat dock a little way off from the parking lot. The image below shows this same dock area but now we’re over on the beachy side. See, easy swim. If you’re not scaredy cats like we were.
I mean, there’s no stopping to take a little breather, yah know?
You have the option of utilizing rafters or boats. The boats can accommodate more people and will take you all the way out to Monkey Island for a dip out on the uninhabited island just offshore then back to the beach side of Blue Lagoon where you can ease your way into the water instead of jumping off into the deep. The boats are about $40 and shouldn’t matter how many people get in.
We opted for the raft. He charged us $65 which we split 4 ways. Boats are common, rafting is not. The experience was absolutely worth it too. Our guide told us that he does go all the way out to Monkey Island too but it was a little late in the day and we were very pleased to simply stay inside the lagoon and enjoy our time here.
The Blue Lagoon Tour and Amenities
Our guide pointed out the villas, most of which were damaged by recent hurricanes and were being renovated, and the celebrities that have stayed there.
Tom Cruise filmed inside one of them apparently. I can’t begin to imagine what it must be like to own or even to stay at one of these villas and being able to wake up to this view and jump in at whim.
He expertly guided the raft around and we entered the lagoon area in absolute awe. The blues and greens of the water seem to magically change before your eyes as it reflects the sunlight. You really can’t help but feel inspired when you’re here.
Once we arrived on the beach side we were offered life jackets to swim in. There’s very little of the sandy area before it goes sharply into the deep lagoon. If you’re a good swimmer there isn’t much to fear really. We did see many visitors opt to forego the rafters and simply jumped in and swam around while we were there.
Our guide pointed out a ball floating in the water which he says marks the deepest part of the lagoon. Daredevil visitors were definitely swimming around it and taking pictures of their feat. We…stayed within the confines of the markers and enjoyed the view.
The water is very cold for the most part since it is fresh water. There are some warm spots where the Caribean Sea has managed to mix itself in.
There is a structure on the beach of what was once a restaurant however it was also severely damaged by hurricanes and is not operational. There is a restroom area up on the hillside if you need one.
Once we had our fill of swimming around close to the shore, we headed back to the raft where our guide took us to the spring that is one of the lagoon’s water sources. He says it has healing minerals and we were inclined to believe him. There are those tiny little fish in the spring that nip at your feet like those Japanese pedicures and that took some getting used to for me.
Our guide gave us the opportunity to try out rafting, or at least take pictures at the wheel…er…paddle. He was amazing, charming and knowledgeable just as you’d expect a tour guide to be without being corny or pushy. I appreciated this a lot.
The colour of the water was just incredible and I couldn’t snap enough pictures.
Once back over on the beach, we passed vendors selling souvenirs from the area as well as handmade jewellery, clothing, drinks and snacks. It was an incredible day and everyone agreed that the treacherous journey through the hills was worth every minute of the ride.
Have you ever been to the Blue Lagoon? What’s on your Jamaica bucket list?